Friday, October 14, 2011

Mark 15 – 16:8 Crucifixion and Resurrection

Hello Project Ezra!  This week we will be reading from Mark 15 and 16, covering the trial, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  In the outline, we will be focusing on a few different areas, including the reality of Christ’s humanity and deity, the purpose for which Christ died and the purposefulness behind it, and, of course, what was accomplished through His death and resurrection.  It is so easy for the world, and often for those raised in the church as well, to think of the passages such as this one simply as stories, with an almost mythical, storybook feel to them.  It is vital that we treat and present everything is God’s word history, and that those hearing us understand the type of claim that we are making.  This is not simply our opinion, or A truth.  It is THE truth, or it is nothing.  Opinions, regardless of how sincere they are, are only as solid as the foundation on which they are built.  And there is no true foundation outside of the word of God and the deity of Christ.  Jesus did not leave any room for questions regarding this.  He claimed to be the way, the truth, and the life, and that no one could come to God apart from Him.  Either this is true, or it is not.  If it is false, it doesn’t matter.  If it is true, nothing matters more.
All for His glory,

Introduce yourself, and tell people about Project Ezra (why you are doing what you are doing)

READ MARK 15 – 16:8

It is likely that if you are hearing my words today, that you have already heard the story of Jesus.

But the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ is more than just a story.  It is the center-point of history.

Those in the time of Christ did not believe because it was convenient and comforting.  Very often it was neither.

Christ’s followers believed and followed because they knew these stories to be true.

The apostle Peter said they did not follow cleverly devised myths, but were eyewitnesses to Christ’s majesty

The apostle John spoke of the things they had seen with their eyes, had looked upon, and had touched with their hands

More than that, Paul said “If we only have hope in this life, we are of all people most to be pitied.”

The Jesus the apostles believed in, and the Jesus we believe in is not just a nice idea, or a helpful world view to follow, but a real man.

But He was more than just a real man.  The Bible says He was God in human flesh

John 1 says that in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.  And the Word became flesh, and lived among us.

It is important they we understand the significance of this.

Jesus Christ, the Word, the Son of God and God the Son, became a man and walked the earth.

The creator of all that exists chose to humble Himself, and lived among His creation.

But Jesus did not come to earth just to entertain Himself, or to try something new.  He came here with a purpose.

God has a purpose for all that He does.  Jesus did not live by accident, and He did not die by accident.  He knew exactly what would happen to Him when He came to earth

Jesus told His disciples of His imminent death and resurrection numerous times, though they didn’t understand what He meant.

In Matthew 20 Jesus said “The Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and scribes, and they will condemn him to death and deliver him over to the Gentiles to be mocked and flogged and crucified, and 
he will be raised on the third day."  He knew exactly what was going to happen

But prior to the crucifixion he was threatened with death many other times and simply walked away

When and where He died was exactly according to God’s plan

Jesus was betrayed by a friend, arrested by the leaders of His own people, though He had done no wrong, and was condemned to death by the ruling authorities of His day.

But the Jewish leaders and the Romans were not the primary cause of Christ’s death.  The primary case was man’s sin

Every one of us has sinned.  Sin is the breaking of God’s law, in thought, word, or deed. 

Every one of us has done those things God has forbidden, and has failed to do the things God has commanded.

Take a moment to look at God’s law, the 10 Commandments, and you will see that this is true.

Have you ever told a lie?  All of us have.  We often consider lying a small sin, but God says all liars will have their part in the lake of fire

Have you ever stolen anything, regardless of the value?  The Bible says no thief will inherit the Kingdom of God

Have you looked with lust?  Jesus said anyone who looks with lust has committed adultery in their heart. 

You may think that since you have not committed a serious crime, such as murder, that God will simply forgive you.  But His word says that anyone who hates his brother is a murderer, and no murderer has eternal life in him.

It also says that anyone who is keeps the whole law and fails at one point is accountable for all of it.

In truth, if God is holy and perfect, and if He is a just judge who must punish sin, than all of us are worthy of His punishment

And because God is a good and just God, he will insure that all sin is punished completely, in a place called hell


We all deserve to die.  But because of Jesus sacrifice on the cross, we don’t have to

We all deserve to have God’s wrath, and His righteous anger, poured out on us for our sin

But on the cross, that anger and wrath was poured out on Christ

The Bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins

And the good news, the best news you will ever hear is this:  Jesus shed His blood for you!

On the cross Jesus shed His blood, so we wouldn’t have to shed ours.

He paid our fine.  He took our punishment so that our death sentence could be commuted, and so we could go free.

The end of His earthly life was the beginning of ours, if we have put our trust in Him.

Not everyone will end up in heaven.  Those who reject Jesus Christ will pay for their own sins in hell.  Only those who repent and trust in Christ will be saved.

Are you trusting in Him?  You must repent of your sins and trust in Christ, and in Him alone!

If you trust in yourself, your own worth, your good works, your religious ceremonies, or anything other than Christ’s sacrifice, you are without hope.

Hope can only be found in Christ’s death and resurrection.

So turn to Him today!  The Bible says God takes no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that they turn and live.

Today, while God has graciously given you time, repent, or turn from your sin, and put your faith in Jesus Christ alone.

When you do, God will transform you.  He will change your heart and your desires, so you will be able to and will want to follow Him

And there is no greater joy than having the privilege of serving and following Jesus Christ.

Turn to Christ today, and be saved!  Turn to Christ and live!


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