Monday 29 March
“As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.” (Matthew 27.32-37)
I know it’s only early in Holy Week and I’m fast forwarding a bit to Good Friday but the whole issue of earthly treasures and earthly possessions has been very much on my mind recently. My mum recently had to move to a nursing home for her own safety. It was a massive change that involved her giving up a two bedroomed house to move into a single room.
I don’t cry very often but I cried the night I packed my car with her belongings to take her to the home. I think it was the realisation that a life of working and accumulating meaningful ‘treasures’ had reached a point where almost everything had to be abandoned and in fact almost everything no longer had the meaning it once had. My mum is happy and settled and doing without the vast majority of her possessions and we are blessed to still have her with us but Jesus’ words on the sermon on the mount about being careful to store up treasures in heaven rather than earthly possessions really came to the fore.
Jesus lived what he said and as he was dying on a cross people gambled for his earthly ‘treasures.’ In his case all he had were the clothes on his back. Not much for a king, yet this King of the Jews was richer than anyone who has ever lived and he promises us that if we put our faith in him we will ultimately gain an inheritance that will never perish, spoil or fade. That inheritance is waiting for me and waiting for my mum so I take huge comfort from the fact that in the end no Christian is ever a nett loser, however tough certain moments in our lives may be. In fact we have more than we could ever hope for or imagine, to gain.
Pastor, Dumbarton Baptist Church