It’s the beginning of Holy Week. How wonderful that it “just happened” that this week’s lesson is “The Ransom.”
What was Jesus main purpose for coming?
Is that linked to why He so often told those He healed to tell no one?
Again and again you see Jesus healing, not because it was His mission,
but because He was “moved with compassion” and couldn’t help it.
That seems to be what was happening in Mark 1 when Jesus healed the leper.
Not everyone loves “The Chosen,” and I agree that is impossible for anyone to portray Jesus,
but I think this comes closer than most. (Feel free to disagree — I love the way this group challenges, speaking the truth in love!)
Watch this scene to see both Jesus’ compassion but also His direction for the leper not to tell anyone.
Jesus came, primarily, not to heal our earthly sicknesses, but “to give His life as a ransom for many.”
The Old Testament foreshadows the idea of ransom, of paying for the freedom of another, with the story of Boaz & Ruth, and again, with the story of Hosea & Gomer.
Both of these women were helpless until a ransom was paid.
And we are helpless to save ourselves, for our God is so holy, and our sin is so great.
Our symbol this week is the scene from The Last of the Mohicans, when “Cora” is going to be burned on the fire to appease the wrath of the tribe, and the Indian played by Daniel Day Lewis says:
And they do. A ransom sets her free.
There are those who think they can save themselves by doing more good things than bad, and winning on the holy scale of justice.
But we can never do enough good things to obliterate our enormous debt.
Only the ransom of one without sin can make us clean.
And if we have put our trust in the enormous price Jesus paid, it is finished.
Highlight from Last Week
Last night The Gospel Coaltion had a wonderful program of prayer that is just what we need in this time of Covid 19. I encourage you to watch it this week and pray with them — they put the prayers in sub-titles to help. And listen to the wonderful challenge at the end. Would love to hear your responses to this all week long.
Also, our own Chris shared this new song with us, a song that helps her with her grief over losing her teenage son, Daniel. This is our hope, This is what we must think about when times are hard like this.
Palm Sunday 2020.
- What stands out to you from the above and why?
- What reasons can you think of for Jesus telling those He healed not to tell anyone?
- A possible corrollary to this is that good things can get in the way of our primary calling. Has God shown you where He has gifted you and called you? If so, how would you reflect on this corrollary?
Monday: I Must Be Killed
Jesus keeps telling them that He must be killed in Jerusalem, but that He will rise again. They do not understand. One commentary said that because He had been speaking in parables, they think this too must be a parable. I liken it to when Steve was diagnosed with fourth stage cancer. The first oncologist said, “Steve, I can’t heal you.” But neither one of us believed that, thinking not only that God could, but also, that she was wrong. Steve was actually chipper when we left, talking about the power of God and the great inroads medicine was finding into cancer.
We traveled to Omaha for a second opinion and that oncologist asked how old our children were, for he should get his affairs in order. Plainly, she said, “You are dying.” Numb, we went back to the hotel, still pushing back at her words. Restless, I decided to go to Target and find some small gifts to take back for the girls. In the middle of an aisle I broke down sobbing. A man asked if he could help me and I said, “My husband is dying.” I then fled, leaving my cart and that kind man, to run and hide in the car. The truth that I so didn’t want to receive was seeping in.
3. Review Mark 8:27-33
A. To whom is Jesus speaking here, and what is the setting?
B. What does He tell them in verse 31?
C. What is Peter’s response?
4. Review Mark 9:30-32
A. What do you learn in verse 30, and what thoughts do you have about why
Jesus wanted privacy?
B. What does Jesus tell them in verse 31.
C. Why do you think the disciples were afraid to ask Him about it?
5. Read Mark 10:32-34
A. Again, to whom is He speaking?
B. What details does He add that He had not told them before?
6. Read Mark 10:41-45
A. To whom is he speaking and what is the setting?
B. Why does He tell them He came?
Tuesday: Cosmic Evil Needs A Cosmic Price
Lewis portrayed the great evil through the White Witch and all evil helpers. She could cast an evil spell, bringing bondage, a magic she had known from the dawn of time. That evil has permeated our world from the dawn of time, bringing unto suffering.
7. Read Chapter 12, (“Ransom”) up to A Willing Sacrifice and share your notes or
8. What chains has Christ broken for you? Specifically thank Him here.
Wednesday: A Deeper Magic Before The Dawn of Time
Prepare your heart with this:
“…Though the Witch knew the Deep Magic, there is a magic deeper still which she did not know,” Aslan explains to the children.
9. Read “A Willing Sacrifice” in Chapter 12 and share your notes and reflections.
10. Give specific praise here for what Christ endured for you, a traitor.
Thursday: Death to Ambition
I’ve been waiting on the Lord prayerfully and hopefully wanting a writing project. I’ve been reading Andrew Peterson’s book on writing, “Adorning the Dark.” He humbly shares that he began writing because of “a yearning to be seen and known and valued.” He said that God used the ignoble motive to get him going, but in time he realize that the best art comes from a yearning to glorify the Lord.
11. Think about your motives to excel in something. Was there a selfish motive in
the beginning that He is transforming? Explain.
12. Has there been a recent book, movie, and/or song that deeply moved you
because it so glorified the Lord? What was it?
13. Read Mark 10:35-45
A. What stands out to you from the dialogue between James and John with
Jesus in verses 35-39? Explain.
B. What does Jesus tell them in verses 40-45? What does He mean?
14. Read Jeremiah 29:7.
A. What does God tell His people to do for the people who destroyed their city,
murdered their families, and carried them into exile?
B. How would this be hard yet glorify the Lord?
C. Is there an application to your life?
Friday: A Humble Sacrifice
15. Read the last section in this chapter and share your notes and reflections.
16. What is your take-a-way this week? How might you incorporate it into a