An Explanation of Lessons from Lent
In the next 40 days (33 now because you have already accomplished seven), the weeks leading up to Easter, the posts on Glimpsed Glory will be different. I am reading through the New Testament during this time and I am hoping the Holy Spirit will lead me to a fresh revelation each and every day. I’m going into it with a prayerful heart and an expectant spirit but I will fully confess to you that my soul feels sluggish.
I have been in a place of exhaustion over these last months. My mind has been clouded, my body has ached and insomnia has been my companion since late December. The enemy has been and is still whispering in my ear that my Jesus has forgotten me . . . that He has finally tired of my imperfections and left me behind.
I’m not giving in to it! I am going to fight the good fight of faith and follow the example of my Nehemiah Man. I am going to stand firm in my faith because if I do not, I will not stand at all. I’m praising God for bringing me to a place of emptiness so that I can look to Him to fill my cup.
I’m coming before the Lord and I’m asking Him to do a new thing in me. To rouse my heart to His side and to draw me near in real and tangible ways. To plow through the fog that has settled over me in the form of health issues, physical stress, and emotional upheaval and lay a level path before me. I’m entering the throne room and I’m humbly reminding Him that He has invited me to come in my time of need. O Lord – be near to me. Love me where I am. Take me where I need to be.
That’s the cry of my heart Sweet Sister and I’m thinking that if I am in this place that perhaps you are too. It might be that different life situations have brought us here but here we are. If that’s the case, I want you to know that you are not alone and that you have a faith sister to walk through it with. We can do this together – you and I. It’s why God gave us to one another. We can join our hearts and we can offer up the next 40 days to the Beautiful One and trust Him to do the beautiful thing in us.
So here’s what I’ll do. I’ll post the daily reading on the blog (except for Sundays) and if you read the Scriptures not only will you have read through the entire New Testament by Easter but God promises that He’ll show you deep and unsearchable things you do not know. He promises that His word is alive and active and will transform your heart. I could use some transformation. What about you?
At the end of the daily passage, I’m going to share my “Lesson from Lent” – nothing long or drawn out just something that God uses to speak straight to my heart from the Scripture that day. I’m putting it at the end because if your time runs short on a particular day – I want you to skip reading my words, not His.
I’m hoping that you’ll start your own running record of what God is showing you. Maybe you’ll even be moved to leave a comment so your Sisters can glean from what you’re learning. No matter how you choose to keep track of all He shares with you . . . treasure it up in your heart Sweet One, meditate on it, mull it over, consider the whisper of the Lover of your soul. The God of the Universe is the only Voice we need to revive our tired souls. So, let’s you and I lean in close, pray for ears to hear and hearts to respond. Let’s dig in to the riches He has given us and prepare to be amazed by what He will reveal to our expectant hearts. O Sister, let’s boldly ask Him for a lesson from Lent and then brace ourselves for a glimpse of Glory!
February 26, 2015 ~~ Mark 12-16
Footnotes: I’ve left the footnotes in place if you would like to track down sources in word study and language. Please follow the link to each chapter and scroll to the bottom of the passage.
And [Jesus] started to speak to them in parables [with comparisons and illustrations]. A man planted a vineyard and put a hedge around it and dug a pit for the winepress and built a tower and let it out [for rent] to vinedressers and went into another country. 2 When the season came, he sent a bond servant to the tenants to collect from them some of the fruit of the vineyard. 3 But they took him and beat him and sent him away without anything. 4 Again he sent to them another bond servant, and they stoned him and wounded him in the head and treated him shamefully [sending him away with insults]. 5 And he sent another, and that one they killed; then many others—some they beat, and some they put to death. 6 He had still one left [to send], a beloved son; last of all he sent him to them, saying, They will respect my son. 7 But those tenants said to one another, Here is the heir; come on, let us put him to death, and [then] the inheritance will be ours. 8 And they took him and killed him, and threw [his body] outside the vineyard. 9 Now what will the owner of the vineyard do? He will come and destroy the tenants, and give the vineyard to others. 10 Have you not even read this [passage of] Scripture: The very Stone which [[a]after putting It to the test] the builders rejected has become the Head of the corner [Cornerstone]; 11 This is from the Lord and is His doing, and it is marvelous in our eyes?
