Mark 10 – the Pharisees focus on the letter of the law, not the way the law reveals sin and the need for a redeemer. Bartimaeous immediately gives up all to follow Christ. But the rich young ruler prefers an “easy” set of rules to follow, not a sacrificial relationship where he must serve others. Rules are clean, relationships are messy.
Mark 12 – the parable against the Pharisees – they know it is about them but they don’t really understand it. They also didn’t dare ask Him to explain it, to help them see their sin and blindness and need for a savior.
Mark 16 – he rebuked their unbelief. He told them again and again what must happen.
Mark 15-16 and Ps 11 – My sin drove Him to the cross. My sin was paid for and cleansed. He lived a sinless life to be credited to me. He paid for my sins so I can be counted as righteous. He may test me to show me how much I need Him and that I can rest in His righteousness. Because I can do nothing on my own.
These thoughts, meditations, increase my love for Him, my acknowledgement of my deficiencies and great need for a Savior and a Redeemer. One thing have I asked of the Lord, that will I seek after. That I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to gaze upon His beauty and to inquire in His temple, He is worthy of all praise and glory.
One final thought – so many stories tell how certain Christmas Carols were written in a quick moment to prepare for a Christmas Eve service, for example. Yet the theology is most of them is solid (not counting We Three Kings or We Wish You a Merry Christmas, for sure, think instead of O Little Town of Bethlehem and Silent Night.)
Yet we were listening to my Christmas gift of gospel songs performed by Elvis and kept looking at other over the weak and works-based theology that kept coming up. Just an interesting comparison. I’ll still enjoy listening to Elvis, but I will wish he had picked stronger songs to sing. 🙂