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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Love in the Time of Hate

This Sunday at Bethany Place, I am jumping to near the end of the gospel of Mark (Mark 14:1-26) to begin to prepare us to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus on Easter Sunday April 8th. We will examine the extreme opposites which Jesus’ presence provoked among those close to him. A part of that text includes the recounting of the first Lord’s Supper. I will link to the audio here once it is available.
In the Lord’s Supper our physical senses are assaulted. We can hear the bread being broken and the wine (we use grape juice) being poured. We can see the texture of the bread and the color of the juice. We feel the bread as we pick it up. We can smell the aroma of the juice and finally we taste both the bread and the wine. It’s a fascinating tangible experience where the need of our souls, invades our physical world. It’s a vivid reminder that the experience of the cross for Jesus was real. Yet, these tangible experiences point to greater realities. They are physical enactments of the spiritual reality of our need to receive from Jesus his offering. He took our place and drank the full cup of God’s judgment for our sake. New believers and long seasoned Christ followers have exactly the same need. I pray you will join me Sunday as we physically act out this great need we have to receive from Jesus his offering for our sakes. Whether for the first time or not, may we all hear and respond to his invitation, “Take, this is my body.” Mark 14: 22.

You can see the text and the outline for Sunday below.

Love in the Time of Hate
Mark 14:1-25

1. Get off the fence
Mark 14:1–11 (ESV)
14 It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”
And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. 11 And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

2. Examine the nature of your love for Jesus

Mark 14:17–21 (ESV)
17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” 19 They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” 20 He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. 21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

3. Receive from Jesus what your soul craves

Mark 14:22–25 (ESV)
22 And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” 23 And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. 24 And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 25 Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

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