40 Days to the Cross: Reflections from Great Thinkers (Week Four: Saturday)

Saturday

Confession: Psalm 62:1–2

Only for God my soul waits in silence.

From him is my salvation.

Only he is my rock and my salvation,

my high stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken.

Reading: Mark 14:12–21

And on the first day of the feast of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where do you want us to go and prepare, so that you can eat the Passover?” And he sent two of his disciples and said to them, “Go into the city and a man carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is my guest room where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?” ’ And he will show you a large upstairs room furnished and ready, and prepare for us there.” And the disciples went out and came into the city and found everything just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

And when it was evening, he arrived with the twelve. And while they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, that one of you who is eating with me will betray me.” They began to be distressed and to say to him one by one, “Surely not I?” But he said to them, “It is one of the twelve—the one who is dipping bread into the bowl with me. For the Son of Man is going just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if that man had not been born.”

Reflection

Ask Him why He chose Judas, a traitor? Why He entrusted to him the bag when He knew that he was a thief? Shall I tell you the reason? God judges the present, not the future. He does not make use of His foreknowledge to condemn a man though He knows that he will hereafter displease Him; but such is His goodness and unspeakable mercy that He chooses a man who, He perceives, will meanwhile be good, and who, He knows, will turn out badly, thus giving him the opportunity of being converted and of repenting.

This is the apostle’s meaning when he says, “Or do you despise the riches of his kindness and forbearance and patience? Do you not realize that God’s kindness is meant to lead you to repentance? But by your hard and impenitent heart you are storing up wrath for yourself on the day of wrath, when God’s righteous judgment will be revealed. For he will repay according to each one’s deeds” (Rom 2:4–6 nrsv).

—Jerome

Against the Pelagians

Response

Spend time reflecting on God’s extravagant kindness to you. Write down the ways He has been kind—especially through the work of Jesus. Pray that you would be filled with thankfulness to Him.[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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