Mark 9:30-37 (1)
Crucified God, Crucified Christ
Reading: Mark 9: 30-37
Additional readings: Colossians 2:12-15, 1 Corinthians 15:20-28, Philippians 2:5-8, Ephesians 6:12
Blanks: rise, servant, welcomes
(3) Jesus is God.
But on the cross, Jesus suffered and died for us.
The crucified Christ is the great mystery.
Why does God have to be crucified like that?
Why does Jesus have to be crucified like that?
For two thousand year, the cross of Jesus made people wonder.
It still makes me wonder.
Do you know Mahatma Gandhi?
He learned from Jesus about nonviolent resistance.
And he implemented this idea for the liberation of his people.
Then one time, Gandhi was traveling in Europe.
Then he saw the cross of Jesus at a church.
Then he cannot help but to stop and stand there for a long time.
For some reason it made him deeply wonder and ponder at this time.
He must have thought about his life, too.
What about you?
When you see the cross of Jesus, what do we see?
Each person may see differently.
So what do you see at the cross of Jesus?
What do you think about?
(3) When I see the cross of Jesus, I see also human weakness.
When Jesus was on the cross, most of his human friends were not there.
Peter who walked on the water and promised to die for him, was not there.
Thomas who encouraged other disciples to die for him was not there.
Those who acted like they wanted to protect their teacher whom they called the Messiah and the Son of God, were not there.
They all left.
They were brave people.
But they could not be here.
But ironically, because they were not here, they realized their weakness, they were able to serve God.
They could continually serve Jesus, because they saw their own weakness here at the cross.
Right here, they realized that without the help of God, they could not really serve Jesus.
They could not love him.
(3) What if they didn't experience the cross?
What would happen?
They might thought that they could do all things.
Then they might try to show off how powerful and brave they were.
Then when they preached, sometimes, they might be tempted to preach about themselves and what they could do.
They might have tried to promote themselves as the next leader after Jesus.
(3) But at the cross, they all saw it.
They all saw their human weakness.
So they wanted to totally depend on God and God’s power.
Then, God’s power was manifested through them.
And they were not confused about whose power it was manifesting.
They knew that it was God’s power, not their own.
So God was able to freely work among them.
In the Bible there were some people who were confused about this:
(#) For example, when Saul became a king without knowing much about his own weakness, he confused about this.
So sometimes, as for him, what people thought about him was more important than what God thought of him.
sometimes, he acted like what people said was more important than what God would say about him through prophets.
So he couldn't continually seek God nor serve God.
When Solomon became the king without really realizing his own weakness, he also confused about this.
So he married many wives.
And then he was not faithful to God at the end.
(3) But David suffered a lot and waited a long time before he finally became a king.
Maybe because he suffered and learned to be patient, he wasn’t confused about this.
He understood about his own weakness.
So after he became a king, he still remembered that God's power was working for him.
But one time, he committed a terrible sin against God.
When he realized it, he was so sorry for God.
Then he sincerely repented before God.
And he tried to do what is right.
And again he tried to be faithful to God.
He continually loved God and knew that without God’s help, he is nothing.
So as for him, God was everything.
He knew that only God could make him a person of God.
Other people also learned deeply about this while they waited.
(2) For example, Abraham learned this while waiting for a son whom God promised.
If you remember, God promised him a son.
But for many years, no child.
He waited for many years.
Then finally, he had the son that God promised.
His name was Isaac.
But still Abraham loved God more than his son, because he knew only God could give him the son.
Paul also learned about this while waiting.
Paul knew that he was called to preach the gospel to the Gentiles, non-Jewish people.
But Paul also had to wait.
While waiting, he learned more about God.
Then when the time came, God gave him many opportunity to preach and serve the Gentiles.
And Paul knew this was possible because God was with him.
For our benefit, sometimes, there are some kind of suffering for each person.
Then we learn of our weakness before God.
Then we tend to serve God and people faithfully in God's way.
(2) In our Bible reading, today, Jesus mentioned about his coming death and suffering.
Jesus knew that he would be betrayed by a friend and be killed.
But after three days he would rise again.
This was the great lesson that the disciples needed to learn.
Through this lesson they would really learn to trust only in God.
So before it all happened, Jesus continually talked about this.
Jesus repeatedly said that he would die on the cross according to the Bible.
The Messiah was supposed to die like this.
So it was not an accident.
His death was necessary for our new life.
His death could help us to see new righteousness.
(4) Of course, the disciples knew about the animal sacrifice that had been done at the temple for the forgiveness of sin.
But those animal sacrifices were not the real thing.
Jesus was saying that he is the real thing.
His sacrifice is the sacrifice.
His death really takes away the sin of the world.
Through his death, everyone will be forgiven.
(3) After his death, there is no need of animal sacrifice.
His death and suffering would be more than enough to take away the sin of the world.
So after his death, no more sacrifice was needed.
So he reconciled people to God so that they could have eternal life.
God knew this.
So God didn’t protect Jesus even though God has power to stop all this.
But Satan tried to stop this.
Satan knew about this plan of God.
So he tried.
But when he realize that he could not stop it, he tried to make it painful hoping that Jesus would change his mind.
So Satan even seduce his friend Judas to betray Jesus.
Satan tried to make it painful.
(3) But Jesus died his death on the cross.
All the way Jesus was sinless.
That shocked the universe.
It reshaped the spiritual world of the universe.
Then in this way, Jesus defeated the Satanic power of violence and pride.
Then he preached that the way of love and mercy is stronger.
His resurrection was the proof of it.
(3) So now God is blessing all those who follow this way of Jesus.
And through these people, God continually changes the world.
Through those who call on the name of Jesus, God makes the world more peaceful. Then as people are baptized in Jesus, God continually proclaims the victory of Jesus.
God is helping people to rise up and change the world.
(3) Jesus asks us to remember his death and resurrection.
That is the Lord’s Supper, the Communion.
Taking these elements, we are trying to remember Jesus who died on the cross for us.
We try to remember his death and resurrection.
Then we may see God’s power and our own weakness.
Then we may be truly reconnected with God.
Then we may be empowered to follow Jesus in the right way.
Then we may be able to walk in the power of God.
In this way, we may receive the power of God for our life and spiritually healthy.
Jesus, thank you for your death for us.
Thank you for your resurrection.
Help us to be faithful to you as much as you are faithful to us.
Help us to understand you and believe in you.
Help us to love you as much as you love us.
And may all your vision, dream, and hope be accomplished on earth as it is in heaven.
In Jesus name, amen.