Series: BIOS of a Savior
Bible Passage: Mark 11:1-11, 14:43-52, and 15:1-20
Other Pertinent Scripture: Parallel passages: for Mark 11:1-11 see Matt. 21:1-9; Luke 19:29-38; John 12:12-15; for Mark 14:43-50 see Matt. 26:47-56; Luke 22:47-53; John 18:3-11; for Mark 15:1-20 see Matt. 27:11-31; Luke 23:1-25; John 18:28-19:16
Psalm 22:1-21; Psalm 98:4-9; Isaiah 35:10, 55:12; Zechariah 9:9, 13:7
The gospel of Mark is a documentary account of the life of Christ. Like other ancient biographies, which were called a BIOS or “life,” Mark’s account speaks to us about the actions and events of a man’s life. But this is no mere man Mark is presenting. This is the holy man who is wholly God, the one who has unique authority to call us to follow him.
As a church, everything about Stonehouse centers on this BIOS - his life, his teaching, his authority, his suffering and his victory.
a note on this week’s text:
Palm Sunday marks the beginning of Passion week, or Holy week, the week where the remembrance of Jesus’ final days are on the minds of those who follow Christ. This is the week that will see the fulfillment of Jesus’ mission on earth but it does not look like a victorious mission from a human perspective. It begins all well and good but by Thursday night things have seemingly spun out of control as Jesus is betrayed and handed over to the Chief Priests. By early Friday morning Jesus is in the hands of Pilate and the Roman power that governs the land, leading to the demand that he be killed by crucifixion.
Jesus, the True King, our Savior and our God, came to Jerusalem and the temple to finally and fully represent God to the world. However, he was rejected and despised, many close to him cowered and ran when the “handing over” that he predicted began to happen. In his willing acceptance of what had to happen Jesus showed he was a humble king unlike any who had come before him. He was handed over, rejected, tried, sentenced, and abandoned. By the end of this most holy of weeks, Jesus would be a yet another dead king. (But we know, that is not the end of the story.)
this article gives a day-by-day breakdown of what Scripture says happened during Holy Week:
“Easter Week in Real Time” by Russ Ramsey
Suggested discovery/discussion questions:
1. The coming of Jesus into Jerusalem on the foal of a donkey is particular because of two things. #1: it is similar to how a conquering king would enter a city he was now the ruler of but very different because Jesus is on a donkey and not a war horse… and #2: it is a fulfillment of the prophecy in Zechariah 9:9. What is being shown to us as Jesus comes to Jerusalem like this? Is Jesus a king? If so, what kingdom is he the king of and how does that kingdom “show up” during this Holy Week?
2. Jerusalem is a very important city, not only to the people of Israel but also in world history. At many times and in many ways God has woven the history of his people and this city through the histories of the empires and nations of the world. In Jerusalem is the temple. This temple is to be the dwelling place of God, where Israel, and the other nations, are to come and worship God. The Holy Week, or Passion Week of Jesus takes place in Jerusalem. Many things Jesus does during this week happen in and around the temple. With these actions, Jesus is decisively communicating that he is God. His presence there is clearly God’s presence there. But the direction that the week goes in for Jesus seem contradictory to his God-ness. Why do all of these things go bad for Jesus? Why is he apposed so fiercely by the religious leaders? Why is he betrayed, arrested, tried, and found guilty?
3. Judas finally jumps at his opportunity to trade Jesus in for silver. It happens in the Garden of Gethsemane under the cover of night. Jesus is betrayed by Judas with a kiss. Things quickly spiral out of control as Peter grabs a sword and cuts of a guard’s ear. But Jesus stops the violence, that is not how he is going to win a victory here, instead he heals and willingly goes away with the crowd not requiring them to use their swords and clubs. This is the first of the “handing over” that Jesus predicted would happen and it is a sign of God’s protective hand over Jesus being taken away. Why doesn’t Jesus fight back? Why is Jesus no longer protected? Why won’t Jesus let Peter, or the other disciples defend him? Where do you see yourself in this account? Like Judas, a betrayer? Like Peter, a fighter unwilling to let the plan of God unfold? Like the other disciples who all flee away in fear?
4. As Jesus is falsely accused, tried, and convicted as guilty by the religious leaders of Israel they have a problem… they want to kill him but their laws don’t allow it. So they hand Jesus over to Pilate for capital punishment. Pilate is none to happy to grant their request and he knows that it is out of envy that the leaders want Jesus dead. However he is a ruler that likes to keep people happy so he offers the release of Jesus as part of his custom during their feast. He is surprised to find that they want Barabbas, the guilty criminal, released instead and demand that Jesus be crucified. So Jesus is delivered to be crucified and Barabbas is set free. What does this scene show us about the death of Jesus? If Jesus wasn’t guilty of anything then why was he crucified? A crucified king? A free murderer? What are some of the other paradoxes evident in this delivering of Jesus to be crucified? How does this impact you?
5. Jesus was not only betrayed by a friend, or abandoned by the rest of the disciples, he was forsaken by God the Father. Psalm 22:1-21 is a prophetic Psalm from David that elicits the emotion of forsakenness that Jesus was overwhelmed by on the cross. Why did God the Father forsake Jesus? What is going on that requires the Father to look away? Why won’t Jesus call on angels to rescue him? Why doesn’t God break open heaven and stop this brutal death?
We encourage you to be additionally mindful of the events of this week as we consider all that Jesus did to give us the salvation and grace that we needed. Consider reading through the events of the week in Mark chapters 11-16 or read through the article linked to above. Take some time and dwell on the truth and power of these events, whatever that may look like for you.
And then we’ll see you on Easter Sunday.
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