Pastor Bill West (March 29, 2020)
Betrayed with a Kiss
Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders. Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. The men seized Jesus and arrested him. Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear. “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me?” (Mark 14:43-48)
Deserted by His Friends
Then everyone deserted him and fled. A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, he fled naked, leaving his garment behind. (Mark 14:50–52)
Denied by Peter
Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.” (Mark 14:29)
Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept. (Mark 14:72)
Condemned by the Religious
“I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.” The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?” They all condemned him as worthy of death. Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophecy!” And the guards took him and beat him. (Mark 14:62–65)
Delivered to the Cross
“What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. “Crucify him!” they shouted. “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified. (Mark 15:12–15)
Mocked by Many
It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. They crucified two rebels 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 Messiah, 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. (Mark 15:25–32)
Abandoned by God
At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema 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.” Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, 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, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:33–39)
Jesus Chose Loneliness so that We Would Never Be Alone
God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)
And surely, I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” (Hebrews 13:5)
Small Groups Talk About It
- In light of the social distancing that we are experiencing now, what is it that you miss most about being with people? What is one thing you would do if you were able to get with people? In what ways, if any, is social distancing affecting you? Affecting your family? Affecting your closest relationships?
- As you think of Judas, Peter and the other disciples, which of them would you say that you are or have been the most like?
- Read Mark 14:50-52: What were the disciples feeling at this moment? What do you think Jesus would have been feeling?
- Read Mark 14:60-65: What do you think it would have been like for Jesus to face this group alone and to be rejected and condemned by your own people?
- Read Mark 15:25-32: Why were these different groups all mocking Jesus? How hard would it have been for you to endure this? Why did Jesus choose not to come down when He could have so easily?
- Read Mark 15: 33-39: Of all the pain Jesus was experiencing, why was this the pain He cried out about? Why did God forsake Jesus? Why did Jesus choose this loneliness? What does his choice say to us during this time of isolation from others?
- Read Matthew 28:20 and Hebrews 13:5: What one truth can we cling to, even during times of separation from people and feelings of loneliness?
- Is there any person in your life that you should reach out to this week? How might we help each other this week?
- Pray for each other.