The Divine Imperative
“. . . the Son of Man must . . .” Mark 8:31
“I’ll do it later” is a trap that many fall into. No matter how well organized you may be, chances are you have found yourself wasting time posting personal trivia, watching cat videos, or competing in online games, instead of finishing a project at work, completing homework, or dealing with household chores. We all procrastinate at some time or another. We easily convince ourselves we will get it done when we feel like it. The reality is, if we wait to feel inspired, chances are, the task will never get done.
Jesus never put things off, especially when what was ahead for Him was to be the toughest assignment of His life. When He spoke of His future suffering, betrayal and crucifixion, His words convey a divine imperative, a sense of urgency that He “must” do these things. He resolutely committed Himself to finish the Will of God.
Why did Jesus use the word “must”? Was He unable to escape the suffering or that He was under the direction of a power stronger than His own? Impossible! Did He mean He had to give the world the ultimate example of self-denial? Hardly! There is a far deeper meaning in the word “must.” He meant that His suffering and death were necessary to pay for our sin. He “must” suffer to make reconciliation for iniquity. He “must” die because without the shedding of blood, there can be no remission for sin. Without His suffering and death, sinners like you and me could never have new life. He “must” suffer, because without it, our sins could never be taken away. He “must” be delivered for our offenses, and raised up for our justification.
This is the central truth of scripture. All other truths compared to this are shadowed by the divine imperative of Jesus. It’s the very epicenter of our faith. Jesus spoke of it often to His disciples, the disciples taught it diligently to the world as the foundation of Christianity. We should never lose hold of it, in life or death, sickness and health, we must lean our full weight on this mighty truth.
Though we have sinned, Christ died for us, and though we deserve nothing, Christ suffered in our place on the cross, and purchased heaven for all who believe. Experiencing the full life of Jesus, is something we “must” do.
“Help me to live with the same urgency with which You suffered, died and rose again.”