“Christ crucified” is the pattern for, and the test of, genuine discipleship. THAT is the Christ believers are called to emulate.
In the New Testament, the death of Jesus on a Roman cross is the paradigm for discipleship, the benchmark against which Christian conduct is measured, and the criterion for identifying true disciples from unfaithful ones. Whether examining spirituality, wisdom or the miraculous, Calvary is the line that separates the genuine from the counterfeit, and God cannot be known apart from the crucified Messiah.
Continue reading THE PARADIGM OF CALVARY
In Mark’s gospel, only at his death did a Roman centurion who was present at his execution recognize who Jesus was – Mark 10:45.
In Mark, all men prove incapable of recognizing who Jesus is, even his closest disciples. The only exceptions are John the Baptist and the Roman centurion at Golgotha, the very man in charge of the execution squad. Mark has threaded this theme throughout his gospel to make the point – The Messiah cannot be understood apart from his death on a Roman cross.
Continue reading RECOGNIZING JESUS – CALVARY
OVERVIEW – According to Mark, the Son of Man was revealed only in his sufferings and death on a Roman Cross – Mark 15:34-39.
A theme threaded throughout the Gospel of Mark is the inability of men to recognize who Jesus is – The Son of God – until AFTER his crucifixion, and even then, paradoxically, he was declared “Son of God” by the unlikeliest person, the very Roman centurion who in charge of his execution. What made this Messiah unrecognizable was his self-identification as the suffering “Son of Man.”
Continue reading SUFFERING SON OF MAN
OVERVIEW – Jesus was the promised Messiah, but he fulfilled that role as the Suffering Servant on his way to die in Jerusalem. His disciple must likewise take up his cross and follow him – Mark 8:27-38.
On the “way to Jerusalem,” Jesus entered Caesarea Philippi and questioned his disciples about his identity – “Who do men say that I am?” Momentarily, Peter began to perceive and confess who and what he was – “You are the Messiah!”
Continue reading WHOSOEVER WILL FOLLOW ME
“I will give him a portion among the great, because he poured out his soul unto death, and with transgressors let himself be numbered” – Isaiah 53:12.
Unlike Adam, the “Servant of Yahweh” did not grasp at the “likeness of God.” Instead, he humbled himself and chose obedience, even when that meant his submission to a most shameful death. For this reason, God highly exalted him and installed him to reign over all things as “Lord.” Exaltation did not precede the death of Jesus – it followed it.
Continue reading SERVANT OF YAHWEH
“Now the natural man receives not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot know them, because they are spiritually discerned” – (1 Corinthians 2:14).
How many times have we had this passage quoted to us? Why, only those who are “spiritually minded” can hope to understand the things of God! Your spirit must be in synch with His Spirit to perceive what He is doing! Or words to that effect. But is that what Paul is saying in this passage?
Continue reading CHRIST CRUCIFIED – TRUE SPIRITUALITY