Read Mark 14:27-72 – Timing is everything. In 2004 I had just come to the realization that Jesus was real, and surrendered my life to His care and control. Also that year, THE PASSION OF THE CHRIST, was released, and I went to see it on a layover in San Diego. It was filmed in the Biblical languages of the time with English subtitles. I wanted to look away when the betrayal and brutal scenes played across the screen, but the foreign dialog would not give me any hints as to when to look up. I returned to the hotel aching and bewildered. I opened my Bible; surely the filmmaker exaggerated. My tears streamed as God’s Word told me a truth I could hardly bear, my Savior endured this, knowing beforehand the cost of my sin.
Jesus says, “Go ahead and sleep. have your rest. But no – the time has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” :41 The time has come… for betrayal, false witness, mockery and abandonment. The time has come for beating and persecution. The time has come for Jesus to endure the unimaginable agony of laying His life down, that we might be saved. Jesus endured this. He knew full well the cost, and He did it anyway.
As I write, I am again on a layover in San Diego. Scripture blended with my memories. I recall my younger self, then an infant in the faith, as you may be now, Beloved. Do your best to read the hard parts and don’t look away. Remember Jesus said: “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep.” John 10:11
Jesus did all this with steadfast love and determination, for sinners like us. I pray these last chapters of Mark meet you in a personal and unique way, strengthening your faith and filling you with the desire to know Jesus even more.