June 25, 2017
Servant King – Week 23 – He took our isolation
Servant King – Week 23 – He took our isolation
Last week we had an amazing service surrounded by the “First Supper” communion. If you missed it I am sorry, but you missed out on an amazing time. Amen? Well as we closed up that message we saw Jesus declare the fact that one of them would betray Him. Today we will be looking more closely at that betrayal but also the fact that not only Judas but all the disciples will run away.
As we begin today I want to ask you a question? Have you ever felt isolated? Alone? Abandoned? Forsaken? There is no other feeling as intense and scary as this. In fact one of the most scary forms of discipline in prison is Solitary confinement.
The isolation of solitary confinement can cause anguish, provoke serious mental and physical health problems. Solitary confinement can worsen both short- and long-term psychological and physical problems or make it more likely that such problems will develop. Many interviews described how their placement in solitary confinement exacerbated the stresses of being in jail or prison. Many spoke of harming themselves, having hallucinations, losing touch with reality, and having thoughts of or attempting suicide.
As well as severe and damaging psychological effects, solitary confinement manifests physiologically as well. Solitary confinement has been reported to cause hypertension, headaches and migraines, profuse sweating, dizziness, and heart palpitations. Many inmates also experience extreme weight loss due to digestion complications and abdominal pain. Many of these symptoms are due to the intense anxiety and sensory deprivation.
Isolation is deadly spiritually as well. Many times Christians find themselves isolated and drawn away from vital relationship in the church that God has intended for them to grow and develop to be fully devoted disciples of Christ. The enemy uses isolation to keep us from experiencing all God would have for us to grow in. In fact it says in I Pet 5:8 that the Devil is like a roaring lion. Science tells us that one of the reasons a lion roars right before he attacks is to freeze his prey. When one of them freezes it creates an isolation and he can pick them off. That is one of the reasons one of the core values I believe we should have in this church is a commitment to healthy relational connections.
The title today is “HE TOOK OUR ISOLATION”, Jesus in this passage experiences isolation like many of us could never imagine, but the reason He did that was so we never have to. As we sang the songs this morning, you might have picked up the themes of the nearness of God. The fact that He desires fellowship and intimacy with us. Lets press in to that desire today as we look at Mark 14:27-72
27 “You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written:
“‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ (Zechariah 13:7)
28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”
I will go ahead of you (I will meet you)
29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”
30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”
31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.
Pride of Peter – intentions are good, but flesh is week
All the others said the same thing
32 They went to a place called Gethsemane, and Jesus said to his disciples, “Sit here while I pray.”
Place of the Oil Press
Pressed, crushed, rung out.
33 He took Peter, James and John along with him, and he began to be deeply distressed and troubled. 34 “My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death,” he said to them. “Stay here and keep watch.”
Hard decision. Overwhelmed to the point of death? That is when we are to reach out, not run away.
35 Going a little farther, He fell to the ground and prayed that if possible the hour might pass from Him. 36 “Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”
ABBA FATHER – Press into your relationship with Him He is a Good Good Father. Jesus was the first to ever use this term in reference to God. He truly made a new way for us to relate to our father.
37 Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Simon,” he said to Peter, “are you asleep? Couldn’t you keep watch for one hour? 38 Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.”
Interesting since this is Peters account how he remembers Jesus calling Him by name, Notice Jesus uses his given name not his nickname. It is kind of how your mom used to use your full name when you were in trouble. “Rodney Allen Kesselring!”
Notice Jesus corrects them about something he just told them not more than week earlier. Be Watchful! How often does this happen to us. The very lesson we learned last week in church is swept away and we don’t even remember how important it is. Why does this happen? Jesus tells us 2 reasons.
First is we have a real enemy that brings temptation into our lives. This is an important fact to not forget. We have a real enemy and he is at work in our lives and the lives of those around us. We need to be on guard for complacency. It is one of his major tools.
Second is we are not living in the power of the Spirit. Instead we are trying to live in the power of the flesh. Jesus reminds us that the flesh (not the fleshly nature) is week when it comes to the things of God. Try all me might, determination of will does not mean spiritual success. That only comes through the commitment to letting the Holy Spirit take complete control.
39 Once more he went away and prayed the same thing. 40 When he came back, he again found them sleeping, because their eyes were heavy. They did not know what to say to him.
Can you picture the scene? He goes wakes them up and then He goes back to praying (the same prayer) they fall asleep again! That encourages me. Jesus does not love them any less. I am sure He is frustrated by now He is having one of the worst nights of His life. We are told that He was sweating drops of blood.
Hematidrosis is a rare, but very real, medical condition where one’s sweat will contain blood. The sweat glands are surrounded by tiny blood vessels. These vessels can constrict and then dilate to the point of rupture where the blood will then effuse into the sweat glands. Its cause—extreme anguish.
