2018-09-30: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–The Darkest Day

Sermon Audio: The Darkest Day
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 15:1-14
Duration: 26:40
Size: 13.0 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
The Darkest Day
Mark 15:1-14

The Sanhedrin had met the night before and condemned Jesus, but because decisions made at night were not binding, they needed to come together to legitimize their actions.

The religious leaders were pretty good at moving the people because they held such power over them, so it should come as no surprise that they “stirred up” the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas, a known murderer, over Jesus.

So we see here that both the religious trial (Mark 14:53-59) and the civil trial (Mark 15:2-15) resulted in a no guilty verdict against Jesus.

My guess is that these soldiers had nothing personally against Jesus like the religious leaders, but hated the Jews and hated being posted in this backwater called Palestine.

Jesus said “take up your cross and follow Me.” Simon was the only man who ever lived who could say he had literally done that.

We know from Luke 23 that the two criminals have a conversation with Jesus. One of them rejects Him, the other begs for His mercy.

It seems as if the creation mirrored the spiritual darkness that encircled Jesus.

Jesus did not succumb to crucifixion. To pay for our sins He gave up His life voluntarily.

It shows that Christ’s sacrifice was not for the Jews only, but even for the hated Romans, in fact for all Gentiles, for all people.

He lived the life you should have lived and died the death you should have died–trading His life for yours.

2018-09-23: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Betrayal

Sermon Audio: Betrayal
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 14:43-72
Duration: 23:51
Size: 11.3 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Mark 14:43-72

Beginning in Mark 14:43 we shift from Jesus being the source of the action to Him being acted upon by others.

There were not photographs so it was important that someone who knew Jesus point Him out among the disciples.

Jesus wants them to know that He knows their actions are unsupported and that the only reason He is allowing it is to fulfill God’s Word.

What Mark records here is really the second hearing–taking place at the current high priest’s house: Caiaphas.

The religious leaders had already rendered their judgment and were looking for facts to support it!

At this point Caiaphas was getting frustrated. He tried to trick Jesus into answering a false accusation.

They didn’t need any more witnesses because Jesus was either blaspheming or telling the truth.

This records Peter’s worst hour. He can’t escape who he is, though he tries desperately.

Mark focuses a lot of Peter here and the process of Peter’s denial:

making up
running away

2018-09-09: Jesus-The Ultimate Action Hero–Intimacy & Agony

Sermon Audio: Intimacy & Agony
Speaker: Pastor Val Watkins
Scripture Text: Mark 14:12-42
Duration: 24:14
Size: 11.9 MB

Jesus: The Ultimate Action Hero
Intimacy & Agony
Mark 14:12-42

But before He goes to the cross, Jesus wants one last time with his men–to comfort them and warn them of betrayal both within their group and within themselves.

Jesus knew there was a price on His head and was very careful to arrange just when and where He would be arrested.

Mark is laser-focused on Jesus’ mission and so concentrates on the fact that Jesus identifies his betrayer.

I’m sure the real meaning was lost on the disciples but Jesus will shortly shed His blood to establish a new covenant between God and man–an everlasting covenant.

He may have felt like a failure but he still belonged to Jesus. And you know, even when we fail the Lord (and we will) He will never fail us!

Going to the cross was no small thing, even for the Messiah. He would be cut off from the Father for the first and only time.

No, look at what we see here: Jesus didn’t want to go to the cross “if it were possible” to redeem humanity any other way

But many times, the best way is not the easiest way and God’s way can mean we get hurt in the process.

Know that betrayals and troubles will come but that with God all things are possible. Sometimes, though, the only way out is going through the trial, not around it.