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Carrying the Burden - Mark 14:26-42

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Carrying the Burden Mark 14:26-42 20200510 We turn to Christ who bore the burden of sin for us all! Introduc)on: It was about one year ago that our liBle pasture was ravaged by a mountain lion aBack. We lost our best milking goat and one of her kids. The thought of a mountain lion being so close to our home was unnerving. It was a bloody death filled reminder that danger lurks in the darkness and all the peace we desire to have can be shaBered by an unsolicited aBack at any Jme. This was a devastaJng event. The night aKer we discovered the aBack, we felt vulnerable to a follow-on assault. If the young mountain lion was able to successfully feast the night before – what would keep it from coming back again? We developed plans to harden the shelters, puOng up barriers inside of barriers, but hadn’t had Jme to fully implement these extra measures. So, I felt it necessary to stand watch. Now standing watch is nothing new to me. Standing watch has been part of my profession for the past two decades. However, as I was out there on that cold night it didn’t take long for me to realize that I can’t stay up watching over our flock and our herd like this – this isn’t sustainable. I already run myself in circles trying to keep up – we need another who can keep watch another who can carry this burden. What we needed was a dog! Within 24 hours we had our Great Pyrenees puppy Murphy! Now, nearly every night if I happen to wake up, I hear Murphy barking into the surrounding area warning any would be aBackers that he is on watch and to stay away. I then with full assurance that the watch is being manned by another roll over and go back to sleep. This series of events that I just described is a microcosm of what we are seeing around the world right now. The coronavirus came upon us without any real warning and has impacted us in numerous ways and conJnues to impose upon us everywhere we look. Real physical danger and tens of thousands of deaths have resulted from the virus. The fear of the virus and what it might do has led to a drasJc alteraJon of what we would call a normal existence. Since the problem is greater than one family, we rely upon the governing officials to implement appropriate response measures but those conJnually run into obstacles as well. Now the number of unemployed Americans is being reported at levels not seen since prior to WWII! Have you thought that a beBer method must be available to deal with the crisis at hand? This isn’t sustainable – this isn’t sustainable! The same thought I had trying to stay up to watch over our animals a year ago. We as a people have shiKed so much of the burden of governing to others that now we can’t reasonably see a way to take it back. Adding to the dismal picture we cannot help but to grow further in our skepJcism when we hear new revelaJons that the watchkeepers are abusing their authority such as what has been revealed about the how FBI and other invesJgators handled the General Flynn case involving the Russian collusion probe. This all leaves us exhausted, frustrated, and dumbfounded as to what to do. What do we long for in the midst of this current trial? We long for something beBer. We long for a future that is known by peace – a future without suffering. We long for a leader who can take us to this place because it doesn’t take all that long to figure out, we can’t do it on our own! This all builds to the point where we are overcome by our frail condiJon and unable to bear the sorrowful weight of loss that we all feel is pressing in. When we are at the very place where loss is imminent or we are siOng in the wake of its devastaJon out strength seems to be literally drained out of us. Who do we turn to when our frail condiJon presents itself and we are leK lying there in exhausJon? We turn to Christ who bore the burden for us all. We turn to Christ because: He was pierced for our transgression and crushed for our iniquiJes; upon him was the chasJsement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed (Is 53:5). Where do we turn church? Our passage today presents Jesus as the answer. Mark describes Jesus as the one who never waivers in his commitment to carry the burden of sin for those who are to be saved by him. Those closest to him are asked to watch and pray but it is only Jesus who carries the full burden. He is the only one capable of carrying the burden. He is seen in the passage as moving forward in fulfilling the plan of redempJon. 1. He Knew (vv26-31) a. v26 “And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” This is where we pick up in our passage today. The upper room celebraJon of the Passover meal is concluding with a hymn. I am really looking forward to returning all together so we can once again liK up our voices in worship collecJvely. i. I want you to noJce here in the first verse aKer their Jme in the upper room concludes Mark describes a movement that takes place. They went out to the Mount of Olives. The movements in this passage are how we are going to work through the main points. This first movement describes how Jesus Knew what his followers were going to do. They were going to all fall away. Jesus knew what he would do – he would carry the sin burden of the world. b. v27 “And Jesus said to them, “You will all fall away, for it is wri=en, ‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be sca=ered.’” This is Jesus, the disciples’ leader. At dinner he said one would betray him - here on the Mount of Olives he says they will all fall away. He quotes Zechariah 13:7 in making this proclamaJon. He knew. Jesus knew what would happen. He knew what would have to happen. i. Without any hesitaJon he follows up this statement with another proclamaJon in v28 “But aEer I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.” 