Bible Reading Day 72

by markburlinson

Day 72 – Mark 14:1-25

Read online.

Good morning!
As we move into Mark 14, the focus of the gospel becomes sacrifice. And Mark continues to write in headline news style – the facts, with a few interesting details thrown in for veracity, and little background information.

First, in the home of Simon (who was one of the lepers healed by Jesus), a woman anoints Jesus’ head with expensive perfume. This was a huge sacrifice on her part because that represented her life savings. It would be like someone today selling their house, cashing in their 401k, and burning all the money in a huge bonfire. In this case it showed her great love and devotion to Jesus. John’s gospel tells us her identity – Mary the sister of Martha and Lazarus. She had much to be thankful for – the raising of her brother from the dead, and a deep appreciation for Jesus’ teaching.

What is Jesus worth to you?

By way of distinction, Judas goes to the priests to offer to betray Jesus. An act of treachery rooted in selfish ambition and greed that throws Mary’s sacrifice into stark contrast. No sacrifice there!

The next sacrifice is the Passover lamb – the symbolic representation of God’s covenant love that the Israelites had remembered for centuries. But over the years the significance of that sacrifice had been lost in religious trappings and traditions. Jesus is about to sweep away all those distractions!

To prepare, He sends two disciples ahead into the city, with clear instructions to look for miraculous provision. (Jesus never sends His followers individually – always in twos or more – perhaps to avoid the Judas syndrome).

That evening they gather in the upper room for what we now call The Last Supper. There Jesus tells them clearly that one of them will betray Him, and then institutes the sacrament of The Lord’s Supper (or Communion) which is still observed today. He tells us that His blood, symbolized by the cup of wine, would be poured out as a sacrifice for many – a direct link to the Passover lamb whose blood had protected the people of Israel from the judgment so many centuries before.

Jesus is the fulfilment of God’s purposes, and the atonement for our sins. Let’s allow worship to overflow from our hearts as we reflect on those truths today.
 
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