BY: Nathanael Ballew
DATE: Sunday 12 November 2023
‘BIBLE PASSAGES: Read online
Mark – Chapter 14, verses 12-26 & Chapter 15, verses 33-41.
Why is it that we so often associate rescue with the symbol of a cross? Hospitals, pharmacies, aid agencies, lucky necklaces – all characterised by a cross symbol. The cross is the greatest moment in history, where Jesus died. Join us to explore the importance of the cross and why Christians celebrate communion as a result. In his sacrificial death, Jesus was the greatest act of God’s love, power and justice. The ultimate proof of his love for us.
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BIBLE STUDY QUESTIONS
Each week there are TWO different sets of questions for you to use, whether you are exploring the Bible within your Life Group, in other group settings, or simply using them on your own.
A | DISCUSSION STARTERS
These are simple questions to provoke discussion together out of the talk (ideal if you are watching our Sunday Service online with others in your group):
1 | Was there anything that particularly helped you during the talk?
2 | Was there anything that you didn’t necessarily agree with, or found difficult to understand in the talk?
3 | As a result of the talk, what:
a. Changes do you want to see?
b. Truths do you need to remember?
c. Actions do you need to take?
B | QUESTIONS TO EXPLORE
These are questions that are based on the talk and the surrounding themes:
Read: Mark – Chapter 14, verses 12-26 & Chapter 15, verses 33-41.
1 | What does the crucifixion of Jesus mean to you?
2 | Read Mark 14:12-26. Reflect on Jesus’ statement, “This is my body,” and “This is my blood” during the Last Supper in v22-24. How do these words convey the significance of Jesus’ sacrifice and the symbolism of the bread and wine in the Lord’s Supper?
3 | Why do you think it is so important for followers of Jesus to celebrate communion together?
4 | In Mark 14:32-36, Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane. What do you make of Jesus’ prayer? (See also Matthew 6:9-13 and Philippians 4:6-7)
5 | In Mark 15:33-34, Jesus cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” What does this statement reveal about Jesus’ experience on the cross, and how does it connect in with Psalm 22:1? (See also Isaiah 53:4-5)
6 | Reflect on the reactions of the bystanders and soldiers during Jesus’ crucifixion (Mark 15:29-32). How can we relate to the different responses to Jesus’ death, and how might this represent different attitudes toward the gospel?
7 | Read Mark 15:38, where the veil of the temple is torn in two. What is the significance of this event, and how does it illustrate the access we now have to God through Jesus’ sacrifice? (See also Hebrews 10:19-22; Ephesians 2:13-18)
8 | What is the impact of Jesus’ sacrifice on our lives today, as seen in the Last Supper and the Crucifixion? How can we live in the light of these events, and share the message of his love with others?
9 | Take some time to pray, simply thanking Jesus for his sacrificial death for us.
As you explore these questions pray for one another to deepen and develop your relationship with Jesus.
BIBLE STUDY RESOURCES
King’s Cross’ by Timothy Keller
Unpredictable yet reliable, gentle yet powerful, authoritative yet humble, human yet divine.’ Respected pastor and bestselling author Tim Keller takes a deep and thought-provoking look at the life of Christ. Drawing from Mark’s gospel, he explains how Jesus’ identity as king and his purpose in dying on the cross have meaning and significance on a cosmic scale as well as for the individual. THE REASON FOR GOD gave a passionate and intellectually compelling case for God, while THE PRODIGAL GOD explored the gospel’s central message of grace. Now KING’S CROSS gives a captivating account of the person at the heart of it all: Jesus. Written in Keller’s trademark authoritative yet inviting style, this book will unlock new insights for believers and unbelievers alike. (Source)
‘The Gospel According to Mark’ by James R. Edwards
This new Pillar volume offers exceptional commentary on Mark that clearly shows the second Gospel—though it was a product of the earliest Christian community—to be both relevant and sorely needed in today’s church.
Written by a biblical scholar who has devoted thirty years to the study of the second Gospel, this commentary aims primarily to interpret the Gospel of Mark according to its theological intentions and purposes, especially as they relate to the life and ministry of Jesus and the call to faith and discipleship. Unique features of James Edwards’s approach include clear descriptions of key terms used by Mark and revealing discussion of the Gospel’s literary features, including Mark’s use of the “sandwich” technique and of imagistic motifs and irony. Edwards also proposes a new paradigm for interpreting the difficult “Little Apocalypse” of chapter 13, and he argues for a new understanding of Mark’s controversial ending. (Source)
‘Gospel of Mark Summary’ by The Bible Project
Watch this overview video on the book of Mark, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. Mark demonstrates that Jesus is Israel’s Messiah who inaugurates God’s kingdom through his suffering, death, and resurrection.