“How Do We Love Him?”
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and 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 out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away.
Jesus is laid in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. He started this week riding on a borrowed donkey and ended it laid in a borrowed tomb. From one gift He was shown to be the King of Kings, from the other He would be revealed as the Savior of the world. Humility to exaltation, death to life. This is God’s pattern in Holy Week, and we must embrace it as stewards in His kingdom.
The figure we look to is Joseph of Arimathea. We know the end of the redemption story. He did not. His lavishly generous act of giving away the family tomb assumed no repayment. He expected the body of Jesus to rest there forever. Out of his great love for Jesus, Joseph gives sacrificially that Jesus may be honored, even in His death. This is how love responds to the unbounded love of Jesus. It is selfless, generous, and unquestioned.
Loving and giving in this way requires a steward’s heart. It means giving without being asked. It is selfless, demanding no repayment and expecting no return. It does not need to be motivated by any external inviting or human appeal. The love of a steward looks for ways to give, listens for God’s voice for where and how much to give, and rests in the Holy Spirit that regardless of the sacrifice, God will always provide.
As we stand before the tomb on this Good Friday, we must ask, how much do we love Jesus? It’s one thing to look up to the cross and be thankful. It’s another thing to offer Jesus our best out of love for Him. The cross and tomb show us that Jesus gave it all. His love for you and me is unbounded. Can we follow Him and love Him any less? Give any less?
In this pandemic, we have opportunities all around us to show our love for Jesus by loving those He loves. By giving as lavishly as He gave. By our faith in His victory and our confident hope in His resurrection. How do we show the love of Jesus in the face of fear and death? How is He asking you to love? What is He asking you to give?
- Why do you think Joseph of Arimathea gave such a lavish gift to a dead man?
- How do you think he felt upon hearing of the resurrection?
- Where are you holding back in your giving in this time of economic uncertainty?
- What must you do to align your generosity with your love for Jesus?
Holy and merciful Father, standing at the tomb of Jesus fills us with such deep sorrow. As we look at our world in this time of global crisis, we feel the same grief and even despair. We are look at our world in this time of global crisis, we feel the same grief and even despair. We are so tempted to pull back, hold on, and protect what we have in these times. Through the power of your Holy Spirit, give us the heart of Joseph to give lavishly and generously of what you have entrusted to us. We know the end of the story, so fill us with resurrection joy that we might witness to the world your love and grace through our acts of selfless generosity. In the name of the one who came as the greatest, most generous gift of all time, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.