What is the Meaning of Mark 14.1-31

“Three Responses to The Death of Christ” Betrayal, Devotion, or Denial

Mark 14:1-31

INTRODUCTION What is the Meaning of Mark 14.1-31

Mark chapter 14. Mark chapter 14 begins the last major section of the book of Mark. The events in this chapter and the next all lead up to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. Beginning in this chapter, we have stepped into the shadow of the cross and we are approaching the sacred ground of the blessed atonement through which we receive peace with God.

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This passage and the passages to come are full of emotion. There is suspense, overwhelming gratitude, fear, and disappointment. In the end there will be joy unspeakable.

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There is incredible suspense. In verses one and two of chapter 14, the Jews plot against Jesus to kill him. Then immediately the story shifts to a home where Jesus and his friends are gathered to enjoy a simple meal. And as they are eating, you can hear the Jews scheming as they devise a devious plan to crucify the Lord. Jesus and his friends are seemingly unsuspecting and without any alarm.

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And yet as wicked men scheme and as Jesus’ death warrant is being signed, a faithful woman at this simple meal in Bethany anoints Jesus in preparation for his burial. That’s the first meal, where Jesus is served. But at the meal to follow, the Lord’s Supper, Jesus himself is the servant.

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Verses 12 to 31 comprise one scene, where Jesus and his disciples celebrate the Passover and the first Lord’s Supper together.

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Verse 11 ends a section that anticipates the betrayal of Jesus. The Jews and Judas concoct a plan to execute Jesus while a woman prepares Jesus for his burial, devoting herself to Jesus. The focus clearly is on Jesus’ imminent death.

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One would wonder then how much Jesus is in control. He can heal the sick, raise up the lame, and even raise the dead, but can he prevent his own death? This passage focuses us on Christ’s divine sovereignty. We will see this morning how Christ is completely in control of everything that leads up to his own death.

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The passage ends with Jesus predicting the denial of the disciples. Jesus knows what’s in the heart of these men. And he knows what will happen. In fact, he is orchestrating all of these events himself.

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And Jesus’ control of the events leading up to the cross is well attested to in Scripture. The

Bible teaches that the history of the redemption of man is focused on the cross. Romans chapter 3 teaches that concerning the salvation of man, God’s plan has always been the cross. How was God going to be able to forgive sinners of their sin before the cross? Romans 3 teaches that God passed over those sins previously committed because he knew they would ultimately be paid for at the cross. Old Testament saints trusted God with the revelation that God gave to them and trusted that they would receive eternal life, though they may not have understood how the atonement of the Messiah would come about.

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It wasn’t until the cross that this marvelous salvation was accomplished. And what happened at the cross was that Jesus paid the penalty of our sin. He paid for it. He paid for it so we do not have to. God’s wrath is kindled because of human sin. When Jesus went to the cross, Jesus willingly gave up his life to extinguish the wrath of God against our sin so that we don’t have to pay for our sin forever in hell.

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The Bible teaches that when Jesus died on the cross that he actually became sin on our behalf. Sin is hanging there on the cross and all of God’s wrath is extinguished against the guilt of our sin.

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And when Jesus did that, the Bible teaches that everyone who trusts in Jesus Christ and repents, that is, turns from his/her sins, Jesus’ righteousness is credited to the account of the believer. There is a moment in time when a person trusts Jesus and repents of their sin and calls upon Jesus to save them from their sin. Salvation happens in a moment of time. The Bible clearly says salvation from sin and hell is not a work of your own, lest you would have something to boast about. So at the cross, Jesus took on our sin upon Himself and when He died and was raised again His righteousness can be credited to our account if we have believed in him.

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And if you believe these things and as yet have not called upon Jesus to save you from your sin, you must ask him to save you from you from your sin. “Whoever will call upon the name of the Lord will be saved!”

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God’s focus in the history of mankind is to bring glory to himself through saving people from their sin. Not only in the history of mankind, but God has planned the cross even before time began. Acts 2:23 [Jesus was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God…. Think of that, [Jesus was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God. Other verses similar are Acts 3:18 and 4:28 and 1 Peter 1:20.

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The Bible says that we have to respond. God in his sovereign control over the plans of men has determined that humans play a part in the working out of God’s plan in the earth.

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Again, Acts 2:23 [Jesus was] delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, [but Peter is preaching here … the Jews] nailed [Him] to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death.

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So you see, though Jesus was delivered over by a plan that was predetermined by God, Peter can still preach to the Jews in truth and tell them that they indeed are responsible, they nailed Jesus to the cross.

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So God in His marvelous wisdom and sovereignty over man has so ordained that we are responsible for our actions. The crucifixion of Jesus was the predetermined plan of God, but Peter says that they nailed Jesus to a cross and alter he will call upon them to repent.

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So God is totally in control, and man is totally responsible for their actions. On the stage of divine sovereignty, God has cast human responsibility. Somehow in the infinite wisdom of God both are real.

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We will see Christ’s divine sovereignty in Mark 14. As well, we will see real human choices. And the human choices all relate to what to do with Jesus.

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As we have read in Mark 14, there are some who are the enemy and they will betray Jesus. There are others, like the disciples, who deny Jesus. And then there is the devotion of one!

