April 11, 2022

“It Was Already Late”

Mark 11:11

Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.

—  Mark 11:11

Jesus has just entered the temple courts in Jerusalem, riding a colt in a great procession. Inside the temple courts, Jesus looks around and sees everything that is happening there. He sees doves, lambs, goats, and more—all being sold for sacrifices. According to the Jewish law, those sacrifices were necessary each year to pay for the sins of the people. But now Jesus has come, and this means that the time of paying for sin with the blood of animals is coming to an end. The hour is late, as the Greek text of Mark puts it, and that means the time of Jesus’ sacrifice to bring full forgiveness is arriving.

This is a proclamation that the stage is being set for the week ahead. Jesus sees that the time has come for these temple sacrifices to end, and for the one perfect sacrifice of the Lamb of God to fulfill the need of all peoples.

Jesus looks around and sees everything. He sees that the time for salvation has come, and that nothing we can offer, buy, or sacrifice will really be enough to pay the debt of our sin. No other blood will do. Only Jesus, the sinless one, can pay the full price for us once and for all. His sacrifice is every­thing we need.

Ask God for forgiveness in Jesus’ name today. His blood had paid the debt of all your sin too!

“Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world,” have mercy on me! I rejoice that by your sacrifice for my sake, my sins are paid for in full. Amen.

About the author — Douglas MacLeod

Rev. Douglas MacLeod is a church pastor in Grand Rapids, Michigan. He has served as a pastor for over 36 years with five congregations in Michigan and Iowa. He and Cathy, his wife of 40+ years, are grateful for their three children and four grandchildren.

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