Hello everybody, and welcome in to episode 19 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Mark 15 today, and our focus is on the abandonment of Jesus on the cross . Thank you for joining us for Bible 2021! We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Seoul, South Korea, Kiel, Germany, France, West Midlands, England, Columbus, Ohio, Tampa, Florida and Chicago, Illinois.  Thanks for listening! Our focus this year is on DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast Don’t forget about our new web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more – Click here for our reading plan! 

The fact that strikes me in the story of the Widow’s mite is that Jesus has a distinctly different standard of judgement than we have. Jesus did not condemn the ones who gave more, but he valued the widow’s mite based not on its intrinsic value but on the spirit in which it was given. I sometimes wonder if perhaps we will be ranked in heaven based not on what we have done in the name of Jesus, or the number of souls that we’ve led to Him (though those will, without a doubt, be great gifts to lay before His feet) but rather by things we never expected. For example, what if we are going to be ranked by how many people we have forgiven, or how many have forgiven us for our offenses against them? That would make the most forgiving, gracious, and harmonious people among the greatest in Heaven. I know of no scripture suggesting such a thing, but offer it solely as food for thought.

One quick word on the Shroud of Turin before we get into our main focus. The Bible does not make a big deal about the burial cloth of Jesus, but does mention it in several places including our chapter today, in vs. “46 After he bought some linen cloth, Joseph took him down and wrapped him in the linen.” If this is a topic of interest to you, allow me to encourage you to check the podcast feed from the past, as I did  4 episodes on the Shroud in 2019. If you can’t find them in the feed, you can find them on our website at this link: https://biblemystery.libsyn.com/size/5/?search=shroud

Today we discuss the crucifixion of Jesus. From one viewpoint, it is the worst and most unjust thing that has ever happened. Jesus was wholly and completely innocent. Not only did He not deserve to die a horrible death, He didn’t deserve to get the tiniest splinter in His finger, or have the wind blow His hair out of place. Jesus is the only person who ever lived who deserved not a single bad or unpleasant thing, and that He suffered more than any being who ever lived – paying the price for my sin and yours – is the greatest injustice in history. From that perspective, the crucifixion is cruel, ugly, unsettling and UNFAIR. Quite literally the most unfair thing that has ever happened, or will ever happened. From our viewpoint, however, it is the most beautiful act of love that has ever occured. Peter captures the essence of this wonderful beauty in 1 Peter 2:

22 He did not commit sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth;23 when he was insulted, he did not insult in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten but entrusted himself to the one who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree; so that, having died to sins, we might live for righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 1 Peter 2:22-24

Let’s go now and read Mark 15 together.

It is not fair that Jesus paid the price for my sin – not fair that He was abandoned on the cross, when I deserved to be abandoned, but I can tell you I am so grateful for this free gift of Jesus. Today, let’s meditate on what He gave for us, and may it produce thanksgiving! We’ll close with some wisdom from pastor Tim Keller:

On the cross when Jesus Christ said, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” that was the straw that broke his back. He had been betrayed by his friends. He had been rejected by his people. Now he was forsaken by his Father. Why? He got the aloneness you and I deserve. He got what your sins and my sins deserve. He lost all community. He was forsaken utterly. Do you know what that means? Because Jesus was forsaken in your place, God will never forsake you. Everything you deserve fell into Jesus’ heart, and now he will never, ever forsake you. You can know that, and you can know he loves you like that.Timothy J. Keller, The Timothy Keller Sermon Archive (New York City: Redeemer Presbyterian Church, 2013).

End of the Show: Bible memory verse for January: Mark 1:15 15 “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!”

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