Sunday, May 21, 2017

Mark: After it is finished

Mark 15:33-47

At this point, Jesus breathed his last breath.  The women disciples come take his body down and prep it and then Joseph of Arimathea buys a tomb for him to lay in.

Jesus himself said, "It is finished!"  And after the worst day of his whole eternal existence, Jesus begins the return the glory that he had always had as the second member of the Godhead.

Normally, a criminal who had died by execution would not receive a proper burial but probably be thrown in a garbage dump.  Not Jesus.  One of his closet followers among the Pharisees who did not agree with them in opposing Jesus finally came out asked if he could bury him.  This was his first time publicly showing his faith in our Lord and accepting that Jesus was the Messiah.  Another gospel says that Nicodemus also helped Joseph, another man who was originally silent on his love for Jesus.

Also, the women, who rarely get mentioned, get to shine.  Normally, the male disciples get the attention, but since they all deserted except for John, the women who their love by embalming him.

His resurrection still comes, but now his followers still don't get it.  But slowly, they come back to Jesus and give him the honor he deserves.

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

Mark: How we know God cares

Mark 15:1-32

In this passage, Jesus is tried before Pontius Pilate.  Pilate is the governor of Judea and in town for Passover.  He sees Jesus as innocent but still condemns him to crucifixion to please the people.  Politics are more important than the right thing as they always seem to be.

As Jesus carries one part of his cross, at some point he can't hold it longer so the guards compel a random man named Simon of Cyrene to carry it.

And at the last, Jesus is at Golgotha hanging on the cross but as verse 32 ends, he has not died yet.

I don't have much to say at this passage.  Many people can articulate it better than me.  But in the world there are unfair politics, innocent people dying, and people even forcing people to carry crosses although they don't need to do so.  Jesus already suffered for you.  You don't need to suffer anymore.

But in this world of death, car wrecks, cancer, infertility, holocausts, abortions, rape, sex trafficking, and other horrors, it is sometimes hard to know if God cares.  Yes, all of these are a result of man turning away from God in Adam and Eve.  Yes, I believe that God has planned all things that happen without being the author of sin or evil.  But one thing is even greater than this.  In all the horror and misery, we can still know that he cares and loves us because he sent Jesus, the only innocent man, to die and suffer hell in the place of those who believe and call on the name of Jesus.

God always initiates reconciliation and grace when we least deserve it.  We can always trust him to carry us by his Holy Spirit until he finally ends this present age with Christ's perfected kingdom.