When my mom died, we spent a lot of time planning for her funeral and burial. We looked at caskets of every color, quality and price and finally chose one that was blue (her favorite color) with birds (which she loved) flying home. We thought this a fitting tribute to the mom we loved. But what would they have thought if we’d just asked to borrow it temporarily?
Joseph of Arimathea was a member of the Jewish council and a secret follower of Jesus, but he came out of the woodwork after Jesus death and “went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus body.” (vs 43 NIV) He took Jesus body and he and Nicodemus wrapped it in linen with 70 pounds of spices and then placed it in the new tomb Joseph had prepared for himself, a new tomb where no one had yet been buried.
They thought that this could not have been the plan. But Jesus had died and Joseph could think of no better way to honor Him that laying Him in his own tomb.
Little did Joseph expect, or any of the disciples for that matter, that this was just a temporary loan! Jesus only needed it for three days! Just as He said, He would rise again. And just as the woman who poured perfume on Jesus head is remembered for her sacrifice, so Joseph is remembered for his loving treatment of Jesus body and the loaning of his tomb in the garden.
What are you willing to give to Jesus? He remembers everything we do in His name, in sacrificial service to our King. An old hymn “Give of Your Best to the Master,” by Howard B. Grose comes to mind, especially the second verse: “Give of your best to the Master; Give Him first place in your heart; Give Him first place in your service; Consecrate every part. Give, and to you will be given; God His beloved Son gave; Gratefully seeking to serve Him, Give Him the best that you have.” The woman gave her alabaster jar of perfume; Joseph gave his own tomb. What will you give?