Today’s Reading: Mark 15:1-47 (additional reading: Psalm 54:1-7 & Proverbs 11:5-6 )
“He saved others, but He can’t save Himself!” (Mark 15:29-32)
As Jesus hung on the cross, persons at the foot of the cross made statements that made sense from a human perspective. “If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross. Then we will believe you.” Sounds like a pretty fair proposition on the surface. But the problem was that Jesus had already proved who He was over and over again. Those at the foot of the cross that were making those statements had no interest in placing their faith in Jesus. The Bible doesn’t record it, but I can hear others at the foot of the cross saying things like, “What a waste! He was such a good man. He had so much to teach us. He healed so many people. And now He hangs on a tree, dying as a common criminal.“ True sacrifice will rarely ever make sense from a human perspective.
Just a few days before Jesus’ death, He was in the home of Lazarus, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Not long after the meal had been served, one of Lazarus’ sisters, Mary, took a bottle of very expensive perfume and poured it on Jesus’ feet. Immediately, one of Jesus’ disciples, Judas Iscariot started to put up a fuss. “Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money used to help feed the poor?” From a human perspective, the argument that Judas gave was a good one. If his assessment of the value of the perfume was correct, it was worth almost a year’s pay since the average amount that a person could earn in any one day was a denarii.
Now imagine bringing a year’s salary in cash to church today Sunday, carrying it to the front of the church and setting fire to it. You can hear the shouts of people as they see the flames begin to grow. “You idiot! We could have paid a year’s rent on the building with that money!” “Why did you go and do a stupid thing like that?! We could have put a down-payment on a piece of land with that!” “That was a total waste! What good does it do anyone now?!” We can justify a gift when we see tangible results that come out of the gift. But ultimate acts of worship are not very easily justified.
When you bring your sacrifice of obedience and service and offerings to Jesus, expect others to not understand and to mock you. Imagine what Noah went through.