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July 24, 2021 | Doug Sauder
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“Then He took the twelve aside again and began to tell them the things that would happen to Him: ‘Behold, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be betrayed to the chief priests and to the scribes; and they will condemn Him to death and deliver Him to the Gentiles; and they will mock Him, and scourge Him, and spit on Him, and kill Him. And the third day He will rise again.’”—Mark 10:32–34 (NKJV)
If what Jesus shares here sounds somewhat familiar to you, that’s because this is now the third time Jesus has forewarned His disciples that He would be betrayed and killed. Just in case we need a reminder, here’s what the Lord had also said in the two previous chapters leading up to this moment:
“He began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again.”—Mark 8:31 (NKJV)
“For He taught His disciples and said to them, ‘The Son of Man is being betrayed into the hands of men, and they will kill Him. And after He is killed, He will rise the third day.’”—Mark 9:31 (NKJV)
Just by reading through Mark’s gospel in its natural flow, we can certainly see an emerging trend of Jesus pointing His disciples to the bitter and brutal realities that lay ahead. Knowing full well all that had been prepared for Him, Jesus didn’t sugarcoat what was going to happen. And the fact that He did so repeatedly reveals it’s the Lord’s heart to prepare His people for the challenges that lay ahead.
This is an aspect of His nature we all need to lay claim to, because we need this to be true for us just as the disciples needed it for themselves. Of course, we know that God doesn’t give us a comprehensive roadmap for our spiritual sojourn here on earth. There are crisis moments ahead of all of us in this life. So, in an immediate and specific sense, we aren’t always prepared for the exact trials we will encounter.
However, in another sense, we have been prepared for all that can come our way. God has given us everything we need in advance by way of His Spirit abiding inside of us, as well as the eternal promises in His written Word. Equipped with the Spirit of God and the Word of God, we’ve been adequately prepared for the deepest of valleys and the darkest of days. There is no “worst-case scenario” greater than the power to be found and received through God’s Spirit and Word. We have all we will ever need.
And how can we be sure of this? Because as this third mention in Mark reminds us, it’s the Lord’s heart to prepare His people. He loves us more than we can comprehend and such a love is always persistently faithful to prepare.
Pause: What does this passage signal to you about the Lord’s nature?
Practice: Reflect on how you might avail yourself more fully of what God has done to prepare you.
Pray: Lord, I know I won’t know all the details of life, but I do know that You have given me all I need to overcome and glorify You through all things. Help me to lay hold of all You’ve done to prepare me for life. Amen.
Pastor Dan Hickling serves our online community, also known as the Calvary Chapel Online Campus. He and his wife Becky have been married for 22 years and have two children, Lauren and Danny. Both Dan and Becky have been part of the CCFL church family for 22 years and have served in full time ministry for 20 of those years.