Then he began to teach them that the Son of Man must undergo great suffering, and be rejected by the elders, the chief priests, and the scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. He said all this quite openly.
-Mark 8: 31-32
Jesus spoke quite openly of his death. It always seemed to surprise the ones he was talking with. They wanted to deny that he was going to die. Maybe they wanted to deny that he was going to die for their sake? I’m not sure where the denial stems from, but it sure is one that we are still familiar with today. Denying death. It’s been a long few years of death and funerals here at First Lutheran, some expected and some not at all. The reality is that someday we are all going to die, in the meantime we should take a look at the things that we could die to in our daily lives. What things could we give up to death? Let’s look to earlier in Mark 7 at verses 21-23: “For it is from within, from the human heart, that evil intentions come: fornication, theft, murder, adultery, avarice, wickedness, deceit, licentiousness, envy, slander, pride, folly. All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.” As Jesus enters into his final days, death upon him and resurrection sure to come, it’s our call to live into death and resurrection also through our baptism, through repentance and through the grace of our Lord Jesus. The text for this week is another one that tries to prepare us for death, a death that I don’t believe we’ll ever be ready for, but a death that leads us to a life well lived and hope in the promise of the resurrection which is an eternal live well lived.