Daily Devotion Monday 18th March 2024

Monday, 18 March 2024
St Mark 14: 1 – 3

It was two days before the Passover and the festival of Unleavened Bread. The chief priests and the scribes were looking for a way to arrest Jesus by stealth and kill him;  for they said, ‘Not during the festival, or there may be a riot among the people.’

Reflection

As they think about when to arrest and kill Jesus, it seems that the chief priests and scribes are not concerned for the purity or success of ‘the festival’ itself, but rather that the people would riot.

Clearly there would be more people about; from various regions and countries, with different theological, cultural, and political views – so tensions might be high anyway. Why add a spark to the kindling?

Might I also be right in assuming that they are not concerned about ‘the people’ who might be hurt in a riot – but are more worried for their own political and religious authority – why open themselves to criticism in an already delicate balance of power? They themselves are under threat from Roman rule.

But let’s take a step back.

They are planning to arrest and kill Jesus.

A human, created in the image of God – ‘Emmanuel’ God-with-us – is such a danger to the powers of this world that his life is at risk.
In the machinations and intrigue of power – Jesus is seen as a threat and is at threat.

In these verses, the casual terror of privilege and authority discusses the ending of a life.

There is a human – God-with-us, at the centre of this story.

As we read the papers and watch the news this day (and those to come), may we take a moment to see the God-created human in the story: to see the eyes of Christ looking back at us.

Prayer

Living God,
as we live in this world with each other and with you,
may we use the senses and minds you have given us, 
to discern where power is unfettered and free to abuse
and to see your image in our siblings, 
so often forgotten or casually dehumanised.
As you were with Jesus in his hour of need, 
be with us we pray, 
and may your Spirit strengthen us 
to stand with all at threat or abused by the powerful. Amen

 

Today’s writer

The Rev’d Martin Knight is minister of St Paul’s URC, South Croydon and South Croydon United Church (Methodist/URC)

Copyright

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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