Day of preparation

Gospel of Mark: Jesus a life to serve   •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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God's preparatory acts for Jesus final act for our redemption

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God’s grand plan to save sinful man, God’ scheme of redemption, God’s purpose for sending the Christ is just days away now from day of question comes a day of preparation.
Mark chapter 14 covers the two days leading up to the crucifixion, it covers Wednesday and Thursday. Today we will see 4 preparatory acts:
Leaders prepare (Mk14:1-2)
Mary prepares (Mk14:3-9)
Judas prepares (Mk14:10-11)
Disciples prepare (Mk14:12-16)

Leaders prepare to kill Jesus

This preparation was prepared in heaven before for this to happen as a part of God’s grand plan, the leaders, Chief Priests, and the scribes are just God’s instrument.
The plot is being made (Mk14:1-2)
Mark 14:1–2 NASB95
1 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.”
It is not a new pot
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
What is the time frame of this preparation (v.1)?
This preparation is being made on Wednesday; for the Passover would start at dusk on Friday
If you go with the common view that Jesus was crucified on Friday that would make this Wednesday and the Passover starts on Friday at dusk.
Who was making this preparation (v.1)?
Leadership noted, named here is chief priests and the scribes, representing the religious and the legal part of the leadership of the Jews. Matthew adds more details (Mt26:3-4)
What was the preparation (v.1)?
To seize Jesus, but to do it secretly
To kill Jesus
This is not the first time they plotted, schemed, or had a conspiracy to kill Jesus (Mk3:6: Mk11:18; Mk12:12)
What was the condition for the preparation (v.2)?
It was not to be during the festival (Passover and Feast of unleavened bread) (Mt26:3-4; Act2:23)
Some more interesting information:
Passover is the celebration of exodus from Egypt, Feast of unleavened bread happens for seven days after the Passover. The Passover was a major event that all male Jews within 15 miles were required to attend, though many came from much further.
Interesting historical fact as recorded by Josephus. in AD65 there was a census taken to prove to Nero the importance and significance of Passover to the Jews. The census was how many lambs were sacrificed in the year prior at Passover.
256,500 Lambs x 10 per lamb = 3,000,000 people
Let me give you the Matthew passage, I think it is significant too
Matthew 26:3–4 NASB95
3 Then the chief priests and the elders of the people were gathered together in the court of the high priest, named Caiaphas; 4 and they plotted together to seize Jesus by stealth and kill Him.
What is the location that this plotting takes place now (v.3)?
Court of the High Priest
What other person is added to the ensemble (v.3)?
Caiaphas the High priest at the time
The condition again, was not during the festival, feast, lest there be an uproar (v.2) for they feared the people as noted back in (Mk11:32).
I mentioned God’s grand plan, God’s scheme of redemption was already set in place and things were not really in their hands, they wanted to delay the seizing in fear of an uprising. Gods plan was different as noted in (Act2:23)
Acts 2:23 NASB95
23 this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.
God’s timetable was much quicker than that of the chief priests, scribes, elders and High Priest Caiphas. We will see this more to follow, but first another preparation needed to take place

Mary Prepares

Do you have a life insurance policy, a burial insurance policy, most probably due in preparation of the inevitable. Mary prepares not for herself but for the Lord whom she loves knowing the inevitable was coming.
Mark 14:3–4 NASB95
3 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head. 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted?
Mark 13:3–4 NASB95
3 As He was sitting on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew were questioning Him privately, 4 “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are going to be fulfilled?”
Mark 14:5–6 NASB95
5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her. 6 But Jesus said, “Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me.
Mark 13:5–6 NASB95
5 And Jesus began to say to them, “See to it that no one misleads you. 6 “Many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am He!’ and will mislead many.
Mark 13:7–8 NASB95
7 “When you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be frightened; those things must take place; but that is not yet the end. 8 “For nation will rise up against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places; there will also be famines. These things are merely the beginning of birth pangs.
Mark 14:7–8 NASB95
7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me. 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.
Mark 14:9 NASB95
9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”
Mark 13:9 NASB95
9 “But be on your guard; for they will deliver you to the courts, and you will be flogged in the synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for My sake, as a testimony to them.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
Some general questions pulling from the scripture then we will look at the bigger picture
What is the location where this is taking place (v.3)
They are in a home in Bethany
In the home of Simon the Leper
It is possible that Simon is the father of Lazarus, Mary and Martha
Who was there and what did they do?
We are told of a woman who was there (see Jn11:2; Jn12:2-3 for more info)
John 11:2 NASB95
2 It was the Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment, and wiped His feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was sick.
This is not to be confused with Mary of Magelene we see in Lk7:36-50.
More to see
John 12:2–3 NASB95
2 So they made Him a supper there, and Martha was serving; but Lazarus was one of those reclining at the table with Him. 3 Mary then took a pound of very costly perfume of pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped His feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume.
What more do you learn from the John passage?
We can learn from between Mark and John, it is Mary, the sister to Lazarus who did not only anoint Jesus head but His feet too.
(Alabaster Jar)
Interesting fact breaking the top of the jar, means it was never going to be sealed again, it was all going to be used then. The scripture tells us it was very expensive, and later some of the apostles give a price for the contents of the jar at 300 denarii.
A common person earned about a denarii a day, so the cost of this perfume was just shy of a year’s wages. Would we be willing to give up a year’s wages for someone?
Another interesting thing to consider about the consequences of her breaking the alabaster jar.
The smell would have filled the whole house, and spiritually speaking does the fragrance of the Lord fill our homes with our love for Him and our worship to Him? There was no hiding the fact that Mary loved to be at the feet of Jesus, do we?
Next, it brings indignation (MK14:4) about a perceived waste of money. Now something to consider and remember that doing something for the Lord is never a waste it is a blessing and pleasing to Him and to the giver too. Sometimes it makes no literal sense only spiritual sense and maybe not now but in the future.
Next consequence for her action is it brings commendation from the Lord (Mk14:6) - no matter what others think about our worship, may it always be in a manner that is pleasing the Lord, even if it is not popular.
Finally, Mary gave her best, at the feet of Jesus her act of love was costly, her act of love was fragrant not just for her but for all where were there. Her act of love was pleasing to the Lord and all who were there could not but notice. I don’t think she did it to be noticed, but to show her love for the Lord.
We have looked at the love gift, but now, how was it received by the others there (vv.4-5)
It brought indignation and even degrading judgmental statement
It brought scolding didn’t it (Mk14:5; Jn12:4-6)?
John 12:4 NASB95
4 But Judas Iscariot, one of His disciples, who was intending to betray Him, said,
The John passage brings in who is the ring leader who brought about the indignation and scolding, but there is more in the John passage we can learn from too
John 12:5–6 NASB95
5 “Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and given to poor people? 6 Now he said this, not because he was concerned about the poor, but because he was a thief, and as he had the money box, he used to pilfer what was put into it.
It was not for the poor he was concerned it was for himself!
Now it goes from indignation to praise (Mk14:6-9).
Jesus tells them to do what (v.6)?
Jesus tells them to leave here alone, what she has done is good.
Her gift was good, it was costly, it was extravagant, love sometimes, oftentimes is costly, love may not make sense but then perfect sense too.
What she did was good, it was lovely according to different versions of the bible
Why does Jesus tell them that (v.7)?
Jesus tells them, there will always be the poor, but Jesus will not always be with them.
Jesus is telling them again about his going away.
What does Jesus say about her act (v.8)?
Her act was preparing him for burial
When someone died it was common practice to bath and anoint the body, then wrap it for burial with many spices.
Jesus calls her act good and also preparatory
Again, what is Jesus telling them, just one more time? That is is going to die and be buried.
What is the great praise given to Mary (v.9)?
Her act of love was going to be memorialized in the preaching of the gospel this would be made known.
Mary’s act of love that resulted in indignation and in praise is memorialized also in the inclusion in Matthew, Mark and John’s gospels. But her act leads to another preparatory act to be seen yet.

