Hello

You join us on Day 26 in the quiet of Gethsemane Gardens. It’s cold and late. A dog howls in the distance, a small animal scurries into the plants. Jesus is getting up to rejoin his disciples. His face is strained, his eyes white with fear. What a privilege to be with Jesus in his hour of need. What a shame the disciples are caught napping on the job! Think of the opportunities we miss by not being awake. God is about to write the most important chapter in history and the disciples have nodded off…

Read

Today's reading is from Mark 14:26-15:15. You can find it on page 775 of your Higher Bible.
You can also read it online here.

Think

At last the masks are off, the secrets out, and the coded messages of the parables left behind. Jesus admits to being the Messiah, the one sent by God to save the world. Now the religious leaders can present Jesus as some rebel king bent on the destruction of Rome. Jewish law didn’t permit the execution of anybody, but Roman law did. In fact, the Romans reserved special treatment for would-be anarchist guerrilla leaders: crucifixion. So after a series of taunts and games, the chief priests dump Jesus on the doorstep of Pilate, the local Roman in charge. Pilate knows Jesus is an innocent man – this carpenter is no threat to Rome – but he isn’t interested in fair trials. For the sake of keeping the peace (and preventing full scale riots) he bows to public pressure. Jesus must die.

Pray

After shouting about God’s goodness for so long, Jesus now knows to be quiet in front of Pilate. Ask God to help you know when to talk about your faith and when to keep quiet.

Live It

Be the opposite of those sleeping disciples in the Garden of Gethsemane, by setting your alarm an extra hour early to pray tomorrow morning.

Repeat

The story of Barabbas paints a picture of what Jesus has done for us. Barabbas, a dangerous terrorist who deserves to die, walks away free; Jesus dies instead. Similarly, even after all the wrongs we have done we get to walk free, as Jesus takes our punishment for us. When we see Jesus doing for us what we could not do for ourselves we are at the very heart of Mark’s Gospel. We are at the bullseye of the Christian experience: free by the grace of God. Tomorrow we look at the cost of our freedom ­– Jesus on the cross. Be sure to join us.