Sunday, October 4, 2009

Mark's account of Jesus' death, 600 words or less.

Mark begins His account of Jesus’ death in chapter 14, with the woman who came and anointed His head with spikenard. When the disciples rebuked her for this apparent “waste” of money, Jesus defended her, saying “She hath done what she could: she is come aforehand to anoint my body to the burying. Verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached throughout the whole world, this also that she hath done shall be spoken of a memorial of her.” (Mark 14:8-9). This woman understood that Jesus would not long be with them, and chose to honor Him.
That night, Jesus met with the Twelve for what is now known as the Last Supper. At this Passover meal, Jesus predicted His betrayal by Judas (Mark 14:18), His impending death, (Mark 14:23), and the unfaithfulness of the Twelve (Mark 14:27). He instituted the ordinance of the sacrament, introducing it as “the blood of the new testament, which is shed for many,” (Mark 14:24), speaking of the new covenant to come with His death and Resurrection.
Then, Jesus walked with His disciples to Gethsemane, telling them to wait, while He prayed. He took with Him only Peter, James and John and, in Mark’s words, “began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy.” (Mark 14:33) He left His disciples and went on further, completely alone, saying “My soul is exceeding sorrowful unto death.” (Mark 14:34) He went forth, falling on the ground and praying, “Abba, Father, all things are possible unto thee; take away this cup from me: nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.” Returning, He found the three disciples sleeping, and, after rebuking them, told them to watch and pray. He left twice more, praying the same words, and both times, returning to find them asleep. Following Christ’s sufferings came His betrayal by one of the Twelve, Judas Iscariot, who with a kiss turned on His Lord and Master. As the multitude came to lead Jesus away, all His disciples “forsook Him, and fled,” leaving Him alone to face the ordeal that would follow. He was taken to the high priest and questioned, answering nothing except to declare His divinity. Later, Peter denied knowing Christ 3 times, in accordance with the Savior’s prophesy.
After being questioned by the chief priest, Christ was carried to Pilate, and again answered nothing to his questions, save to declare that He was the King of the Jews. Though Pilate found no fault with Jesus, he went with the crowd’s wishes, releasing Barabbas and sending Jesus to be crucified. Soldiers mocked Him, smiting and spitting on Him. Finally they took Him to Golgotha, where He was crucified between two thieves, with the superscription “The King of the Jews.” The scribes mocked Him, saying “He saved others; himself He cannot save” (Mark 15:30). At the ninth hour, Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” and then shortly after died. He was buried in the tomb of Joseph of Arimathea.
When the Sabbath ended, several women came to the tomb to anoint the body of Christ. They saw two angels there, who told them that Christ was risen and to tell the disciples. Soon after, Christ appeared to Mary Magdalene, and two disciples that He walked and talked with. He appeared to the Twelve, saying “Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned” (Mark 16:15-16).
Jesus lived. He died for us all. And He lives again.

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