Re: Verse reading–Mark 15:33-41; 16:1-8 (day six)
“…just as he told you.” Mark 16:17
It is no surprise to us, but Jesus did exactly what he said he would do. He followed through; he completed the task; he stuck to his word. He wasn’t all talk and no walk. He wasn’t all theory and no practice. He didn’t just flirt with redeeming the world (all those who would believe and call on his name); no, he actually redeemed the world.
This is helpful for us because it reminds us that the foundation of the Gospel is action. The Gospel was born in action, and thus gives birth to action for those who belief, affecting what we do by changing who we are. Jesus lived it, and so should we.
Re:Verse reading–Mark 14:12-31 (day six)
Mark is coming to a close, but it is a Gospel after all, and thus rapidly moves towards the Cross. In this narrative we have the securing of the upper room, the enunciation of a new covenant, the prediction of betrayal(s), followed by immediate denials (they were all wrong; perhaps most of all Peter). All narratives that we seem so familiar with. How do we look at these in a fresh way that doesn’t seem trivial? I suppose the best reminder is that we never graduate from the Gospel, nor those particular events leading up to the Cross. Every so often in ministry, I have heard the occasional mantra, “I want something deeper.” As if the Gospel is wading through shallow waters, no in fact, there is nothing more profound and worthy of contemplation.
Re:Verse reading–Joshua 7, Mark 15:16-20, 24-40; Mark 16:1-8 day six)
Achan’s sin is catastrophic. Thirty-six people died, not including he and his family, as a result of his disobedience. Like a cancer it spread, and although it began with him, he could not control it or contain it. A whole people were left demoralized because of one man’s moment of greed. And it resulted in death.
Jesus went to the cross for Achan. Holy Week is a searing reminder that we are no better off than Achan. We are worthy of being stoned; we are worthy of the cross, and yet while we were still enemies of God Christ died for us. In the cross and resurrection we discover the cure for that uncontrollable, uncontainable cancer. And so we lament at the great cost of our sin, and yet we also rejoice knowing that it is finished!
He is risen!
Re: Verse reading–Matthew 26:47-50, 57-66; 27:11-26 (day six)
It was a loud mess, a cacophony of voices, some hushed and others loud, as Jesus was paraded into Caiphas’ courtyard in the middle of the night. It went from courtyard to courtroom with the raising of the high priest’s hand; everyone went silent, and every eye on Jesus. The silence lasted for only a moment when one, then two began to make accusation against Jesus in disjointed coordination, as if they had rehearsed what they would say. Three. Four. Ten. A pause and then ten more just the same. Each pause was followed by feverish anticipation of what this man might say in his defense. As if to raise the stakes and rouse a response, each accusation became more outlandish than the next.
Silence. And yet without even a word his very presence spoke with authority, and they felt it, and hated him for it.
He would eventually speak, making a declaration rather than a defense. His words, albeit few, sealed his fate. Their plan was working, so they thought; they had sprung their trap. Little did they know that his words, which brought him condemnation and them triumph, played into the hand of a sovereign and gracious God. Words.