Holy Week Monday: Facing Our Fears

Kramskoĭ, Ivan Nikolaevich, 1837-1887

MONDAY, April 14th

Mark 10:32 They were on the road going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking on ahead of them; and they were amazed, and those who followed were fearful. And again He took the twelve aside and began to tell them what was going to happen to Him, 33 saying, “Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered to the chief priests and the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and will hand Him over to the Gentiles. 34 They will mock Him and spit on Him, and scourge Him and kill Him, and three days later He will rise again.”

Fourteen years ago I began the Journey of the rest of my life, as I packed all my possessions – crammed, really – into a little 4-door Toyota Corolla stick shift, purchased just for the occasion. I was leaving home. For good. And as I made my way across the country, every day a piece of me died, while another part came alive; I was excited, but sad. Above all, I was resolute. There was no turning back. A new life waited for me at my destination.

Jesus here possesses a similar resoluteness; but it’s far more scarier, because what awaits Him is not an exciting new life, but certain death – AND THEN new life. He is “on the road” – not in the sense that he’s yet on another journey or camping trip, but that He’s on THE Road, resolute, towards Jerusalem, and towards the Cross. No turning back. This Holy Week, think of that. See His resolve. “Not my will but Thine be done.” I sometimes have to pray that prayer repeatedly just to make it through the day. Pray that prayer yourself.

33 Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered… condemned… handed over… mocked… spit on… scourged… and killed. The verbs spit out like a barrage of machine gun fire. In the Greek, these terrible words almost have a rhythmic lyricism about them. In fact, they rhyme! And in such a matter-of-fact way, Mark’s Jesus just drills them out, one by one, like poetry. It’s the only way to prepare for the trauma to come: list it out. Say what’s coming. Let them know. Prepare to be unprepared for the traumatic pain of the cross and rejection.

“Not my will but Thine be done.”

How many times did Jesus say that muttering under His breath along “the road” even as He “walked on ahead of them”. How many times must we say that ourselves, in just living our lives, asking for the courage to do the right thing? Sure it’s not the cross and scourgings and terrible rejection, but we all to some degree must say that over and over again as we continue on the Journey:

“Not my will but Thine be done.”

This Holy Week may we enter into a posture of acceptance and surrender. May God bless you all as we approach both His cross and ours.

– PW

This Holy Week, we at Harvest will be bringing to you daily reflections from Pastor Wayne’s study through Mark to aid you in your own personal reflection and prayers throughout this last week of Lent. If you are in the Houston area, join us for EASTER SUNDAY at Harvest at 9:30am!

Published by Wayne Park

Asian-American clergyman thinking about issues of faith, place, race and culture-making in the vast city of Houston, TX

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