PRAY: Humbly ask God to give you wisdom to understand this portion of the Bible and the faith to live out what He reveals to you.
READ: Mark 11:1-11
Timing. It is in God’s hands, but don’t we often hope (and even pray) for timing to be in our control? In Mark 11, after much waiting, Jesus allows the crowds to proclaim His true identity for the first time in His earthly life. Some scholars estimate that there were one to two million people in Jerusalem for the Passover festivals. Some estimate that as many as one hundred thousand people were a part of Jesus’ triumphant entry. Divinely ordained timing! Up until this point, Jesus often attempted to keep out of the limelight. When He healed, He instructed people to keep quiet. Why? Jesus knew that allowing His followers or people whom He had healed to proclaim His name would bring about His death prematurely. Religious leaders did not hide their animosity towards Him. They were intimidated by Him, His following, and His way.
Timing. He is the Passover lamb, the final atoning sacrifice. Because of this truth, Jesus had to make sure the timing was right. The religious leaders planned to capture Jesus after the Passover celebrations because they were afraid a riot could form if done prematurely. But Jesus does not operate according to our plans or timing, and certainly not those of the religious leaders in Jerusalem. The Lamb of God would be sacrificed on the same day the Israelites were to sacrifice their Passover lamb. This precise timing fulfilled the Old Testament prophecy in Daniel 9:24-26.
Have you ever noticed God’s divine timing in your life? How has His timing been different than your timing? Why do you think it is so hard to surrender our “control” over timing?
Obedience. From the time we are able to move and engage in our surroundings as a baby, obeying is a struggle. The ability to impose our will over someone else gives a sense of power and control. Follow almost any parent for a day and you will see the struggle of obedience play out more than once.
Just today I was grocery shopping when a mom in the canned food aisle asked her son to sit down. The little boy stood brave, strong like a soldier, firm in his position, not willing to surrender this battle. How often do we as adults take this same posture when we are told to obey? But as followers of Jesus, we are called to a life of obedience.
In Mark 11, Jesus was riding to His death. Not only did He know the time, but He knew the way in which He was to die – the torturous beatings, the slow agonizing suffering of a cross. He was fully God and fully human. He knew physical pain, the queasy feeling of an unsettled stomach from anticipation. But more than these uncomfortable human feelings, Jesus knew He would face the wrath of the Holy God that was owed to all of mankind. Jesus would be separated from His Father for you and me. His Father would turn His face away from the Spotless Lamb for you and me. He was obedient for you and me. His obedience rescued us from our cosmic disobedience. Praise the Lamb who was slain!
1. How is Christ calling you to obey Him today?
2. Why are we tempted as humans to assert our will and resist obedience?
3. How would your heart change if you were cognizant of the call on our lives to be obedient?
Dig Deeper: Timing. Prophecy fulfilled. Read Psalm 118:25-26. What does it tell us about God when He fulfills his prophecies?