50-53 “Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.”
Luke 23:50-53 (NIV)
Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus’ body off the cross. That was bloody and physically demanding work. Imagine moving a 150 lb. sandbag.
It was emotionally upsetting too. He probably recalled that traumatic event often. After he took Jesus' body down he wrapped it, then lugged it to a cave.
Luke used an interesting choice of words to describe Joseph. He did not qualify Joseph as one who “believed in Jesus” or “obeyed God;” rather, Luke wrote, “he was waiting for the kingdom of God.”
Have you ever used that phrase to describe someone? Can you imagine saying, “Jacob, this is my friend Hannah. She is waiting for the kingdom of God”?
Luke must have used that phrase because “waiting for the kingdom of God” is important.
High school and college are advertised as times to cut loose, seize the day and try new things. Doesn’t that conflict with waiting for the kingdom of God? No, it does not.
You might thinking waiting means stagnation and boredom, like sitting in a doctor's office waiting for your name to be called.
But to “wait for the kingdom of God” means to “look for the kingdom of God.” That is one of the most active things you can do. You are on an active search all the time, not just looking out your window waiting for Jesus to come out of the clouds.
How can you be bored when you notice the kingdom of God in a conversation with your friends at lunch? How can you be stagnant if you are mindful of the kingdom of God in your relationships and interactions?
Athlete, you are never stagnant or unproductive when you are noticing and participating in the kingdom of God. But you will be stagnant and unproductive if you are not.
Joseph’s waiting did not mean inactivity. Neither does yours.
Action: Wait. Be active.