Words from the Heart for Saturday April 15th, 2017
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.
Matthew 27:58 (NIV)
He Asked for Jesus’ Body
The Bible tells us about the loving act of this man named Joseph. He did not agree with the decision to crucify Jesus. Although he could not keep Jesus from dying, he lovingly provided a grave for His body. We, too, can offer to Jesus what we can give. What will you bring to Him today?
You may never have heard of a natural burial, but it is growing in popularity in Canada, particularly by those who are concerned about the environment. According to the Canadian Natural Burial Association, “A natural burial is the act of returning a body as naturally as possible to the earth. To achieve this, we recommend that the body not be embalmed or cremated, but instead buried in a simple casket or shroud, in a protected green space. Making the choice for natural burial means you are choosing a low impact burial. It is a choice that reduces energy and resource consumption, and one that is less toxic. In addition it ensures the land cannot be used for any other purpose therefore protecting these wild spaces from becoming a subdivision or quarry.”
While Jesus’ kangaroo court and murder by crucifixion made it look like the whole world was opposed to Him, Jesus did have those who love Him and stayed faithful to Him in spite of opposition. One such follower was a wealthy man from Arimathea who owned property with an unused tomb just outside Jerusalem. Matthew 27:58 tells us this: “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.” I’m sure Pilate was happy to have someone come and take the body. Jesus had been a trifling challenge for him, and I’m sure he was hoping that the death of Jesus would be the end of the whole affair. But just to be safe, guards were assigned to the tomb. This must have been one of the most secure tombs in the history of the world. There is a depth of compassion in this one verse that we should not miss. Most of Jesus’ followers had fled. They were dejected and many returned to their old lives, having forgotten, or missed what Jesus had taught so often about His resurrection. Those that remained faithful, with one exception, didn’t have the means to do anything with Jesus’ body. But God had everything planned perfectly, including this man named Joseph. He has your life planned too. And His plan begins with you loving Jesus as Joseph did.
These have been words from the heart.