It’s no secret. I love architecture. One of my most favourite buildings in the UK is the Anglican Cathedral in Liverpool. A beautiful, grand building, the first moment of awe is as you enter and are overwhelmed with the sheer sense of space. A humbling moment. The Cathedral, who’s first stone was laid in 1904, has lasted over a 100 years, and it’s easy to imagine it staying there for a 100 more.
I suppose that sense of awe and grandeur was something that one of the disciples alluded to when he spoke to Jesus on the Wednesday before Good Friday. The disciple did not know what was to come. He may have thought that at some point Jesus would rule from that temple. That perhaps Jesus’ Kingdom would build an even greater temple. After all, he was God, and he should no doubt be awarded the most fabulous temple available.
And so as Jesus and his disciples leave the temple, one of his disciples says to him, “Look, Teacher! What massive stones! What magnificent buildings!”
“Do you see all these great buildings?” replied Jesus. “Not one stone here will be left on another; every one will be thrown down.” (Mark 13:1,2)
And from there, a discussion leads into the end of the world. A reminder that the things of this world are not eternal. That a day of judgement is coming. When we read this, we find ourselves trembling with trepidation about what is to come. The uncertainty, the hardships, the toiling, the turmoil – wars, and rumours of war, nations against nations, kingdoms against kingdoms. These, Jesus says, are the beginning of birth pains.
These are things that we hear about today. And in the same way, have been occurring for centuries already.
But Jesus’ message remains the same. Be on your guard. We, as witnesses of Christ, followers of Him, are going to be put on trial for His sake.
And then, that evening, while Jesus sits in the house of Simon the Leper, a woman comes and pours a jar of expensive perfume on Jesus. Like the woman who gave her 2 copper coins at the temple, this woman now comes and pours a year’s wages over Jesus.
When you are on guard with Christ, you have left everything else behind, and have given it all for Christ. Your life stands for Him now. There is nothing holding you back.
And then we see Judas, in frustration, leave the room, and betray Jesus.
Be on your guard, for we are witnesses for Christ.
Meditate today on Mark 13-14:10