Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Mark Chapter 14

This chapter brings us face-to-face with the consequences of Jesus’s Identity and Mission. Remember we talked about Jesus’s constant movement, his progression to this point: His Passion and Death. This is the fulfillment of his Mission and it will be the ultimate revelation of His Identity.

The chapter included symbolic actions that reveal the nature and meaning of his suffering and death. In vv. 3-9, he is anointed by a woman (perhaps St. Mary Magdalen). This anointing prefigures the anointing of his dead body which was a common practice in ancient culture. Secondly, in vv. 22-26, he celebrates the Last Supper with his Apostles. This supper prefigures, and institutions for us, the Eucharist. His body, blessed and broken, beaten and crucified, now present in the Bread that is blessed and broken and given to us to consume as Eucharist. Thirdly, the Agony in the Garden in vv. 32-42, reveals to us Jesus’s intimate communion with his Father in Heaven. A communion that all of us are invited to share in through prayer and Eucharist.

Then the shift: vv. 43-65 present the fulfillment of the prophesies contained in the Old Testament. The prophecies about the Messiah, the Suffering Servant of the Prophet Isaiah, who would suffer at the hand of his people, and yet for his people, and would ultimately reign triumphant.

The arrest and sham trial of Jesus are so pregnant with meaning that it would take forever to discuss them even in general detail. Suffice it here to say that there is much to pray with. 

The chapter closes with Peter’s denial of Jesus (vv. 66-72).  Again, this is the point to which Jesus has been moving since his began.  Ultimately, his journey will end on Calvary, but his Passion begins with his arrest.  And this leads us to our point for prayer.

Point for Prayer
We have journeyed with Jesus from Capernaum where he began his ministry to this point, in the Garden of Gethsemane. It will get worse for Him before it gets better.  What does this speak to your heart? The fact that Jesus purposefully did what he did and said what he said knowing that it would lead to his death.  What does this tell us about Jesus? What does it tell us about ourselves? What does it tell us about a God who wants to love us?

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