He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.
The wicked and the rich are often sadly synonymous. But not in this case. Jesus was crucified with two common criminals, robbers, complete with an official charge sheet, even if its wording expressed Pilate’s sarcasm. Crucifixion was the worst method of execution the Romans could devise; originally it was reserved for slaves, but later used more widely. So Jesus was put to death like a criminal, but he was buried in a wealthy man’s grave (Matthew 27.57-60), a rich man who was an exception to the general rule because he was a follower of Jesus. There is a story that Queen Victoria was once reading 1 Corinthians 1.26: For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called (KJV). The Queen exclaimed ‘Thank God for the letter m!’ – otherwise ‘not many’ would read ‘not any’. I guess the Countess of Huntingdon might have felt the same. Of course the wicked and the rich all end in death; we may not be as wicked as the two robbers, or as rich as Joseph of Arimathea, but the grave is our destiny because we are all part of sinful humanity. Jesus alone was different, yet he allowed himself to become obedient to death, even death on a cross! (Philippians 2.8). He identified himself with sinful man in order to lift us out of our sin. Thank-you Lord!
Isaiah 53:9 (12.08.21)