March 17, 2016

Keeping Your Eyes on the Cross

Mark 8:27-33

He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and . . . be killed and after three days rise again.

—  Mark 8:31

Did you know that Jesus was “cross-eyed”? Not literally, of course. But Jesus’ eyes were ­always focused on the cross. 

That’s what Mark 8 teaches. There was a turning point in Jesus’ ministry when he began to speak plainly about the cross. Early in his ministry he kept quiet about his sufferings and death. But then one day he didn’t do that anymore.

The way Jesus spoke about his death gives us a great example of how we can share Christ. He spoke plainly about his sufferings. We should not complicate the simple message that Jesus died for sinners. It’s a simple and wonderful truth that Jesus took our sins and was punished for them so that we can be forgiven. That good news needs to be shared plainly, without complicated words.

Jesus also spoke about the ­necessity of his sufferings. He said that he must suffer. There was no other way for salvation to be accomplished. This example of Jesus reminds us that the need for salvation is urgent. No one can be saved without the forgiveness Jesus brings.

There was no other way than the cross for Jesus. Peter surmised Jesus’ mission, but Jesus reminded him and us that there would be no Christ or Savior without a cross.

Father, as we look ahead to holy week and Good Friday, we keep our eyes on Jesus and his cross. May we share our hope in Jesus with others. Amen.

About the author — Tom Groelsema

Tom Groelsema and his wife, Sheri, have served churches in Minnesota, Michigan, and North Carolina. They have four children and three granddaughters.

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