Lenten Study – April 6

So, I learned about easter eggs, the easter bunny, and easter candy when I came to the United States. I was so confused. We had celebrated Holy Week all my life, but never had Easter Eggs. I have grown to love painting the eggs and getting candy but still can’t find the relationship with that of celebrating the last week of Jesus life! People have tried to explain about the empty eggs and the empty tomb. It is a stretch. However, we are going into that week when we focus on, and we remember Jesus’ last week on earth. I imagine the disciples were puzzled. Mark chapter 8 describes a Jesus in action: healing, teaching, and challenging people’s understanding of God’s kingdom. Yet he begins to share with his disciples how the Messiah had come not to restore Israel’s kingdom on earth, but to actually lay down his life for the salvation of the world. The disciples resented this. This was their master and their rabbi, and they wanted earthly success for him. Grief filled their hearts. Jesus used words of comfort to explain and in vs. 35 he asked an astounding question, “And what do you benefit if you gain the whole world but lose your own soul? Is anything worth more than your soul?” Jesus had a spiritual mindset. He had come as a Messiah to bring about God’s kingdom on earth, but it is not a kingdom of rulers, powers, and success. It is a kingdom of humility, surrender, and service. The disciples began to grieve the death of a dream, but also the death of a friend.

Mark 8

Reflection Questions:

  1. Have you experienced grief lately or do you know someone who has? Where do you find comfort? Are you able to share comfort with others?
  2. Have you found that Jesus has not met your expectations? Maybe it is time to measure those expectations against God’s idea of Kingdom living instead of earthly living.

So What Activity: 

Think of those who are grieving today. Pray for them. If you know someone in your family or neighborhood that is grieving, write them a card and give them a call. You don’t have to have the “right words,” just tell them you love them.


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