12 And they were trying to get hold of Him, but they were afraid of the people, for they knew that He spoke this parable with reference to and against them. So they left Him and departed.
13 But they sent some of the Pharisees and of the Herodians to Him for the purpose of entrapping Him in His speech. 14 And they came up and said to Him, Teacher, we know that You are [b]sincere and what You profess to be, that You cannot lie, and that You have no personal bias for anyone; for You are not influenced by partiality and have no [c]regard for anyone’s external condition or position, but in [and on the basis of] truth You teach the way of God. Is it lawful (permissible and right) to give tribute ([d]poll taxes) to Caesar or not? 15 Should we pay [them] or should we not pay [them]? But knowing their hypocrisy, He asked them, Why do you put Me to the test? Bring Me a coin (a denarius), so I may see it. 16 And they brought [Him one]. Then He asked them, Whose image (picture) is this? And whose superscription ([e]title)? They said to Him, Caesar’s. 17 Jesus said to them, Pay to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s and to [f]God the things that are God’s. And they [g]stood marveling and greatly amazed at Him.
18 And [some] Sadducees came to Him, [of that party] who say there is no resurrection, and they asked Him a question, saying, 19 Teacher, Moses gave us [a law] that if a man’s brother died, leaving a wife but no child, the man must marry the widow and raise up offspring for his brother. 20 Now there were seven brothers; the first one took a wife and died, leaving no children. 21 And the second [brother] married her, and died, leaving no children; and the third did the same; 22 And all seven, leaving no children. Last of all, the woman died also. 23 Now in the resurrection, whose wife will she be? For the seven were married to her. 24 Jesus said to them, Is not this where you wander out of the way and go wrong, because you know neither the Scriptures nor the power of God? 25 For when they arise from among the dead, [men] do not marry nor are [women] given in marriage, but are like the angels in heaven. 26 But concerning the dead being raised—have you not read in the book of Moses, [in the passage] about the [burning] bush, how God said to him, I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob? 27 He is not the God of [the] dead, but of [the] living! You are very wrong.
28 Then one of the scribes came up and listened to them disputing with one another, and, noticing that Jesus answered them fitly and admirably, he asked Him, Which commandment is first and most important of all [[h]in its nature]? 29 Jesus answered, The first and principal one of all commands is: Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord; 30 And you shall love the Lord your God [i]out of and with your whole heart and out of and with all your soul (your [j]life) and out of and with all your mind (with [k]your faculty of thought and your moral understanding) and out of and with all your strength. [l]This is the first and principal commandment. 31 The second is like it and is this, You shall love your neighbor as yourself. There is no other commandment greater than these.
32 And the scribe said to Him, Excellently and fitly and admirably answered, Teacher! You have said truly that He is One, and there is no other but Him; 33 And to love Him out of and with all the heart and with all the understanding [with the [m]faculty of quick apprehension and intelligence and keenness of discernment] and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all the whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.
34 And when Jesus saw that he answered intelligently (discreetly and [n]having his wits about him), He said to him, You are not far from the kingdom of God. And after that no one ventured or dared to ask Him any further question.
35 And as Jesus taught in [a [o]porch or court of] the temple, He said, How can the scribes say that the Christ is David’s Son? 36 David himself, [inspired] in the Holy Spirit, declared, The Lord said to my Lord, Sit at My right hand until I make Your enemies [a footstool] under Your feet. 37 David himself calls Him Lord; so how can it be that He is his Son? Now the great mass of the people heard [Jesus] gladly [listening to Him with delight].
38 And in [the course of] His teaching, He said, Beware of the scribes, who like to go around in long robes and [to get] greetings in the marketplaces [public forums], 39 And [have] the front seats in the synagogues and the [p]chief couches (places of honor) at feasts, 40 Who devour widows’ houses and to cover it up make long prayers. They will receive the heavier [sentence of] condemnation.
