Joseph's tomb

Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. Matthew 27:59-60

I overlooked this. I have no idea how many times I have read through the Easter story about the death, burial, and resurrection of Christ and had ignored the fact that he was buried in Joseph's tomb. Jesus pinned his entire ministry not on his teachings or his healing - though he taught excellently and healed so many. No, his whole message, every single one of his claims of divinity, everything hinged on one fact: his resurrection. That makes what happened to his body after he was taken down from his cross of inestimable importance.

You would think that, if his followers wanted to plan their "deception" well, they would have hastily buried him somewhere that no one knew. Maybe they would have thrown the body outside of the city gates in a refuse pile or hastily dug a shallow grave to cover it. No, they really screwed this one up if they had a plan to fake the resurrection. They picked a rich man's tomb. A prominent place that everyone knew. Joseph was no cobbler or carpenter. He was well connected. Well known. He had the means to craft an exquisite tomb for himself and loved Jesus enough to allow him the dignity of burial there.

Jesus wasn't there long was he, Dad? No, your Son, my Savior, was just passing through.

Now, the veracity of the resurrection of Jesus Christ does not turn on the prominence of the tomb. But everyone could go there to see the place where they laid Jesus. The location of his burial was in full view. The soldiers outside of it needn't have asked too many people for directions as they stood to guard it. Can you hear their questions now as they peered on on the third, fifth, tenth, or twentieth day? "Here? This has to be place. This is Joseph's tomb. Where is he? They buried him here!"

Joseph's tomb indeed! Thanks be to God this rich man loved his Son so. May I love him with equal measure.


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