According to the calendar, March 20 is the first day of Spring, my favorite time of year. I live in Fort Wayne, Indiana, where the winters can be brutally cold and the summers blistering hot. So I’m lovin’ these 50 and 60-degree days. God is good!
For the past 30 years, I’ve made a living as a tax accountant. So Spring is also my busiest time of year, working hard to help U.S. taxpayers meet the April 15 tax return deadline. What amazes me is that after all these years of crunching numbers, I still like what I do. God is good!
And I’m thankful that my office is only a 5-minute drive from a densely wooded public park with several miles of hiking trails. I often go there on my lunch break to take a 20 or 30-minute walk in the woods. It’s a great way to recharge my frazzled brain and enjoy the sights and sounds of God’s creation. I return to work refreshed. God is good!
But the main reason that Spring is my favorite time of year is because this is when Jesus accomplished the main purpose of His coming to earth. Thanksgiving and Christmas are filled with much meaning for the Christian. But Good Friday and Easter are the pinnacle of our faith. God is good! Amen?
It’s critical that we remind ourselves often, even daily, that Jesus came to die and rise again. He spoke about this repeatedly to his followers:
Jesus then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again. He spoke plainly about this (Mark 8:31-32).
He said to them, “The Son of Man is going to be betrayed into the hands of men. They will kill him, and after three days he will rise” (Mark 9:31).Again he took the Twelve aside and told them what was going to happen to him. “We are going to Jerusalem,” he said, “and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and teachers of the law. They will condemn him to death and will hand him over to the Gentiles, who will mock him and spit on him, flog him and kill him. Three days later he will rise” (Mark 10:32-34).
Of course, the disciples were slow to understand the meaning of this. In fact, when Jesus spoke of his death, they were clueless. Note their responses to the three episodes above:
Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him (Mark 8:32).
But they did not understand what he meant (Mark 9:32).
Then James and John . . . came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask” (Mark 10:35).
The apostles didn’t get it. They got mad at Jesus. Their comprehension level was practically nil. They preferred to discuss their own agenda.
I wonder if I would have been any different. Even today, 2000 years later, it’s easy to be so wrapped up in our own little world, we forget that this week is the anniversary of the most important event in the history of the world.
Will you join me this week in remembering and celebrating the death of Jesus?
“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45).
Please spend time this week meditating on the meaning of death of Jesus. The verse above is a good place to start.
When Jesus said that he gave his life as a ransom for many, what does that mean?
And what difference does this make in your life?
To stimulate your thoughts, here’s another blog post to get you thinking about Jesus and why He came to live and die among us.