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March 30, 2021 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit begins the series entitled “Passion Week,” with a message titled “The Three ‘AMENS’ of The Last Supper,” from Mark 14:12-31.
Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville South Carolina today on The Daily Platform.
Dr. Steve Pettit, longtime evangelist and now president of Bob Jones University will preach a four-part series on passion week the week leading up to the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
The main events of Christ suffering are the Last Supper, the garden of Gethsemane. The trial of Jesus before Caiaphas and the crucifixion today. Steve Levison, the study of the Last Supper like you to take your Bibles and turn back with me if you will please to Mark's gospel were calling this fashion week because this is the week.
Historically that Christ suffered for us on the cross.
Without a doubt this is the most in my estimation the most important week of the Christian year calendar because I think Easter Sunday is the most important day in the calendar year of the believer. Each chapel service were going to look at some of the key events that led up to the crucifixion of the Lord, but is really all for our proper preparation of our hearts on this coming Sunday. Each message this week were going to miss as I mentioned, look at the main events of Christ's suffering. Today were going to look at the Last Supper and then tomorrow the garden of Gethsemane and then the trial of Jesus before Caiaphas and then finally the crucifixion of the Lord. So this morning I like to begin passion week with a dinner meal we call it the Last Supper, Jesus would have called it Pesach or Passover.
The author of this book.
Mark is writing this book to a very particular audience is always important to understand that he's writing to Christians living in the city of Rome who are undergoing persecute persecution from the Roman government and the Emperor named Nero in the book of Mark, there are basically two primary messages. The first message is the main message, and that that is this that Jesus is the son of God and ease the suffering servant of the Lord who was wounded for our transgressions of Jesus came to give his life a ransom for many.
The secondary message of the book of Mark is actually what it means to be a follower of Jesus. A disciple and Jesus lays it out very clearly in Mark chapter 8 verse 34 where he says this is what the disciples like he denies himself. He takes up his cross and he follows Jesus. The thing that we learned throughout the book of Mark is the disciples struggled with those requirements. Following Jesus, Mark's recording of the Last Supper actually is involving in three parts will see those parts this morning in each part. Jesus gives a prediction of prophecy and each prophecy begins with the same word we read it here. The King James, the word verily but in the in the Hebrew language is the word amen. So my message this morning is entitled the three a man's of the Last Supper, and as we look at this this passage of Scripture were looking at it as I said to Mark's eyes and who is writing to but also in the way in which he writes because Mark has it it's it's to me it's just fascinating is so cool that Mark uses these particular kind of styles of writing this is kind of variety of techniques that that sort of, but it it in inspire our desire to want to know more this morning were going to see one of his key techniques and that is what is called a marketing sandwich it's it's actually like a sandwich.
Mark uses is some 11 times throughout his gospel to effectively communicate specific truths of the gospel in the way it works is there's the first section and then there's 1/3 section, like two pieces of bread and there connected the first and the third. The center section actually is not necessarily connected to the first and third, what is the main message is it's the meat of the story and is through the center section that we interpret the first and the third so that's what is called a Mark and Sam so one of the first and third sections of this passage of Scripture we read it this morning and that is the first amen of this passage in it. Jesus predicts the betrayal of Judas, so he says verily I say and do you want to view which Edith with me shall betray me. The third section actually is another prediction and that is the denial of Peter so you see the two connections, one betrays the other denies in both sections. The first and the third we come away very disappointed disappointed that Jesus closest friends and followers proved to be unfaithful, but in that middle section. Mark contrasts the unfaithful disciples to the faithful Lord and we learned that in Jesus.
Our faithfulness is not really found in us. It is not our spring, but our faithfulness is found in him. So let's begin this morning with the first amen then opens in the evening with the with Jesus and his 12 disciples coming to a prepared meal. They called it Passover Pesach. The meal was held in the home of a woman named Mary. She's the mother of the gospel writer Mark.
That's where the Last Supper was held in verse 17 it says they made ready the Passover in the evening he comes with the 12 and they sat and they did eat so they it brings us into the Passover. So what what happened at a Passover meal. Perhaps you've done a Passover Seder or Passover meal.
Essentially the Passover was a family dinner, a family celebration and they celebrated the Jewish deliverance from Egypt where they were living in bondage. They are slaves and if you recall the story on Passover night the angel of death when the home a very a very family and took the life of the firstborn son are the firstborn animal with one exception, and that is if they took the lamb and killed it and shed his blood and put it on the door posts.
