#BigRead12, Week 6: Finale?

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Nibbles:

  • Think back over the previous week. Did you ‘eat your chocolate’, e.g. do something more slowly?
  • Our society is very media literate, being able to ‘read’ storylines in books, films, etc. How do you ‘know’ when something is ‘finished’? What signals are given? What about in your own life?
  • You may find http://youtu.be/IuFvhjEO0Ao helpful

Main:

As Jesus is brought before judge and jury, it looks like “It’s the end of the world as we know it.”

Video:

Bible Reading (Tom Wright Translation)

Jesus Is Arrested
32 They came to a place called Gethsemane.
‘Stay here’, said Jesus to the disciples, ‘while I pray.’
33 He took Peter, James and John with him, and became quiteovercome and deeply distressed
34‘ “My soul is disturbed within me”, he said, ‘right to the point of death. Stay here and keep watch.’35 He went a little further, and fell on the ground and prayed that, if possible, the moment might pass from him.36 ‘Abba, father,’ he said, ‘all things are possible for you! Take this cup away from me! But – not what I want, but what you want.’37 He returned and found them sleeping.‘Are you asleep, Simon?’ he said to Peter. ‘Couldn’t you keep watch for a single hour? 38 Watch and pray, so that you won’t come into the time of trouble. The spirit is eager, but the body is weak.’39 Once more he went off and prayed, saying the same words. 40 And again, when he returned, he found them asleep, because their eyes were very heavy. They had no words to answer him. 41 But the third time he came, he said to them, ‘All right – sleep as much as you like now. Have a good rest. The job is done, the time has come – and look! The son of man is betrayed into the clutches of sinners. 42 Get up, let’s be on our way. Here comes the man who’s going to betray me.’43 At once, while he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived, accompanied by a crowd, with swords and clubs, from the chief priests, the legal experts, and the elders. 44 The betrayer had given them a coded sign: ‘The one I kiss – that’s him! Seize him and take him away safely.’45 He came up to Jesus at once. ‘Rabbi!’ he said, and kissed him.46 The crowd laid hands on him and seized him. 47 One of the bystanders drew a sword and struck the high priest’s servant, cutting off his ear. 48 Then Jesus spoke to them.‘Anyone would think’, he said, ‘you’d come after a brigand! Fancy needing swords and clubs to arrest me! 49 Day after day I’ve been teaching in the Temple, under your noses, and you never laid a finger on me. But the scriptures must be fulfilled.’50 Then they all abandoned him and ran away.51 A young man had followed him, wearing only a linen tunic over his otherwise naked body. 52 They seized him, and he left the tunic and ran away naked.

In the High Priest’s House

53 They took Jesus away to the high priest. All the chief priests and the elders and legal experts were assembled. 54 Peter followed him at a distance, and came to the courtyard of the high priest’s house, where he sat with the servants and warmed himself at the fire.

55 The chief priests, and all the Sanhedrin, looked for evidence for a capital charge against Jesus, but they didn’t find any. 56 Several people invented fictitious charges against him, but their evidence didn’t agree. 57 Then some stood up with this fabricated charge: 58 ‘We heard him say, “I will destroy this Temple, which human hands have made, and in three days I’ll build another, made without human hands.” ’

59 But even so their evidence didn’t agree.

60 Then the high priest got up in front of them all and interrogated Jesus.

‘Haven’t you got any answer about whatever it is these people are testifying against you?’

61 Jesus remained silent, and didn’t answer a word.
Once more the high priest questioned him. ‘Are you the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One?’
62 ‘I am,’ replied Jesus, ‘and you will see “the son of man sitting at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven”.’ 63 ‘Why do we need any more evidence?’ shouted the high priest, tearing his clothes. 64‘You heard the blasphemy! What’s your verdict?’

They all agreed on their judgment: he deserved to die.
65 Some of them began to spit at him. They blindfolded him and hit him, and said, ‘Prophesy!’ And the servants took charge of him and beat him.

Other translations: Mark 14: 32-65

Reflection: Sheridan Voysey (Sheridan Voysey: writer, speaker and broadcaster www.sheridanvoysey.com): We Have a Visitor

Imagine that you’re a member of an organised crime ring with connections to corrupt city authorities. Imagine that you discover someone who knows your gang’s every deed—every scheme and secret deal. One night you decide to round him up. He must be silenced.

