"They will mock him, and spit upon him, and flog him, and kill him; and after three days he will rise again." - Mark 10
"Please, Marty, no one should know too much about their own destiny." These wise words were, of course, spoken by Doc Brown in that classic of cinematography, Back to the Future Part Two. Marty McFly was about to go poking around his own future. And it's risky business knowing the future. If the future is set, if the ultimate result of our living is already decided, doesn't that make life meaningless? Don't we need to be in control?
The Disciples sure seem to think so. When Jesus tells them about the whip and the cross and the empty tomb, they try to change the ending: God forbid it! This must never happen to You! Let's just forget all about going to Jerusalem to die, shall we?
The Disciples want to be in charge. Jesus wants them to understand the truth. God is God and we are not. The end is already written. But far from making life meaningless, knowing the end of our story allows us to live knowing that our lives are truly precious.
This is how your story will end. On the last day God will raise you up from the dust, and call you by name, and you will see that not only is your name written in the book of life, but that God has inscribed you on the very palms of Her hands. Eternal life is the end of your story.
"No one should know too much about their own destiny"?
Sorry, Doc, I'm going to have to go with Jesus on this one.
God, help us to love You so much, that we love nothing else too much. Even hoverboards. And help us to fear You just enough, that we need fear nothing else at all. Even hoverboards.
John Edgerton is Associate Pastor at Old South Church in Boston, Massachusetts.