Heart Prep for Sunday, August 16th
It’s hard to believe that we’re 5 months into the pandemic and that we’ve been back at in-person worship for 10 weeks. It has felt like both a blur and an eternity. Through it all, the Lord has consistently shown Himself to be faithful to us. Praise God for the many ways we’ve had to rely on Him and for the many ways that we’ve seen Him be present in the midst of hard times.
This week, we’re continuing our series in the Gospel of Mark, and our passage is Mark 14:43-65. Starting with last week’s passage in the Garden of Gethsemane, the plot quickly turns against Jesus. In literary terms, the plot usually complicates more and more up until the climax before the heroes turn it around to emerge victoriously. Well, things got complicated quickly for Jesus. Judas betrayed Him, He was arrested like a common criminal, and He was arraigned in the dead of night by the Jewish religious leaders who were looking for an excuse to have Him executed. Furthermore, all of His friends and disciples deserted Him, either fleeing into the night or preparing to deny Him in next week’s passage. At every turn, Jesus was betrayed by His closest friends. And yet, that betrayal would lead to the salvation that would end up restoring fellowship with those same traitors, minus Judas of course.
As we read of the betrayal, the sham trial, and the desertion of the disciples, the question of “Why?” always comes up. After all, Jesus finally directly acknowledges that He’s the Messiah, the Son of God, and the Christ. He is the one that Judas, the Sanhedrin, and the disciples have been looking for! How did we get to this point then?! And I think the answer hinges upon each party’s take on just who Jesus was. Who Jesus is to each of these people, His identity to them, drives all of their actions, namely their sinful rejection and betrayal of Him.
Yet through all of the rejection and betrayal, Jesus remained faithful, true, and sovereign over all things. His goal isn’t to avoid the Cross, but to take it on for many of the same people that betrayed Him that night. It is upon that faithful and steady sovereignty that our salvation and hope rests. Come this Sunday to see how these betrayal and acts of sovereignty on the basis of Jesus’s identity give us an understanding of both our own sinful betrayals of Jesus and His gracious sovereignty that leads to salvation for us. See you Sunday either in person or on the livestream!