41 And He sat down opposite the treasury and saw how the crowd was casting money into the treasury. Many rich [people] were throwing in large sums. 42 And a widow who was poverty-stricken came and put in two copper mites [the smallest of coins], which together make [q]half of a cent. 43 And He called His disciples [to Him] and said to them, Truly and surely I tell you, this widow, [she who is] poverty-stricken, has put in more than all those contributing to the treasury. 44 For they all threw in out of their abundance; but she, out of her deep poverty, has put in everything that she had—[even] all she had on which to live.
And as [Jesus] was coming out of the temple [[a]area], one of His disciples said to Him, Look, Teacher! Notice the sort and quality of these stones and buildings! 2 And Jesus replied to him, You see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be loosened and torn down. 3 And as He sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple [[b]enclosure], Peter and James and John and Andrew asked Him privately, 4 Tell us when is this to take place and what will be the sign when these things, all [of them], are about to be accomplished?
5 And Jesus began to tell them, Be careful and watchful that no one misleads you [about it]. 6 Many will come in [[c]appropriating to themselves] the name [of Messiah] which belongs to Me [[d]basing their claims on the use of My name], saying, I am [He]! And they will mislead many. 7 And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not get alarmed (troubled and frightened); it is necessary [that these things] take place, but the end is not yet. 8 For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines and calamities. This is but the beginning of the [e]intolerable anguish and suffering [only the first of the [f]birth pangs].
9 But look to yourselves; for they will turn you over to councils, and you will be beaten in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake as a testimony to them. 10 And the good news (the Gospel) must first be preached to all nations. 11 Now when they take you [to court] and put you under arrest, do not be anxious beforehand about what you are to say [g]nor [even] meditate about it; but say whatever is given you in that hour and at [h]the moment, for it is not you who will be speaking, but the Holy Spirit.
12 And brother will hand over brother to death, and the father his child; and children will take a stand against their parents and [have] them put to death. 13 And you will be hated and detested by everybody for My name’s sake, but he who patiently perseveres and endures to the end will be saved ([i]made a partaker of the salvation by Christ, and delivered [j]from spiritual death).
14 But when you see the abomination of desolation mentioned by Daniel the prophet standing where it ought not to be—[and] let the one who reads take notice and consider and understand and heed [this]—then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. 15 Let him who is on the housetop not go down into the house nor go inside to take anything out of his house; 16 And let him who is in the field not turn back again to get his mantle (cloak). 17 And alas for those who are pregnant and for those who have nursing babies in those days!
18 Pray that it may not occur in winter, 19 For at that time there will be such affliction (oppression and tribulation) as has not been from the beginning of the creation which God created until this particular time—and [k]positively never will be [again]. 20 And unless the Lord had shortened the days, no human being would be saved (rescued); but for the sake of the elect, His chosen ones (those whom He [l]picked out for Himself), He has shortened the days.
21 And then if anyone says to you, See, here is the Christ (the Messiah)! or, Look, there He is! do not believe it. 22 False Christs (Messiahs) and false prophets will arise and show signs and [work] miracles to deceive and lead astray, if possible, even the elect (those God has chosen out for Himself). 23 But look to yourselves and be on your guard; I have told you everything beforehand.
24 But in those days, after [the affliction and oppression and distress of] that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light; 25 And the stars will be falling from the sky, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. 26 And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great (kingly) power and glory (majesty and splendor). 27 And then He will send out the angels and will gather together His elect (those He has [m]picked out for Himself) from the four winds, from the farthest bounds of the earth to the farthest bounds of heaven.
28 Now learn a lesson from the fig tree: as soon as its branch becomes tender and it puts forth its leaves, you recognize and know that summer is near. 29 So also, when you see these things happening, you may recognize and know that He is near, at [the very] door. 30 Surely I say to you, this generation ([n]the whole multitude of people living at that one time) positively will not perish or pass away before all these things take place. 31 Heaven and earth will perish and pass away, but My words will not perish or pass away.
