“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way, and the disciples were astonished, while those who followed were afraid.” (Mark 10:32, NIV).
“They were on their way up to Jerusalem, with Jesus leading the way.” Does a more concise phrase of Jesus’ settled intent exist in the Gospel narratives that this? Mere days prior to his coming betrayal, arrest, trial, condemnation, flogging, mocking, ‘felt abandonment by God,’ crucifixion, and culminating death, Jesus resolutely walking willingly towards the place of his suffering, out in front of his disciples, resolute in seeing the Father’s upside-down redemption through to its bitter end? If I were walking with the disciples, continually needing to pick up my pace to match Jesus’ step forward, I wonder if I would have even noticed my friend’s determination, let alone query as to its growing intensity. Would I learn from my Lord’s gracious surrender to all that was going to fill this week, his unblinking willingness to face head on the suffering speeding his way? To what degree am I willing to lead the way to my place of suffering, knowing that the Father is walking with me towards the darkness?
“The point of a story is never about the ending, remember.
My first Two Oceans 21km Half Marathon (and my wife’s second!) is less than two weeks away, as of this initial
writing. Today however, we are in Week 6, still stuck in the hard work of the middle, with a 15km long run
coming this weekend. Ugh! Training (and life) is hard!