Sunday, April 14, 2019

God's Jewelry Box

"...He was put in a rich man's grave..." (Isaiah 53:9, NLT)

I remember some time ago my wife and I were discussing the burial of Christ and she shared a wonderful thought with me about it. She said that when she thinks of Christ's burial, she thinks of it as God's jewelry box. Christ is the precious jewel and the tomb is the beautiful jewelry box! I thought, "Wow! That's a great way to think of it!" 

It reminds me of how in the Gospel accounts, when Joseph of Arimethea prepared the body of Jesus for burial, he carefully wrapped it with about seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes and placed the body in his own new tomb (Matthew 27:57-60; John 19:39-42). This was a direct fulfillment of Isaiah's prophecy that the Messiah would be buried with the rich in His death (see Isaiah 53:9). Ray Vander Laan expounds on this thought:

AN EXPENSIVE GIFT 
Only the wealthy could afford large tombs cut into the rock. Their families were buried in these tombs for years (sometimes centuries). The tomb that Joseph of Arimathea provided for Jesus was such a tomb (Matt. 27:59-60; Luke 23:53; John 19:41). The stone was so large that the women were afraid they would not be able to open it (Mark 16:1-3). A stone of this size would be found on the tomb of a wealthy man. 
Joseph's tomb was also new (Matt. 27:60). Jewish law apparently declared that new tombs could be sold, but used tombs could not. Once a family had used a tomb, only members of that family could be properly buried in it. Considering the cost of property near Jerusalem and for such a rock-hewn tomb, Joseph's gift to Jesus was very generous. The willingness with which he offered his tomb for Jesus' burial shows us the measure of his devotion to him. It also fulfilled the prophecy that Jesus would be buried "with the rich" (Isa. 53:9).1

The tomb in which Jesus was buried is like God's jewelry box. Don't rob the Gospel of this precious truth! Be sure to include the Burial in the Gospel like it says in the Bible!2


ENDNOTES:

1 Ray Vander Laan, "A New Tomb," That the World May Know blog, https://www.thattheworldmayknow.com/a-new-tomb

2  Also see: Acts 13:29; 1 Corinthians 15:4.

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