Although our passage, the next to last one in our journey through Mark’s gospel this year, appears to be a straight forward, factual report of Jesus’ death, it actually it has a lot to say about the true meaning of Christmas. Yes these few verses, describing the way in which Jesus died, tell us the reasons why He came in the first place. Mark wants us to know that what brought Jesus to the manger was accomplished on the cross. You might say he provides us reasons for the season.
At this time of year, as always, it is good to focus on W.W.J.D. (what would Jesus do?), but I find it more helpful to focus on W.J. D. (what Jesus did). When we take a careful look at the reasons why Jesus came and at what He accomplished, life is put into perspective. The stress of the Christmas rat race and the challenges we face at this time of year don’t push us over the edge. I’m not talking about denying reality. I’m talking about God’s transformative power working through W.J.D. to provide a transcendent peace to navigate this time of year and the difficult times we live in. Mighty is the power of the cross!