Sunday of the Week of Lent V
Today’s readings: Jeremiah 23:16-32; 1 Corinthians 9:19-27; Mark 8:31–9:1
“And Jesus began to teach them that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again…and Peter took Him and began to rebuke Him” (Mark 8:31-32).
We can’t imagine a follower of Jesus “rebuking” Him, but there it is. Webster’s dictionary defines rebuke as “sharp disapproval or criticism.” Really? Peter sharply disapproves of and criticizes the fact that Jesus will suffer, be rejected, killed and rise after three days? This is proof that, still, the disciples didn’t understand what Jesus was telling them. Still, the notion of the Son of God suffering for the sins of the world didn’t make sense. And does it today?
If we try to grasp the mystery of Jesus’ death and resurrection by human reason or rationalizing, we will always end up confused and frustrated. We may also want to rebuke Jesus, questioning why should it be this way? What God—or Son of God, would give His life for sinful humanity? What self-respecting divine being would suffer, be rejected, die—for the sake of His creation? One who would then rise to new life?
That’s the point, isn’t it? Not only that Jesus gave His life, but that He was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures! He bore our sins on the cross, so that we might be raised, with Him, to newness of life.
Because of Jesus’ passion, death and resurrection—death is not the end for us! We have hope and a future, through Him. Life is transformed! Life has meaning, because Jesus died and was raised! Life is full and free, because Jesus lives! We dare not rebuke our Lord, but thank and praise Him!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for your suffering, death and resurrection. Because of you, I have life and have it abundantly. Amen.
Lenten Response: It’s Sunday! Go to church, receive the means of grace, give thanks and praise!
Today’s devotion was written by the Rev. Dr. David M. Wendel, Assistant to the Bishop for Ministry and Ecumenism.
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