Every year I like to read the Gospels in the weeks leading up to Easter. I find this helps me get my focus on the cross and the empty tomb—both of which are central to the Christian story.
As I read through Mark—which reads like an action novel—I noticed how Mark spatially describes Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem.
Jesus is in Caesarea Philippi (Mark 8:27) when he tells his disciples that he will be killed (Mark 8:31-32). This begins the trip to Jerusalem. They head to Capernaum (Mark 9:33) and then made their way south to the region beyond the Jordan (Mark 10:1). The group stops in Jericho (Mark 10:46) and Bethphage (Mark 11:1), before entering Jerusalem on Palm Sunday (Mark 11:7-11).
In Luke 9 we see a short yet powerful verse describing this journey:
[Jesus] set his face to go to Jerusalem (Luke 9:51)
What both gospel writers are doing—in their own way–is showing that the cross was always a part of the story. It didn’t surprise Jesus; he knew it was his mission and went to Jerusalem willingly.Tweet