As we are looking at Mark, it is interesting to see what he records and, conversely, what he hasn’t. Unlike a modern biography, Mark’s Gospel doesn’t explain what events, people etc. shaped Jesus Christ as a person. He doesn’t say much about Jesus’ birth, his parents and childhood friends. He concentrates on the final few years of Jesus’ life, specifically on what Jesus did in the last week before his crucifixion, and resurrection, and the these events themselves. Mark spent a lot of time travelling with Peter, and what he recorded was very similar to what Peter preached on.
It is evident Mark considers the crucifixion and resurrection, the sacrifice of God, to be the most important aspects of Jesus’ life. It is these things which form the basis of Christianity. Without the sacrifice, there is no forgiveness of sins. As sinners, without the sacrifice, there is no good news. Mark opens his Gospel with the following words though:
The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ, the Son of God. Mk 1:1
It is because of this sacrifice that Peter can proclaim the good news of Jesus Christ:
All the prophets testify about him that everyone who believes in him receives forgiveness of sins through his name. Acts 10:43
Of course it is not enough to believe that Mark is true, it is not enough to believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for the forgiveness of sins. Even Satan believes that. God says we must believe in Jesus Christ. We must put our faith in him, and if our faith is in him, we will do what he commands. As sinners, on our own, this would be impossible, but through faith we also receive the Holy Spirit who works in us, changing us from within, slowly conforming us to Christ’s image.
God has done everything to make us right with him. Will we accept it?
The account of the Israelites journey through the wilderness to the promised land is also a picture of the life of a Christian believer.
The crossing of the wilderness, is like the journey of a Christian through this life. God is always with them, guiding them, showing them the way.
There will be conflict, as the believer deals with difficulties, with trials and temptations. They may wander from the correct path, and their faith may falter, but God will pick them up and strengthen them.
Throughout, the promises of God are not just for the life to come, but some will apply in this life. For there will be measures of joy to be experienced in the service of God. For through glorifying God we find our enjoyment.
The believer will be brought closer and closer to their final destination by God. Their lives will slowly be transformed into the likeness of their Lord and Saviour, until they reach the promised land, and their joy will be complete as they glorify God forever.