The End Of It All
Read: Mark 2:23-28
The religious leaders of the day had surrounded life with God with stacks and stacks of rules. There was a code of conduct which said if you did all the right things you were right with God. For the religious, reading the scripture was to get instructions concerning what God expected of them. Their purpose for obeying the law was to be in good standing with God. The law focused on details, just for the Sabbath alone, there were 39 prohibitions. In addition, there were another 1,300 mandates and sacrifices. The leaders who ran this rule-based way of life were judgmental, self-obsessed and self-righteous.
Most people live this way today, although not as strict, but still just as lifeless. Many try to relate to God by being good. The driving belief is “if I’m good enough long enough, God will be pleased with me,” or “if I perform, if I obey, God will love me” living this way places us on an endless search for God’s approval. We fear if we do nothing, nothing will happen.
Here in Mark’s gospel, Jesus declares through His words and actions He has come to put an end to religion and replace it with Himself. Jesus comes into our rule-based way of living with a fresh word. We don’t obey to be acceptable. Through Jesus we are fully acceptable, therefore, we obey. To break ties with our religious self we will have to quit trying and start trusting. Quit depending on yourself to live the Christian life and begin trusting Jesus as the source of our life of faith. The finished work of God exceeds our best laid plans, expands our shrunken hearts, extends our withered reach and exalts Jesus in our minds.
Will you dare to believe it’s true?