32 But of that day or that hour not a [single] person knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.
33 Be on your guard [constantly alert], and watch [o]and pray; for you do not know when the time will come. 34 It is like a man [[p]already] going on a journey; when he leaves home, he puts his servants in charge, each with his particular task, and he gives orders to the doorkeeper to be constantly alert and on the watch. 35 Therefore watch (give strict attention, be cautious and alert), for you do not know when the Master of the house is coming—in the evening, or at midnight, or at cockcrowing, or in the morning— 36 [Watch, I say] lest He come suddenly and unexpectedly and find you asleep.37 And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!
It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the chief priests and the scribes were all the while seeking to arrest [Jesus] by secrecy and deceit and put [Him] to death, 2 For they kept saying, It must not be during the Feast, for fear that there might be a riot of the people.
3 And while He was in Bethany, [a guest] in the house of Simon the leper, as He was reclining [at table], a woman came with an alabaster jar of ointment ([a]perfume) of pure nard, very costly and precious; and she broke the jar and poured [the perfume] over His head.
4 But there were some who were moved with indignation and said to themselves, To what purpose was the ointment ([b]perfume) thus wasted? 5 For it was possible to have sold this [perfume] for more than 300 denarii [a laboring man’s wages for a year] and to have given [the money] to the poor. And they censured and reproved her.
6 But Jesus said, Let her alone; why are you troubling her? She has done a good and beautiful thing to Me [praiseworthy and noble]. 7 For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you will not always have Me. 8 She has done what she could; she came beforehand to anoint My body for the burial. 9 And surely I tell you, wherever the good news (the Gospel) is proclaimed in the entire world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the Twelve [apostles], went off to the chief priests in order to betray and hand Him over to them. 11 And when they heard it, they rejoiced and were delighted, and they promised to give him money. And he [busying himself continually] sought an opportunity to betray Him.
12 On the first day [of the Feast] of Unleavened Bread, when [as was customary] they killed the Passover lamb, [Jesus’] disciples said to Him, Where do You wish us to go [and] prepare the Passover [supper] for You to eat? 13 And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, Go into the city, and a man carrying an [earthen] jar or pitcher of water will meet you; follow him. 14 And whatever [house] he enters, say to the master of the house, The Teacher says: Where is My guest room, where I may eat the Passover [supper] with My disciples? 15 And he will [himself] show you a large upper room, furnished [with carpets and with dining couches properly spread] and ready; there prepare for us. 16 Then the disciples set out and came to the city and found [everything] just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
17 And when it was evening, He came with the Twelve [apostles]. 18 And while they were at the table eating, Jesus said, Surely I say to you, one of you will betray Me, [one] who is eating [here] with Me. 19 And they began to show that they were sad and hurt, and to say to Him one after another, Is it I? or, It is not I, is it? 20 He replied to them, It is one of the Twelve [apostles], one who is dipping [bread] into the [same deep] dish with Me. 21 For the Son of Man is going as it stands written concerning Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good (profitable and wholesome) for that man if he had never been born.
22 And while they were eating, He took a loaf [of bread], praised God and gave thanks and asked Him to bless it to their use. [Then] He broke [it] and gave to them and said, Take. Eat. This is My body. 23 He also took a cup [of the juice of grapes], and when He had given thanks, He gave [it] to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And He said to them, This is My blood [which ratifies] the new covenant, [the blood] which is being poured out for (on account of) many. 25 Solemnly and surely I tell you, I shall not again drink of the fruit of the vine till that day when I drink it [c]of a new and a higher quality in God’s kingdom.
26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. 27 And Jesus said to them, You will all fall away this night [that is, you will be caused to stumble and will begin to distrust and desert Me], for it stands written, I will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered. 28 But after I am raised [to life], I will go before you into Galilee.