1. Jesus knew what needed to take place to fulfill all of Scripture – to carry out the Father’s plan of redempJon. He also knew that his disciples needed to hear the good news of his resurrecJon once again. Even though they would all fall away he would not abandon them but would meet with them again in Galilee. v28 is an undervalued message of future hope. By the way the disciples responded it is obvious they are not focused upon it but rather on the statement Jesus made about their falling away. So typical of us – focused on ourselves rather than on the promises of the Savior. a. v29 “Peter said to him, “Even though they all fall away, I will not.”” He says what they are all thinking. This good run we are having cannot possibly end in our denial of you – of our leaving of you nor can it end in your death. b. By no means is this the same scenario but how many of you in February of this year would have been able to say that we as a church would stop meeJng together on Sundays for worship service, that we would stop meeJng together for Men’s group, that we would stop having community group gatherings? But has any of this caught our Lord by surprise? What we see from the Bible is that He knew what his disciples were going to do. Just as he knew what was coming upon us with our response to the coronavirus. c. This begs another quesJon, was Jesus pleased that he was abandoned by his disciples? Is he content with us in our current state? d. So, what is the answer? Jesus is the answer. We turn to Jesus because Jesus goes before us. He suffered everything so as we suffer in our current context, we can look to him, we can turn to him, we can rely upon him for a beBer future. We can do this because he has redeemed us from our sin and what would have been our eternal fallenness had we not turned to him, had we not placed our faith in him. For this He has been raised up and has gone before us! e. Peter had to hear what was instore for him. c. v30 “And Jesus said to him, “Truly, I tell you, this very night, before the rooster crows twice, you will deny me three Jmes.”” I wouldn’t have wanted to hear Jesus say these words to me. Just like I struggle to understand how we are siOng apart from one another on this Lord’s Day. i. v31 ““If I must die with you, I will not deny you.” And they all said the same.” ii. They were more afraid of denying Christ than of dying. But Jesus knew. He knew that all that was wriBen must be fulfilled. Luke 24:24-27 1. Hearing Jesus proclaim “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!” Just reverberates in my soul. Here I have had the word of God at my fingerJps since I could read. It has been spoken to me before that and sJll know the chasJsement O foolish one – slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken is an accurate descripJon of me. 2. Luke 24:44-49 d. Jesus knew what his disciples would do. Jesus knew what he must do. He needed to be the one who would withstand the burden of sin because none other could. Only the perfect spotless Lamb of God could atone for the sins of the human race. Jesus knew Peter would deny him and in Luke’s account of this secJon we see that he gave addiJonal words that were meant to encourage his friend. Luke 22:31-32 ““Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might siE you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”” e. Church, Jesus knew Peter was his. Peter was his! Given to him by the Father. And he interceded on his behalf – contending for Peter in prayer. He is our intercessor as well. He prays for us as he prayed for Peter. He expects us to turn to him when we fail. He knows we will fail. He will not forsake us even when we forsake him because we belong to him. In our next secJon we will see more of his deep commitment to prayer. 2. He Knelt (vv32-41) a. v32 “And they went to a place called Gethsemane. And he said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”” This secJon begins with another movement whereas before Jesus went from the upper room to the Mount of Olives here from the Mount of Olives to a more specific locaJon of the garden of Gethsemane. We see that it is the Lord’s desire to go before the Father in prayer. This immense pressure is building upon him as the hour draws even nearer and his greatest comfort is to kneel before the Father in a Jme of prayer. i. vv33-34 “And he took with him Peter and James and John, and began to be greatly distressed and troubled. And he said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Remain here and watch.”” ii. He takes with him his closest disciples. They can see upon his face, hear in his voice, and even listen to his tesJmony that his soul is very sorrowful – even to death. 1. Jesus is not afraid of death but his soul is sorrowful even to death. His whole reason for joining humanity in the flesh is beginning to reach its climax. 