I will always remember the first day of my senior year in high school. After homeroom, I went to English Literature with Mr. Finlayson. Without saying a word, he arrested our attention by writing ‘Life Is Not Fair’ on the board. Then, he turned around and said, “That is the most important thing I can teach you.” With that, he instructed us to open our textbooks to a section on Somerset Maugh. With age and maturity (it took awhile), I finally grasped the significance of his lesson.
In Mark 8:31-33, Jesus plainly tells his apostles that his path will be one of suffering, humiliation, and death. Undoubtedly, this got their attention for they were expecting notoriety, authority, and victory. Jesus rebuked their worldly, misguided, unbiblical thinking. His lesson for them centered on the Father’s plan of submission, wrath, and resurrection.
In the classroom of life, our teacher warns us repeatedly about the trappings of this world and the priceless nature of our souls. While we clamor for comfort and security, the lesson Christ teaches is one of sacrifice and self-denial. His textbook is titled ‘My Grace Is Sufficient’ and the chalkboard says, “Take up your cross and follow me.”