Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Jerusalem Road

Zechariah 3:1-10; Mark 10:32-34 / Psalm 22:1-31

I. The Followers Were Afraid

A. Jesus knew what would take place in Jerusalem; He kept nothing back from the twelve apostles. “And they were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them: and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And he took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto him,” (Mark 10:32)

B. Jesus was determined to go to Jerusalem and to tell the disciples what He expected to take place there. “And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he stedfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem,” (Luke 9:51)

C. Jesus did not pull punches; the disciples understood that He was predicting death in the Holy City. “Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him. (John 11:16)

D. The world cannot understand the great mysteries of God. “He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.” (Matthew 13:11)

II. Jesus Predicted He Would Be Betrayed

A. This was the third time Jesus had explained the coming events in Jerusalem. Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:” (Mark 10:33)

B. The first time Jesus unfolded the future, Peter stepped over the line and, in dismay and unbelief, rebuked Jesus. “And he began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. And he spake that saying openly. And Peter took him, and began to rebuke him.” (Mark 8:31-32)

C. The certainty with which Jesus spoke indicated the necessity for the substitutionary atonement; the terrifying week to come in Jerusalem would not be an accident or a pious example. “For he taught his disciples, and said unto them, The Son of man is delivered into the hands of men, and they shall kill him; and after that he is killed, he shall rise the third day.” (Mark 9:31)

D. Nothing escapes the God who states the end of matters from their beginning. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure:” (Isaiah 46:10)

E. There are no loose ends in the Bible; Scripture must be fulfilled.
“Then he took unto him the twelve, and said unto them, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished.” (Luke 18:31)

III. Jesus also Predicted the Resurrection

A. Jesus predicted that the most horrifying and the most amazing moments in history would take place in the space of three days. “And they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him: and the third day he shall rise again.” (Mark 10:34)

B. Christians entrust themselves to the God who raised Jesus from the dead; every other request a believer can make is small in comparison. “Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us,” (Ephesians 3:20)

C. People do horrifying deeds and pay incredible prices for worthless things while neglecting to seek eternal life, which is available simply for the asking. “Ye lust, and have not: ye kill, and desire to have, and cannot obtain: ye fight and war, yet ye have not, because ye ask not. (James 4:2)

D. The resurrection of which Christ speaks is only the first stage in the final restoration of all things; all things will be made ready for God. “But every man in his own order: Christ the firstfruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.” (1 Corinthians 15:23-24)

E. This doctrine of the resurrection transformed the ancient world and makes the Christian faith the most powerful intellectual force today; China is abandoning atheistic humanism for Calvinistic Christianity. “But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.” (Romans 8:11)

F. Believers can face anything when they grasp hold of the resurrection hope. “For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.” (Job 19:25-27)

G. Grasp this one thing and the rest will follow; believers do not walk the valley of the shadow of death alone. “We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts:” (2 Peter 1:19)

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