Mark 1, Blog Through the Bible Project
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah,[a] the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”—
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord,
make straight paths for him.’”
What does it take for you to make straight paths for the Lord?
These are some things which help me clear a pathway for God
2 Brutal honesty about where I really am, what I am really preoccupied about.
3 Prayer, a beseeching for aerial support in my hour of conflict and trouble.
4 Limiting busyness. Being intense and highly strung, I try and limit social things to two a week, maybe three. More than that, I don’t enjoy them, and it does effect my inner dialogue with Christ.
5 Scripture, which introduces fresh ideas, insight and conviction into the petri dish of my thoughts.
6 Most of all, repentance helps me create a straight path for God to enter my soul.
Mark 1: 1-3–Blog Through the Bible Project
1 The beginning of the good news about Jesus the Messiah, the Son of God, 2 as it is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send my messenger ahead of you,
who will prepare your way”
3 “a voice of one calling in the wilderness,
A voice calling in the wilderness.
For me, there is hope in that phrase.
Would the wilderness–solitude, no human companionship, none of the works of art, civilization, learning, the absence of iron sharpening iron, an absence of everything but you and God–be considered a suitable training ground for the development of a unique voice, which has something real, and of urgency to say to the world?
The voice which comes out of the wilderness is uniquely your own.
But if it is to have something of lasting value to say to the world, then it must also be a voice which has clearly heard God’s voice in the wilderness, and is tempered, modulated and profoundly influenced by that other voice heard in the wilderness.
The voice which has heard God’s voice in the wilderness can cry with an unforgettable power, poignancy and urgency which will echo through the centuries.
The Great Commission
|The hands of the Risen Christ, Jacob Epstein|
Matthew 27: 57-66
The Burial of Jesus
57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.
ESV–Joseph was a member of the Sanhedrin who did not consent to the actions against Jesus (Luke 23 50-51). His high standing within the Jewish community gave him access to Pilate.
Isaiah 53:9 “He was assigned a grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death, though he had done no violence, nor was any deceit in his mouth.”
The Guard at the Tomb
62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”
1 After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb.
The discourse between angels and humans always begins with the same injunction, “Do not be afraid.”
6 He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. 7 Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
Galilee: The central location of Jesus’s earthly ministry continues in importance during his post-resurrection ministry.
ESV The women take hold of his feet showing that this is no mere vision or hallucination, but a physical resurrection. By allowing this act of worship, Jesus accepts the acknowledgement of his deity, since only God is to be worshiped.
10 Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”
The Guards’ Report
11 While the women were on their way, some of the guards went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. 12 When the chief priests had met with the elders and devised a plan, they gave the soldiers a large sum of money, 13 telling them, “You are to say, ‘His disciples came during the night and stole him away while we were asleep.’ 14 If this report gets to the governor, we will satisfy him and keep you out of trouble.” 15 So the soldiers took the money and did as they were instructed. And this story has been widely circulated among the Jews to this very day.
The Christians said. The Jews said. So someone is lying–the guards or the disciples.
Matthew 27 32-55
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. Psalm 22:18
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
ESV A supernatural act of God declaring his displeasure with humanity for crucifying his son.
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
Jesus maintains an exhausted and noble silence, speaking 7 brief sentences in 3 hours or so. In this sentence, his sense of utter abandonment by his father bursts forth from him.
ESV In some sense, Jesus had to be cut off from the favor of and fellowship with the Father that had been his eternally, because he was bearing the suns of the people and therefore enduring God’s wrath.
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
The curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was an elaborately woven fabric of 72 twisted plaits of 24 threads each. It was 60 feet high and 30 feet wide. No one was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the curtain except the High Priest, and he only once a year, on the Day of Atonement.
ESV–Palestine sits on a major seismic rift, so earthquakes were not uncommon, but the splitting of rocks, and the opening of tombs make this a major testimony to the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.
The centurion and his guards were accustomed to seeing crucifixions, but these cataclysmic events, coupled with the extraordinary self-control, purity and love shown by Jesus in his death made the centurion realize that there was something very special indeed about Jesus.
ESV–A series of testimonies–from the temple, the dead and Gentiles–indicate the historical and theological impact of the death of Jesus.
These women accompanied Jesus as his disciples, witnessed the crucifixion, and will be the first witnesses to the resurrection.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
Praetorium–Pilate’s official headquarters, doubled as a fortress. The whole battalion would have 120-200 soldiers.
Brutalization. Jesus had been flogged with a leather whip, interwoven with bits of bone and metal, which ripped skin and tissue, often exposing bone and intestines.
They find the idea of this brutalized man being King amusing. They rip off his clothes, and in unknowing prophetic mockery, stick a scarlet robe–outer cloak of a Roman soldier–also a symbol of kingship on him. Stick a crown of thorns on his head, and hit him on the head over the thorns. Rip the robe off again, which had probably stuck to the bloody flesh.
Of course, unbeknownst to them, the scarlet robe, the crown and the sceptre proved prophetic.
Through all this, Jesus remains silent.
I offered my back to those who beat me,
my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard;
I did not hide my face from mocking and spitting.
Matthew 27 11-26 Blog Through the Bible Project
Jesus Before Pilate
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth. Isaiah 53:7.
Matthew 27 1-10
Judas Hangs Himself
1 Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed.
A legal quorum. The Sanhedrin could not have a legal session at night, so at daybreak they held a special session to make the death sentence official.
2 So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.
Pilate was the governor of Judea, and the Roman prefect under Emperor Tiberius. To maintain ultimate control, the Romans kept the death penalty under their own jurisdiction.
3 When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. 4 “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
One of the betrayers goes down in history as the rock on whom Christ will build his church. The other’s name becomes a synonym for betrayal.
Perhaps if Judas had really known Christ, he would have known that there is forgiveness even for the one who sold his friend for 30 pieces of silver.