Summary: As we reflect on our own experiences with personal rejection we understand and share in the suffering of Christ.
Title: The Cross of Rejection… Hurting with Jesus!
Text: Mark 14:27-46
Thesis: As we reflect on our own experience with personal rejection we share in and understand the suffering of Christ.
Series Key Verse: Philippians 3:10-11
I want to know Christ and experience the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in His suffering, becoming like Him in His death, and so somehow, to attain the resurrection from the dead.
I wonder if Peyton Manning felt a little bit rejected when Colts team owner, Jim Irsay, released him rather than pay him a twenty eight million dollar bonus. There were obviously health factors but the fact is, the Colts organization is looking to rebuild their team and hoping to do so by acquiring Sanford quarterback, Andrew Luck, who just happens to be the number one draft pick this year. The Colts will draft Andrew Luck on April 26 this year. Peyton Manning is out and Andrew Luck is in!
Manning was a class act about it. At the news conference he said, “Nothing lasts forever. Times change, circumstances change, and that’s the reality of playing in the NFL.
We all know it’s just business. Peyton Manning knows it’s just business. But being released so a team can replace the old horse and draft a new young Colt feels personal.
I know we don’t need to feel too bad for Peyton Manning. He certainly landed on his feet with his new ninety-six million dollar contract with the Broncos. I suspect landing a new contract pretty much off-sets any rejection he might have felt from the Colts organization.
Who hasn’t experienced rejection? Been laid-off? Turned down for a loan? Gotten a “Dear John” letter? Been “voted off the island?” Been the bachelorette who did not get a rose? Wasn’t picked for a team? Cheated on? Ignored? Double-crossed? Snubbed?
This morning I want to note the contrast between Jesus’ Palm Sunday (Mark 11:1-10) and Garden of Gethsemane experiences. Jesus initially was received as the coming king. But the coming King notoriety wore off pretty quickly and within the week Jesus was betrayed, denied and ultimately rejected just a few days later. It is a curious thing to be so wildly and wholly embraced by so many only to see that infatuation fade until even one of his closest followers betrayed him and finally, perhaps his closest friend, denied knowing him.
This scenario should not and does not surprise us. People can really be fickle. In sports we roll out the red carpet for a new quarterback and if he disappoints us, out with the old and in with the new.
This morning the children processed down the aisle with palm branches marking the triumphal entry of Jesus as he descended the Mount of Olives and entered the gate of Jerusalem. The bible says the people scattered their coats on the road ahead of Jesus while others cut leafy branches from the fields and spread them along the way. And as Jesus passed the crowd was shouting, “”Praise God! Bless the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Bless the coming kingdom of our ancestor David! Praise God in highest heaven!” Mark 11:8-10 But Thursday was coming.
As we unpack our text today we will get a rather sad insight into the extent of desertion and rejection Jesus would feel.
Jesus initially experienced the public rejection of his best friend.
I. Jesus experienced the denial of perhaps his best friend.
Jesus said, “Peter, the truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows thrice, you will deny me three times.” Mark 14:27-31 (14:66-72)
In the storyline of our text, Jesus and his disciples had just celebrated the Lord’s Supper and had gone out to the Mount of Olives. The conversation must have seemed strange, but then much of what Jesus was saying in those last days before going to the cross seemed odd. Jesus simply said, “All of you will desert me, for the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ But after I am raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Mark 14:27-28
Peter did not respond to the reference to his death and resurrection but he did get very defensive about the accusation that he would desert Jesus. Peter just blurted out, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I never will.” “You can count on me, Jesus!” Mark 14:29
But Jesus knew better. Jesus knew and stated, “The truth is, this very night, before the rooster crows twice you will deny me three times.” Mark 14:30
Of course Peter immediately raised the ante declaring, “No! Not even if I have to die with you! I will never deny you!” And the others vowed the same. Mark 14:31