A crucial reminder

I need reminders.

I make myself a to-do list every morning, then program my phone to alert me about appointments ahead of time.

Even then, I sometimes forget things, occasionally something quite important.

That’s one reason I’m thankful for how God uses the Lord’s Supper. Around the table he reminds me that the cross should guide everything I do, a wake-up call I need every week.

In fact, I need him to remind me more often than that . . . do you?

We live in a media-saturated culture that overwhelms us with what it thinks is important: we can’t possibly survive without this new time-saving device, it tells us, and we’re so 2010 if we’re still using that antiquated smartphone.

We receive thousands of messages every day—some subtle, others blatant.

But most of them don’t matter much, if at all.

One message is crucial, though, and Jesus was determined for his apostles to get it.

Below is the second of three times Mark records a conversation that’s almost identical in all three accounts. Read it carefully:

They went on from there and passed through Galilee. And he did not want anyone to know, for he was teaching his disciples, saying to them, “The Son of Man is going to be delivered into the hands of men, and they will kill him. And when he is killed, after three days he will rise.” But they did not understand the saying, and were afraid to ask him (Mark 9:30-32).

Mark wants us to know that Jesus was so serious about this discussion that he purposefully avoided the crowds in order to have focused conversation time with the apostles.

What did he want them to know?

That he would die and rise again, of course.

They didn’t get it yet, but they would later.

Two thousand years later, we’re not that different.

We need constant reminders about the cross. We desperately need to meet with other believers every Sunday and focus on Calvary.

That’s why it matters when we miss the weekly assembly.

Not because we miss an opportunity to get our ticket punched, but because we miss the time for the Lord to walk with us back to that Friday so many years ago. We miss his leading us to think about something more consequential than anything else we’ll do during the week.

But we need to think about the cross more often than every week.

Calvary needs to consume us. In a world that’s pulling us in so many different pointless directions, we need to re-center daily. To block out the deafening noise of a culture that’s lost its bearings.

To think again about what really matters.

Just as he did with the disciples, let him do it for you.

Today, every day, take a little time to interpret what’s happening in your world in light of the cross.

He was delivered into the hands of men. He was killed. He rose.

That’s what he kept telling his disciples, and that’s the most important thing you’ll think about today.