Saturday, February 22, 2020

Forget Him Not

Judas, Passover, and the Lord's Supper
(Mark 14:10-25, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, February 23, 2020)

[10] Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went to the chief priests in order to betray him to them. [11] And when they heard it, they were glad and promised to give him money. And he sought an opportunity to betray him.

[12] And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the Passover lamb, his disciples said to him, “Where will you have us 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 carrying a jar of water will meet you. Follow him, [14] and wherever he enters, say to the master of the house, ‘The Teacher says, Where is my guest room, where I may eat the Passover with my disciples?’ [15] And he will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; there prepare for us.” [16] And the disciples set out and went to the city and found it just as he had told them, and they prepared the Passover.

[17] And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. [18] And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.” [19] They began to be sorrowful and to say to him one after another, “Is it I?” [20] He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who is dipping bread into the dish with me. [21] For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”

[22] And as they were eating, he took bread, and after blessing it broke it and gave it to them, and said, “Take; this is my body.” [23] And he took a cup, and when he had given thanks he gave it to them, and they all drank of it. [24] And he said to them, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. [25] Truly, I say to you, I will not drink again of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

Shouldn't our savior be glorious? How could the King of kings be a Passover Lamb?

Judas the Betrayer – Will Jesus be an unwilling victim?

One of the twelve – Psalm 41:9, 69:25, 109:8
The chief priests were glad
He sought an opportunity to betray him.

The Passover Announcement – The Lord of history knows

The day and the place known to Jesus
Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.
The Son of Man goes as it is written of him: Dan. 7:13-14, Gn. 22:8, Ex. 12:5-6, Is. 53:6-9

A New Meal – A willing lamb will save a needy church.

Take; this is my body.
My blood of the covenant, poured out for many. Is. 53:12 “He bore the sin of many.”
The hope: That day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.

THE POINT: The God/Man has become our Passover Lamb.

Applying these verses: 1. Do this in remembrance of him, and 2. Forget him not.

Old Testament Reading—Psalm 128 – What happened to Jesus?

New Testament Reading—1 Cor 1:18-31 The word of the cross
Other passages:
Psalm 41:9
[9] Even my close friend in whom I trusted,
who ate my bread, has lifted his heel against me.
Psalm 69:25
[25] May their camp be a desolation;
let no one dwell in their tents.
Psalm 109:8
[8] May his days be few;
may another take his office!
Daniel 7:13–14
[13] “I saw in the night visions,
and behold, with the clouds of heaven
there came one like a son of man,
and he came to the Ancient of Days
and was presented before him.
[14] And to him was given dominion
and glory and a kingdom,
that all peoples, nations, and languages
should serve him;
his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
which shall not pass away,
and his kingdom one
that shall not be destroyed.

Genesis 22:8
[8] Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.”

Exodus 12:5–6
[5] Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male a year old. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats, [6] and you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of this month, when the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill their lambs at twilight.

Isaiah 53:6–9
[6] All we like sheep have gone astray;
we have turned—every one—to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on him
the iniquity of us all.
[7] He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
yet he opened not his mouth;
like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
so he opened not his mouth.
[8] By oppression and judgment he was taken away;
and as for his generation, who considered
that he was cut off out of the land of the living,
stricken for the transgression of my people?
[9] And they made his grave with the wicked
and with a rich man in his death,
although he had done no violence,
and there was no deceit in his mouth.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Look, Ye Saints, the Sight Is Glorious!

A Woman of Faith
(Mark 14:3-9, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, February 16, 2020)

[3] And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper, as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. [4] There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? [5] For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denarii and given to the poor.” And they scolded her. [6] But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. [7] For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them. But you will not always have me. [8] She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. [9] And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”

Do we have appropriate affection for the real Jesus of the Scriptures? How should we honor a suffering Messiah who died and was buried for us? Why would the costly anointing of Jesus for burial be a part of the message of good news for the world?

A Costly Testimony

A woman
Very costly ointment
Over his head
An anointing requiring interpretation: Law, History, Wisdom, Prophets...

Indignant Observers

Three hundred denarii
The poor?
They scolded her. – See John 12:1-8.