29 But Peter said to Him, Even if they all fall away and are caused to stumble and distrust and desert You, yet I will not [do so]! 30 And Jesus said to him, Truly I tell you, this very night, before a cock crows twice, you will utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times. 31 But [Peter] said more vehemently and repeatedly, [Even] if it should be necessary for me to die with You, I will not deny or disown You! And they all kept saying the same thing.
32 Then they went to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, Sit down here while I pray. 33 And He took with Him Peter and James and John, and began to be [d]struck with terror and amazement and deeply troubled and depressed. 34 And He said to them, My soul is exceedingly sad (overwhelmed with grief) so that it almost kills Me! Remain here and keep awake and be watching.
35 And going a little farther, He fell on the ground and kept praying that if it were possible the [[e]fatal] hour might pass from Him. 36 And He was saying, Abba, [which means] Father, everything is possible for You. Take away this cup from Me; yet not what I will, but what You [will].
37 And He came back and found them sleeping, and He said to Peter, Simon, are you asleep? Have you not the strength to keep awake and watch [with Me for] one hour? 38 Keep awake and watch and pray [constantly], that you may not enter into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.
39 He went away again and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again He came back and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy; and they did not know what answer to give Him.
41 And He came back a third time and said to them, Are you still sleeping and resting? It is enough [of that]! The hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinful men (men [f]whose way or nature is to act in opposition to God). 42 Get up, let us be going! See, My betrayer is at hand!
43 And at once, while He was still speaking, Judas came, one of the Twelve [apostles], and with him a crowd of men with swords and clubs, [who came] from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders [of the Sanhedrin]. 44 Now the betrayer had given them a signal, saying, The One I shall kiss is [the Man]; seize Him and lead [Him] away safely [so as to prevent His escape]. 45 And when he came, he went up to Jesus immediately and said, Master! Master! and he [g]embraced Him and kissed Him fervently. 46 And they threw their hands on Him and arrested Him.
47 But one of the bystanders drew his sword and struck the bond servant of the high priest and cut off his ear. 48 And Jesus said to them, Have you come out with swords and clubs as [you would] against a robber to capture Me? 49 I was with you daily in the temple [[h]porches and courts] teaching, and you did not seize Me; but [this has happened] that the Scriptures might be fulfilled.
50 Then [His disciples], forsaking Him, fled, all [of them]. 51 And a young man was following Him, with nothing but a linen cloth ([i]sheet) thrown about [his] naked [body]; and they laid hold of him, 52 But, leaving behind the linen cloth ([j]sheet), he fled from them naked. 53 And they led Jesus away to the high priest, and all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes were gathered together.
54 And Peter followed Him at a distance, even right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting [[k]in the firelight] with the guards and warming himself at the fire.
55 Now the chief priests and the entire council (the Sanhedrin) were constantly seeking [to get] testimony against Jesus with a view to condemning Him and putting Him to death, but they did not find any. 56 For many were repeatedly bearing false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree. 57 And some stood up and were bearing false witness against Him, saying, 58 We heard Him say, I will destroy this temple (sanctuary) which is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, made without hands. 59 Still not even [in this] did their testimony agree.
60 And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, Have You not even one answer to make? What [about this which] these [men] are testifying against You? 61 But He kept still and did not answer at all. Again the high priest asked Him, Are You the Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One), the Son of the Blessed?
62 And Jesus said, I Am; and you will [all] see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power ([l]the Almighty) and coming on the clouds of heaven.
63 Then the high priest tore his garments and said, What need have we for more witnesses? 64 You have heard His blasphemy. What is your decision? And they all condemned Him as being guilty and deserving of death. 65 And some of them began to spit on Him and to blindfold Him and to strike Him with their fists, saying to Him, Prophesy! And the guards received Him with blows and by slapping Him.
66 While Peter was down below in the courtyard, one of the [serving] maids of the high priest came; 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she gazed intently at him and said, You were with Jesus of Nazareth too. 68 But he denied it [m]falsely and disowned Him, saying, I neither know nor understand what you say. Then he went outside [the courtyard and was] into the [n]vestibule. [o]And a cock crowed.
69 And the maidservant saw him, and began again to say to the bystanders, This [man] is [one] of them. 70 But again he denied it [p]falsely and disowned Him. And after a short while, again the bystanders said to Peter, [q]Really, you are one of them, for you are a Galilean [r]and your dialect shows it. 71 Then he commenced invoking a curse on himself [should he not be telling the truth] and swearing, I do not know the Man about Whom you are talking!
72 And at once for the second time a cock crowed. And Peter remembered how Jesus said to him, Before a cock crows twice, you will [s]utterly deny Me [disclaiming all connection with Me] three times. And [t]having put his thought upon it [and remembering], he broke down and wept aloud and [u]lamented.
And immediately when it was morning, the chief priests, with the elders and scribes and the whole council, held a consultation; and when they had bound Jesus, they took Him away [[a]violently] and handed Him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate inquired of Him, Are You the King of the Jews? And He replied, It is as you say.
3 And the chief priests kept accusing Him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked Him, Have [b]You no answer to make? See how many charges they are bringing against You! 5 But Jesus made no further answer at all, so that Pilate wondered and marveled.
6 Now at the Feast he [was accustomed to] set free for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7 And among the rioters in the prison who had committed murder in the insurrection there was a man named Barabbas. 8 And the throng came up and began asking Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he replied to them, Do you wish me to set free for you the King of the Jews? 10 For he was aware that it was [[c]because they were prompted] by envy that the chief priests had delivered Him up.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to get him to release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And again Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with the Man Whom you call the King of the Jews? 13 And they shouted back again, Crucify Him!
14 But Pilate said to them, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted with all their might all the more, Crucify Him [[d]at once]!
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, set Barabbas free for them; and after having Jesus whipped, he handed [Him] over to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers led Him away to the courtyard inside the palace, that is, the Praetorium, and they called the entire detachment of soldiers together. 17 And they dressed Him in [a] purple [robe], and, weaving together a crown of thorns, they placed it on Him. 18 And they began to salute Him, Hail (greetings, good health to You, long life to You), King of the Jews! 19 And they struck His head with a staff made of a [bamboo-like] reed and spat on Him and kept bowing their knees in homage to Him. 20 And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off of Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him.21 And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross.
22 And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull. 23 And they [attempted to] give Him wine mingled with myrrh, but He would not take it.
24 And they crucified Him; and they divided His garments and distributed them among themselves, throwing lots for them to decide who should take what.
25 And it was the third hour (about nine o’clock in the morning) when they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of the accusation against Him was written above, The King of the Jews.
27 And with Him they crucified two robbers, one on [His] right hand and one on His left. 28 [e]And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, He was counted among the transgressors.
29 And those who passed by kept reviling Him and reproaching Him abusively in harsh and insolent language, wagging their heads and saying, Aha! You Who would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 Now rescue [f]Yourself [[g]from death], coming down from the cross!
31 So also the chief priests, with the scribes, made sport of Him to one another, saying, He rescued others [[h]from death]; Himself He is unable to rescue. 32 Let the Christ (the Messiah), the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see [it] and trust in and rely on Him and adhere to Him! Those who were crucified with Him also reviled and reproached Him [speaking abusively, harshly, and insolently].
33 And when the sixth hour (about midday) had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (about three o’clock). 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?—which means, My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me [[i]deserting Me and leaving Me helpless and abandoned]?
35 And some of those standing by, [and] hearing it, said, See! He is calling Elijah! 36 And one man ran, and, filling a sponge with vinegar (a [j]mixture of sour wine and water), put it on a staff made of a [bamboo-like] reed and gave it to Him to drink, saying, Hold off! Let us see whether Elijah [does] come to take Him down.
37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed out His life. 38 And the curtain [of the Holy of Holies] of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
39 And when the centurion who stood facing Him saw Him expire this way, he said, [k]Really, this Man was God’s Son!
40 Now some women were there also, looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome, 41 Who, when [Jesus] was in Galilee, were in the habit of accompanying and ministering to Him; and [there were] also many other [women] who had come up with Him to Jerusalem.