Then the angel would Passover and God said to the Jewish people. 3400 years ago. I want you every year on Pesach on Passover to remember to commemorate this meal to remember your redemption and for 3400 years the Jewish people of celebrated this meal so what happened during the meal with a meal was divided up into four parts, each part was concluded with the drinking of a cup of wine in the first part.
The meal begins with a blessing pronounced by the family leader, usually the father over the gate gathering during the second part of the youngest boy would ask the question why is this night different from any other nights and so the story is told usually is told by the father as he recounts the glorious marvelous deliverance of the Jewish people from the Egyptians and then in the third part, the father pronounces a benediction over the food. The food symbolized their bitter captivity in Egypt and the hardships of the blessings of the Exodus and at this time the family gas were invited then to eat the meal. It was a long meal. It was not 15 or 20 minute meal. It lasted all all the way into the late hours of the night and then near midnight. The fees would conclude where they would saying Psalm 116, the Psalm 118 and then they would drink the 4th cup of wine so Mark's account as we read this morning actually begins during the third part of the evening as they were already several hours into the meal so that when we go back and reread the passage of Scripture we read and in the evening he comes with the 12 and they sat and they did eat. So Mark's account is during this time and in the middle of the meal Jesus makes a shocking statement. He said I say unto you one of you who is eating with me is going to betray me.
That's a shocking statement but should it a bit.
Should the disciples have been surprised that Jesus said one of them would betray him. I think if you read the book of Mark, it should be no surprise to any of us that the disciples would betray or lease one of them would betray the Lord how do we know that because over and over. Jesus had announced to his disciples that he was going to Jerusalem to die three times Mark eight Mark nine and Mark 10 Jesus said to his disciples over and over. He's going to die and over and over, you know, we discover about the disciples they didn't grasp the reality of his death, it just didn't hit them that hard. Why because they had a misperception they they perceive that Jesus is the Messiah would be a conquering king, not a crucified Savior. Not only that, but they had their own personal self interest. They had skin in the game. They were following Jesus because of what they could personally gain from Jesus and how do we know that because after Jesus prophesied his death. Those three times over and over. The disciples express their own desire for either to promote themselves or to protect themselves in some market already tell is already told us that his disciples really weren't getting the message. He tells us in Mark eight do you not perceive or understand are your hearts hardened, having eyes, do you not see in having years. Do you not hear and do you not remember the point I want to make to all of us this morning is the disciples really didn't edit. They were very slow, and the failure is not a mental ability.
It's a spiritual issue because spirituality has to do with your motives. It has to do with your desires and intents and the disciples as they were following Jesus were hearing his message, but they were not embracing that they were not growing. They were not going forward and focus in the Christian life. You either go forward or you go backwards for many of you sitting here a student you hear the Scriptures all the time. But the greatest burden I have is that many of you, you don't seem to get it is not a mental issue. It's a hard issue is a spiritual issue.
It's your motives is your desires.
What's really important to you and so what we find in the gospel of Mark is something had to give something had to come to a head. So during the meal, Jesus makes his first prediction he says one of you are going to betray me with Jesus. There is no middle ground.
A disciple has to follow Jesus completely. It's all or nothing, which is that you have to follow him and Mark is been telling us that all kinds of people committed themselves to follow Jesus and they were unique like the maniac of Madera. The woman with the issue of bloodline Bart Emmaus, and these were like all outsiders, and they met Jesus, and they instantly began to follow him. What about the disciples the insiders Peter James and John. Those who had access to Jesus 24 seven. What a privilege they had got to be with Jesus. The gotta watch his life. They got to see his miracles got here is messages and over and over they saw what Jesus was doing and yet Jesus spoke about his sacrifice on the cross. They were blinded because of their own self-centered perception and perspective folks. Please understand, you can't follow Jesus. If you're not broken over your own self-centered pursuits in life when Jesus told his disciples that his followers had to deny themselves. It didn't connect and something had to give something has to give the bottle. He let me just say this to all of you. You can't follow Jesus of the distance. If you're not fully committed, something is going to give you can't keep going own like you are there has to be a breaking point and the reality is the breaking point already came before the Last Supper, you say, when did that take place. It took place in the home of Simon the leper, dear member the story. A woman comes in and anoints Jesus with some very expensive perfume your member the response of the disciples, they began to criticize this woman's expression extravagant waste of money on Jesus and then Jesus made a revealing statement. He says this woman is anointing my body for my burial. In other words, the woman knew that Jesus was going to die. And at that moment, I believe the first break came and that is the woman's actions in Jesus's words open the eyes of one disciple you know that disciple was it was Judas and Judas realized he saw that Jesus was going to die. The lights came own and Judas turned to the dark side.
At that moment he stopped trusting in Jesus. He turned away.
He became an apostate and Judas decided that it Jesus was going to die. Judas was not going to die with him.
And at that moment Judas reveals to the world why he was in the Jesus K.
He was in the game. What he could get. He was greedy for money so he betrays Jesus for what he really wanted 30 pieces of silver. So how did the disciples respond when they hear that one of them was a betrayer we read this morning they began to be sorrowful and say under him one by one, is it I this phrase is that I you can look at it in your Bible.
There, it's not a question it's actually a statement.
It's a process. They were saying, surely not me.
It's one of them said that James said He talked about me.
John said the same thing. Andrew Bartholomew and in the face of their own self-confidence. They could not see the perilous state of their own weakness. Folks are strength in Jesus is not failed in our self-confidence. That's where our weakness is because pride always tells you that you are stronger than you really think you are so who is the betrayer. Jesus identifies him. He tells us in verse 20. It is one of the 12 that depth with me in the dish, the one who dips the bread and the top with me. Wait a minute.
The irony of that statement is every body dip there, Brad. It's like having a ball of hummus and you take the hummus and you put it on your bread.
Everybody takes it out of the same bowl and the reality is becoming clear any disciple could be want. It could be the one who betrays Jesus your allies, sit anyone of us all of us sitting here always live on the edge.
If you want to say it that way of faithfulness or unfaithfulness. We are all responsible for our faith. It's a choice of your will and therefore we can all betray the Lord.
And so in verse 21 we stand between what seems to be two opposing truths the sovereignty of God in fulfilling his ordained purpose through Christ's betrayal and the responsibility of every man forced to God to fulfill his purpose.
God is good to do what he intends to do which you are still personally responsible. I sat down with all of my children as they were growing up and saying that no matter what you are all responsible and so what is Jesus say concerning the one who betrays him.
He says it was good for this man if he had never been born. Your thought about that. The en suite is kind of a confusing statement. Good word for that man if you never been born will. How could he not have been born. What did you have to do with your birth. Nobody here had a choice and being born but you do have a choice in what you do with Jesus and so Judas really betray the Lord that leads us to the second part of this meal and the second part that that a mark brings out the second. Amen. And these are the words of Jesus to his disciples before he concludes it and this is it's it's a whole heartbeat of the of the meal, and here we read beginning in verse 22 that they were eating and they took Brad and after what blessing it broke it and gave it to them. He said take this is my body. They took a cop and when he given thanks, he gave it to them said and they all drank of it and he said to them, this is the blood of this is my blood of the covenant which is poured out for many here Jesus gives his final prediction is not his first prediction is his final prediction he already predicted three times as I mentioned in chapter 8, nine intent is gonna die with the difference they are. The difference here is in those three chapters. He talked about the facts of his death, but here he talks about the meaning of his death. What's his death all about any identifies it in bread and wine.
He says the bread represents my body. The wine represents my blood. Together they words really represent my death that God is bringing into force a covenant that the promise of Ezekiel and Jeremiah. And in that covenant he would forgive us our sins, he would give us a relationship with God, we would have access to God and he will change our hearts. That's the new covenant and he said I'm going to bring into reality into force my new covenant is going to be through my death on the cross. And so Jesus becomes the fulfillment of the Passover with the bass are all about is about redemption is about deliverance it's about freedom from bondage. It's about. It's about being set free and not free through the blood of the Lamb.
And so the disciples sat there and they heard that message. What is the Bible say they did. It says they all drank of it. That is, they all embraced the body and the blood of Jesus.
However, right after this, Jesus says you're going to deny me, they would soon come to learn the lesson that all disciples have to learn. It's not an easy one alert and that is our faithfulness is not faithfulness is not failed in them. Faithfulness is found in him, folks are not faithful because you hold on your favor because Jesus holds on to you. That's the lesson they had to learn so at the heart of the gospel of Mark for these two main messages. The message of Jesus is suffering for our redemption. He came to be broken and die for us have been the secondary message. How would you how I would disciple follows Jesus like the Lord. We have to die to ourselves and follow him. However, the disciples had to learn the lesson and it didn't come until they miserably fail in all of my experience in working with people, especially those that are in ministry is been my observation that you never really become a faithful Christian until you miserably fail and we find that our support in our failures is found in our unfailing word and that leads me to the third and the final amen.
The disciples had been finished their meal, they began their walk out of the upper room to the Mount of olives is not that far.
It's it's it's maybe 1/2 a mile walk. Maybe, maybe up to a mile not there very far. They made their way out of the upper room and at this time Jesus makes 1/3 prediction, 1/3 amen and here Jesus predicts that all is disciples will fall away. We read in verse 26 and when they had sung a hymn, they went out into the Mount of olives. Jesus said in the them all. You shall be offended because of me this night, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered, but after that I'm risen, I will both go before you into Galilee, the model of discipleship.
