We like goals, don’t we? Goals help us labor with purpose; they give us something to aspire to and craft our lives around. But what happens when someone or something gets in the way of your goals? How do you respond? Join us this week as we continue our sermon series on the life of Jesus from the Gospel of Mark.
What makes the temptation of power so seemingly irresistible? Maybe it is that power offers an easy substitute for the hard task of love. It seems easier to be God than to love God, easier to control people than to love people, easier to own life than to love life.
All human nature vigorously resists grace because grace changes us and the change is painful.
7 He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
9 And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.
10 Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him;
he has put him to grief;
when his soul makes an offering for guilt,
he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days;
the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
11 Out of the anguish of his soul he shall see and be satisfied;
by his knowledge shall the righteous one, my servant,
make many to be accounted righteous,
and he shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many,
and he shall divide the spoil with the strong,
because he poured out his soul to death
and was numbered with the transgressors;
yet he bore the sin of many,
and makes intercession for the transgressors.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
CONFESSION OF SIN:
God of mercy, whose Son, Jesus Christ, longs to embrace us in his love,
We confess that we have been wayward children.
We have disobeyed your commands and ignored your mission;
Our ears have been deaf to your call and our hearts have been cold to your love.
Father, we confess that we have hurt others and dishonored your name.
We have been selfish and self-reliant.
We have hoarded our gifts instead of using them to bless others.
We have failed to reflect your love to the watching world.
Lord, have mercy on us, and forgive us for our sins.
Receive us again as your well-beloved children,
not because we are worthy, but for the sake of Christ
who loved us and gave himself for us. Amen.