Easter is upon us and once more Christians are given the opportunity to be reminded of and reflect upon the story of Christ's resurrection. We can learn a lot from the Easter story, not just from Jesus Christ, but other people whose actions and reactions tell us a lot about how to respond to the good news of our resurrected Lord.
When remembering the Easter story, we must likely remember Jesus, the soldier who pierced Christ's side, or Mary Magdalene, as characters we can learn from. But there are other not so often emphasized people in the Easter story whom we can still learn a lot from. Here are three important characters in the Easter story you probably do not hear about often.
Joseph of Arimathea
Who is Joseph of Arimathea? The Bible talks about Him in Matthew 27:57-58 saying, "When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him."
Joseph was a Pharisee and a rich man- not your likely candidates of a person God would use according to our stereotypes. Yet still it was him who had the courage to step before Pilate and honor Jesus when all the other disciples ran. Joseph of Arimathea reminds us that God can and will use even the most unlikely people to Honor Him even when those who are expected not to.
The guards at the tomb
Remembering the guards at the tomb doesn't always present to us a positive note. They were those that first witnessed the resurrection of Christ. It's funny how God could have chosen the disciples or Jews as the first witnesses of Jesus' resurrection, but He chose the guards.
God reveals Himself to whoever He pleases as He did with Paul, David, Gideon or Moses- very unlikely heroes- who weren't ready for a revelation of God.
Will you be ready when Jesus reveals Himself to you?
The Apostle John is a famous character in the New Testament Bible, but not in the resurrection story necessarily. In His own account John refers to himself only as the other disciple in the Easter account. In John 20:2,4 it says, "So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple... Both of them were running together, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first."
John outran the Simon Peter to see Christ. How fast and hard are you willing to run to meet a resurrected God this Easter and any day for that matter? We can become like the other disciple, John, who ran as fast as he could, hungry to see once more His Savior and Lord.