Old Brick Reformed Church, Organized 1699

490 Route 520 • P.O. Box 153 • Marlboro, NJ 07746

Office Phone: (732) 946-8860 • Office Fax: (732) 946-9254

Secretary's Email: secretary@oldbrickchurch.orgInfo

Sunday Worship: 9:30AM - 10:30AM

Pastor George Kaden's Sermon for Sunday, March 22, 2020

While I know everyone is really focused on the coronavirus, all of the warnings and restrictions we're all adjusting to, (even Church is shut down -- unbelievable!), we shouldn't forget that we're still in the midst of the Lenten season and Lent is a time of preparation as we prepare for our Good Friday remembrances of our Saviors death on the cross.

We have been, as many of you know, working our way through a study in Mark's Gospel. I hope you've been enjoying the studies and have been challenged by them as much as I have. And, I hope you remember the question we've been keeping in the forefront of our thinking throughout this study. The question is not, "What do I make of the Gospel of Mark?", the question we've been contemplating is, "What is the Gospel of Mark making of me?" Whenever we investigate the scriptures that's the question we must always ask ourselves, "What is God saying to me today through His Word?" "What is the Gospel making of me?" This morning isn't any different.

As I have been reading through Mark's Gospel in preparation for the Sunday messages, when you arrive at Mark chapter 8 you sense a rather startling change in Jesus' attention. It's as if he's turning a corner and quickening his pace, and he really is. Beginning in Mark chapter 8 through the remainder of the gospel, Jesus' attention becomes fixed, centered directly on Jerusalem and the cross, which he knows, awaits him there. And while, prior to Mark chapter 8, Jesus has been challenged by the chief priests, scribes and elders, (the religious rulers in Judaism), you find from Mark chapter 8 forward, Jesus' conflicts with those religious leaders reach new heights. The religious leaders begin confronting him more frequently. You sense their determination to attack him in the hope that they'll catch him in some misspoken word that they might label him as a blasphemer so they can condemn him to death. Take a look at these passages for example: Mark 11: 12-18 (pay particular attention to verse 18). Mark 11: 27-33, Mark 12: 1-12, Mark 14: 1-11.

As the intensity of these conflicts increase, Jesus begins making predictions about his coming death. Following Peter's inspired confession that Jesus is the Christ in Mark 8:29, Jesus predicts his death at the hands of the chief priests, elders, and scribes. Peter does like Jesus' suggestions and rebukes Jesus for making such a statement. Jesus knows the voice of the one who is speaking through Peter here. He's hearing the voice of Satan. Jesus knows Satan is trying to deter him from going to the cross so he rebukes him severely. A short while later, Jesus again predicts his death in Mark 10: 33-34. Jesus knows he will soon be betrayed, arrested, mocked and beaten and then condemned to death by crucifixion on a cross. He knows his Father's mission can only be accomplished by his death on the cross. He also knows after three days he will rise from the grave.

I hope, as you ponder Jesus' sacrifice that in your heart and mind you'll understand, ever more fully the wonder of God's amazing love for us in Christ and the tremendous sacrifice of love he made for you.

"...love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all"    Isaac Watts

Yours in Christ,

Pastor George Kaden

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