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One theme I’ve noticed as I’ve been reading Mark’s Gospel for Lent is the shroud of mystery. Mark, who was a disciple of Peter, uses language of disclosure and hiddenness and secrets when describing Jesus’ life and death. Have you noticed it?

Bonus challenge: as part of our color method journey through Mark, highlight every mention of hiddenness, secrecy, mystery that you find in Mark’s Gospel in your Remarkable workbook

He hushes people after performing miracles. He tells Peter to keep it to himself after he declares him the Messiah. He says that parables are for some to understand and some to not.

Mark knows that the kingdom of God eludes our ability to understand. Therefore, Jesus must disclose himself by slowly unfolding his identity as we walk through the Gospel, ultimately culminating at the cross.

Biblical scholar, Martin Kahler describes Mark’s Gospel as “a passion narrative with an extended introduction.” Mark structures his entire book pointing us toward the cross.

From powerful miracle-worker to Messiah pinned to a tree, Jesus is expanding our idea of the kingdom of God for his disciples, and still us today.

Perhaps the secret and mystery of the kingdom of God is the crucified Christ.

You see, Christ must die—it is central to his identity.

What’s more? This is central to our identity.

Anyone who chooses to follow Jesus is subject to the same vocation.

The crucified Christ calls us to take up our crosses and follow him—even unto death.

This is the mystery of the kingdom of God. This is the cost of discipleship.

New life is found at the cross. Not over the cross, or around the cross or burrowed under the cross. But through the cross.

The hard truth is that Mark’s Gospel is a journey toward the cross. Not just for Jesus, but for us too.

We’re down to our final days of studying the Gospel of Mark and what a joy it has been. If you are interested in diving deeper into Mark’s Gospel, the Remarkable workbooks are now available for spring and summer Bible studies. Stock up now. 

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