“He Protects His Own” (Mark 14:43-52

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I. Introduction. A. Orientation. Have you ever struggled With whether you will make it to heaven someday? It’s nice to hear about it, To know it’s there, That the Lord will bless Those He brings there forever. But what good is all this to you If you don’t know you’re going to be there. How can you know?

First, if you haven’t trusted Jesus That’s where you need to begin. I just want to encourage you who haven’t That you must not keep putting this off. If you don’t receive Jesus as your Savior, You may very well die And suffer forever. If you want to escape the judgment That is due to you for your sins And go to heaven,

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You must look to Jesus in faith, You must turn away from your sins, And you must follow/obey Him. Next to this, nothing else really matters.

Of course, we all know by now That it’s also possible to have trusted Him And still not know you’re going to heaven. How can these things Bring you any comfort in this world If you don’t know? They can’t!

How can you know? There’s really two ways.

The first, you’re very familiar with. You can know through your personal experience: By the fact that you love God, That you love His Son Jesus Christ, That you have embraced Him as your Savior, That you are turning from all your sins And following Him, That you are living for Him,

3 For His glory and pleasure, Rather than for your own.

If these things are true of you, You really are on your way to heaven. You can know you will be there When you die – And let’s not forget, We are all going to die someday. What a great blessing it is To know that you have an eternal home – A perfect world full of perfect love – Waiting for you.

B. Preview. The other way you can know Is to know the work necessary to get you there Has been completed: the work Jesus did. If the Father hadn’t sent Him, If Jesus hadn’t offered Himself As a sacrifice for sin, You couldn’t be saved. It wouldn’t matter What you thought or felt about yourself,

4 You would still be on your way to judgment.

That’s what the Bible is all about – What God did through His Son to save you. When we read the Bible – especially the Gospels – We are reading about something That has everything to do with you: These are the eyewitness accounts of what Jesus did to save you.

This morning, we’re coming To one of the most important parts of that work – Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, The payment He made for our sins That forever frees us from God’s wrath.

Here we see two things That have to do not only With what He did to save you, But what He continues to do To ensure that you will make it to heaven: 1. First, that He gave Himself over into the hands of sinners to save you. 2. And second, what He did – and continues to do – to protect those who are His. II. Sermon. A. First, we see Him give Himself over into the hands of sinners. While Jesus was still mildly reproving His disciples

5 For their failure to watch and pray as they should, Judas arrived with those who were to arrest Him, According to his earlier agreement With the chief priests and elders.

Since the men who came with him Didn’t know what Jesus looked like, Judas singled Him out by greeting Him with a kiss. This was not only hypocritical on Judas’ part – Using a sign of affection to betray Jesus – The fact they were arresting Him Under these circumstances was also hypocritical. He had been teaching publicly in the Temple every day Where they easily could have taken Him. But they didn’t Because their leaders were afraid the people would riot, Bringing the Romans down on them, And so lose their privileged position.

There’s a couple of things we should see About this so-called “arrest.”

The first is that Jesus knew they were coming. He could easily have gotten away, But He stayed.

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He had already decided That He would drink the cup The Father was giving Him, Rather than preserve His own life. He gave Himself to them.

Second, when the soldiers finally seized Jesus, He said something that made it even more obvious That this was what He was doing. When they tried to take Him Peter drew his sword And cut the ear off the high priest’s servant. Not only did Jesus tell Peter To put his sword back in its sheath And heal the servant’s ear, He also said to Peter, “Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father, and He will at once put at My disposal more than twelve legions of angels? How then will the Scriptures be fulfilled, which say that it must happen this way?” (Matt. 26:53-54). Jesus could have called on those angels to save Him. He didn’t have to give Himself up. But He did that He might save us According to Scripture – According to what His Father had planned. It was God’s plan that He be handed over

7 To the Jews by one of His own. David writes, “For it is not an enemy who reproaches me, then I could bear it; nor is it one who hates me who has exalted himself against me, then I could hide myself from him. But it is you, a man my equal, my companion and my familiar friend” (Ps. 55:12-13). “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread, has lifted up his heel against me” (Ps. 41:9). But the reason He did, was for us. And Isaiah writes, “But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; the chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed” (53:5).

The first thing Jesus did To protect us from God’s wrath Was to go willingly to judgment. If He hadn’t done this, Heaven wouldn’t be possible. All we would have to look forward to would be hell For endless stretches of time.

