A man called Joseph had saved up. He’d been working for years so that he could own this small, cold, lightless hole. It was more than a hole actually, it was a small cave outside the city of Jerusalem. The cave wouldn’t be used for decades to come. Dusty, silent and void, the cave would be a fitting resting place and tomb for him and his family.
Joseph was from a Judean City called Arimathea. On this particular day there were to be three crucifications up on the hill they called Golgotha. One of the men who had been sentenced had something about him. News of this man had reached Joseph and it had moved him, stirred him, unlike the story of any other. So the Arimathean came to an agreement with the authorities that he should give his cave, his families tomb to this man, the one they called The King of the Jews.
The tomb had been a mark of respect for Jesus of Nazareth. A gift. A gift that he had not expected to get back. But three days later the gift was returned. If you or I were to return a gift we had better offer an acceptable reason for the return. Joseph wondered the same and the reason for return was that the tomb was no longer needed. Joseph hadn’t realised but the tomb was only ever going to be borrowed.
Jesus, the Saviour of the World, had just meant to borrow the tomb for a few days, much to everyone’s surprise.
Jesus never owned a tomb. He used one that he had borrowed for a short time, but then moved on, in epic style I might add.
Are there things, circumstances or experiences that we are owning when we should only be borrowing them? The course of history would have run very differently if Jesus had owned the tomb that he had been given.
I know there are things that have weighed me down in the past, simply because I owned them. I held onto them, rather then returning them – “product not needed”, “unwanted gift.”
For the bad characteristics that you are just borrowing or the hurtful experiences that you’ve had, don’t worry about whether you have the receipt or not. Put them down, return them and walk away. From today, the rental period is up.