Fear does odd things to human beings.
One of the young men, perhaps John Mark, with Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane wears nothing but a linen garment. When the Roman soldiers seize Jesus after seeing Judas’ kiss, this young man runs away in abject fear. He flees “naked, leaving his garment behind.” (Mark 14:51, NIV)
What’s more embarrassing than running naked from a garden without a stitch of clothing to cover you? What’s more humbling than abandoning the Son of God in a moment of terror? John Mark’s only solace is that “everyone deserts [Jesus] and flees.” (Mark 14:50)
Their fear apparently leads the eleven disciples and others to gather together in one location, perhaps in hiding from the Roman soldiers who may be seeking to arrest them, too. For all the disciples know, Jesus is dead. (Luke 24:9) However, fear doesn’t prevent the women from taking spices to the tomb to show love and respect to Jesus. I suspect they are not afraid because they know Rome is not concerned with women followers of the Lord.
The person who is most extraordinary is Joseph of Arimathea who boldly goes to Pilate to ask for Jesus’ body! Where is his fear? Why is he able to go before Pontius Pilate to make such a request? He has much to lose — not only his status on the Jewish Council but perhaps his freedom or even his life.
Men who follow Jesus openly while the He is alive on earth run “naked” in fear after His death; while a man who follows Jesus secretly while He is alive on earth follows Him openly after His death. And women, without status, bravely go to the empty tomb.
Fear and courage do odd things to human beings.
Father God, give us courage to follow You openly. In Jesus’ Name, amen.