A Lenten Journey: Climbing to the Cross – Day THIRTY-SIX

 Cathedral in Haarlem, The Netherlands
Perhaps reminiscent of the Temple? Perhaps not…

Mark 11:27-33, The Message

   Then when they were back in Jerusalem once again, as they were walking through the Temple, the high priests, religion scholars, and leaders came up and demanded, “Show us your credentials. Who authorized you to speak and act like this?” 
   Jesus responded, “First let me ask you a question. Answer my question and then I’ll present my credentials. About the baptism of John—who authorized it: heaven or humans? Tell me.” 
   They were on the spot, and knew it. They pulled back into a huddle and whispered, “If we say ‘heaven,’ he’ll ask us why we didn’t believe John; if we say ‘humans,’ we’ll be up against it with the people because they all hold John up as a prophet.” They decided to concede that round to Jesus. “We don’t know,” they said.
   Jesus replied, “Then I won’t answer your question either.” 
Day Three of Holy Week – and score one for Jesus. 

Perhaps the last ‘score’ of this kind that Jesus will make until Easter Sunday morning. 

It’s a very good thing that Jesus is not really playing the same game as the religious leaders during this momentous week.

Not at all. 

He is not into word games. 

He is not into power struggles. 

He is not into self-defense, 

He is also not into answering questions that border on insult,       
     that seek to quibble and quaver over fine points,           
          that imply he is out of turn, 
                                       out of place, 
                                       out of his element.

Because he most definitely is not. 

Jesus is very intentionally – 
     and most especially in John’s gospel – 
          very confidently 
     striding to his final triumph, 
          his complete and utter victory over all those forces which seek to 
               detract, or 
                    deny who he is and why he has come. 

He will not be swayed. 
     He will not be used. 
          He will not be distracted. 
               He will not be anyone but who he is. 

Thanks be to God. 


Striding Savior, help us to keep step with you, to keep up with you, to keep company with you…right to the end of this journey of yours, this journey of ours. Thank you for your devastatingly adroit response to those who sought to trap you in your own words. And help us – oh, help us! – to never make that mistake. Help us to remain open to the whole truth of who you are and to bow in adoration and gratitude for your humble magnificence. Even though those two words seems oddly juxtaposed – they are so, SO true. Thank you that they are true – that YOU are true.

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  1. “Striding Savior” hits on something, that I can’t keep up with Jesus. 

    About a month ago, I took my daughter to “Godspell,” and this aspect really hit me in the second act. Jesus is set, and the disciples are, like, “Huh?”

  2. pastordt says

    “Huh?” is EXACTLY right! I remember that you saw “Godspell” recently and that drama does make that part of the story clear. You are right – we cannot keep up with Jesus, which is why it’s a part of my prayer every day this week. “Help me, Lord – to keep step with you…”