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Parking Space #23

Matthew 6:19-20
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys, and where thieves do not break in or steal.”

On a recent tour of England, I was able to visit one of the most illustrious graveyards in the world: Westminster Abbey. As I walked through the famous corridors, the marble slabs beneath my feet and stone crypts on either side were marked with names that represented conquerors, kings, queens, and celebrities from centuries past. I paused before ornate memorials of noblemen and heads of state who, though many had been antagonistic to the gospel, made sure their bones were buried nearest the altar just in case Christianity turned out to be legitimate!

In my travels throughout the United Kingdom, there is one burial place I will never forget. It wasn’t located in the illustrious halls of Westminster Abbey; it was in a parking lot behind the Cathedral of St. Giles. Beneath the asphalt pavement of that parking lot, bearing no name or headstone and identified only by a yellow strip of paint, lay the bones of John Knox. Knox was the brave pastor who led the Reformation in Scotland during the cruel and tumultuous years of Mary, Queen of Scots. Because of the courageous ministry of John Knox, thousands of people came to faith in Jesus Christ and Scotland remained committed to the truths of Scripture. If anyone deserved an ornate burial site, it was this man. Instead, there is no marble crypt; no striking monument; no sculpted figure with folded hands at rest—not even a granite slab marking the spot. Just a splash of yellow paint next to the number 23; that’s all there is to commemorate the incredible and faithful life of John Knox. He’s simply buried underneath parking space 23.

I can’t help but wonder: Do you think John Knox cares? I doubt it. At this very moment, he is enjoying the pleasure of Christ’s presence. It’s one thing to receive a “Well done!” from thousands of spectators who travel the world to visit your gravesite; it’s another thing entirely to receive a “Well done, good and faithful servant” from the only spectator who really matters in the end—your Savior, Redeemer, and Lord, Jesus Christ.