Mark 8

As we approach Good Friday, I️ think it serves us well to remember the seriousness of this holy day. We have a suffering Savior who came to give His life so that we may live forever. Fascinatingly, He predicted He would die and rise again, indicating that God is sovereign overall. In the Gospel of Mark alone, Jesus foretells of His upcoming death and resurrection 3 times.

The Death & Resurrection of Jesus Predicted

First, Mark 8:31: “And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again.”

Second, Mark 9:31: “He was teaching his disciples, saying to them, ‘The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.’”

Third, Mark 10:33–34: “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

God is Sovereign Over All Things

In light of the current uncertainty surrounding the coronavirus pandemic, I️ want to point one thing out…God is sovereign over everything. We even see God’s sovereignty over the death of His one and only son, Jesus. Furthermore, nothing takes Him by surprise. God is not bound by or subject to anything in the universe, including COVID-19. With that being said, God has control and the final authority over all things.

You see, Jesus was certain of His upcoming death. It was part of God’s masterplan and Jesus is in full agreement, surrendered and willing to do as commanded. All along, God intended for Jesus to die on a cross to give His life as a ransom so that many may live. It was for our good. The crucifixion, as difficult as it may be to comprehend, was always God’s master plan to express His grand love and redemption for us.

However, our sin held us imprisoned, quarantined to iniquity, subject to the wrath of God with the inability to free ourselves. In other words, we were hijacked and kidnapped by our sin and a ransom had to be paid on our behalf. Fortunately, Jesus came to pay our ransom (Mark 10:45).

The Underlying Question, “Will You Follow?”

Considering all that Jesus has done for you. Leaving heaven to make Himself known. Taking your place on the cross. Atoning for your sin. Interceding on your behalf. Removing the barrier to allow full access to God. Just to name a few. Ultimately, the question remains for all of us…Will we follow?

“If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. Mark 8:34-35

What Does it Look Like to Follow?

Following God means trusting Him, even when you cannot make sense of what is going on. As a result, you let God lead fully believing He is sovereign. And I’ll be honest with you…it doesn’t make sense from our fleshy perspective. To clarify, instead of running from suffering, you embrace it. Why? Because you believe in your heart of hearts that whatever circumstances God allows in your life will be used for your good and God’s glory (Rom. 8:28). You tune in to the voice of the Holy Spirit. How? You pray and spend time listening. Besides, you are not shaken by the things of this world.

You have an unwavering, unshaken, steadfast solid faith that is focused on eternity so that the ups-and-downs (like a historic pandemic) of this world do not rattle you! C’mon…listen up! This is what we all want and so desperately need right now! Let’s not let this Easter pass us by and miss out on a deepening of our faith and trust in God (v. 38).

Remember, God is sovereign over all things. He knows exactly what we need and when we need it. Amid the chaos, we see flowers bloom. Birds sing. And the return of Spring. The sun rises. And the moon. God is in control.

Prayer: Oh God, we believe You are sovereign over all things. For from You and through You and to You are all things. To You be glory forever. (Rom. 11:36). We trust that You are the God of hope and your Kingdom rules over everything. Amen.