40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Three: Wednesday)

Wednesday

Confession: Psalm 38:16–20

For I said, “Help, lest they rejoice over me,

lest they boast against me when my foot slips.”

For I am ready to stumble,

and my pain is before me continually.

For my iniquity I confess;

I am anxious because of my sin.

And my enemies without cause are numerous,

and those who hate me wrongfully are many.

And those who repay evil in return for good

accuse me in return for my pursuing good.

Reading: Mark 12:18–27

And Sadducees—who say there is no resurrection—came up to him and began to ask him, saying, “Teacher, Moses wrote for us that if someone’s brother dies and he leaves behind a wife and does not leave a child, that his brother should take the wife and father descendants for his brother. There were seven brothers, and the first took a wife. And when he died, he did not leave descendants. And the second took her, and he died without leaving descendants. And the third likewise. And the seven did not leave descendants. Last of all the woman also died. In the resurrection, when they rise, whose wife will she be? For the seven had her as wife.” Jesus said to them, “Are you not deceived because of this, because you do not know the scriptures or the power of God? For when they rise from the dead, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels in heaven. Now concerning the dead, that they are raised, have you not read in the book of Moses in the passage about the bush how God spoke to him, saying, ‘I am the God of Abraham and the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob’? He is not God of the dead, but of the living. You are very much mistaken!”

Reflection

Christ’s loved ones are despised and hated, “of whom the world was not worthy, wandering about on deserts and mountains, and in caves and holes in the ground” (Heb 11:38). They have to put up with all kinds of contempt; that’s what Christ’s people have to endure here. And we’ll have to bless God for it all. It keeps us from linking ourselves with this world, from settling all our hopes and desires upon it.

If we are to serve Christ and to reach heaven, we must sail right against the world and its way. It’s an old saying that a dead fish always swims with the current, and we can always tell the living fish when we see it swimming against the current. In like manner, if you are dead, you will very likely be sailing smoothly enough with this world and very well satisfied with yourself. If you are alive in Jesus Christ, you will be struggling against the world, its sins, and its temptations. And you will be seeking to win souls for Christ, regardless of the world’s scoffs, sneers, and frowns.

—Dwight L. Moody

Life Words from Gospel Addresses

Response

It is tempting and often convenient to create a framework within the gospel that is not supported by Scripture, as the Sadduccees did in Mark 12:18–27. Have you taken the focus off what is truly important in any areas of doctrine? How can you center your focus back on Christ?[1]

 

[1] Van Noord, R., & Strong, J. (Eds.). (2014). 40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.

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