It’s time to follow Jesus to the cross: where God is absent, and the mission seems to fail. Except for those words from the centurion that turn the world upside down.

Isaiah 50:4-9a The teacher is called to sustain the weary, even as he suffers the indignities of rejection. But shame is not the story, because vindication comes from God.

Psalm 31:9-16 Untimely death: it’s the experience of the person who has been rejected and is the source of plots against his life. It’s a story of trust in God—but will the trust be rewarded?

Philippians 2:5-11 The Christ hymn shows us how to be human. The mind of Christ enacts the humble trusts that God rewards, exalts, and glorifies. The “form,” or “image” of God is God’s gift to give.

Matthew 26:14-27:66 From Judas’s agreement to betray Jesus, through the tomb made secure, this week’s Gospel text takes us through the whole passion story. There we find trifectas of failure, Jesus’s complete abandonment, and the paradoxical fulfillment of Jesus’s calling through his death on the cross.

 Daniel Kirk is a writer, speaker, and blogger who lives in San Francisco, CA where he is currently Pastoral Director for the Newbigin House of Studies. His third book A Man Attested by God: the Human Jesus of the Synoptic Gospels, is hot off the presses. Daniel holds a Ph.D. in New Testament from Duke University and is the author of, Unlocking Romans: Resurrection and the Justification of God and Jesus Have I Loved, but Paul? He blogs regularly at  ( You can follow him on Twitter @jrdkirk and on Facebook at