Summary: First in a 12 part series examining THE most important week in all of history: The Passion Week, when Jesus fulfilled Mark 10:45. First up, The Servant Arrives: He Is King. We see The Person, The Presentation, The Purpose & The Prerogative of this King.
The Passion Week of Christ: A Study from the Book of Mark
Week 1:The Servant Arrives - He Is King
I. Opening Illustration
A. Any of you read a good book recently, perhaps a NY Times Bestseller? How about this, what would you say is THE most important book you've ever read? How about THE most important book ever written in the history of man, of the world? Bible? But it's 66 Books. Gospel? But there's four of them...
B. Barclay says "It would be possible to argue that of them all [synoptic gospels] Mark is the most important. It would indeed be possible to go further and to argue that it is the most important book in the world." How? #1 Earliest - 1st life of Jesus to come down to us. #2 Closest - 12 disciples --> inner circle --> Peter the leader = source of the book of Mark - nearest approach we will ever possess for eyewitness account of life of Jesus.
II. Introduction to Sermon Series
A. So if Mark is arguably the most important book in the world, What about this - what was the most important week in the world? THE PASSION WEEK, when as Mark records, God's Suffering Servant "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many"! Without it, we meet in vain this AM and as Paul wrote if in Christ, and that one week, we have hope in this life only, we are of all people most to be pitied! The Nelson Study Bible calls Mark: "A Passion story with a long introduction." In fact, 1/3 of the Gospel = passion account. So the most important book in the history of the world and of man spends one third of its volume to recount the most important week in the history of the world and of man. I think we should stand up and take notice, don't you?! So, for the next 12 weeks, we are going to examine this Passion Week of Christ, the week that God's Suffering Servant "came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many." I know it may seem strange to preach in February a message that normally is only done on Palm Sunday. But if Mark spends 1/3 of his Gospel and John spends 1/2 of his Gospel on The Passion Week, do we do it justice to preach it 2 Sundays only? No! So we are going to examine this greatest of all weeks in detail, 12 weeks in three parts: The Servant Arrives, The Servant Suffers, The Servant Finishes. First up, The Servant Arrives: He Is King. This AM, we are going to look at The Person, The Presentation, The Purpose and the Perogative of This King.
III. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Stand with me to honor the reading of God's Word. Read Mark 11:1-11.
B. Pray - Father, teach us what you would from that glorious day when your Son, our Passover Lamb, made His Triumphal Entry into Jerusalem.
IV. Context, Context, Context (Read & Discuss Mark 11:1)
A. In Mark 10:46-52, Jesus healed blind Bartimaeus as He left Jericho. It is the time for the Passover festival, and so Jesus and His disciples have just made the journey from Jericho to Jerusalem. From a harmony of the Gospels, we know that Jesus and His disciples actually made it to Bethany on Saturday where they stayed each night, likely at the home of Martha, Mary and Lazarus. Now Sunday sometime, Jesus and the disciples make their way to Jerusalem from Bethany having passed through the village of Bethpage. Both villages sat on the eastern slope of the Mount of Olives. The elevation at this point is about 2600 feet - from which one has a breathtaking view of the Holy City.
B. Passover was one of three pilgrimage festivals in Jewish life and in fact was THE biggest! It was one that by Biblical law was a holy obligation incumbent upon both men and women alike, unlike the other festival offerings which were only obligatory upon the men. Furthermore, those who did not participate in the Passover offering faced a very severe penalty: the Biblical penalty of karet, literally "to be cut off," which some interpret to mean premature death. Clearly, all who had the ability made certain to be among those who arrived in Jerusalem for Passover. Thus people from ALL over the Empire went to Jerusalem on Passover - Josephus writing in 65 AD said the population of the city swelled to "not less than 3 millions."
C. There were certain things required of you as a Jew if you wanted to go to the Temple. You had to eat the Passover lamb in a state of purity. Thus, all Jews went through a period of purification starting a week beforehand. So this day, Sunday, hundreds of thousands to millions of Jews would have flowed in an endless stream into Jerusalem. People weren't the only thing overflowing the city - national pride, joy and Messianic expectations were as well.