41 Returning the third time, he said to them, “Are you still sleeping and resting? Enough! The hour has come. Look, the Son of Man is delivered into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise! Let us go! Here comes my betrayer!”
I can almost see the scene. As many times as I read this I see the anger of Jesus flare up and he yells this at His disciples. but that is not what the text says. It says HE said to them. Like some of you I have been know to have a quick temper and to lash out in frustration and anger at others. This is not something I am proud of but it is part of my nature that I strive to keep in control of the Holy Spirit. Jesus has just told His disciples that “The Spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak”. So while my anger and frustration with the disciples could very much have been real. I think Jesus was in full control.
If you struggle with anger or frustration let me just tell you, God can help you control that. He is working it in me and He can do it in you as well.
43 Just as he was speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, appeared. With him was a crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the elders.
44 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him and lead him away under guard.” 45 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Rabbi!” and kissed him. 46 The men seized Jesus and arrested him. 47 Then one of those standing near drew his sword and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.
We are told that the one drawing the sword was Peter. I love how Peter mentions this but doesn’t put his name on it. Most scolars think that Peter does not name himself not becuase of shame but for the protetion of the church.
48 “Am I leading a rebellion,” said Jesus, “that you have come out with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled.” 50 Then everyone deserted him and fled.
Jesus calls out the improper timing.
Everyone deserted Him and fled, His isolation is complete on an earthly level
51 A young man, wearing nothing but a linen garment, was following Jesus. When they seized him, 52 he fled naked, leaving his garment behind.
John Mark the writer of the the book?
53 They took Jesus to the high priest, and all the chief priests, the elders and the teachers of the law came together. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. There he sat with the guards and warmed himself at the fire.
Peter follows at a distance, can you imagine the pain of this to Jesus. The one who not but few minutes earlier pledging his undying allegiance to Jesus, was now hiding in the shadows following at a distance and not will to stand with Him when it was most needed.
55 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for evidence against Jesus so that they could put him to death, but they did not find any. 56 Many testified falsely against him, but their statements did not agree.
57 Then some stood up and gave this false testimony against him: 58 “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple made with human hands and in three days will build another, not made with hands.’” 59 Yet even then their testimony did not agree.
Here we see the sovereign grace of God over the situation that no testimony could stick. They could not find Him guilty but they will continue with this path anyway. I find it funny that no 2 stories would agree even on things He would say they still would get it wrong.
60 Then the high priest stood up before them and asked Jesus, “Are you not going to answer? What is this testimony that these men are bringing against you?” 61 But Jesus remained silent and gave no answer.
This is an important truth, sometimes the best defense is no defense at all. Especially when it is a baseless accusation. I have found this true too many time to count.
Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?”
62 “I am,” said Jesus. “And you will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One and coming on the clouds of heaven.”
63 The high priest tore his clothes. “Why do we need any more witnesses?” he asked. 64 “You have heard the blasphemy. What do you think?”
They all condemned him as worthy of death. 65 Then some began to spit at him; they blindfolded him, struck him with their fists, and said, “Prophesy!” And the guards took him and beat him.
Jesus finally and unequivocally proclaims He is the Messiah. When He responds he uses the phrase I AM! He speaks the words that God used to proclaim He was God to moses from the burning bush. Then He tells them that they will see Him sitting at the right hand of power coming from the clouds of heaven.
This was the final evidence they needed. They all heard it no one need to testify anymore. Jesus serves Himself up on a silver platter. The Servant King performs his last act of service by giving up His life to these men in order to purchase their guilt.
66 While Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came by. 67 When she saw Peter warming himself, she looked closely at him.
“You also were with that Nazarene, Jesus,” she said.
68 But he denied it. “I don’t know or understand what you’re talking about,” he said, and went out into the entryway.
69 When the servant girl saw him there, she said again to those standing around, “This fellow is one of them.” 70 Again he denied it.
After a little while, those standing near said to Peter, “Surely you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.”
71 He began to call down curses, and he swore to them, “I don’t know this man you’re talking about.”
72 Immediately the rooster crowed the second time. Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.
Interestingly enough in the book of Luke it tells us that Jesus could see Peter. When Peter would deny Jesus the third time, Jesus look directly at Peter and Jesus felt the weight of the isolation He must bear going to the cross. Here is the truth for today. Jesus TOOK OUR ISOLATION so we could receive the promise, I will be with you always, I will never leave you or forsake you. No matter what we go through in life, the pain the stress, the feeling that we are alone. Jesus took our isolation so we will never be alone. That is what the church is about. One of the saddest things I find as a pastor is when I see those who are struggling and going through hard times, they isolate themselves from the Church. The very gift God has given us to walk together in community. If you are struggling don’t let the enemy isolate you. Press in to Jesus and His body.
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