Christ the King: Rejected and Abandoned

mark on discipleship series

 

Listen to the sermon series here

Introduction

  • The series in Mark has highlighted the upside down nature of the kingdom of heaven -- the King gets crucified as a rebel, the Son gets abandoned and rejected by the Father.
  • In this last message of the series, we see how Christ's crucifixion, abandonment and death on the cross provides us with a way to God.

Jesus crucified (v.20b-32)

  • Death by crucifixion used to be reserved for non-Romans and this violent punishment was reserved for the worst criminals in society.
  • The cross was a symbol of shame. Therefore, it was unbelievable for the Jews that the King, the Son of God would suffer this punishment.
  • Till death, Jesus faced derision (v.29-32). He was called "King of the Jews" and "King of Israel" as taunts, but ironically, these were true.
  • In 1 Cor 1:22-25, Paul reminds us that the message of the cross and Jesus crucified is seen as a stumbling block and folly, but to those who believe, it is the power and wisdom of God.
  • For non-Christians, don't dismiss the claims of Jesus.
  • For Christians, persevere under persecution. Jesus, though he is King of all creation stayed up on the cross and endured and chose to be crucified to fulfill the will of the Father.

Jesus abandoned (v.33-36)

  • As Jesus hung on the cross, the skies darkened at noon (c.f. Amos 8:9). This was a sign of God's judgment.
  • On the cross, Jesus was forsaken and abandoned. He bore our sins therefore, God the Father, the holy judge could not be in intimacy with Jesus and had to turn his face away. His cries on the cross were similar to the Psalmist's words in Ps 22:1-2
  • Jesus submitted because He knew that all was not lost. Like in Ps 22:27-28, he was confident and affirmed God's final rule over the nations.

Jesus given to death (v.37-39)

  • His death was not the end but the beginning.
  • The curtain of the temple, which separated the holy of holies, was torn in two (v.38). This signified that access to God was now made possible for all, because of Jesus' death on the cross.
  • Mark also records the confession of the centurion who witnessed everything (v.39). Jesus' death brought about salvation.

Response

  • Let us change our heart's affection and discretion.
  • Let us confess Christ as God and King, remembering that confession is different from profession. Confession involves the outward proclamation, as well as living it out.
  • Let us follow Christ as God and King. Practically, this could mean following Christ's example on the cross and meditating on Scripture constantly. We could also love others within the church, and also outside of it.

Let us seek to follow Christ and bring all of life under His rule. Because of His crucifixion on the cross, we have the way to God.