As I mentioned Jesus it's all deny yourself, take up your cross, follow Jesus, but they're about to abandon that model there soon going to stumble and fall, and they're going to run away. Peter insists that he will not only not fall. He will never deny Jesus, he will die for Jesus, but we know that what Jesus predicts comes true.
And it did because Peter did not deny the Lord one time.
How many times to deny three times the disciples ran away as Jesus predicted, and we discover that after the arrest of Jesus.
You never hear from the disciples again and the rest of the book of Mark because they miserably failed, but instead of looking at the failure of the disciples I want to finish this morning by focusing on the prediction of Jesus he said in the midst of their failures in denial their denials. Jesus sounds a note of hope because everything Jesus is saying all this, this arrest this trial. All of this is within the framework of God's design. It's God's plan. He said you shall be offended because of me this night, for it is written, I will smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered. This is a quotation from Zechariah 13 seven smite the shepherd and the sheep scatter and here's what I want you to understand the disciples failure was God's design that makes sense to you, there failure was his plan that is so contrary to the way we actually think we actually think God's plan is for me to succeed but actually it's not God's plan for you and I is actually to fail in ourselves. Paul said it over and over when I'm weak he is. What strong he said there's no sufficiency in myself. Without him I can do what nothing but do you think you learned that Mia should question you been here so those of you the singers you been here for years.
If you learn the or you learned for years that is all up to you it all up to your strength in all of your power and actually you can't really do it. So you have to kind of fake it. Wear a mask like you got it all together. God doesn't use people that have altogether. God uses people that are broken. God uses broken things, and every single disciple had to come to this they had to miserably fail, but what do we know about Jesus when he sees scattered sheep. Your mom what he said. The Bible says he saw people as sheep scattered and he had compassion on them.
You see, your failures doesn't cause the Lord to reject you.
It actually cause them to exude compassion on you because he wants to be your shepherd. He's not going to abandon you. He will gather his scattered sheep and he will lead them. He will take them to Galilee and so the disciples are headed for God design failure and Jesus will see to it that they are restored. They fail in its in our failures that we see the Lord's compassion for us.
He loves us and what we see is compassion. It doesn't harden our heart. It breaks our heart over his love, and it leads us to a greater point of dependence. I have seen this happen in the lives of hundreds of people broken over their own failures, but finally to understand God loves them and their end and God is compassionate and they come and they depend upon his faithfulness in the hope of the disciples is seen in the reality that Jesus and his unfailing presence will always be with the ever failing disciples. In 1975 I was a sophomore in college I attended a conference in Atlanta, Georgia, and there were about 2500 college students that were there. A man got up and he spoke a message he said meant that they were the message was entitled, many aspire. If you attain any said this, he said within a couple of years. Many of you sitting in this room will not be walking faithfully with the Lord your here and you have a desire to follow the Lord. But you're not. So we gave a message basically own sense what you need to do what you need to do to follow the Lord. I wish I could say that I was I didn't have to say this but I'm going to say this because I really need say it, as it's it's a prediction and the prediction is this that many of you seniors graduating in two weeks will very soon after you graduate fall away from the Lord is going to happen.
And the reason why is going to happen is because you haven't learned the most essential lesson of being a follower Jesus that you have to deny yourself, take up your cross and follow him, but I want to say to all of you who are going to fail because you're going to fail that the Lord is compassionate because he wants you to come to him and recognize that without him. You can do nothing and so I think this is what Mark is trying to teach us because we see the betrayal and the denial and we see the faithfulness of the Lord and the Lord loves us. It's a matter of you will. You can choose to be broken, or you can go through the process and learn to be depended upon the Lord. I hope that you will learn because the cross is really the coronation service of the king. He died therefore we must die with him. Would you bow your head with me, please. As we pray Lord we thank you that your words are true, what you predicted and and Judas happened what you predicted and the disciples came to pass what you predicted. Lord in your resurrection. One day that we will in the kingdom. Sit down and drink with you as the disciples did in the upper room you are coming back.
We believe in the so Lord help us to know in the core of our soul that we are truly a follower of Jesus, not because were strong, not because we have might've power not because were faithful because your faithful because of your compassion as a shepherd towards a sheet. We pray these things in Jesus name, amen. You been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Steve Pettit from Bob Jones University in the gospel of Mark which is part of the study called passion week. Thanks again for listening.
Join us again tomorrow as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform