We’ve all got a story, something that shapes everything we do.
It defines us, makes us who we are, gives us hope and security and meaning.
It’s our defining principle, and it informs every choice we make.
For some people it’s their career.
“Who are you?”
“I’m a teacher.” “I’m an engineer.” “I’m a homemaker.”
For others it’s their stuff.
“Who are you?”
“Look at what I’ve got. Impressive, huh?”
For others it’s their appearance or athleticism or spouse or kids.
It’s your purpose in life, what you came to do, what you exist to be.
For Jesus, it was his death.
That’s why he talked so much about it.
That’s why the gospel writers used so much space to write about it. In fact, someone observed that the gospels are really just descriptions of the Lord’s final week on earth, with extended introductions.
This is the third time in Mark that Jesus huddles up with his closest disciples and tells them what lies ahead.
Here he gives more details than he ever had before.
And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid. And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles. And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise” (Mark 10:32-34).
That’s why Jesus was born.
He didn’t come to heal the sick or walk on water or raise the dead.
He did all that, of course, and much more.
But he came to die.
Even before Adam and Eve sank their teeth into the forbidden fruit, God was already looking at Calvary. He was already heading to Jerusalem.
Eons before God told his people about the Passover lamb, Jesus was planning to become the last Lamb, our perfect Lamb.
Long before Moses’ law legislated all the animal sacrifices, God had Golgotha on his mind.
It’s who Jesus is.
He’s a miracle-worker, an incredible teacher, a compassionate healer, but he’s especially The One Who Died. For us.
Who are you?
What’s your purpose?
God wants his story to become your story.
In fact, he died so his story–death and resurrection–might be reenacted in you. You die to the person you used to be, and he raises you up, gives you new life.
He wants you to live every day in the shadow of the cross.
Sure, you may be an attorney, an accountant, or a salesman.
You may be lower-, middle-, or upper-class.
You’ve got a gender, an ethnicity, and a personality that distinguish you from everyone else.
But who are you?
What one thing makes you you?
You’re a believer who was saved at Calvary.
Jesus lived and died among us so that his journey would become yours.