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He Loves Us


As we remember the death, burial, and resurrection of Jesus, let us journey back to the events that led to His resurrection. In Mark 15:6-15, Pontus Pilate asked the Jews who they wanted him to release to them since it was customary to do so during the festival. The crowd demanded the release of Barrabas,

a man who was in prison for insurrection and murder, instead of Jesus, who they referred to as the "king of the Jews".


Mockery

The soldiers mocked Him by putting a purple robe on Him, and a crown of thorns was made. They called out, "Hail, king of the Jews!" He was struck on the head repeatedly by a staff plus they spat on Him. They fell on their knees to pay homage to Him, mockingly, then, took off His purple robe. His clothes were replaced, and he was led out for crucifixion. (Mark 15:16-20)


Crucifixion

A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). They offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. They crucified him. It was nine in the morning when they crucified him, charging Him as the king of the Jews.


They crucified him between two rebels, one on the right and one on his left. Passersby insulted Him,

mentioning that He claimed to destroy and rebuild the temple in three days. The rebels also insulted Him. (Mark 15:21-32)


The Death of Jesus

At noon, darkness covered the entire land until three in the afternoon. Then, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). Someone filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink.

Jesus cried out and took his last breath.


The temple curtain ripped in two from top to bottom. When the centurion, standing before Jesus, witnessed how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:33-38)


Burial

On the day before the Sabbath (Preparation Day), Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, boldly asked Pilate for Jesus' body. Pilate confirmed with the centurion that Jesus was already dead, and he instructed him to release Jesus' body. Joseph took down the body, bought

some linen cloth, wrapped it, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Finally, he rolled a stone to

the entrance of the tomb. (Mark 15:42-47)


Resurrection

After the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they could go to anoint Jesus’ body. They were worried about the large stone blocking the tomb's entrance. However, when they arrived, they found the stone had already been rolled away. Inside the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were frightened. The young man said to them, “Don’t be frightened. You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. Go; and tell his disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just

as he told you.’” (Mark 16:1-7)


Trembling and bewildered, the women fled from the tomb. They did not say anything to anyone because they were afraid. (Mark 16:8)


He appeared first to Mary Magdalene, who had been possessed by seven demons. She went to tell those who had been with him who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it. These returned and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them either.


Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; Jesus rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.


His Great Love

Let us remember that Jesus had a choice about being crucified. He could have prayed to the Father who would have given Him more than twelve legions of angels. (Legion refers to thousands of angels). Yet He realized that such a request would not have coincided with the Scriptures being fulfilled. (Matthew 26:53-54)


He loved us SO much that He decided to die to purchase our freedom from sin, pain, illness, poor relationships, and spiritual death. (John 3:16). Jesus knew that we all sinned and came short of His glory (Romans 3:23). "Through grace, we are saved by faith, which is a gift of God and not by our works. Therefore, we cannot boast." (Ephesians 2:8-9)


Our Commission - Follow Him, Make Disciples

"Jesus said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. These signs will accompany them who believe: In my name, they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

(Mark 16:15-18)


Calls to Action

  1. Assess your readiness to begin and maintain a personal relationship with God. What do you need to seek Jesus' help to change?

  2. Start today.

  3. Continue. It is not like a New Year's resolution that often quickly fades away.

  4. Follow Him and make disciples by mentoring, teaching, and guiding others spiritually or in other areas of life.


Wishing you and your family a blessed and productive day and season as you clarify your relationship with Him.

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