Psalm 22:23-31 – Jesus quotes the beginning of this Psalm while hanging on the cross in Matthew 27:46, “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” Many in Jesus’ day would have known that the end of this psalm is a positive affirmation that God will save all. “All the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord; all the families of the nations shall worship before him.” It proclaims that even the dead in the earth and future unborn generations will worship and serve God.
Romans 4:13-25 – Paul writes to the church in Rome about their inclusion in God’s promise to Abraham. Abraham trusted God and that was enough for God who declared him righteous. This was not the work of the Law, which Abraham didn’t have, but the work of faith.
Mark 8:27-38 – The first four verses are not part of the Lectionary but I will include them on Sunday. In verses 27-30,Jesus and the disciples take a much need break from their ministry and head north to camp. Jesus ask “Who do people say that I am?” After offering answers about what others were saying about Jesus and having Jesus egg them on, Peter says “You are the Messiah” (Christ or Anointed One). Yeah for Peter. Then, in verses 31-38, Jesus begins to tell the disciples what it means to be the Messiah. It means suffering, rejection, being killed, and resurrection. Peter says “No, you can’t do that” and Jesus tells Satan to get behind. Calling the crowds he explains what it means to be his follower: deny themselves, take up their cross, and losing their life.