Judas Prepares

From Apostle to betrayer it was all a part of God’s grand plan, to fulfill the prophesy (Zech11:12-13).
Mark 14:10–11 NASB95
10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11 They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
What is the purpose of Jesus going to chief priests (v.10)?
Judas intent was to betray Jesus
By the betrayal it fulfills the prophesy of Zechariah
Zechariah was a post exile written sometime after 536BC so some 500 years prior to the fulfillment by Jesus.
Zechariah 11:12–13 NASB95
12 I said to them, “If it is good in your sight, give me my wages; but if not, never mind!” So they weighed out thirty shekels of silver as my wages. 13 Then the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter, that magnificent price at which I was valued by them.” So I took the thirty shekels of silver and threw them to the potter in the house of the Lord.
The prophesy spoke of the agreed amount and the end result of the money, it was blood money thrown out.
What was the response of chief priest (v.11)
Chief priest were glad at the offer and negotiated an amount to pay for the life of Jesus (Mt26:15)
Matthew 26:15 NASB95
15 and said, “What are you willing to give me to betray Him to you?” And they weighed out thirty pieces of silver to him.
So, what is a life worth? Jesus for 30 pieces of silver, not even gold which as costlier or diamonds, but a discounted thing, silver.
What is your life worth? It is worth everything for Jesus went to the cross willingly to pay the price for your life!
What was the results of the intended betrayal (v.11)?
They were glad, they made a promise and then Judas looked for opportune time for the actual act of betrayal
Quick question, according to the scripture we have looked at today what was the condition of the scheme, the plot, the plan? - not during the festival, feast (Mk14:2)
Finally, one more preparatory act to go.

Disciples Prepare

Jesus is preparing by directing the apostles to be prepared. The apostles know the significance of the Passover, but not yet the significance of this particular Passover, yet.
Mark 14:12–13 NASB95
12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed, His disciples said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” 13 And He sent two of His disciples and said to them, “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him;
Mark 14:14–15 NASB95
14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?” ’ 15 “And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.”
Mark 14:16 NASB95
16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover.
What do you see, what do you notice, what sticks out to you?
What day is it now (v.12)?
It is the First day of Unleavened bread
This is the 13th day of Nisan, the Jewish day starts at sunset, so this is the day of preparation for the Passover which is the 14th day of Nisan which would be Thursday night after sunset until Friday at sunset.
What was the question (v.12) and by who?
The disciples asked the Lord where He wanted to have Passover
What are the instructions given by Jesus when sent the two out (vv.13-15)?
Find a man carrying a picture of water (v.13)
Follow the man to his home, then inquire of the man (v.14)
Man will show the upper room (v.15)
Now I mentioned Jesus preparing in the intro to this section, and Jesus did prepare, He prepared beforehand (without others knowledge) for there to be the man carrying the water (this is out of the ordinary) and that a room would be already prepared for them. Jesus did not want them worried about preparing, He just wanted them to be observant and obedient.
The Apostles preparation would be of the sacrificial lamb and the Passover meal itself
(Passover Lamb)
The sacrifice of the Passover lamb was specific and dated back to the Exodus (Exo12) the blood had to be applied to protect those under the blood. The Jewish Passover all the lambs would be slain and blood would be caught in a bowl and passed up to the temple to be applied to the altar as an acceptable sacrifice.
In the homes of the people after the sacrifice was made the people would return to the home with the memory of how the blood was applied over the door in the Exodus and there would be unleavened bread to remind them of the haste they had to leave Egypt. There would be a bowl of salt water to remind them of the deliverance by water through Red Sea (a type of baptism). They would eat bitter herbs to be reminded of the bitterness of slavery. Then there was the Charosheth paste, that reminded them of the bricks they made in Egypt and finally 4 cups of wine that would be taken at specific times throughout the meal, as a reminder of the promises of the Exodus (Exo6:6-7).
Exodus 6:6–7 NASB95
6 “Say, therefore, to the sons of Israel, ‘I am the Lord, and I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, and I will deliver you from their bondage. I will also redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments. 7 ‘Then I will take you for My people, and I will be your God; and you shall know that I am the Lord your God, who brought you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians.
This was all done as a type of what Christ would be doing as our Passover lamb. Not just one a year, but every day for eternity when we walk with Him.
So, with all these preparatory acts in place the stage is set for the final act needed so God’s grand plan could be fulfilled in the Christ. It leaves one question for us today.
(Preparing for Christ Return)
Are we preparing for it? Are we prepared for it? Are we ready for it? Would the things we do show our love and devotion for Christ like Mary? Would our preparation show our obedience like the Apostles?
May we be prepared and lead others to be prepared too! For Jesus is coming!
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