2. All will fall away. The Father will turn his back on him. He will be uBerly alone bearing the sins of the world and absorbing the wrath of God. The extreme weight of his situaJon is crushing – that is our sin brothers and sisters – a crushing weight. Driving him to his knees – driving him to the ground. 3. This is a state that we cannot even truly fathom so we have to take the text as it states the condiJon of our Lord and we have to consider Christ’s passion with a renewed sense of intensity – the text demands it. “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death.” 4. As his closest friends hear this statement and as they listen to Jesus’ instrucJon to them – Remain here and watch. What exactly are they supposed to do? How are they to make sense of the situaJon? a. vv35-36 “And going a li=le farther, he fell on the ground and prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him. v36 And he said, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” b. This prayer was pleaded fervently with the Father and the prayer remained reverent to the Father and steadfast to the plan that had been in place from eterniJes past to redeem the lost. c. Jesus prays what we so oKen fail to pray – Yet not what I will, but what you will. It is our perpetual sin to make more of ourselves than we ought to and to make more of our will and our present Jme than we ought to. Yet here on the very eve of Jesus giving himself up as a ransom for many – in the agony of that hour – He prays that the Father’s will be done. He submiBed to the harshest suffering imaginable – he who knew no sin was to be saturated with our sin and separated from the Father. Two things that had never happened in all of eternity. i. Our Lord in his great sorrow removes himself from his Jme of prayer with the Father to come to his disciples. vv37-38 “And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, “Simon, are you asleep? Could you not watch one hour? v38 Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptaJon. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.”” ii. Church, here we see how closely we are linked to Jesus’ first disciples. We were not there with him in the garden of Gethsemane on the night of his betrayal but we are none the less his disciples. And we know in the reading and hearing of this statement made by Jesus here how true it is. We can idenJfy with the spirit is indeed willing but the flesh is weak. How oKen have you failed at something you were deeply commiBed to because of the weakness of your flesh? The one making the statement is who we must place our faith in. Not in our own will power – not in our own spirit but in Jesus Christ. He demonstrated perfecJon in every way. Hebrews 5:7-10 iii. Our Lord and Savior kneels in prayer. He called his disciples to watch and pray. He needed their support. They could not go to the cross to do what he must do but they could certainly support him in prayer. We have much to learn from this exhortaJon given to these disciples. J.C. Ryle “watch and pray.” We must watch like soldiers,—we are upon enemy’s ground. We must always be on our guard. We must fight a daily fight and war a daily warfare. The ChrisJan’s rest is yet to come. —We must pray without ceasing, regularly, habitually, carefully, and at stated Jmes. We must pray as well as watch, and watch as well as pray. Watching without praying is self-confidence and self-conceit. Praying without watching is enthusiasm and fanaJcism. The man who knows his own weakness, and knowing it both watches and prays, is the man that will be held up and not allowed to fall.” iv. When I read this descripJon, I felt it worth sharing. For me in knowing my weakness I know I have the tendency to watch without praying – always working to figure out the problem before me without giving adequate Jme to praying. Just as J.C. Ryle writes this leads to selfconfidence and self-conceit. In modern parlance an autonomy or selfreliance. v. But what are we learning about ourselves in this Jme of stay at home orders? At this Jme when we must be distanced from others if we are to obey the governor’s execuJve orders. Are we not learning that the exalted autonomous life is a lie? We are not designed to live in isolaJon but rather in relaJonship. We are not to live in fear of fellow image bearers of God but to be aBracted to fellow image bearers. We are to fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell (MaB. 10:28) the one who has this authority is the Lord Jesus. For nothing is outside of his control - he is the one who numbers our days. We are wrong to think we can save ourselves. I’m paraphrasing John Piper but in his liBle book Coronavirus and Christ he writes that as ChrisJans we are immortal unJl the exact moment God deems it necessary to bring us home to be with him. d. In our text this morning Jesus is preparing himself by spending Jme in prayer. v39 “And again he went away and prayed, saying the same words.” that means once again he pleaded “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” The hour was so near – he was in agony on our behalf and yet remained commiBed and submiBed to the praise of his glory. i. v40 “And again he came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were very heavy, and they did not know what to answer him.” Jesus wants