Can I Do Less?


Palm Sunday


Isaiah 50:4-9a
Psalm 31:9-16
Philippians 2:5-11 
Mark 14:1-15:47


For Adonai Elohim will help.
This is why no insult can wound me.
This is why I have set my face like flint,
knowing I will not be put to shame

We do not know how much of God’s plan Jesus knew as a child, a young man, a new preacher/teacher, or even as he approached Jerusalem for the last time. Mark gives us numerous details about what he knew the last week and Jesus did predict his death well before that week. But did he know all of it?

It is clear that he knew enough. From Genesis to the Malachi (2 Chronicles for Jesus in the Jewish arrangement) the Messiah is described in detail. Jesus knew the Word of God so he knew what would happen to the Messiah, to himself. Did God fill in the details even more? We do not know. Jesus knew that Iscariot would be the one to betray him.

We do not know what he knew, but he knew enough.

I took the photo above on top of one wall of the massive Citadelle Henry Christophe built in the early 1800’s. King Henry used to entertain himself by ordering soldiers to march along that thick wall to his commands. Sometimes he would never give the order to ‘about face’, and the men would plunge to their deaths. Why? They knew what would happen, but they did it.

The king helped lead them to independence from France, releasing them from slavery. They were so loyal because of that liberation that they accepted their fates. People are willing to die for what they believe.

The difference with Jesus is that he did not die for himself. He did not follow any human notions of right and wrong. He set his focus on God and never vacillated. His death and resurrection are essential to us, but not to him. He did not need it. Even so, he did not question God, or doubt God, or even suggest an easier path. He did ask for courage to do what God asked of him. He did admit that an easier way would be nice, knowing it was not possible.

How can we look at Jesus on the cross and put off caring for the sick, the poor, the unsettled, the estranged, the ignored, the ugly people of the world; the people Jesus spent his time with?


Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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