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THEE WORD FOR THE WEEK

Fearless Silence Mark 15:1-47 (Focal Passage: Mark 15:1-15) August 8-12, 2011

Monday Read Mark 15.1-5: Unbroken Devotion This passage is full of hypocrisy. Jesus disappointed the crowds since He refused to lead a revolution against Rome with the sword. However, hypocritically, they bring Him to Pilate with the accusation of being a political revolutionary! The chief priests were disappointed with Jesus. They wanted an immediate victory. Have you ever been disappointed with Jesus? What does this passage say about disappointment with Jesus? The chief priests disappointment led them to try to do away with Jesus. They did this by hypocritically accusing Him of false accusations. How do we react when we are disappointed by Jesus? Jesus silence during this time (with the exception of His one cryptic comment) shows us how to react to hypocrisy and false accusations. Have you ever been falsely accused? How does Jesus example show us to fearlessly face trials? (see Mark 13:11; 14:36) Tuesday Read Mark 15:6-15: The Crowd & Barabbas Barabbas, though guilty, gets freed by Pilate based on the request of the crowd, while Jesus, though innocent, gets execution. Throughout the Gospel of Mark Jesus has distinguished between the crowd and His disciples. The crowd really likes Jesus, but never makes a faith response to Jesus. Jesus has compassion on the crowd but wants them to become committed followers. Jesus did not want to attract a crowd, but rather He wanted faithful followers. Do you identify more with the crowd or with the disciples? In the end, the crowd is the one who screams out, Crucify Him! to Pilate. The crowd is completely blind to the truth, wanting the death of the innocent and the release of the guilty. How are we also blind to the truth of Jesus Christ? Take a moment and realize how much you have in common with Barabbas. You and he are both guilty. You and he are both deserving punishment. But you and he both were released. And Jesus took the punishment that both you and he deserved. Wednesday Read Mark 15:16-20: Ironic Homage The Roman soldiers ironically are doing the things that one ought to do to Jesus: treating Him like a King. However, they do it out of a spirit of mockery, not sincerity. In 5.1-20, we see a Jesus with immense power. Contrast that with the Jesus we see in this passage. What does that tell us about Jesus? What does that tell us about real power? How does it make you feel that Jesus knows what its like to be punished for a crime He didnt commit? What difference does this make in your life when we suffer? How does it make you feel to read about how these soldiers treated our Lord? What does it make you appreciate about our Lord? Thursday Read Mark 15:21-32: The Crucifixion of the King In this passage dripping with irony, Jesus is brought to Golgatha, crucified, and ridiculed. Jesus underwent extreme humiliation for us. We are called as His followers to return the favor. There are times when we must endure humiliation. What does Jesus example teach us about how to do this? Through thick irony, Mark is telling us that Jesus actually is the King of the Jews. What would it look like in your life, home, work, etc. if Jesus was truly the King over it? What kind of a King would allow Himself to be killed for His rebellious people? Friday Read Mark 15:33-41: The Death of the King Jesus feels abandoned by His Father, is ridiculed once more, and breathed His last. Stop for a moment and reflect on the only words of Jesus on the cross recorded in Marks Gospel. Have you ever felt forsaken by God? How does it make you feel to know that Jesus can identify with the feeling of abandonment? In the lowest moment of Jesus earthly life He was quoting Scripture. How do you think you would react in the same situation? In verses 40-41, Mark tells us about the women who courageously watched from a distance. They ironically stand in contrast to the chosen 12 Apostles who fearfully abandoned Jesus. The example of these women encourages us to courageously stand with Jesus. Will you identify with these courageous women or with the fearful apostle when trouble comes?