to have the support of his friends during this agonizing spiritual baBle as he wages war against the weakness of the flesh he finds his friends overcome by their flesh. They don’t even know what to say. ii. I can relate to that. One Jme in basic Marine training, I was a Second Lieutenant in the Marine Corps, our company had been out in the cold in the field for the beBer part of a week and I was on an observaJon post. I had one other Lieutenant with me and we were on a 50% alert status. That meant one person had to be awake – alert. It was 0 degrees out. It was the middle of the night. I flat out fell asleep on my watch. No one was in danger – but I knew I failed to keep my watch. That night I was very aware of my weakness and if someone had asked me about my sleeping I wouldn’t have known how to answer either. e. v41a we read “And he came the third Jme and said to them, “Are you sJll sleeping and taking your rest?” i. Kneeling, He pleaded with the Father and the disciples succumbed to slumber. In essence, Jesus at this moment, is now fully taking on the burden that he was sent to carry. It is his alone. ii. v41b “It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners.” iii. Betrayed into the hands of sinners. By this acJon the final porJon of the redempJon plan is launched. This is why we can turn to him. On the night Jesus was betrayed his disciples all fled but they did not stay separated from the Master for long. The disciples turned fully to him aKer his resurrecJon - they were restored. They received the full measure of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and those who were there in the garden minus his betrayer gave the remainder of their earthly existence to promoJng Christ. They fully realized that he had liKed their burden – the one they would never be able to carry and so their faith went to Christ for salvaJon. We must do likewise, struggle as we do in this life, our faith in Christ is what brings us hope for a beBer future. 3. He Never Waivered (v42) a. v42 “Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.” He gave himself over, he laid down his life, no one took it from him, he freely gave it (Jn 10:18). I struggle to comprehend the perfect resolve of Jesus, he is fully God and is consistent in carrying out his covenant. Much like the Abrahamic covenant Ben reminded of us last week when God raJfied the promise made to Abraham by walking through the split in half carcasses by himself while Abraham was asleep (Gen 15:12). Jesus is ready to usher in the redempJve covenant through the giving of himself. Just as he spoke of at the table a few hours before. Rise, let us be going this is the now the hour – my blood, the blood of the covenant, is to be poured out for many (Mark 14:24)! Conclusion This passage, as is true for all of Scripture, is elevaJng Jesus and the monumental importance of prayer. In light of our current pandemic we have all had more Jme to think about our interacJons in the community. We have all had Jme to think about what it means to preserve life. As we study the book of Mark together our thinking and our acJons must be altered by what we see in our Savior. Here today we are reminded that the contagion of sin is far deadlier than the coronavirus and God has provided more than a cure in Jesus. Our longing for a leader who will take us to a beBer place has been saJsfied in Christ alone who poured out his blood. Our longing for someone to keep watch over us in our weakness has been met in Jesus. Therefore, dear friends, turn to Christ who bore the burden of sin for us all, and who gave himself that we might have eternal life with him! y l i m Fa Table Talk May 10, 2020 GOD’S TRUTH We turn to Christ who bore the burden of sin for us all! Family Discussion 1. What has been bothering you the most about the current coronavirus Key Verse pandemic? How have you been coping with what is called physical distancing and limited interactions with others? What do you see Jesus “No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to doing when he is at a time of take it up again. This charge I have spiritual desperation? received from my Father.” 2. Even when you are young and ready John 10:18, ESV to conquer the world - when every tree is to be climbed, every bike is to be ridden, and every ball is to be kicked or hit as far as possible – it TABLE READING doesn’t take long to realize you have limitations. Jesus gave a word to his disciples when they were succumbing to their limitations read about it and discuss together Mark 14:38. 3. Jesus was agonizing in the garden of Gethsemane over the burden he was to carry. You have most likely felt Lead your kids into God’s Word... 1. Mark 14:32-34; John 17:24 2. Mark 14:38; Hebrews 5:7-10 3. Mark 14:32-36; Luke 24:44-49; John 10:18 the weight of your own sin – what does it feel like when the ugliness of your sin comes to the surface? Jesus took all of your sin and everyone’s sin upon himself in order to atone for (pay for) the penalty of sin with his own body. What from this passage reminds you that Jesus takes your burden and bears it for you? “And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise. You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes. You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.” - Deuteronomy 6:6-9 (ESV)
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