Read: Deuteronomy 17-19, Mark 14:1-25
I have a nephew starting tenth grade next year. He’s already had to select his courses for the fall. He has options. Lots of options. In a course guide of over seventy pages, he is already expected to know what he wants to do with the rest of his life so that he can choose the right classes that will properly set him on his life path. But choices are good. It means that he has opportunity. He can get ahead in life. He’s smart. He can take university level classes before he’s even out of high school, gain early admission, and apply for just about any scholarship he wants.
In secondary education, choices are great. Lots of options means nearly limitless career paths. Choices are also great when it comes to things like electronic devices, insurance, clothing, and a plethora of other things in life where we want something that suits us as individuals.
But this becomes an issue when we expect to have the same infinite choices in our faith.
While they were eating, Jesus took the bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples saying, “Take it; this is my body.”
Then he took the cup, gave thanks and offered it to them, and they all drank from it.
“This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many,” he said to them.
Mark 14:22-24 (NIV)
Jesus made one offer. He held the cup before his disciples and gave them the choice to drink it or leave it.
The word [covenant] refers not to an agreement between to equals but rather to an arrangement established by one party, in this case God. The other party—man—cannot alter it; he can only accept it or reject it.
The Bible Knowledge Commentary
Like checking out the list of options stuck to the window of a new car, we want to look at Christianity and pick the path that ticks most or all of the boxes on our list. But there is no list. Just two boxes. Yea or nay. Take it or leave it.
Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.”
John 14:6 (NIV)
Whereas my nephew struggled to choose which options he would take to set him on the right path, we have no such struggle. It is simply a matter of yes or no. Will we accept the cup Jesus has offered and walk the path to the Father with him? Or will we deny the cup and stray from the path altogether?
When God set Israel on the path to the Promised Land, He set before them life and death, blessings and curses. Then he told them to choose life (Deuteronomy 30:19). How simple is that? God offers us two choices and then he tells us which one to choose—the one that leads to life.