Deepening Discipleship with Mark
Week 16: Mark Chapter 15: Why have you forsaken me?
Monday: What will you do with the King of the Jews? vv 1-15
‘“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.’’ v12
Pilate asked the people what he should do with Jesus and they made their decision, having been stirred up by the High Priests. “Crucify him.” Today, I simply want to ask you, “What will you do with the King of the Jews?”
Tuesday: No sugar coating here! vv16-20
‘Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him.’ v19
Last Sunday, in referring to the second half of Mark 14, David Kemp talked about the fact that it was tough stuff. Here’s some more. We can’t sugar coat this. We can’t do anything to make it palatable. It’s horrific. It should break our hearts each time we read it. It should open our eyes again and again to the fact that Jesus chose to go through this so that we could be saved. Again I ask, what will you do with the King of the Jews?
Wednesday: A willing sacrifice vv21-32
‘In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!’ v31
He could have. Jesus could, at any point in the last few chapters, have said no. Can’t do it. It’s just too hard. There must be another way. He could have – but he didn’t! Jesus was a willing sacrifice. He chose the way of the cross so that we could be free. Now, he asks us to take up our cross and follow him. He chose to die and he asks us to choose to live for him. How can we do less?
Thursday: The way is open! vv33-41
‘The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.’ v38
The veil was torn. This veil which had separated man from God, which had ensured that God was only accessible through the High Priest on one day a year, with rigorous preparation, was torn in two from top to bottom. Jesus’ broken body opening the way for us to have a direct relationship with God. It was done. The ultimate sacrifice.
“Were the whole realm of nature mine
That were an offering far to small.
Love so amazing, so divine
DEMANDS my soul, my life, my all.”
Friday: Time to choose. vv42-47
‘Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body.’ V43
Joseph was part of the Establishment who had put Jesus to death but he was also a ‘secret disciple’ (John 19:38. Luke’s gospel tells us that Joseph didn’t consent to Jesus’ death. He had already probably done more than was good for him, career and social standing-wise, in making his opposition known and he could have stopped there but instead, he went ‘bodly’ and asked for the body so that he could bury Jesus. He realised that the time had come to make a choice and whilst his choice may not have seemed like wisdom to those around him, we know that he chose well. Have you made that choice: Jesus first, whatever it may cost?