September 11 is a heavy day. Our American soil was rocked 15 years ago by senseless attacks that left many terrified, injured, and dead. It’s so easy to get caught up in the negative downward spiral that events like these bring. Eventually, it can even be hard to see past the darkness that surrounds us when we’re affected by tragedy and bad things.
My church has been moving through the book of Mark, and on September 11, our pastor landed on Chapter 14 – the scene where Jesus is taken away to be beaten and hung on the cross. As I was listening and that intense scenario was playing over and over in my mind, I couldn’t get over Jesus’s raw emotion in that moment. He said He was so full of sorrow to the point of death.
Oftentimes, I think we forget how real Jesus was. He was human, just like us. He felt things, just like us… even sadness and despair.
It’s so comforting to know that when tragedy strikes, when we lose loved ones, when we hurt, when we doubt … Jesus felt the same pain. It’s not uncommon to simply forget how close Jesus really is. I do this often, as I pray to a God that can seem to be a million miles away. \\
This week I had to write a sympathy card to a woman that unexpectedly lost her husband. When my pen hit the paper and I tried to spell out the words that are supposed to offer comfort and hope, I became so heavy thinking about the reality of death and hurt. Real life happens and it doesn’t wait until we’re ready.
Even Jesus lost a close friend, and with that came the shortest verse to be found in the Bible: “Jesus wept.” (John 11:35) In the moments of being caught up in sorrow, mourning and compassion, even Jesus couldn’t contain His emotion as He knew what the consequences would be for raising His dear friend from the dead. It was only days away. Jesus had things on His heart that no one even knew about at that time. How often do we walk through life similarly, with heaviness on our hearts? We aren’t alone.
The gospel is FULL of good news. These are some things within the gospel of Mark [alone] that serve as a simple reminder the next time it’s hard to see “the good”:
- Jesus TELLS us to (Mark 1:15)
In the very beginning of Mark, we see Jesus proclaiming the good news of God. Jesus literally says, “The kingdom of God has come near. Repent and believe the good news!” I don’t know about you, but when Jesus is this excited and boisterous about something, I want to get on board!
- Jesus Calms The Storm (Mark 4:35)
With just three words, Jesus was able to calm the raging seas that terrified His doubting disciples. If He can do that, He can do ANYTHING in my life. Including calming my heart, bringing me peace when it’s hard to find, and commanding the personal storms that are raging around me.
- Jesus Lives!!!! (Mark 16)
What’s better than the Savior of the world, rising again and dwelling among us?! This is GOOD NEWS, people! I am so thankful for a God that has taken the Cross for me, forgiven my sins, and is coming for me again.
Good, good news.