February 6 Exodus 35-36 & Mark 15:1-20
The Book of Exodus says this day over and over, "as his heart prompts him” or "as their hearts moved them," Sometimes we overthink. Sometimes we forget about our heart's ability to help us process through a situation or problem. My personal belief is that our heart and our soul are connected directly. Our mind is also connected to our soul, but our heart has a more direct path. We certainly need both our mind and our heart to understand what is before us, but all too often we fail to engage our hearts. Yes, to open our heart is to bring more work, time or effort to a problem or a relationship, but God gave us both a mind and a heart on purpose, so to fully realize the person we are we need to use both.
"They shouted again, crucify him" in our passage from the Gospel of Mark. When someone wrongs us it is entirely human to want to retaliate or do the same to them - an eye for an eye. It is divine to forgive. Those who cried out crucify him were not engaging their hearts. Jesus was not guilty of any crime. Even those that are guilty of crimes have a right to life. Life is God's gift, not ours. That can be hard to impossible to hear if you have lost a loved one by the hands of another. Having stood at the gates of our death roll prison and seen victims’ families come forward saying or praying that the criminal would not be executed has strengthened my heart to forgive. Jesus did it. He did not condemn us for our sins but died in our place, once for all. Let us be givers of life not death to one another. Let us be Christ.