‘We have a visitor,’ says one of your thugs as they bring him to you. ‘Is it true,’ you ask the man, ‘that you know of my business dealings?’ He stays silent. ‘Is it true!?’ yells another thug, slapping your suspect across the face. The man looks you in the eye and nods.

Plans are made for the man’s removal. You pick up your Blackberry and start dialling. The city mayor always takes your call.

A news conference is held the next morning. As journalists gather and cameras roll, the mayor rises to the podium. ‘We have intercepted a terrorist plot to blow up Town Hall,’ he says—your victim’s face flashed across television screens. ‘We expect a fast trial and a most serious sentence.’

The innocent man is held in custody. With a nod from a compliant superior, a group of bored cops take to him. They push him into a back room and start beating and spitting on him. They force him onto all fours and kick him up the backside. They put lipstick on his face and pour beer down the front of his jeans. They wrench an old judge’s wig on his head and shout, ‘Have mercy on us, oh Judge! Forgive us for our terrible crimes!’

The holder of your secrets is indeed tried quickly. He is declared guilty and jailed in a maximum security compound. And there, after another call from your Blackberry, your incarcerated cronies go to work.

They enter your victim’s cell as he cowers in the corner. They throw him to the floor and strip him naked. Rolling him onto his stomach they stretch him out and lash his feet together with plumber’s tape. They pull his flailing arms behind his back and tape together his wrists. ‘The mouth?’ asks one of them. ‘And the nose,’ comes the reply. Three men hold your victim down as loop upon loop of black tape is wound around his face—starting from the chin, up to the lips, and finally across his nostrils.

Sweat covers his body. His lungs heave for air. His eyelids are swollen. His dead body is found three hours later.

Mission complete.

Now imagine that your victim is not just a man, but a God-man. And imagine that he is not just your victim but your liberator. Imagine that he had entered your life to save you from the sin and evil that engulfs you. Imagine that he acquiesced to your torture in order to free not just you but your mob, the mayor, the prison guards and crooked cops, the cronies, the journalists, the cameramen and watching audience.

How do you feel?

There’s a knock at the door. You have a visitor.

This story isn’t over.

BigRead12 – Week 6 – We Have a Visitor – Sheridan Voysey by bigbible

Questions:

  1. What does Jesus’ Gethsemane experience teach us about the character of God?
  2. What does it teach us about love?
  3. What does it teach us about submission to God?
  4. What does it teach us about submission to others?
  5. What is the difference between gratuitous suffering and redemptive suffering?
  6. In Mark 14 and 15 Jesus was rejected by the Jews, the Romans (Gentiles) and his friends. All of humanity was complicit. How have you rejected him? How might his response to that rejection affect your worship?

Pudding:

Hot: Is death the end?

There are a number of directions that this conversation can go in. In western culture we tend to avoid death (and all that’s associated with it) aside from on film; we have recently had a number of ‘rapture’ predictions; consider ‘Dying Matters’ (website; video); Death at Winchester; and reactions to those who have died in the past year – e.g. Steve Jobs, Amy Winehouse, etc.

Cold: Write your own epitaph

This is not intended to be a dismal exercise, but drawn from coaching practices, an opportunity to think what you’d like to achieve in life, and start moving towards it. This may draw up questions as to whether people are likely to live a full life span, and we’d hope would lead people to change a habit/habits to achieve a change in their lives.

After Dinner Chocs:

  1. As the reflection demonstrates: ‘Read with the Bible in one hand, the newspaper in the other’ – do this today.  [Bart]
  2. By Easter, Table-talk.org will have a section on death. Visit the site.
  3. If you’ve never read The Shack, read it. If you have, join in the discussions at the website.

The Book

The related material in Lent for Everyone: Mark can be found on Tuesday in Holy Week, pp 151-155 which finishes:

Today
Lord Jesus, King and Master, help us to watch with you, to stay with you, to learn from your anguish the lessons of love.

About bigbible

The #BigBible Project. Educating in the digital spaces, creating 'bigger Bible conversations' between #digidisciple(s). Look out for #bigread14.