A Beautiful Gospel

Leave her alone.
She has done a beautiful thing to me.
You always have the poor with you, and whenever you want, you can do good for them.
You will not always have me.
She has done what she could.
She has anointed my body beforehand for burial. Word used for “anoint” body for burial
The coming burial of Jesus and the future proclamation of the gospel to the world

THE POINT: Testifying to the death and burial of Jesus Christ is not a waste

Applying these verses:

1. We should exercise caution in criticizing others in their extravagant love for Jesus.

2. How do we testify to our love for Jesus and the gospel?

3. The strange attractiveness of a suffering Savior to the church throughout the world

Old Testament Reading—Psalm 127 – The Lord's House and the Lord's Family

New Testament Reading—1 Cor 1:1-17 The Preaching of the Gospel of Jesus

Other passages:

Exodus 28:41
[41] And you shall put them on Aaron your brother, and on his sons with him, and shall anoint them and ordain them and consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests.

Exodus 30:26
[26] With it you shall anoint the tent of meeting and the ark of the testimony.

1 Samuel 16:13
[13] Then Samuel took the horn of oil and anointed him in the midst of his brothers. And the Spirit of the LORD rushed upon David from that day forward.

2 Samuel 2:4
[4] And the men of Judah came, and there they anointed David king over the house of Judah.

2 Samuel 5:3
[3] So all the elders of Israel came to the king at Hebron, and King David made a covenant with them at Hebron before the LORD, and they anointed David king over Israel.

Psalm 2:2–3
[2] The kings of the earth set themselves,
and the rulers take counsel together,
against the LORD and against his Anointed, saying,
[3] “Let us burst their bonds apart
and cast away their cords from us.”

Isaiah 61:1
[1] The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me,
because the LORD has anointed me
to bring good news to the poor;
he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted,
to proclaim liberty to the captives,
and the opening of the prison to those who are bound;...

Amos 6:10
[10] And when one's relative, the one who anoints him for burial,...

Song of Solomon 1:12
She: [12] While the king was on his couch,
my nard gave forth its fragrance.

Song of Solomon 4:13–14
He: [13] Your shoots are an orchard of pomegranates
with all choicest fruits,
henna with nard,
[14] nard and saffron, calamus and cinnamon,
with all trees of frankincense,
myrrh and aloes,
with all choice spices—

John 12:1–8
[1] Six days before the Passover, Jesus therefore came to Bethany, where Lazarus was, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. [2] So they gave a dinner for him there. Martha served, and Lazarus was one of those reclining with him at table. [3] Mary therefore took a pound of expensive ointment made from pure nard, and anointed the feet of Jesus and wiped his feet with her hair. The house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. [4] But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (he who was about to betray him), said, [5] “Why was this ointment not sold for three hundred denarii and given to the poor?” [6] He said this, not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief, and having charge of the moneybag he used to help himself to what was put into it. [7] Jesus said, “Leave her alone, so that she may keep it for the day of my burial. [8] For the poor you always have with you, but you do not always have me.”

Sunday, February 09, 2020

Jesus our Passover Lamb, the Lord of the Unleavened Life

Who wins?
(Mark 14:1-2, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, February 9, 2020)

[1] It was now two days before the Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread. And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to arrest him by stealth and kill him, [2] for they said, “Not during the feast, lest there be an uproar from the people.”

Who wins at the cross? Are the details leading up to the battle significant? Mark writes about the expectations of the Lord's enemies concerning timing and the anticipated objections of the crowds to their plans to secretly arrest and murder Jesus. What were the assumptions of those who wanted to see Jesus gone? Were they wrong? When it comes to the power encounter between Jesus and his enemies at the cross, who wins?

Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread

The biblical history of Passover – Exodus 12:2 “for you the beginning of months”
The significance of the Passover Lamb – Exodus 12:2-7 “a lamb for a household... without blemish... take some of the blood... put it on the two doorposts and the lintel...”
The biblical history of the Feast of Unleavened Bread – Exodus 12:8-20, 26-27 “What do you mean by this service?” – No conclusive word regarding leaven until New Testament
The spiritual significance of leaven – Mark 8:15, Luke 12:1–3, 1 Corinthians 5:6-8

The Leaven of the Sadducees and Pharisees, the Chief Priests and Scribes

Their teaching, hypocrisy, malice, evil: Matthew 16:12, Luke 12:1, 1 Corinthians 5:8
What were they seeking? Arrest and killing of Jesus. Why? Keeping power+ forever
Why the secrecy? The people, an uproar, the Romans
Why would anyone want to kill Jesus? Clearly a new order was coming in him...

