The Gospel of Mark – Part 30
Easter – The Power of the Resurrection – Mark 8:31-9:1
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – April 12th, 2020
- This week we are returning to our series in the Gospel of Mark as we celebrate Easter together! The good news is that even when we are separate during this time, we are together in the Spirit.
- The passage we are turning to this morning is Mark 8:31 – 9:1. This passage comes directly on the heels of the passage where the disciple Peter recognized and declared the true identity of Jesus in saying, “You are the Christ.”
- You would think that following this eternity-splitting, revelatory statement, things would get better for those following Jesus and easier for Jesus himself. Wasn’t His main mission for people to know that He was indeed the Son of God? Wasn’t the purpose for His appearing for people to understand who God was so they could listen and come to Him. Wasn’t that the point? So now after people realized this, Jesus could go home? Or was there something else that Jesus came to do?
- From our text this morning we will see the true mission of the Son, what He came to do and what He calls us to. In understanding this passage, you will know the central mission of the Son, what the Gospel is, what we are to do in response and where the kingdom of God truly comes in power.
The Mission of the Son
Mark 8:31-33 ESV
And he began to teach them that the Son of Man must suffer many things and be rejected by the elders and the chief priests and the scribes and be killed, and after three days rise again. 32 And he said this plainly. And Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. 33 But turning and seeing his disciples, he rebuked Peter and said, “Get behind me, Satan! For you are not setting your mind on the things of God, but on the things of man.”
- Now this is an incredible conversation! Peter just declared the Jesus was the Christ and then moments later after Jesus told Him what was going to happen to Him, Peter rebukes Jesus. He knew that Jesus was God, but then He thought He knew better than God, that he needed to confront and correct Him on the plan. And Jesus turned and saw His disciples, and then rebuked Peter by telling him to, “get behind me, Satan!” In one brief moment, Peter goes from being a “hero” to a “zero.” From being on top of the mountain, to being crushed by it. Talk about a turn of events!
- What caused this reaction from Christ? Jesus told them what He had to do, that He was to suffer many things, that He would be rejected by the leaders of the people, that He was going to be killed and after three days rise again. This is what “must” be done. This was the will of the Father; this is what He came to do. He did not come to be recognized, He did not come to be an example, He did not come to be famous teacher and healer. The reason He came was to “seek and save the lost.” The reason He came, was not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
Luke 19:10 ESV
For the Son of Man came to seek and to save the lost.
Matt 20:28 ESV
The Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.
- This was the reason that Jesus came. This was His primary mission. In order to accomplish His mission, He had to suffer many things, He had to be rejected, He had to be killed and He had to rise again. So why did He have to do this for the lost to be saved? Couldn’t it be accomplished another way? Like a less painful way, an easier way? The answer to that question is “no” it could not be accomplished any other way. So why was this the only way?
- First, the wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23), and all have sinned and have fallen short of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). There is no one that is righteous, not even one (Rom. 3:10). We have together become worthless (Rom. 3:12) and by nature are “children of wrath” because we have carried out the desires of the body and the mind and have lived by the passions of our flesh (Eph. 2:3). Each one of us has deliberately broken the laws of God, and in doing so, we are lawbreakers who must be brought to justice for God’s righteousness to be upheld. God, who is perfect, God, who is righteous, God, who is just, must condemn the guilty and give to them what is due them according to His glory and perfection. We have been lost in our sin, and we have been lost to our sin. And the Son of Man came to seek us.
- In order for Him to save us from the righteous wrath due us from a just God, Jesus had to live fully as a man, fully as one of us, but completely without sin, completely in righteousness without fault and without fail. Jesus had to live perfect, He had to be perfect in order to satisfy the justice of a perfect, righteous and glorious God by receiving that wrath that was due us for our sins. In order to save us, in order to deliver us from the wrath to come (I Thess. 1:10), Jesus had to suffer many things, He had to be rejected, He had to be killed. For our sake, God made Jesus to be sin who knew so sin, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.
