A Borrowed Tomb: The Gift of the Borrowed Life


Our Lord and Savior . . . Born amongst the animals and hidden from Herod. Died amongst the thieves and labeled with a sign of mockery. Laid within a borrowed tomb – inscription Here lies Joseph of Arimathea.

The man who came to die for our sins never had anything on which to sign His real name. There was no room in the inn thus Joseph could not sign the ledger. Jesus gave all He had to the poor . . . this left Him with nothing for a tomb of His own. The soldiers were blinded to the truth – they mocked Him with the infamous crown of thorns and scroll above His head. “King of the Jews” it said

Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith, was a great teacher. He often spoke metaphorically. We never really hear of Jesus writing anything in the gospels Himself except the instance of writing upon the sand. We have no way of knowing what He wrote that day. It is one of the greatest mysteries of the Bible. All we know for sure, whatever He was writing was part of His plan to save Mary Magdalene from the judgement (and stones!) of her peers.

Faith without works is dead . . . faith was NOT dead. The tomb was faith in action. This was faith in purest, unadulterated form. He didn’t need to exercise any ownership of the tomb – for He owned all things. The scripture does not tell us that Joseph GAVE Him the tomb . . . it tells us it was borrowed. The tomb  was on loan. It was an awe-inspiring metaphor of Jesus, the great teacher, unconditionally loving Savior – through the miracle of His resurrection we might come to understand more clearly the temporal state of our own existence.

Our suffering only momentary. Our spirits closed inside a tomb we will only need for a little while. Like this Savior of ours we celebrate not just today on Easter but every day of the year . . . we are born in a world we don’t fit into. In this world – we WILL have trouble. We will live and die amongst thieves. Our tombs borrowed.

The gift of the borrowed life is one of the most holy and sacred gifts of Christianity. Just like Jesus, we will have moments of miracles, joy, laughter, friendship and life to the fullest . . . but BECAUSE of Jesus when we DO suffer it all makes sense. Yes in this world of borrowed tombs we will have trouble but take heart . . . The man who rose some 2000 years ago, baby, He has overcome the world!

Thank God for the gift of the borrowed life. I am so glad that when my time is through I won’t have to take this borrowed tomb with me. I will leave my sins in the dirt – and the devil can eat my dust. Because if we love Him, if we believe upon Him, when we lay these borrowed tombs down in the ground . . .

Things can only look up!

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