The Reasoning of the Scribes and the Pharisees

Not during the feast” – Massive numbers of people
Yet Jesus was arrested and died in connection with the Passover.
The concern that the crowds would be for Jesus
Little did they know... Mark 15:11 – The covering of ungodly leadership

THE POINT: What man seeks to accomplish by his own power is quickly overruled by the sovereign authority of the Almighty.

Applying these verses:

1. The facts of the cross continue to amaze us. The details are worth our consideration.

2. We are clearly not in charge of the central events of human history. Genesis 3:15, Colossians 2:13-15, Roman 16:20, See also Psalm 2 and Acts 4:23-31.

3. Let us always conduct ourselves with the sincerity and truth of Jesus, our leader. Corrie ten Boom's Prison Letters – “I felt the need to write one final letter.”

Old Testament Reading—Psalm 126 – Bringing in the Sheaves

New Testament Reading—Romans 16:17-27 The Crushing of Satan
Other Passages:

Exodus 12:26–27

[26] And when your children say to you, ‘What do you mean by this service?’ [27] you shall say, ‘It is the sacrifice of the LORD's Passover, for he passed over the houses of the people of Israel in Egypt, when he struck the Egyptians but spared our houses.’” And the people bowed their heads and worshiped.

Luke 12:1–3

[1] In the meantime, when so many thousands of the people had gathered together that they were trampling one another, he began to say to his disciples first, “Beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, which is hypocrisy. [2] Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. [3] Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.

1 Corinthians 5:6–8

[6] Your boasting is not good. Do you not know that a little leaven leavens the whole lump? [7] Cleanse out the old leaven that you may be a new lump, as you really are unleavened. For Christ, our Passover lamb, has been sacrificed. [8] Let us therefore celebrate the festival, not with the old leaven, the leaven of malice and evil, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth.

Mark 15:6–15

[8] And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. … [11] But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. … [13] And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” …

Genesis 3:15

[15] I will put enmity between you and the woman,
and between your offspring and her offspring;
he shall bruise your head,
and you shall bruise his heel.”

Colossians 2:13–15

[13] And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, [14] by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. [15] He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him.

Romans 16:20

[20] The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

Sunday, February 02, 2020

Truth Concealed

(Mark 13:3-37, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, February 2, 2020)

When will Christ return? Some people claim to know. Should we be cautious about believing them? What if we miss the bigger point in our search for hidden truth? Warning label: Do not over-interpret passages where God is concealing the unknown.

Their Question and His Answer—Part 1:Do not be alarmed.
[3] And as he sat on the Mount of Olives opposite the temple, Peter and James and John and Andrew asked him privately, [4] “Tell us, when will these things be, and what will be the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished?” [5] And Jesus began to say to them, “See that no one leads you astray. [6] Many will come in my name, saying, ‘I am he!’ and they will lead many astray. [7] And when you hear of wars and rumors of wars, do not be alarmed. This must take place, but the end is not yet. [8] For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be earthquakes in various places; there will be famines. These are but the beginning of the birth pains.

