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Your House is Desolate

When he left the Temple for the last time, Jesus pronounced its coming desolation to his opponents .  Before his final departure from the Temple, Jesus fielded challenges from the “ scribes and Pharisees ,” the main Jewish sects of his time. These amounted to confrontations that helped set the stage for his arrest and trial and his execution at the hands of the Romans. As he left the building for the final time, he pronounced its impending judgment - [ Photo by Dan Meyers on Unsplash ].

Suffering Messiah

In Mark, the Son of Man is revealed and understood in his sufferings and death on a Roman Cross .  A theme threaded throughout  Mark  is the complete inability of men to recognize Jesus as  the Son of God  until  AFTER  his crucifixion, and even then, paradoxically, he is declared the “ Son of God ” by the unlikeliest person, the Roman centurion in charge of his execution. His self-identification as the  suffering  “ Son of Man ” made him unrecognizable to men - [ Photo by Adrian Dascal on Unsplash ].

Redemption of the Nations

The “nations” and the “kings of the earth” are found in “New Jerusalem” because of the work of the sacrificial Lamb and his saints .  The Book of Revelation presents images that are jarring and paradoxical, visions that do not conform to our expectations about how God works. His plans to subjugate His enemies and “judge” the nations differ radically from popular ideas. Just as his contemporaries did not understand him, so, too often, we fail to comprehend the “ slain Lamb ” who reigns from God’s throne - [ Photo by Nicola Nuttall on Unsplash ].

His Longsuffering

In the interim between Christ’s ascension and his return, God has granted humanity the opportunity to repent before that day arrives .  In his second epistle, Peter explained the apparent “delay” in the “ arrival ” of Jesus and the “ Day of the Lord .” In doing so, he linked that day with the final judgment and the new creation. And he argued that the conduct of the church may very well “ hasten ” that day. God is characterized by mercy and has no desire for anyone to perish - [ Photo by Rohit D'Silva on Unsplash ].

Day of Visitation

Peter exhorted Christians to persevere in sufferings and to live holy lives in the knowledge of the impending “day of visitation.”  In his first epistle, Peter wrote to Christians who were under pressure to conform to the expectations of the surrounding society. Their situation was not unique, for they were members of the worldwide suffering community of believers. One of his themes is the necessity to remain steadfast through tribulations until the “ day of visitation ” when Jesus is “ revealed ” - [ Photo by  Ivana Cajina  on  Unsplash ].