Mark 14

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‘“Simon, are you asleep? Couldn’t you watch with me even one hour? Keep watch and pray, so that you will not give in to temptation. For the spirit is willing, but the body is weak.”’ (Mark 14:37 NLT).

March 9, 2019

HAS JESUS INVITED YOU TO PRAY WITH HIM? Jesus invited Simon Peter, James, and John to keep watch and pray with Him in the Garden of Gethsemane. It was the night of His betrayal, the day before His trial and crucifixion. He wanted them as prayer partners. They were willing, but their flesh was weak… Read more »

“You have all heard his blasphemy” (Mark 14:64 NLT).

March 10, 2018

WHY WAS JESUS ACCUSED OF BLASPHEMY?
The high priest asked Jesus, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?” (Mark 14:61). Why was it blasphemy for Jesus to answer the high priest’s question in the positive? The question itself revealed the first century expectation that the Messiah would also be called the Son of God. It has been well documented from the Dead Sea Scrolls that many first century Jews and rabbis thought the Messiah would be called the Son of God. So, why was it blasphemy for Jesus to reply, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man seated in the place of power at God’s right hand and coming on the clouds of heaven” (Mark 14:62)?

They called Him a blasphemer because they rejected His claim. They saw Him as a challenger to their position and power. After Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, they were so concerned with the great crowds following Jesus, that they called a special council meeting, concluding, “If we let Him alone like this, everyone will believe in Him, and the Romans will come and take away both our place and nation” (John 11:48).

Yet, calling him a blasphemer was a stretch. The law concerning blasphemy states, “Whoever blasphemes the name of the Lord shall surely be put to death” (Lev. 24:16). Notice that the law concerning blasphemy makes no mention of claiming to be the Messiah or Son of God.

Jesus was not a blasphemer because He did not “blaspheme the name of the Lord,” nor did He make a false claim by answering the high priest in the positive. I can find no other instance in history when Jewish authorities accused and executed a so-called Messiah. And there have been many. Jewish author, Jerry Rabow, wrote a book entitled, “Fifty Jewish Messiahs.” None of them endured the rejection and accusation that Jesus did. Why?

It was always God’s plan for His Son to come as Messiah, to be rejected and killed and on the third day to be raised again, so that we might be saved.

“Then they sang a hymn and went out to the Mount of Olives”(Mark 14:26 NLT).

March 9, 2018

WHAT HYMN DID JESUS SING THE NIGHT BEFORE?
On the Thursday night before His crucifixion, Jesus and His disciples sang a hymn together after finishing the Passover meal. My first observation is that Jesus sang. O what joy it must have been to hear His voice sing praises to God! How wonderful to have been one of the disciples who joined with Him in harmony. But what hymn did they sing?

The Greek word translated “sang a hymn” is “hymneō” (ὑμνέω). Literally, “They ‘hymned’ as they went out.” We don’t have a verb for “hymning,” but we did borrow the Greek noun, “hymnos,” for our English noun, “hymn.” What is a hymn? The dictionary says, It is “a religious song or poem, typically of praise to God.” Yet, in both Jewish and Christian circles, the word hymn is used in a more precise way.

In their book, “Sing With Understanding: An Introduction to Christian Hymnody,” authors Eskew and McElrath describe a hymn as a kind of poem set to music. They write, “It should be simple and metrical in form, genuinely emotional, poetic and literary in style, spiritual in quality, and in its ideas so direct and so immediately apparent as to unify a congregation while singing it.”

So, the hymn is a unique form of worship music that usually begins as a poem before music is added. It is easy to sing, metrically precise, and sounds as good to the ear with or without accompaniment. It can be read aloud in private devotions, sung alone or together. Hymns are rich with words and doctrines from Scripture.

There are other types of worship songs. The apostle Paul encouraged singing three types in his letter to the Colossian church: “Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God” (Col. 3:16).

So, what hymn did Jesus sing the night before His crucifixion? Jewish tradition called for singing the Paschal Psalms, Psalms 113 through 118, after the Passover meal. These psalms surely fit the definition of a hymn. They also match perfectly with the moment in time that Jesus faced.

Take a moment and read through Psalms 113 through 118. Pay special attention to the words of Psalm 118. Imagine you’re with the disciples as Jesus sings, while walking out into the night through the Eastern Gate of Jerusalem and up the Mount of Olives to pray.

“I tell you the truth, wherever the Good News is preached throughout the world, this woman’s deed will be remembered and discussed.” (Mark 14:9 NLT).

March 8, 2018

ONLY WHAT’S DONE FOR CHRIST WILL LAST
On the Wednesday of Passion Week, Jesus and His disciples took a day of rest a short distance from Jerusalem in a town called Bethany. While eating a meal at Simon the leper’s house, a woman anointed Jesus’ head with an expensive perfume worth a year’s wages. This was an incredible gift, so costly that Judas Iscariot was offended by its extravagance. Yet, Jesus rebuked Judas and commended the woman for her gift. Her deed has been remembered to this day, just as Jesus predicted.

This reminds me of a line from a poem by C. T. Studd:
“Only one life, ’twill soon be past,
Only what’s done for Christ will last.”

“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives” (Mark 14:26 NKJV)

March 9, 2015

Did Jesus sing? Absolutely. He and His disciples, like every other Jewish gathering for Passover concluded the sacred meal with singing. The traditional hymn selection would have been the Hallel Psalms 113-118. Take time to read through those psalms and picture the Lord and His disciples singing with baritone voices every word by heart. I’m sure they had memorized these psalms, just like we know the words to hymns like Amazing Grace. After all, they had been singing them every Passover with their families since they were born. Jesus sang before He went up on the Mount of Olives to pray. Jesus sang the night before He was crucified. Have you thought of hearing Jesus sing?

“But Jesus said, ‘Let her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a good work for Me'” (Mark 14:6 NKJV)

March 8, 2015

On the Wednesday before Christ’s crucifixion, Mary of Bethany, sister of Martha and Lazarus (see John 11:2-3), anointed His head with an expensive oil. This oil, which was worth over 300 day’s wages (“300 denarii”), was contained in a sealed alabaster flask. Some have suggested that the flask was part of her dowry to be given to her future husband. Others have said it was part of the family’s own preparation for her burial someday. Yet, Mary took her most valuable possession, broke it and poured its entire contents over Jesus’ head. The disciples criticized her for what seemed to them an extravagant waste, but Jesus rebuked them and approved her sacrifice of love. For only two days later, He would offer His own body, broken and poured out, for their sins.

“And Jesus said, ‘I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'” (Mark 14:62 ESV)

March 10, 2013

This was Jesus’ response to the high priest who asked whether he was the Christ. His answer? “I am.” Jesus used both the Hebrew name for God and the prophetic title of “Son of Man” in his answer. Jesus was crucified for claiming to be the Messiah. Then, three days later he defeated death and the grave and proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that His claim was true!