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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