He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
and with the rich in His death, though He
had done no violence, nor was deceit found in
His mouth. (Isaiah 53:9)
Military people understand assignments. Seldom does a person have a voice in what or where he is assigned. Even if he did, it’s the authority of the superior that makes it happen. Jesus also understood assignments. He was assigned a mission. He was assigned a set of parents, and the place where he was to be born. He was assigned where he would live, and where he would die.
He was even assigned a certain grave.
Like everything else in his life, that gravesite was remarkable. Although he had never broken a law of earth or heaven, he was executed as a criminal, and buried in the earth that held the bodies of generations of sinful, guilty, breakers of law. When holy angels saw what would happen, we wonder if they gasped in surprise: the Holy One would lie among the guilty.
And yet, the surprise of angels is matched by the surprise of humans: the One who possessed no great wealth, who, as he said, had no place to lay his head—he would end up buried among the rich. It wasn’t by chance that he was labeled a criminal, and it wasn’t by accident that he was buried with the wealthy—in the grave owned by Joseph of Arimathea.
This all happened according to an eternal, loving plan. All this followed God’s Plan of Salvation. The same loving God has a plan for us, also. He assures us that he does not plan to harm or punish us, but to give us hope, and a future. His plan deposits us in heaven. It is not by chance or accident that has brought us to where we are at today. Nor, will that happen tomorrow. No matter if the sun is shining on our life’s path or we are walking under dark clouds and pouring rain.
We are not drones. We are not robots. He uses our decision-making. But he leads us. Just like with Jesus, the Savior God has a plan for us. A good plan. If it involves danger or loss, if it brings pain or anguish—it is still a good plan. It is God’s plan. The Apostle asks, “He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?” (Romans 8:32) Our God makes assignments with love and care. Does that mean that he has even picked out the place where we will be buried—where our body will rest until he returns to raise it to glory?
The answer in the affirmative brings comfort and assurance.
Lord of our life, and guardian of our soul, we place our lives into your hands. Not only are you more wise than we, more powerful, but also more loving. Guide and direct our lives as you see fit. This, we know, will allow blessings to come while on earth, and glory to share in heaven. Amen.
Written by Pastor Paul Ziemer, WELS National Civilian Chaplain
and Liaison to the Military, Cape Coral, Florida
Provided by WELS Ministry to the Military