Ransom For Many
Eternal God, as I make my journey through this life, be my eternal guide. Shed Your light on my way.
Read MARK 10:32-45
Scripture taken from the Holy Bible, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 International Bible Society. All rights reserved throughout the world. Used by permission of International Bible Society.
“In order to simultaneously express his holiness and love, God provided a divine substitute (Jesus) for the sinner (us), so that the substitute would receive the judgment and the sinner the pardon” (John Stott).
Today, the final journey to Jerusalem takes on a dramatic configuration. Jesus steps out ahead of the others. Is he eager to reach his destination or does he wish to prepare in solitude for the horrendous death that awaits him? An uncanny sensation of awe descends on the band of travelers. The twelve follow at a distance, astonished. They feel something is different. The others in the party are gripped by fear. In this awesome context Jesus utters the third prediction of his passion once the disciples have caught up. Here, Jesus is more explicit than in the first and second predictions (8:31; 9:30-32), for he adds the information that, before being executed, he will be handed over to the Romans and be subjected to mockery and degrading cruelty.
In such circumstances how could James and John make such a worldly request (37)? Perhaps they took Jesus’ predictions to refer to the terrible war that the Qumran community and others believed would precede the establishment of the Messiah’s kingdom. The other disciples become indignant (41), probably at James and John’s blatant opportunism more than at their extraordinary insensitivity.
This prediction, like the first two, is followed by corrective teaching on the other-worldly values of discipleship (42-45, c.f. 8:34-38; 9:35-37). Jesus had already explained that to be great is to be humble like a child. Now he makes the point that the destiny of the great Son of Man is not to be served but to serve and give his life as a ransom that would set many free. The ransom image, which implies substitution, is one of several graphic metaphors in the New Testament that help us understand the death of Jesus. Pause to thank Jesus for dying in your place. Praise him for freeing you from your sins.
Meditate on the great freedom you have because Jesus gave his life as a ransom for you. Then, thank him.
Loving Father, I offer this prayer in the name of the One who was the supremely perfect sacrifice, the Lord Jesus Christ. What a Savior, what a God. I bless You!
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