2 Cor 5:21 ESV
For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 2:22-24 ESV
He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
- The only way to save us from our sins was to suffer for our sin, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. Because He was wounded, we have been made whole. And whoever believes in Him, whoever applies His blood to the doorpost of their life, death will not have the victory, they will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). In order for Jesus to achieve His mission, this was the way He had to go.
- But Peter tried to dissuade Jesus, he “rebuked” Jesus by tempting Jesus using the same reasoning of Satan; to grab His crown without the cross, to establish His kingdom by condemning His subjects, by reaping the reward of His perfection without the suffering and rejection. And Jesus in turn rebuked Peter, telling him to “get behind me,” that He does not follow Peter and the ways of men, but Peter must follow Him in the ways of God.
- Jesus then instructed them in the ways of God, which is the way of the cross.
The Way of the Cross
Mark 8:34-38 ESV
And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me. 35 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake and the gospel’s will save it. 36 For what does it profit a man to gain the whole world and forfeit his soul? 37 For what can a man give in return for his soul? 38 For whoever is ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him will the Son of Man also be ashamed when he comes in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.”
- Jesus gathered the crowd and His disciples and then said to them, “If you want to follow Me, then you have to walk as I did. You have to deny the temptation to indulge your sinful nature, you have to kill your sinful nature, walk in My way and follow Me. If you really want to save your life, then you must lose your life for My sake and the sake of the gospel. But you can choose to not deny yourself and not follow Me, but what good will that do you once you die and face judgment, even if you gain the whole world, if you get everything you ever wanted, all the pleasures, all the possession, all the popularity, all the power that you wanted and then lose you soul, how will these thing benefit you then? What could you give in return for your soul?”
- “If you are ashamed of Me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, I will be ashamed of you when I come in the glory of the Father at the final judgement.” Why would people be ashamed of Jesus and His words? Because His words run in direct conflict with the thinking of the world and if we side with Jesus and His word, we will suffer at the hands of the world. The world says, “You are good;” Jesus said, “You are evil” (Matt. 15:19). The world says, “Live your own truth;” Jesus says, “I am the truth” (John 14:6). The world says, “There are many ways to God;” Jesus says, “I am the way, that no one comes to the Father, except through me” (John 14:6). The world says, “Live for today;” Jesus says, “Live for eternity” (Luke 6:22-23). Saving your life now will result in losing it at the end and losing your life now will result in saving it at the end. You have a choice to make: you can choose to follow your own path, which seems good for the present but will end horribly. Or you can choose to follow the way of the cross, which seems bad for the present but will end gloriously (Matt. 7:13-14). And this can only be true because of the power of the resurrection.
The Power of the Resurrection
Mark 9:1 ESV
And he said to them, “Truly, I say to you, there are some standing here who will not taste death until they see the kingdom of God after it has come with power.”
- The Kingdom of God was established, started and was brought on by the power of God, through the Spirit of God, in the resurrection of the Son of God. Because He suffered in many ways, because He was rejected, because He was killed as one who was perfectly righteous and without sin, who gave Himself to take the punishment of our sin and wrongdoing, God the Father, after three days brought Him back to life in a resurrected body that will never die. Because He lives, and we are in Him and He is in us, we will live eternally (I Cor. 15:52-56). His Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom (Rev. 22:5) and we are the citizens of the Kingdom of God that has come in power through the resurrection of Jesus from the dead. In this you can greatly rejoice!
- If you have not given your life to Christ, I urge you to do so today. The Spirit urges you to do so today. Let today, this Easter, be the day that you receive new life in Christ. Commit your life and your heart to Him, commit to following Him in the way of Cross, lose your life for Him and the Gospel so that you may gain your life for eternity.
- If you are a Christian, then:
1 Cor 15:58 ESV
Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.
- Christ has risen, He has risen indeed!