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Saving Faith Saves

SUFFERING KING: THE BOOK OF MARK:
Saving Faith Saves: Mark 10:32-34
Pastor John Weathersby
Sunday November 15, 2020

The cross is of FIRST importance.

Our tendency can be too yeah yeah, cross, it’s in songs, on steeple toppers, all over the Church building, it is in the logo of scripture mints; but how many of us dwell on the cross and the gospel message of Jesus. It is something that should temper our minds and calm us.

The cross and the resurrection reminds us the FINAL display of God’s command and purpose for this life. When we’re fearful – remembering that God used the sinful desires of the world to murder Jesus as rescue for our sin; raised His son again according to what He’d revealed in scripture and promised that same resurrection to those who would look on the cross’ message and savior for saving faith.

Mark 10:32–34
Jesus Foretells His Death a Third Time
32 And they were on the road, going up to Jerusalem, and Jesus was walking ahead of them. And they were amazed, and those who followed were afraid.

What we have is this scene with Jesus leading the way, fearful folks following him and up they go towards Jerusalem. The Jews of the day would always have referred to Jerusalem as up, the destination is considered spiritually elevated while bing also, elevated.

Mark is giving us a sense of the scene here- you can picture it. Up they go, lead from the front, almost forced by knowing if you didn’t follow you’d be alone.

They knew, in a sense, what waited in Jerusalem. Meaning they knew that this wasn’t going to include a warm welcome and excited exceptions of Jesus – they’ knew this was bad – and the were afraid.

And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him, Jesus was walking ahead and they “were amazed” this is the same phrase that’s used in verse 24, when they were amazed at His teaching regarding the ability of the rich to inherit the kingdom of heaven, they were amazed, … lets get a sense of the scene:

John 11:16 (ESV)
16 So Thomas, called the Twin, said to his fellow disciples, “Let us also go, that we may die with him.”

Where were they going? To raise Lazarus, but this was the same place where the Jews caught to stone him:

John 11:8 (ESV)
8 The disciples said to him, “Rabbi, the Jews were just now seeking to stone you, and are you going there again?”

So Thomas called the twin said lets go, and we’ll just die with them, Thomas is the ear of the group, every group has one, oh bother…

Jesus is relentless though – so that’s the scene Jesus is pressing up towards Jerusalem where they simply want to kill him, he’s pressing on with purpose and with passion, they’re following from the back…

Look with me at Isaiah 50:5-8

Isaiah 50:5–8 (ESV)
5  The Lord God has opened my ear,
and I was not rebellious;
I turned not backward.
6  I gave my back to those who strike,
and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard;
I hid not my face
from disgrace and spitting.
7  But the Lord God helps me;
therefore I have not been disgraced;
therefore I have set my face like a flint,
and I know that I shall not be put to shame.
8  He who vindicates me is near.
Who will contend with me?
Let us stand up together.
Who is my adversary?
Let him come near to me.

Jesus’ motivation was heavenly; as he marched up the road to Jerusalem, disciples know where they were going, other followers fearful – he had a purpose from God consider Hebrews 12:1-2 such an encouraging passage:

Hebrews 12:1–2 (ESV)
Jesus, Founder and Perfecter of Our Faith
1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,
2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.

This is key, the joy before Jesus was so exceedingly glorious; the cross was no obstacle.

Lets read 32b again:

32b And taking the twelve again, he began to tell them what was to happen to him,

Hang on this with me, again. Mark tells us he took them, again. Words matter.

Church, this is Jesus THIRD TIME pulling the 12 aside and telling them about this journey to the cross – chapter 8 after the apostles confessed he was the Christ, chapter 9 after casing the unclean spirit from a boy and now here towards the end of Chapter 10. Luke’s telling of these events reveal to us, they don’t quite get it here either.

33 saying, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles.
34 And they will mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”

Passover was close by. Jesus who IS the personification the full realization of the Passover lamb is nearing the temple where sacrifice for torment of sin is given; Jesus was on his way to be that final forgiveness – Again to Isaiah:

Isaiah 53:4–6 (ESV)
4  Surely he has borne our griefs
and carried our sorrows;
yet we esteemed him stricken,
smitten by God, and afflicted.
5  But he was pierced for our transgressions;
he was crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace,
and with his wounds we are healed.
6  All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the Lord has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.

I want you to look at this scene again, and maybe you can tell I’m captured here by verse 32 – on the way to the cross to endure the full wrath of God against the sins of God’s elect on His flesh, face set like flint UP to Jerusalem, though we’ve got like sheep astray he’ll not be distracted ready to bare of griefs and carry our sorrow.

And we, stand in peril. Here is where I think we’re in great danger:

2 Timothy 4:10, I’ve been captured by this text all week thanks to Pastor John Nicholas:

2 Timothy 4:10 (ESV)
10 For Demas, in love with this present world, has deserted me and gone to Thessalonica. Crescens has gone to Galatia, Titus to Dalmatia.

Demas, in love with this present world.

Jesus set his face on the will of God, in direct opposition to the world. No concern with the worlds shame, taking this fearful group up to dangers door step, and once, and finally demonstrating God’s provision, God’s power, and God’s victory – through death to life.

This was how it was always going to be.

Luke 24:25–27 (ESV)
25 And he said to them, “O foolish ones, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken!
26 Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into his glory?”
27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning himself.

This is the ultimate remedy – our world is torn and fractured, people want to fix all those issues; have you ever been around while someone has cancer and hospice is helping them die with dignity and kindness – wetting that person’s mouth to give them relief from the discomfort as their body is shutting down. So much of what we’re tempted to do for injustice in this life is to the symptoms and exclusion of the cure – we’re so earthly minded we’re of no heavenly good – we think temporally and in worldly ways forgetting that our future and our treasure isn’t here.

Should we care while we’re here – resoundingly, yes. But should this life interpret how we understand God and change how we read scripture – no. God is truth, our minds should be transformed by the word, not the world. We should look to Jesus to lead from the front – not us in the back finding new direction that isn’t Jesus aim, face set like flint end the end which is the beginning – Saving Faith Saves. It saves us from death and hell, and in this life it saves us from purposelessness, from lostness it gives us a peace that surpasses all understanding because we know that God is the conqueror, that Jesus is savior, and that the Spirit resides in believers and works all things according to God’s own will.

I’ll leave us with this thought for the week:

1 Corinthians 15:3–4 (ESV)
3 For I delivered to you as of first importance what I also received: that Christ died for our sins in accordance with the Scriptures,
4 that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day in accordance with the Scriptures,

This Gospel of the cross of Christ is of FIRST importance.

Pray, Observe, Apply.

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