Mark, here, the solemn necessity.  Why must He suffer?. . .He recognizes no necessity which is imposed by hostile human power.  The cords which bind this sacrifice to the horns of the altar were not spun by men’s hands.  The great must which ruled His life was capable of two strands – obedience to the Father and love to men.  These haled Him to the cross and fastened Him there.  He would save.  Therefore, He must die.  The same must stretches beyond death.  Resurrection is a part of His whole work and, without it, His death has no power but falls into the undistinguished mass of human mortality.  Bewildered as the disciples were, that assurance of resurrection had little present force but, even then, would faintly hint at some comfort and blessed mystery.  What was, to them, a nebulous hope is, to us, a sun of certitude and cheer.  Christ who died is no gospel until you go on to say, Yea, rather, who is risen again. – Alexander Maclaren (1826-1910), from a meditation on Mark 8.27-38.

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