The Progress of the Cross

Today's Bible reading: Mark 10:32-34

God’s Master Plan reaches its culmination, as today our nine-month journey together through the Bible comes to Holy Week … and the wonderful mystery of Christ’s death revealed to us as the coronation of the King.  It’s a week that, at first sight, seems to present little more than striking contrasts, if not contradictions.  It begins with Jesus being hailed as King … but ends with Pilate’s mocking cry: “Behold your King” … and the rejection of Jesus by the crowds.  There is the contrast between the close circle of Jesus and His disciples before the passion … and the picture of Jesus loneliness on the cross after all have deserted Him - even denied Him - in the case of Peter.

There is dramatic movement and tension in this week, to be sure.  Yet we shouldn’t miss the essential unity of all the events.  We find no suggestion that Jesus was merely the victim of fate, of a miscarriage of justice.  Jesus went up to Jerusalem for the last Passover knowing that He had to die.  But His repeated prophecy that “the Son of Man must suffer many things” points to the real truth: His death was essential to God’s plan.  The unity of this week is the unity of the Father’s will to which the Son obediently says His life-giving: “YES”.

Prayer: Lord God, heavenly Father, teach us to confess our faults. Rule our hearts and minds with Your most gracious favor so that we would grow in faith toward You and greater love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, Your Son, our Lord, who lives and reigns with You and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever. Amen.