Nine Times plus

If you read Mark’s gospel, you will be able to see that he records nine times when Jesus told the apostles very clearly that he would be arrested, tried, crucified and then three days later, be resurrected from the dead (8:27-33, 9:1-13, 9:30-32, 10:32-34, 10:35-45, 12:1-11, 14:3-9, 14:17-25 & 14:26-31).

Mark, however, does not record the time that Jesus said, “…….for just as Jonah was three days and three nights in the belly of the sea monster, so will the Son of Man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth”, Matthew 12:40, or “As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up”, John 3:14, or “When you lift up the Son of Man”, John 8:28, or “……. the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep”, John 10:11 (he repeats the idea of laying down his life again in 10:15,17 & 18), or “And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all men to Myself”, John 12:32, and other allusions to his death, burial and resurrection recorded in the gospels. 

After being forewarned so many times, Jesus’ apostles were still not prepared or even expectant that Jesus’ words would be fulfilled. I have to wonder why they did not believe him. 

That is until I realize that Jesus said not to worry, but I still worry. Or until I realize that he proved his love for me on the cross, yet I still have doubts as to how he could care about me. I understand better when I think of how many times Jesus teaches us to trust him, but find myself trying to “fix” life on my own. I recall Jesus’ teaching to forgive others, but I still harbor resentments. He taught us to give, in good measure, pressed down and shaken together, but have trouble opening my fist to let go of what I should be giving to others. 

Yes, I get it when I allow Jesus’ call to holiness to be drowned out by the attraction of worldly things. The thing is, even though none seemed to believe Jesus, he still did just exactly as he said and the events he foretold were not changed. In spite of their unbelief, and mine, the tomb remains empty. Jesus did not give himself for us because we are faithful. He g

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