I have a special senior citizen’s checking account. Yes, I prefer writing checks to a debit card. What can I say?
Anyway, it’s a pretty good deal. The bank does not charge for the service or even for the checks.
I noticed, however, that when I reorder checks, they send me far fewer than they did when I had a regular checking account. I wondered about that but then it dawned on me, “Oh yeah, it’s a senior’s account. They don’t figure I’ll live long enough to use them all anyway.”
Not a problem for Jesus. We have just celebrated His victory over the grave. As I ponder the Easter story, I recall the words of John the apostle, “So they took Jesus, and carrying His own cross He went out to the place called “The Place of the Skull” (called in Aramaic Golgotha). There they crucified Him…” – John 19:18
The text says Jesus carried, “His own cross.” That is so curious. Why didn’t John write, “He carried a cross, or, He carried the cross? John made it personal instead. It was “His” cross with the word “own” thrown in for emphasis.
The emphasis is there because the original Greek essentially states twice that it was His cross.
So? Why the personal touch?
Perhaps it was God’s way of saying the cross was no accident. Christ was not a hapless victim of a conspiracy. The cross was His destiny – it was His to pick up and carry to Golgotha. It was the cross on which He chose to die.
Certainly, it was not a cross that any other was qualified to bear. “All we like sheep have gone astray.” No, that cross could only be legitimately shouldered by the sinless Son of God. It was His.
Long before He ever picked it up, He said, “And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.” (Now he said this to indicate clearly what kind of death he was going to die.)” – John 12:32-33
He anticipated the cross. When He finally came to face it, He turned in His claim check, picked it up, and carried it to Calvary. Jesus said He would do it in order to draw all people to Himself. He was on a mission to seek and to save the lost.
But here’s the crazy thing – even though Christ died on His own cross, He was buried in a borrowed tomb. Listen to Matthew describe His interment.
“Now when it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who was also a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut in the rock.” – Matthew 27:57-59
Joseph took the crucified body of Christ and laid it in a tomb that Joseph had reserved for himself.
How crazy, Jesus had His own cross, but a borrowed tomb. It was a loaner.
It makes sense though! He would only need it for three days.
I am headed for that juncture where I will one day also be in need of a tomb (or at least a roomy urn) The great thing is – I won’t need it much longer than Jesus did.
At least that’s what Paul said in 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14, “Now we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve like the rest who have no hope. 14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, so also we believe that God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep as Christians.”
There is a resurrection in my future because of what Jesus did for me.
I won’t need more than a loaner tomb. Hey, I wonder if I can write a check for that?
A PRAYER: Lord, nothing have I for you this day but gratitude that You owned the cross and only borrowed a tomb.
Scripture passages are from the NETBible ®