A Strange Place to Find Ourselves
(Glorifying God devotions by Pastor Christopher Chia on Mark 14:1-11).
We attended a recent wedding banquet at an aquarium! It was a beatific setting for a lovely couple celebrating God’s precious gift of marriage.
It was literally like the Disney song, Under the Sea. I love fishes and kept gazing at God’s wondrous creation through the night in between dinner conversations.
I walked away from a most wondrous experience wondering: “What a strange place to find ourselves at a wedding! Were we in the fishes’ world? Or the fishes in our world? Who had entered whose world?”
We are barely two weeks from celebrating Good Friday and Easter. This is what Christians call the Lent season. It is an apt time to ponder the suffering, death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus.
They say there are 7 events in the last two days of Jesus’ life recorded in Mark’s Gospel. They span from the plot to kill him, Mary’s anointing of him, the Last Supper, Gethsemane, the Jewish trial, the Roman trial and, finally, his death (Mark 14:1-15:47).
In all of these last moments, except for the Last Supper, we find Jesus passively shunted from one event to another as the “done to” and “done in” king!
This was a complete letdown of the popular Jewish expectation of Jesus being a mighty military king who would deliver them from oppressive Roman occupation.
Instead of a Messiah who powerfully purges Israel of Gentile invaders and instals God’s glorious rule, he is himself powerless to do nothing against who plot against him and finally crucify him.
The lumbering passivity and crippling defeat of Jesus on the Cross – as God’s endtime and eternal king – is a very strange place to find the Saviour of the world.
Yet, therein lies the saving love of Jesus. He is truly God-sent for our deepest needs. He is God’s suffering Son and servant king.
It is Jesus’ disappointing passivity and crushing death which powerfully disarms the pride of Satan and sinners.
So the next time you, as a follower of Jesus, walk through a season of prolonged passivity – where you seem to be “done to” and “done in” by Satan, sinners or sin – be assured!
Walk on when you cannot see life’s purpose clearly. Walk tall when everything weighs upon your shoulders and tempts you to hunch over.. Walk alone when everyone excludes you and nobody journeys with you.
You are not in the wrong place. You are in that strange place, not under the sea but under the Cross, walking in the footsteps of your servant king.
The Cross is the place where Jesus enters our world of selfish hate and where we enter into God’s world of selfless love.