(April 10, 2020, Good Friday)

Mark 10:32-45[The chief priests and teachers of the law] 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.” Then James and John, the sons of Zebedee, came to him. “Teacher,” they said, “we want you to do for us whatever we ask… Let one of us sit at your right and the other at your left in glory.”

This passage is the third of three times in Mark in which Jesus foretells his death. Each time, Jesus speaks of His impending suffering. It will happen. Some Jewish leaders will reject Him. So will the Gentiles. Mocked. Spit upon. Flogged. Killed.

And each time after Jesus speaks of His upcoming Passion, the disciples immediatelyvoice their ambition. They ask for power and prestige.

No word of concern for Jesus. No sympathy. No empathy. No ears to hear.  One author wrote, “Jesus speaks of surrendering his life; the disciples speak of fulfilling theirs.”

The contrast could not be starker. Neither could the disciples’ obliviousness.

They demand requests of the living God that is far beyond their comprehension. They take for granted that God is standing in the flesh before them. They have not taken even a moment to pause.

So today, let us be at the foot of the Cross. Perhaps Good Friday and the virus will be used to create a sustained season of suffering that will lead to deep repentance. We have been half-hearted about Jesus for too long. We have attempted to have comfortable lives that dodge suffering for too long. Like the disciples, we have not had ears to hear the enormity of the Gospel. We have rushed right on by it.

There will be a live-streamed service at 7 p.m.:


Look at the Cross. The reason that Jesus is hanging there is because of you and me.

Soon He will be dead.