He lived hun­dreds of years ago. We know lit­tle about his life, his suc­cess­es, his tri­als.

From Matthew, we learn that he was good and just. From Luke, we learn that he was wealthy. And, from Mark, we learn that he was dying

But despite know­ing lit­tle of the man, from Joseph of Ari­math­aea, we can learn an impor­tant les­son about sac­ri­fice and Jesus Christ. 

 And when Joseph had tak­en the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock” (Matthew 27:59–60).

Joseph, him­self, desired to be buried in his new­ly built tomb.  But, after dis­cov­er­ing that Christ died, he gave it up for the Sav­ior of the world. He loved Christ, and he want­ed to give his very best to Him.

But, what now? Would his body be left unmarked, aban­doned? Would he build a new tomb in time? Could he be for­got­ten? I don’t know what fears Joseph faced as his death approached. 

For three days, Christ’s body resided in the tomb. But, on the third day, He rose again. 

Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepul­chre; and stoop­ing down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by them­selves, and depart­ed.” (Luke 24:12)

Now, the tomb was emp­ty. But, it wasn’t just a tomb any­more. It’d been trans­formed by the touch of the Mas­ter. Instead of just being a ves­sel for the dead, it became the grounds where death was con­quered for all–including for Joseph. 

Christ did not keep Joseph’s gift for­ev­er. He gave it back holi­er and bet­ter than before.  I don’t know if Joseph still chose to be buried there or if he felt it’d be improp­er.  But, I do know that Christ always does this when we give to Him. 

We make sac­ri­fices. We feel pain and lose loved ones. Often, we must give of our­selves.

But, in return, we receive some­thing much greater. On this East­er Sun­day, we ought to remem­ber to teach our Scouts this les­son of sac­ri­fice. 

Even if we don’t believe in Christ, we all believe that when we give we can receive.

As Scouts go out and serve the com­mu­ni­ty, they can gain con­fi­dence, love, respect, and joy from their ser­vice. And, isn’t this a great les­son to learn from an obscure Bible char­ac­ter who served His beloved Christ? 

Michelle Carpenter
is a reporter for the Voice of Scouting and a marketing associate for The Utah National Parks Council. Her father, husband, and brother are all Eagle Scouts, so she firmly believes some of the best men did Scouting.

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