When Jesus sat down in the Upper Room with his disciples in Mark 14:12-25, there was so much going on, and all of it was leading to and pointing to the cross. Yet also in the Last Supper we meet the very basis of the Lord’s Supper which also points to Him and to the cross.
Contrasts in the Bible abound. When Mary broke her alabaster jar of perfume over the feet of her Saviour, Judas was quick to criticise her actions. When one thief railed against Jesus, the other turned to Him and begged for salvation. When Jesus had his eyes set of his approraching death in Mark 10:32-45, James & John had their minds on other things. But…they will not be alone. Often, our eyes are on the wrong prize.
Mark records the occasion at Caesarea Philippi when Jesus asked his disciples, “Who do you say that I am?”. In response, Peter said to Jesus, “You are the Christ”. In response to Peter’s confession, Mark 8:31-9:1 tells how Jesus explained to the disciples what kind of Christ (Messiah) he had come to be, and from that moment, Jesus set His eyes upon the cross and took the road that went to it. The harder road. The one that would end in death for Him. But more than that, He called His disciples to take that very same road.
At our Annual Seafarer’s service, Commander Mike Oborn preached from Mark 4:35-41 concerning the calming of the storm. Mike looked at the passage from his vast experience at sea and so from the perspective of a mariner. In doing so he pointed out that what Mark recorded about the storm on the lake and the fear of the disciples in the boat were both plausible. So too the stilling of the storm by which Jesus showed the extent of His power over all of creation. The disciples responded to him with a mixture of awe and fear. Our response to him is vital when we consider how it is that we must face him on the day of judgement.
Rt Rev David Jones, Moderator General of the Presbyterian Church of Australia preached from Mark 8:27-38 highlighting the dramatic moment when Jesus posed a central question to his disciples, ‘Who do you say that I am?’ Peter’s answer ‘You are the Christ’ (Messiah) stands as one of the central confessions of the true Christian who will not only understand and believe in the importance of Jesus’ death but will also be willing to die to self every day and carry their own cross.