Lent Reading Challenge: Mark 15

The Challenge for the rest of Lent:

– Read. One chapter in the Bible each day until Easter.  Start with Mark, then read Romans.
– Pray. 10 minutes, twice a day.  No distractions, not multitasking.  Just spend time with God.
– LISTEN: Podcasts responding to Mark 8:27-30 will be available this week.  Add them to your devotional practice.
– Give. A full tithe (10% of your income) each Sunday through Easter.
 
Don’t do this religiously, do it relationally.  Scripture says in James 4:8, “Draw near to God, and He will draw near to you.”  Engage this challenge prayerfully and openly, asking God to reveal Himself throughout these coming days.  Be aware and alert to the things God may be showing you.  They may be thoughts that just pop up, experiences that you have, or even just impulses that you may sense.  Also be aware that Satan, the enemy, will seek to throw you off.  Scripture calls us to put on the Full Armor of God, that we can stand against the schemes of the devil.

 Read Mark 15

Questions for Reflection:
1. There is a parallel between the release of the convict instead of Jesus and the work which Jesus was going to the cross for, did you see it here in verses 1-15?  How does that impact the narrative of Jesus’ death for you?  What thoughts or emotions does it bring up?
2. The irony of the soldiers mocking Jesus with words like “hail, king of the Jews” cannot be overstated.  Read Galatians 6:7 reminds us that God cannot be mocked.  How do you respond to this?  What are we to make of the allowance of evil here to accomplish God’s ultimate will?  In what ways does this change your perspective on the evil in the world around us?
3. It is impossible for us to imagine what Jesus must have felt in His last breaths, calling out to His Heavenly Father and hearing nothing in return.  He has spent an eternity with Him to this point, never being apart.  Reflect on this for a moment; what emotions rise to the surface?  How do you respond to it?
4.  What do you think is the significance of the curtain in the Temple of God being torn from top to bottom?

Listen

Jesus asks the questions in Mark 8: “Who do people say that I am?” and “Who do you say that I am?”  As an additional challenge this week, you are invited to listen to a podcast by Chip Ingram from the series Who is Jesus Really – Man Myth or Messiah?  Click on one of the following links to listen!
 
 
or if you would like to listen to the whole thing at once:
 
Who Do I Say That I Am? (45ish minutes)

Prayer

Pray for yourself, that as you reflect on the death of Jesus today, you would be moved once again to repentance and gratitude for what God has done for you.
Pray for Hopkins Community Church, that we would be a place where “the curtain is torn” and God’s presence is clearly seen and felt.
Pray for those in your life who don’t know Jesus as their Lord and Savior, that God would open a door for you to share the Gospel with them.
Be sure to spend time listening too; prayer is a conversation.  “Be still and know that I am God.”  Psalm 46:10

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