New Testament in 6 months – day 39

12 Jul

Mark 15:26-16:20
The written notice of the charge against him read: ‘the king of the jews.’ They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!” In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him. At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”–which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Jesus saw where he was laid.
When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, “Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?” But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed. “Don’t be alarmed,” he said. “You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.’ ” Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.” After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

A couple of weeks ago I led a Bible study on Revelation 8 and 9. In those chapters we read about judgement coming upon the world and how various plagues are set upon the world as part of that judgement. However, at the end of chapter 9 it says this:
The rest of mankind that were not killed by these plagues still did not repent of the work of their hands; they did not stop worshiping demons, and idols of gold, silver, bronze, stone and wood–idols that cannot see or hear or walk. Nor did they repent of their murders, their magic arts, their sexual immorality or their thefts.
Even in the face of overwhelming proof of both the existence of the 1 true God and of His judgement of their sins against Him, they still refuse to repent.
At the beginning of today’s passage we see the Pharisees saying:
“Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.”
And yet, when Jesus cast demons out of a man in Matthew 12 the Pharisees declare:
But when the Pharisees heard this, they said, “It is only by Beelzebub, the prince of demons, that this fellow drives out demons.”
And this is perhaps the saddest part of the entire crucifixion. The very people that Jesus came to no only reject Him but would even cast doubt on who sent Him no matter what He might do to show who He was.

And so often we see the same response from those who don’t believe. They declare that if they receive proof, such as Jesus appearing before them or God fixing all the problems of the world then they would believe. But the Bible tells us that many will still not believe even with undeniable proof. People’s hearts and minds are so often closed off to the truth and so when it is presented to them they still cannot accept it, no matter how eloquently we argue.

At the end of the Bible study I encouraged everyone to pray for at least 1 person they knew who isn’t a Christian, but I think the task is more than just praying that we might have a chance to share the Good News. Our prayer should be that they would be open to that message. That they would be willing to change their opinion, rather than deny the truth a chance to change them.
The Western World prides itself on being open to discussion and debate, but when it comes to God so often we find that people are as closed-minded as the Pharisees or the people at the end of Revelation 9. I pray for this to change, because it is only when people are open to changing their views that us sharing the Gospel will have an impact.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Archbishop Cranmer

Musings, rants and mumblings about stuff. Some of it might actually make sense!

The days

Lover of life, Jesus, dogs, R&B and hiphop, dancing, travelling and exploration. Roamer, foodie, servant of God, reading geek, type one diabetic, singer, Greek mythology enthusiast. Peace-keeper, light-giver, student nurse, elderly carer, baby obsessed, vegetarian.

little happenings

my little wonderments that make a bigger picture

broken cameras & gustav klimt

Danny Webster's adventure in faith and failure

chriskidd.co.uk

children's & youth ministry // faith // sport // youth culture

Ray Skudder

Random Thoughts About Many Things!!!

Talkingoutofyourbott's Blog

Just another WordPress.com site

Jeremy Fletcher's Blog

Heathside musings

%d bloggers like this: