Vs. 1, “Now the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread were only two days away, and the chief priests and the teachers of the law were looking for some sly way to arrest Jesus and kill him.” As Jesus and the disciples get ready to celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread (Passover), we are privy that a plot was amiss. Jesus’ last Passover meal would become the Last Supper (vs. 1-2). Like Matthew’s Gospel, Mark also records the anointing of Jesus by Mary in Bethany (vs. 3-9). Bear in mind, anointing is not placed chronologically for this happened the day before Jesus entered Jerusalem (Triumphant Entry). I preached on this a few months ago and it is a wonderful reminder of the sacrificial love she gave Jesus. This nard (perfume) was the equivalent of about $60,000 in our present day (at least in LA county where I live). Sadly, Judas Iscariot goes to the chief priests (vs. 10-11) and unknowingly fulfills prophesied scripture (Zechariah 11:12). The thirty pieces of silver were about four months wages (a price of a slave) which would be the equivalent of $20,000. As the disciples gather for the Passover supper, Jesus informs that He not only will be betrayed, but that the betrayer is one of them (vs. 17-21). It is here that Jesus calls out Judas, but the disciples were probably confused with what was going on. The Gospel of John (John 13:30) further sheds light and tells us that Judas left the supper that night to go prepare for the arrest. Jesus than instructs the disciples that the bread would signify His body (vs. 22). You may recall the Passover was commemorated when God delivered the Israelites from Egypt. Every home that had the lamb’s blood on the door, the Spirit of God would Passover that house and not kill the newborns. Jesus was the Passover lamb (I Corinthians 5:7). The cup (vs. 23-25) would signify the blood of Christ that would bring redemption to all. Upon leaving the upper room, they travel over to Gethsemane a garden near the Mount of Olives to pray (vs. 26). Sadly, Jesus predicts that not only was Judas a betrayer, but all of the other disciples will fall away and scatter (vs. 27-28). Led by Peter protests, Jesus informs Peter he will deny Him three times (vs. 30). It’s important also to note the others stated they too would not scatter (vs. 31). The prayers at the Gethsemane (vs. 32-42) are incredibly intense as we get insight to the struggle Jesus was having. He knew what He was about to face and it was going to be excruciating. Being beaten and dying by crucifixion was intense, but nothing compared to bearing the sins of all and having the Father turn His face from His son. The enemy’s temptation was strong for Satan and earlier he had tried to offer Jesus an easy way out (Matthew 4:8-9). Judas now comes to the garden knowing the Jesus and the disciples would have been there. He brings an angry mob ready to arrest Jesus (vs. 43-51). Jesus accepts, Peter overreacts and all disciples scatter. Caiaphas, the High Priest, broke even the Jewish laws by assembling a disgraceful trial at night and in his own home (53-65). They even concoct bringing false witnesses to contrive lies. They charge Jesus was blasphemy (speak contemptuously about God) and proceed to seek Jesus’ death. It’s important to note that capital punishment was only delivered by the Romans (they gave the Jews some power, but not on this). Additionally, blasphemy to the Romans was a not a legit reason for death. And lastly, upon Peter witnessing the trial and seeing Jesus beaten, proceeds to deny he knows Jesus (vs. 66-72).
Regarding application…A Future Hope. Vs. 62, “ I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” “A Future Hope” is the sermon series theme in the book of Ruth that started today (See Audio Sermon). And in our passage, we are reminded that even in the midst of Jesus’ crises and His disciples, that there would be a hope for the future! When I think about Jesus’ perspective, I can only imagine the weight of the whole world on His shoulders. The human emotion in me thinks about the anguish of knowing His disciples were going to have to suffer so much loss and fear. Yet, the storm of their crises would have to come. But, even in the midst of those turbulent times, the disciples would find courage and rise up to begin the church! Brothers and sisters, we must continue that hope for a better future. Certainly, we have the ultimate vision of Jesus of Jesus returning on the clouds of heaven. But, we also know that the promises of a better future can exist in our current life. I pray you will find hope this week in the endeavors of your life.