Reflections: Monday the Third Week of Lent

March 13,  2023

Today’s Reading:  Ex. 17:1-7

Daily Lectionary: Gen. 29:1-30, Mark 9:14-32

Exodus 17:7: “And he called the name of the place Massah and Meribah, because of the quarreling of the people of Israel, and because they tested the LORD by saying, “Is the LORD among us or not?””

In the Name + of Jesus. Amen. Moses is tired of the people complaining and fighting.  So the Lord tells him to hit a rock with a stick to shut them up.  The Bible is full of uncomfortable things about Jesus. He rose from the dead.  It’s easier to paper over the miracles and teachings that don’t jive with common morals today.  But when you take Jesus out of the book, it gets even weirder.  Nobody tells the story of water from a rock to prove a political point or win an argument online.  This doesn’t demonstrate kindness unless you squint.  

It’s easier to complain about the world that’s falling apart than recognize they’re only asking the same questions Israel did of old.  Is the LORD among us or not? Because it doesn’t really look like He is.  They asked that to the guy who ripped the sea in half and marched them through on dry ground while a pillar of fire watched.  They saw.  Society asks it surrounded by death and tragedy.  And we ask because people won’t stop being sinners.  It’s funny how we want their miracles, and they want our comforts, but we both manage to ask the same questions about God. It’s almost like the real problem isn’t how the world looks, but the sinful state of our hearts. So Jesus answers. Not in temper tantrums but in promises. The Bible makes more sense if Jesus is always in the center of it.  

There is a rock, from whose side comes living water, struck to put an end to the sinful rebellion of God’s people, and that rock was Christ. He was struck. He was beaten. He was crucified and pierced for you, and from His side comes life giving water. The Lord was among His sinners to save them. It hasn’t changed. It’s been fulfilled. It answers the worry of the people not by setting them apart from the things they’re afraid of, but by forgiving their sins, our sins, so that life can be more than just an escape from the thing that isn’t the real problem. There can be hope in Him who has already saved. In the Name + of Jesus. Amen.

Yet, O Lord, not thus alone Make me see Your passion, But its cause to me make known And its termination. Ah! I also and my sin Wrought Your deep affliction; This indeed the cause has been Of Your crucifixion (Jesus, I Will Ponder Now LSB 440:3) 

– Pastor Harrison Goodman is Content Executive for Higher Things.

Audio Reflections Speaker: Patrick Sturdivant, Development and Marketing Executive at Higher Things.

Study Christ’s words on the cross to see how you can show more Christlike grace in your life. Perfect for group or individual study, each chapter has a Q&A at the end, and the back of the book includes a leader guide. Available now from Concordia Publishing House.