Part 2: Be on your guard and bear witness to the gospel of Jesus through the worst provocations.
[9] “But be on your guard. For they will deliver you over to councils, and you will be beaten in synagogues, and you will stand before governors and kings for my sake, to bear witness before them. [10] And the gospel must first be proclaimed to all nations. [11] And when they bring you to trial and deliver you over, do not be anxious beforehand what you are to say, but say whatever is given you in that hour, for it is not you who speak, but the Holy Spirit. [12] And brother will deliver brother over to death, and the father his child, and children will rise against parents and have them put to death. [13] And you will be hated by all for my name's sake. But the one who endures to the end will be saved.
[14] “But when you see the abomination of desolation standing where he ought not to be (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains. [15] Let the one who is on the housetop not go down, nor enter his house, to take anything out, [16] and let the one who is in the field not turn back to take his cloak. [17] And alas for women who are pregnant and for those who are nursing infants in those days! [18] Pray that it may not happen in winter. [19] For in those days there will be such tribulation as has not been from the beginning of the creation that God created until now, and never will be. [20] And if the Lord had not cut short the days, no human being would be saved. But for the sake of the elect, whom he chose, he shortened the days. [21] And then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘Look, there he is!’ do not believe it. [22] For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform signs and wonders, to lead astray, if possible, the elect. [23] But be on guard; I have told you all things beforehand.
[24] “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, [25] and the stars will be falling from heaven, and the powers in the heavens will be shaken. [26] And then they will see the Son of Man coming in clouds with great power and glory. [27] And then he will send out the angels and gather his elect from the four winds, from the ends of the earth to the ends of heaven.
[28] “From the fig tree learn its lesson: as soon as its branch becomes tender and puts out its leaves, you know that summer is near. [29] So also, when you see these things taking place, you know that he is near, at the very gates. [30] Truly, I say to you, this generation will not pass away until all these things take place. [31] Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.

Part 3: I am not telling you when... Stay awake.
[32] “But concerning that day or that hour, no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. [33] Be on guard, keep awake. For you do not know when the time will come. [34] It is like a man going on a journey, when he leaves home and puts his servants in charge, each with his work, and commands the doorkeeper to stay awake. [35] Therefore stay awake—for you do not know when the master of the house will come, in the evening, or at midnight, or when the rooster crows, or in the morning—[36] lest he come suddenly and find you asleep. [37] And what I say to you I say to all: Stay awake.”

Do not be alarmed, and see that no one leads you astray. Many...

Be on your guard and bear witness to the gospel of Jesus through the worst provocations: Important in many ages – China 1952, Exeter Hospital last Tuesday

You do not know when the time will come. But what do you know? Jesus. Gospel. Glory (v. 26).

The abomination of desolation:

Very challenging and hard to interpret apocalyptic image used in Daniel 9, 11, and 12
Consider that God not only reveals, but also conceals...

Abomination: a thing or action that is vile, vicious or terrible
Abomination in the Bible: things/actions deeply offensive to God or opposing God
Desolation: the condition of a place that is empty, with no living/pleasant things
Desolation in the Bible: Ultimately it is the sovereign God who makes desolate
Abomination of desolation: God's ultimate end of the road against all that opposes him
This temporary creation is certainly heading toward an end that will also be a new start.

1. An abomination in the OT temple, 2. An abomination in Mark's gospel, 3. And beyond

THE POINT: Stay awake to Jesus, his gospel, and his glory now.

Applying these verses:

1. Do not be skeptical about God fulfilling his own glorious plans.

2 Peter 3:3–7 [3] knowing this first of all, that scoffers will come in the last days with scoffing, following their own sinful desires. [4] They will say, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since the fathers fell asleep, all things are continuing as they were from the beginning of creation.” [5] For they deliberately overlook this fact, that the heavens existed long ago, and the earth was formed out of water and through water by the word of God, [6] and that by means of these the world that then existed was deluged with water and perished. [7] But by the same word the heavens and earth that now exist are stored up for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2 Peter 3:13 According to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells.

2. Do not believe anyone who knows too much about the timing of Christ's return.

Millerites in the 1840s
Exeter area – The Great Disappointment

2 Peter 3:8–10 [8] But do not overlook this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. [9] The Lord is not slow to fulfill his promise as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing that any should perish, but that all should reach repentance. [10] But the day of the Lord will come like a thief...

3. There is no shame in not knowing what Jesus did not know. We need to know him.

Old Testament Reading—Psalm 125 – Those who trust in the Lord...

New Testament Reading—Romans 16:1-16 All the churches of Christ greet you!

Saturday, January 25, 2020

But when I look at Christ...

Old and New
(Mark 13:1-2, Preaching: Pastor Stephen Magee, January 26, 2020)

[1] And as he came out of the temple, one of his disciples said to him, “Look, Teacher, what wonderful stones and what wonderful buildings!” [2] And Jesus said to him, “Do you see these great buildings? There will not be left here one stone upon another that will not be thrown down.”