42 As evening had already come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, [the day] before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph, he of Arimathea, noble and honorable in rank and a respected member of the council (Sanhedrin), who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, daring the consequences, took courage and ventured to go to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 But Pilate wondered whether He was dead so soon, and, having called the centurion, he asked him whether [Jesus] was already dead. 45 And when he learned from the centurion [that He was indeed dead], he gave the body to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a [fine] linen cloth [[l]for swathing dead bodies], and, taking Him down from the cross, he [m]rolled Him up in the [fine] linen cloth and placed Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock. Then he rolled a [very large] stone against the door of the tomb.
47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary [the mother] of Joses were [[n]attentively] observing where He was laid.
And when the Sabbath was past [that is, after the sun had set], Mary Magdalene, and Mary [the mother] of James, and Salome purchased sweet-smelling spices, so that they might go and anoint [Jesus’ body].
2 And very early on the first day of the week they came to the tomb; [by then] the sun had risen. 3 And they said to one another, Who will roll back the stone for us out of [the groove across the floor at] the door of the tomb? 4 And when they looked up, they [distinctly] saw that the stone was already rolled back, for it was very large.
5 And going into the tomb, they saw a young man sitting [there] on the right [side], clothed in a [[a]long, stately, sweeping] robe of white, and they were utterly amazed and struck with terror. 6 And he said to them, Do not be amazed and terrified; you are looking for Jesus of Nazareth, Who was crucified. He has risen; He is not here. See the place where they laid Him.
7 But be going; tell the disciples and Peter, He goes before you into Galilee; you will see Him there, [just] as He told you. 8 Then they went out [and] fled from the tomb, for trembling and bewilderment and consternation had seized them. And they said nothing about it to anyone, for they were held by alarm and fear.
9 [b]Now Jesus, having risen [[c]from death] early on the first day of the week, appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had driven out seven demons. 10 She went and reported it to those who had been with Him, as they grieved and wept. 11 And when they heard that He was alive and that she had seen Him, they did not believe it.
12 After this, He appeared in a different form to two of them as they were walking [along the way] into the country. 13 And they returned [to Jerusalem] and told the others, but they did not believe them either.
14 Afterward He appeared to the Eleven [apostles themselves] as they reclined at table; and He reproved and reproached them for their unbelief (their lack of faith) and their hardness of heart, because they had refused to believe those who had seen Him and looked at Him attentively after He had risen [[d]from death]. 15 And He said to them, Go into all the world and preach and publish openly the good news (the Gospel) to every creature [of the whole [e]human race].
16 He who believes [who adheres to and trusts in and relies on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] and is baptized will be saved [[f]from the penalty of eternal death]; but he who does not believe [who does not adhere to and trust in and rely on the Gospel and Him Whom it sets forth] will be condemned. 17 And these attesting signs will accompany those who believe: in My name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new languages; 18 They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.
19 So then the Lord Jesus, after He had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and He sat down at the right hand of God.
20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord kept working with them and confirming the message by the attesting signs and miracles that closely accompanied [it]. Amen (so be it).
And with a holy hush the Women of God breathe the “Amen”
My Sweet Sister on the other side of this screen, I am praying for you that God overshadows you with a sense of His holiness, His majesty, and His fierceness. Reading these passages from Mark has humbled me so and I pray you find yourself in a similar place.
Seeing the face of the widow in my mind’s eye brought tears to the corner of my eyes and a lump to my throat. God let me keenly view her and her life circumstance—perhaps still grieving the death of her husband, perhaps years of loss etched on her face, keenly aware that she was alone to provide for herself—giving not from abundance but from a place of full reliance on Him as she dropped the coins in the box. I want to be the woman that even when life might be difficult is still brave enough to give it all. And I praise Him that my desire in that matches His and my Blessed Potter will continue to work with this lump of clay.
