Mark 11:1-9--What An Adult I Was, What A Child I Must Become
11 As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage and Bethany at the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two of his disciples, 2 saying to them, “Go to the village ahead of you, and just as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, which no one has ever ridden. Untie it and bring it here. 3 If anyone asks you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ say, ‘The Lord needs it and will send it back here shortly.’”
4 They went and found a colt outside in the street, tied at a doorway. As they untied it, 5 some people standing there asked, “What are you doing, untying that colt?” 6 They answered as Jesus had told them to, and the people let them go. 7 When they brought the colt to Jesus and threw their cloaks over it, he sat on it. 8 Many people spread their cloaks on the road, while others spread branches they had cut in the fields. 9 Those who went ahead and those who followed shouted,
“Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
“Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David!”
“Hosanna in the highest heaven!”
11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and went into the temple courts. He looked around at everything, but since it was already late, he went out to Bethany with the Twelve.
What is happening as Jesus is approaching Jerusalem?
What is he on his way to do? He is on His way to die, on his way to becoming the Gospel,
the Final Word, the Divine Claim, the offer of Mercy, the gift of Himself, the Forgiveness of Sin.
So many ways of talking about what He is on his way to do. His Mercy is the same as His Death and His Death is the same as His Forgiveness. His Mercy, His Death, HIs Forgiveness are not really different things, they are different way of talking about the same thing which is the gift of Himself.
What will His Forgiveness do to us? What will His Death do to us? What will his Mercy do to us?
His Forgiveness is our release from shame, and the rescue of our trust.
“This is my blood of the new covenant.”
His Forgiveness is a new heart.
Why do we think we can trust in Christ by ourselves?
We trust in Christ by receiving Mercy. There is only one way to trust in Christ and that is by His Forgiveness, we trust in Christ by being forgiven. We trust in Christ by His Gospel. We trust in Christ by hearing.
His Forgiveness will be the cleansing of the hardened heart, the healing of the wounded soul.
Which brings me to another question: who can stand the gift of Christ? Who can stand to have their heart cleansed of its selfish pride? Do we really want Christ to make his approach to Jerusalem?
It is too hard of a gift. To have our depended on ourselves cleansed. Who could stand it? Who could possibly bear it?
I begin to think not just of His Forgiveness, the Offer of Mercy, the Final Word, the Gospel.
I start thinking of His Resurrection and Ascension, His Company, His Spirit.
What are these things?
The Spirit is how we can stand the gift of Christ.
For a long time I’ve thought of His Resurrection as different from His Death.
It is and isn’t.
And I've thought of His Death and Resurrection as different from His Return.
But they aren’t.
For a long time I’ve thought of His Spirit as different from His Gospel.
It is and isn’t.
And His Gospel and His Spirit as different from His Fellowship.
But they aren’t.
For a long time I thought of His Company as different than His Forgiveness.
It is and it isn’t.
His Forgiveness and His Company as different than His Joy.
But they aren’t.
What an adult I was. What a child I must become.
The events of his life; his dying, his rising, his returning has only one thing to give us, himself.
The means of grace: His Gospel, His Spirit, His Fellowship has only one thing to give us: himself.
His gifts to us: His Forgiveness, His Company, His Joy, are really only one gift, the gift of himself to us. He only had one thing to give us: Himself.
And yet, who can stand this gift? Who can stand to be revealed to be in need of this Forgiveness?
I’ve thought of this time we are in, a time of vindication and preparation.
An already/not yet. This time of thresholds. Of transition.
A time of Christ having come to us and coming to us.
A time where only by the Spirit can we stand the gift of Christ and only by the Spirit can we be prepared for its fullness. We need to start thinking of Spirit, Resurrection and Ascension, His Company, as a threshold, transition. A time of vindication and preparation.
A time of learning what we have, where we're headed, whether its enough.
That His Resurrection and Ascension is the vindication of His Death and our preparation for His Return. And His Return is the completion of His Death.
That His Spirit is the vindication of His Gospel and our preparation for His Fellowship. And His Fellowship is the completion of His Gospel.
That His Company is the vindication of His Forgiveness and our preparation for His Joy. And His Joy is the completion of His Forgiveness.