We live in 2020. 2020 years after what? Are we living in such a new world since the coming of Jesus that we needed to start counting again? Something old went away in the first century and something new came into being. What was it all about, and what did it have to do with the destruction of the Old Testament temple in the year 70?

The story of the Old Testament temple

What happened in the Garden?
The tabernacle
The temple in Jerusalem
The exile and the rebuilding of the temple
The triumphal entry
The end of the Old Testament temple by the Romans under Titus in AD 70, Mark 15:38?

The new temple of the Lord in the present age

Old Testament passages preparing us for a very different temple
The cornerstone
The foundation
The living stones
The extent of the new temple
The new birth

The new heavens and earth

The present heavens
The return of the Lord in glory
The new Jerusalem
The fitting end to an epic drama

THE POINT: Jesus and his church are the new temple of God forever.

Applying these verses:

1. Are we too easily captivated by the sensational and the temporary? Bldgs don't save.

2. There are clues all around us of a more amazing temple. 1 penny, ACEs and 2 friends

3. What Martin Luther knew... What are you looking at? “When I look at myself, I don't see how I can be saved. But when I look at Christ, I don't see how I can be lost.”

Old Testament Reading—Psalm 124 – We have escaped! From what?

New Testament Reading—Romans 15:14-33 The costly project of building up a new temple of the Lord
Additional Passages:

The story of the Old Testament temple
Genesis 3:24 He drove out the man.
Exodus 40:34 The glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle
1 Kings 8:10–11 [10] And when the priests came out of the Holy Place, a cloud filled the house of the LORD, [11] so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the house of the LORD.
Ezekiel 10:18 Then the glory of the LORD went out from the threshold of the house.
Ezekiel 43:1–5 [1] Then he led me to the gate, the gate facing east. [2] And behold, the glory of the God of Israel was coming from the east. And the sound of his coming was like the sound of many waters, and the earth shone with his glory. [3] And the vision I saw was just like the vision that I had seen when he came to destroy the city, and just like the vision that I had seen by the Chebar canal. And I fell on my face. [4] As the glory of the LORD entered the temple by the gate facing east, [5] the Spirit lifted me up and brought me into the inner court; and behold, the glory of the LORD filled the temple.

The new temple of the Lord in the present age
Ezekiel 37:24–28 [24] “My servant David shall be king over them, and they shall all have one shepherd. They shall walk in my rules and be careful to obey my statutes. [25] They shall dwell in the land that I gave to my servant Jacob, where your fathers lived. They and their children and their children's children shall dwell there forever, and David my servant shall be their prince forever. [26] I will make a covenant of peace with them. It shall be an everlasting covenant with them. And I will set them in their land and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in their midst forevermore. [27] My dwelling place shall be with them, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. [28] Then the nations will know that I am the LORD who sanctifies Israel, when my sanctuary is in their midst forevermore.”
Isaiah 60:1 [1] Arise, shine, for your light has come,
and the glory of the LORD has risen upon you.
Isaiah 61:1 and Luke 4:18 The Spirit of the Lord is upon me.
John 2:18–22 [18] So the Jews said to him, “What sign do you show us for doing these things?” [19] Jesus answered them, “Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up.” [20] The Jews then said, “It has taken forty-six years to build this temple, and will you raise it up in three days?” [21] But he was speaking about the temple of his body. [22] When therefore he was raised from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this, and they believed the Scripture and the word that Jesus had spoken.
Ephesians 2:17–22 [17] And he came and preached peace to you who were far off and peace to those who were near. [18] For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. [19] So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, [20] built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone, [21] in whom the whole structure, being joined together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord. [22] In him you also are being built together into a dwelling place for God by the Spirit. (See also Ps. 118:22, Is. 28:16, Jesus: Luke 20:17, Peter: Acts 4:11)
John 8:12, Matt. 5:14, 1 Cor 3:16 [I am/You are] the light of the world. God's temple

The new heavens and earth
2 Cor. 5:8 We would rather be away from the body and at home with the Lord.
Matt. 25:31 When the Son of Man comes in his glory...
Revelation 21:1,3, 22 [1] Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, ... [3] And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Behold, the dwelling place of God is with man...” [22] And I saw no temple ..., for its temple is the Lord God the Almighty and the Lamb.