10 Apr. Mark 14:26-31

10 Apr. Jesus predicts his resurrection from the dead

"After singing a hymn [the 'Great Hallel' - Psalms 114-118], they went out to the Mount of Olives."

"Then Jesus told the followers, 'You will all stumble in your faith, because it is written in the Scriptures: "I will kill the shepherd, and the sheep will scatter." [Zechariah 13:7] But after I rise from the dead, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.'"

"Peter said, 'Everyone else may stumble in their faith, but I will not.'"

"Jesus answered, 'I tell you the truth, tonight before the cockerel crows twice [to herald the morning] you will say three times you don't know me.'"

"But Peter insisted, 'I will never say that I don't know you! I will even die with you!' And all the other followers said the same thing.'"

          (Mark 14:26-31)



Immediately after finishing their Passover supper in the large guest room (probably at the wealthy family home of John Mark), Jesus and his disciples left the Old City of Jerusalem and crossed the Kidron Valley heading towards the Mount of Olives (see 1 on the map). They would have thought they were returning to Bethany where they'd been staying with close friends of Jesus.

As they walked along chatting in the bright moonlight (it was a full moon at Passover), Jesus told the disciples that he would rise from the dead and go ahead of them to Galilee.

We often hear these words today and, looking back in hindsight with our knowledge of Jesus's resurrection on Easter Sunday, we don't flinch. But just try to imagine how radical and incredible these words must have sounded to Jesus's close friends out in the cool evening air on that Thursday evening in 30AD.

They would have remembered the conversation Jesus had only recently with Mary and Martha (with whom they were probably staying at Bethany overnight during the Passover Festival). When their brother Lazarus had died, Martha had said to Jesus, "I know that he will rise [from the dead] and live again in the resurrection on the last day" (John 11:24).

To which Jesus had replied, "I AM the resurrection and the life. Those who believe in me will have life even if they die" (John 11:25) (and remember that "I am" sounded like the Hebrew version of God's own personal name "YHWH", "Yahweh" or "Jehovah".)

So was Jesus saying that his OWN resurrection would be on the "last day" (at the end of 'time' and 'space' as we know it - see Revelation 20:11-13)? Or did he mean something quite different and more immediate?

WE know the answer, but his followers didn't, and the whole conversation must have felt quite confusing and surreal at the time.

Jesus also predicted that, before the cock crowed twice in the morning, Peter would deny knowing him three times. Again, in hindsight, we tend to think that Jesus's warning came only to Peter; but if you read the passage more closely, you'll see that Jesus told ALL his followers that they'd desert him when their own lives were at stake.

How about you? Would YOU claim "I'm not a Christian" (like Peter and the others) if a band of armed terrorists lined you up in an orange suit on a Mediterranean beach in front of an execution squad? Or would you have the courage and the indwelling strength of the Holy Spirit to become a Christian martyr?

The map shows the events of the first Easter weekend in 30AD.

You can read more about these events at https://www.thebiblejourney.org/…/jesus-crosses-the-kidron…/

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