If you’re a believer here this morning, Make sure you appreciate what He has done, And that you give Him What He wants from you in return: Your life.

If you’re a believer this morning Remember also that your unbelieving neighbors

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Are on their way to hell. You can help them escape, By telling them about what Jesus has done And praying for them.

If you’re not a believer this morning, Remember this is the only way You can be saved. The Father would never have sacrificed His Son If He was intending to let you Come into heaven any other way. This is the only way: You must turn from your sins And trust Jesus to save you, Or you will perish.

B. But second, Jesus does more Than protect your soul, He also protects your body/life.

The Shepherd was now being struck And the sheep were about to be scattered – They didn’t stand with Him, But fell away, as He said they would

9 Since they didn’t watch and pray.

But notice they weren’t arrested And led away to execution with Jesus. Jesus protected them.

First, when they came He asked whom they were seeking. When they told Him, Jesus of Nazareth, And Jesus answered, “I am He,” They drew back and fell to the ground (John 18:6). This wasn’t the earliest and only example Of being slain in the Spirit – As some professing Christians believe – It was an example of Jesus’ power To show them who was really in control.

Secondly, Jesus asked them, “Whom do you seek?” They answered, “Jesus the Nazarene.” Then Jesus said to them, “I told you that I am He; so if you seek Me, let these go their way” (vv. 7-8). If it’s Me you’re after Let these leave in peace (v. 8). He reasoned with the soldiers

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That they should let His disciples go To protect them.

Finally, after Peter drew his sword And cut off the ear of the high priest’s slave, Jesus healed the man Further to demonstrate His authority – That He was the One in control.

Because of these things – And perhaps some Providential intervention – The soldiers didn’t chase after the disciples When they fled.

This is seen perhaps even more clearly By what Mark recorded next: “A young man was following Him, wearing nothing but a linen sheet over his naked body; and they seized him. But he pulled free of the linen sheet and escaped naked” (vv. 51-52). Who was this young man? We really don’t know. Mark doesn’t tell us.

But because Mark is the only one who records this, Some believe it was Mark himself. Whether it was or not, At least this much is true:

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These soldiers were intent On arresting anyone who followed Jesus, And yet all the disciples escaped. John tells us that Jesus protected them “To fulfill the word which He spoke, ‘Of those whom You have given Me I lost not one” (v. 9).

Jesus does the same for you. He has been exalted to the right hand of the Father And now rules and overrules all things For your good and His glory. That’s why you’re here. That’s why you have survived from birth to the present, Why your life has been spared another week to see this day. Why you will eventually make it to heaven. It’s not luck, but the Lord’s providential care. The psalmist writes, “I will lift up my eyes to the mountains; from whence shall my help come? My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth. He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel will neither slumber nor sleep” (Ps. 121:1-4). As we read in our call to worship, “It is He who delivers you from the snare of the trapper and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with His pinions, and under His wings you may seek refuge; His faithfulness is a shield and bulwark. You will not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day; of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, or of the destruction that lays waste at noon. A thousand may fall at your side and ten thousand at your right hand, but it shall not approach you” (Ps. 91:3-7). Your Lord will protect you

12 As long as you are in this world; And when your work here is done, He will bring you home.

This doesn’t mean, of course, That you won’t have to go through difficult times: All of us have already gone through things We wished we never had to. We might be going through some of these things right now.

If you have, or if you are now, Remember three things: 1. Things could always have been Much worse than they were/are. The reason these things don’t destroy you Is because of your Lord’s protection.

2. No matter how bad they were/are It’s not as bad as we deserve. We deserve hell, but He has given us heaven. We shouldn’t complain when He determines That some affliction would be good for us And for the kingdom, But learn to thank Him As we should in all things (1 Thes. 5:18).

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3. The Lord always has a good purpose In everything He brings us through. If you don’t see it yet, Someday you will: It’s always better for us That we are afflicted So that we will learn The Lord’s ways and do them (Ps. 119:67, 71). And don’t forget For every difficulty you must go through in life He will more than compensate you in heaven.

You have a great Shepherd Who loves you. He will never put you through any unnecessary grief, And He will be sure to watch over you Until you arrive safely in heaven. He sealed this promise With His own blood. That’s how sure this is. What a blessing it is to know That this is true. Amen.

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