24 February 2015

On the Road to Easter

clip_image002Mark 8:27–30 (GNB)

27 Then Jesus and his disciples went away to the villages near Caesarea Philippi. On the way he asked them, “Tell me, who do people say I am?” 28 “Some say that you are John the Baptist,” they answered; “others say that you are Elijah, while others say that you are one of the prophets.” 29 “What about you?” he asked them. “Who do you say I am?” Peter answered, “You are the Messiah.” 30 Then Jesus ordered them, “Do not tell anyone about me.”

Ash Wednesday was celebrated last week, which traditionally marks the beginning of the Lenten season, the 40 days to Easter and the Passion of the Christ. Often times Protestant do not participate in the ceremony, and they do not usually contemplate the meaning of the event.

The aim of Ash Wednesday is said to be threefold:

  • to meditate on our mortality, sinfulness, and need for a savior;
  • to renew our commitment to daily repentance in all of life;
  • and to remember with confidence and gratitude that Jesus has conquered sin and death.

Our daily worship should be filled with the impact of this gospel truth. In order to truly understand and appreciate the impact of these three statements above, we have to start by answering the question that Jesus posed to Peter: “Who do you say I am?” If we can answer whole heartedly to Jesus, as Peter did, “you are the Messiah,” we can then rejoice with the Apostle Paul when he says,

“Consider yourself dead to sin and alive in Christ Jesus” (Rom. 6:11).

To Reflect:

Spend some time being still before God, and ask the Spirit to search yourself:

Psalm 139:23–24 (GNB)

23 Examine me, O God, and know my mind; test me, and discover my thoughts. 24 Find out if there is any evil in me and guide me in the everlasting way.

Picture Credit: The White Crucifixion by Marc Chagall, 1938

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