"The Annunciation" painting by Daniel Bonnell

Today: Psalms 31:19-24; Mark 15:1-32; Leviticus 21 & 22

Psalm 31

“How great is Your goodness, which You have stored up for those who fear You, which You have performed for those who take refuge in You…. You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of mankind.” Psalm 31:19-20

The deeper I go into this relationship with God, the further removed from this world culture it becomes. These ideas like obedience, submission, dying to self, sanctification, confession are so foreign to the normal human psyche. It is truly a radical lifestyle. But here’s the weirdest thing… the further I go, the richer, more magical, more profoundly satisfying my life becomes. The deeper I go, the more of God I want. I cannot get enough.

This is not following a bunch of rules or getting pounded over the head with condemnation. This is not a humiliating guilt trip. That is religion. That is the teaching I learned in legalistic church.

No, this is something completely different. It is the truest, most intimate relationship… much more authentic than what is possible between two humans. This is what “soulmate” really means. There is no going back from this depth, no returning to the foul decaying treasures of this world. I’ve discovered something so infinitely better — this secret place of His presence. I want nothing more than to drown within this fantastic flood forever.

"Jesus Trial" painting by Brian Dunne

Mark 15 – Envy

During Jesus’ mock trial, he says nothing except to affirm that, yes, He is really the Son of God, the Christ, the King of the Jews, the Son of Man who sits at God’s right hand.

Pilate knew that the chief priests had handed Jesus over due to envy. What a destructive emotion is this envy, the bastard son of pride. Satan hates Christ because of it. Satan wanted to be the Christ, the favored one. He wanted the power, the adulation, the worship. But he could never replace Jesus. He could never be a worthy god. All he can do is take the beautiful perfect creations of the real God and corrupt them. He can only further his foul kingdom with lies and deception.

And he’s going to keep trying to entangle as many of us within his cursed web as he can — as long as God allows it. He hates us because God loves us. And he hates God most of all because of envy.

Ironically, every single thing the Roman guards do to Jesus is a proclamation of the TRUTH. The guards mean it for evil, as a mockery — dressing Him in royal purple, crowning Him, saluting Him as ‘the King of the Jews,’ bowing before Him. They were unknowingly performing His official coronation.

Mark tells us that “the inscription of the charge against Him read, ‘The King of the Jews.'” It was written on a scroll and nailed to the cross above His head. This charge was absolutely true.