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Palm Sunday
Light of Christ Anglican Church
The Rev. Jeffrey O. Cerar, March 29, 2015


Introduction to the Passion of St. Mark


Text: Mark 14:1-15:47

1. Introduction: We are stepping into the most sacred week in the Christian year.

a. Holy Week: the week of Jesus’ passion and death and burial, culminating in the resurrection on Easter.
b. We observe Holy Week in ways that go back to earliest Christian times.

i. Today’s service has a very distinctive shape.

1. Jesus’ triumphal entry
2. The arrest and trial
3. The Crucifixion

ii. Why it is such a roller coaster.

c. As we go into Holy Week, we will reenact:

i. The Last Supper on Maundy Thursday
ii. And the Passion on Good Friday
iii. And then on Easter we celebrate with unbridled joy.

d. Today we will dramatize the Passion of Jesus Christ in a way done in ancient tradition.

i. The Gospel will be read.
ii. A narrator will take the part of the Gospel writer, Mark.
iii. People will take on roles of people involved in the story.
iv. There will be parts where it calls for the crowd.

1. That is all of us.
2. There is also a point at which we will stand in silent respect.

2. I’m not going to preach after the Gospel. Instead I’ll talk to you now about what to look for.

a. Jesus’ prayer

i. Suffering
ii. Reliance on the Father
iii. Obedience

b. The disciples’ human weakness

i. In the Garden of Gethsemane

1. Jesus’ repeated plea
2. Their inability to stay awake
3. Their need for Jesus

ii. Judas’ treachery
iii. Verse 50: Then everyone deserted Him and they fled.
iv. Peter’s denial

c. The injustice of the trial

i. False witnesses
ii. Pilate’s weakness as judge

d. The blindness – Unwillingness to accept that Jesus was God
e. The bloodlust
f. The cruelty

i. gratuitous
ii. self-superiority

g. The insolence

i. Contempt, lack of respect
ii. Spitting iii. Mocking
iv. Taunting

h. It is not our purpose to point the finger.

i. John 3:17
ii. Be the crowd.
iii. Understand what Jesus went through at the hands of human beings whom He loves

i. The power of God (15:33ff)
j. Listen for the one person who understood who Jesus was and proclaimed it.
k. The women’s faithfulness

3. Listen with your heart

a. God’s plan from the foundation of the earth
b. The depth of His love
c. The enormity of our need
d. Put yourself in the middle of that need.

4. Lenten Perspective

a. These past six weeks

i. A time of

1. Prayer
2. Penitence
3. Self-denial
4. Special study
5. Contemplation
6. Good deeds

ii. Have you drawn closer to Jesus?
iii. Have you become more aware of your need for Him?

b. As we enter Holy Week i. Go the rest of the way.

ii. Be willing to feel the pain over the tragedy that prompted the enormous sacrifice God has made.
iii. Surrender to the truth that you need Him to save you.
iv. Let God break your heart over the love He has displayed for you in the cross of Christ and the giving of His only Son to suffer and die for you.
v. This is when we prepare in earnest to be able to fully grasp and celebrate the joy of Easter when we get there next Sunday.

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