But the beauty of the widow, as powerful as it was, was not the passage that drove me to my knees to weep before the Throne this morning. To be embraced in His Presence and experience the fall of the Holy Spirit with such tenderness, such holy force and such awareness of Him. I’m asking God as I write to do the same for you Beloved and open your eyes with a fresh connection to your Jesus.
As I read these historical, real-life accounts the stark abandonment of Christ and the rejection He suffered landed pointedly on my soul. I always have difficulty reading the passages of His humiliation and the mocking insults thrown at Him. They make my heart wince. I feel sadness every time my eyes fall on “My God, My God, Why have You forsaken me?” and I did experience the same sense of quiet amazement I often do as He gave up His life and surrendered in obedience. But this time . . . God let me see from another vantage point.
He showed me so clearly the desertion of the disciples – not unnamed, unknown, unattached people from the crowd – but the apostles, the ones He called by name. His chosen brothers. The ones He ate with, travelled with, shared with . . .the ones He held close and that had professed to do the same toward Him. . . they fell away.
Peter, setting himself apart, declaring to follow Him even unto death, standing at a distance . . .chose to be comfortable and warm himself by the fire while the torture of Christ occurred.
Judas, the betrayer, handed Him over with a kiss . . . a mock sign of affection.
And then He was seized, not by the hands of strangers but by His own people. The very ones He had come for and it was this mob of the ones His heart loved that spat on Him, that blindfolded and mocked Him, struck Him with their fists, and delivered Him to be condemned.
Being delivered to Pilate, it was not the Romans Christ would have heard roaring for His crucifixion. No, the Lion of Judah’s heart would have been pierced by the calls from the people of God.
The force of the abandonment, the loneliness, and the grief had to be so overwhelming.
But still He continued to go where God had called Him. Full of mercy, full of grace, full of love . . . to the Place of a Skull. His own people lining the streets, jeering His life and demanding His death.
And this is what fell on my heart today . . .
the world that was watching God’s children—behaved just like them!
The Children of God led the way and a watching world followed!
Those who had been observing Christ from a distance, eating the fish on the mountain, on the shore as He spoke from the boat . . . they were not the ones to run from the side of Messiah. They were not the ones to leave Him friendless before the mob. Those He had chosen to be fishers of men, those He had called with love—they all fell away.
And while the weight of the Crucifixion loomed and the nails were prepared for His hands—Peter warmed his by the fire.
The Roman soldiers were not the first to mock Christ and demand with blows that He prophesy. They were not the forerunners in mocking Him with feigned homage—His own people had led the way.
It wasn’t Pilate who condemned Christ to death. He did not set His tortured feet on the Via Dolorosa. His chosen ones shouting “Crucify Him!” paved the path before Him. The ones He was sent for—their voices pierced the air with the death call.
These are the things that made my soul ache as I realized that if I do not honor and love my Jesus, my Savior, the Lover of my Soul with everything I am—just like the widow—neither will a watching world.
If we who profess to be lovers of Christ, followers of the Messiah, choose to feign our homage to Him what do we expect a watching world to do? If we, who have been summoned by name, value our comfort over our Christ why would we expect those who do not claim His Name to do any different?
Do you see the lesson He has unfolded? Do you see that you and I must love the Lord our God with all our hearts, with all our souls, and with all our strength if we are to have any hope of leading a world to Him?
And as we consider the full out, full throttle life for Jesus we have no judgment for our faith forerunners because we know in our heart of hearts . . . we are them.
- We are the ones who fall away.
- We are the ones who choose our comfort.
- We are those who surround Him with feigned homage.
- And we are those who blend our voices with the jeering crowd.
Sisters, this cannot be so. We must give from our poverty, not only from our abundance. Our worship must be real – in spirit and in truth. We must be the voices that now pierce the air with the cry of Life! Life! And we must choose Christ over comfort.
The people of the world are watching to see us love Him, not when it’s comfortable, but even when it’s not. They are waiting to hear us proclaim there is NONE LIKE HIM. They ache to know that HE IS WORTHY!
Girlfriend, what will we show them today?
HE IS WORTHY! #lessonsfromlent