Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. (Mark 15:43)
My attention is often caught by specific words that the Holy Spirit added to the statements of the Bible. In the verse above, “boldly” is one such word. The verse would read just fine without; yet, God specifically added that word for our notice.
In the past, I thought that this merely meant it was “bold” for a Jew to approach the Roman governor. But in my study of Mark, I think the real clue to the wold “boldly” is found in John 18:28 (Then led they Jesus from Caiaphas unto the hall of judgment: and it was early; and they themselves went not into the judgment hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover.)
(This “no contact with Gentiles” policy is not found in the Bible, but was a tradition of men–albeit a strong custom. It is a Bible command to be clean for the Passover, but not this aspect of it)
And so I think Joseph’s “going in” to Pilate was “bold” because he risked the displeasure of the religious group. For the sake of Jesus, in Whom he believed, he went against the custom of his day because the need was great.
Are we willing to go against custom to do things to honor our God?