Spring is about to begin and we are smack dab in the middle of one of the "holiest" times of the year. Lent? Easter? No - March Madness! Actually, for all but one team in the NCAA Tournament, March Madness quickly turns into March Sadness. It doesn’t take long for the tears to begin to flow, does it?
Jesus’ prediction of his suffering and death in the Gospels bring another form of March Madness. No doubt Peter thought Jesus had lost his mind, and even rebuked him for thinking such thoughts. Peter’s Messiah was not going to be Isaiah’s suffering servant, but an invincible monarch that would save Israel by defeating the Romans. This talk about being rejected, suffering and dying was sheer madness. What was Jesus thinking? He had never talked like this. What was He talking about?
The great philosopher Yogi Berra once said, “When you come to a fork in the road, take it.” Jesus was at a crossroads and it was time to make a decision. He knew which way to go. It was time to head south toward Jerusalem and confront the pharisees, the scribes, and the religious leaders. It was time to trade in all the adoring crowds for hostile ones, time to take up his cross, time to die for the sins of the whole world.
It was time to change the course of his ministry, and he knew it whether anyone else did or not.
It was time to put on His game face - it was game time.
March madness was looming and he needed to prepare his unsuspecting disciples.
“He then began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law, and that he must be killed and after three days rise again." - Mark 8
Lent is not only the time for March Madness on the basketball court. More importantly, it is the time for us to follow our Lenten Lord, to go with Jesus to Jerusalem, even though we know that madness awaits.
For it is there He will sacrifice Himself for us, take one for the team, and suffer great pain and loss so we can have joy and victory forever in Him.