Our Lenten journey will carry us through Mark 14 to 16. Mark 14:1 sets the scene, kind of like the opening of Star Wars and the scroll rolling in the sky. Our context is the week of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. We are in Jerusalem. The chief priest and the teachers of the law are looking for a way to arrest and kill Jesus – quietly. Interestingly, in verse 27 and 28 Jesus gives away the ending – if we’re listening. He says, this is going to be real scary and horrible and you’re going to run away BUT, “But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.” They missed it. The angels at the tomb repeat the message in Mark 16:6-7, “go tell the disciples and Peter, that he is going before you to Galilee, there you will see him, as he told you.” Today we read these words as historical narrative and perhaps do not grasp the implication for the disciples and for us.
Jesus goes before us. He does lead the cavalry charge to rescue us after we have messed up and gotten ourselves into trouble but he also goes before us. He knows the events that are about to unfold in this story that has become so famous but he also knows the future that will unfold. He holds time so can predict, can walk through the events with us, and knows the meeting point after the trauma. Mind boggling and we only kind of understand.
Interesting is also that Jesus chose Galilee to meet the disciples, not Jerusalem. He does not take his victory lap in the places of power that sought his life but rather says he will meet the disciples and us on our home turf in the battles we are going to face and which he fought in the first part of Mark. He will meet us in our power encounters with unclean spirits, when we are diminished by illness, when we are scrutinized, when we are young, and when we are old, walking through death as he did.
As we face our challenges today, let us remember we are dust. Jesus goes before us, he is with us, and he knows death is not the end of the story. Blessings as you trust him.