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Summary: As we reflect on our own experiences with personal rejection we understand and share in the suffering of Christ.

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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.

Introduction

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.


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