22nd May 2023
Read - Mark 10:32-34
Message Alan Burke
Have you ever seen the look on someones face when they know what lies ahead and what they face isn’t going to be a nice experience? We’ve all seen it, people with that look, that weight on them, it can be before they go in for a life changing operation and not knowing what the outcome will bring or when the news has come with a loss of a loved one, or on the grooms face when the bride is three minutes late. Ok I jest with the last one, normally that happens when the bride is forty minutes late. Here in Mark we are not told of the face of Jesus but we are told of the reaction of the disciples who we are told are astonished and the followers of Jesus were afraid.
Why, why are the disciples astonished, why are the followers afraid? Is it because of what Jesus has just taught about the cost of discipleship, is this what is going through their mind, filling them with astonishment and fear? You can look back to the engagement with the rich young man and what he had taught and see if that is it, although I think there is something much more going on here to cause this reaction in the disciples and followers of Jesus as they are making their way to Jerusalem with Jesus leading the way.
The reason for my concussion is because of what awaited Jesus and that would have been written all over his face as he went before them, taking another step closer each time to the cross that awaited. Isaiah’s prophecy in Isaiah 50 speaks of the coming of the Lord’s servant and there we are told… “But the Lord God helps me, therefore I have not been disgraced, therefore I have set my face like a flit and I know that I shall to be put to shame” (Is 50:7).
With his face like flint, with a resolute determination, Jesus was going towards Jerusalem to die and it was written all over his face that something was up, that he was carrying a weight as he went ahead of them. The disciples and followers knew not why, but Jesus knew he was going to suffer willingly and this servant of the Lord would not suffer disgrace instead he would be resurrected, declaring him to be the sinless son of God.
Jesus then predicts for the second time in Mark’s gospel his death to his disciples, telling them in much more detail what would happen, he would be betrayed, sentenced to death, mocked, spat on, and flogged and only after facing all of this would he be executed. But his death would not be the end, instead he would be resurrected. For while the disciples had not understood it yet this was the reason that Jesus had come. Why the son of Man had come was to die for the sins of many (10:45). Jesus was sentenced to death, mocked, spat on, and flogged and executed and while this was a horrible death it was no different to many others throughout the ages who died at the hands of the Romans, what makes the death of Jesus significant is what he bore on our behalf while on the cross. Jesus there became sin for us, he bore the full weight of the wrath of God for sin so that we never have to. No wonder the servant of the Lord’s face was like flit as described in Isaiah for he went to the cross to die for the sins of many, rising, defeating death so that we might be justified by faith in him, through what he has done for us.
Q52 What are the reasons annexed to the second commandment?
The reasons annexed to the second commandment are, God’ s sovereignty over us, (Ps. 95:2–3) his propriety in us, (Ps. 45:11) and the zeal he hath to his own worship. (Exod. 34:13–14)