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So, I’d like to preach then on “Three Responses to The Death of Christ”: Betrayal, Devotion, or Denial?

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The scheming of religious leaders, the devotion of the woman, and the denial of the disciples all center on what to do with Christ. They responded. How will you respond to Christ? You can’t ride the fence and make up your mind later. Jesus lived, He worked miracles and He raised people from the dead. And He himself dies and is raised from the dead. This is actually true and it does change everything.

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Notes about Literary Structure

We’re going to focus on this first response of betrayal in a minute, but first let’s note how Mark structures his story. In verses 1 and 2, we have the scheming of these religious leaders to betray Jesus to death. And then in verses 3 to 9, we have the devotion of the woman, but then Mark immediately returns in verses 10 and 11 to the scheming of these religious leaders to betray Jesus to death. So here is Mark’s way of telling his story, we’ve called before Mark’s sandwich technique.

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What this does is it focuses our attention on the contrasts. We have the devotion of the woman in contrast to betrayers. This technique of Mark brings into full-color the heinousness of the betrayal on the one hand and the warmth and beauty of devotion to Christ on the other. The betrayal becomes more wicked and the devotion all the more beautiful.

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So we will first focus on the betrayal in verses one and two. Then, we’ll continue with the betrayal as it continues to be the focus in verses 10 down through 21. After those verses, we’ll return to verses 3 to 9. So we’ll return to verses 3-9 in a moment after these first 21 verses are addressed.

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  1. Betrayal (14:1-2; 10-21)

These verses are packed with clear references to Christ’s divine sovereignty and control over the transpiring events, yet the Jews and Judas are also entirely responsible for their sinful actions.

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Let’s read verses one and two Mark 14:1-2 1 Now the Passover and Unleavened Bread were two days away; and the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.”

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Mark informs us of the timeframe. We are two days away from the Passover and the feast of Unleavened Bread. We are also two days away from Jesus’ crucifixion.

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The Passover commemorated God’s rescuing Israel from slavery in Egypt during the Exodus. Jesus was crucified in A.D. 33. Two days before the Passover in A.D. 33 would have been Wednesday, April 1, A.D. 33. Jesus will be crucified on the Passover Friday, April 3 A.D. 33.

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Now, the Passover was a pilgrim feast. In other words, many Jewish families from all over the world were traveling to Jerusalem to observe the Passover. This is required by God in the Law of Moses. It could only be observed in Jerusalem. And so there were tens of thousands of people that were flooding into Jerusalem. In fact, it very well could be that over 200,000 people have, to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover.

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And Jesus is not exactly unknown. In fact, he is quite popular among the people. He has healed their sick and raised their dead. What would happen if they crucified Jesus when 200,000+ people were in town? Their fears of the people may be realized as it says in these first two verses. Mark 14:1-2 1 …; the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how to seize Him by stealth and kill Him; 2 for they were saying, “Not during the festival, otherwise there might be a riot of the people.” If they did that, there would be a riot among the people.

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The religious leaders had to figure out how to seize Jesus secretly in order to kill him. If they did not do it secretly, in verse two, there might be a riot among the people. Could you imagine tens of thousands of people rioting?

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But ironically, and contrary to their initial desires, Jesus actually will be crucified not only during the feast, but during the highlight of the feast, on the very day of the Passover, when all these people are here! It’s just 2 days away! Does that not speak to the sovereignty of God? Though wicked men scheme, only what God desires to use for His glory will stand. These men do not want to seize Jesus and kill him when all of these thousands of people are here, but the very thing they desire to prevent actually happens. Because Jesus will be executed in just two days on Friday which is during the Passover.

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And the Passover commemorated the Exodus out of Egypt. And what they did among other things was they sacrificed a lamb to God. And each gathering would then roast the lamb and eat it.

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And Jesus, as the true Lamb of God that actually takes away the sins of the world, will Himself be sacrificed at the very time when those Israelites are sacrificing their lambs. So even though wicked men did not want Jesus to die during the Passover, it was the plan of God from the very beginning.

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APP: And praise the Lord, God is still upsetting the plans of wicked men today and is only allowing certain plans to stand up that will further His own glorious purposes.

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So Jesus death is no cosmic mistake. It is perfectly planned out and has been since the beginning of time.

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Well, what changed these religious leaders’ minds? They were going to crucify Jesus after the Passover and these 200,000 people left, but we know clearly that that did not happen. What happened to change the religious leader’s minds?

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It was what we have in verses 10-11. Mark 14:10-11 10 Then Judas Iscariot, who was one of the twelve, went off to the chief priests in order to betray Him to them. 11 They were glad when they heard this, and promised to give him money. And he began seeking how to betray Him at an opportune time.

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This was an offer too good to refuse. The betrayal comes from within. It comes from within the ranks of Jesus supposed disciples. And the blood of the Son of God is betrayed for money! Clearly, Judas cannot serve God and wealth, so he chooses wealth. And the leaders could not resist such an offer, so they agree.

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What is betrayal? It is a delivering over into the hands of the enemy. Jesus is about to be delivered over into the hands of the enemy.

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TRANS: Betrayal! The very sound of that word makes movies and bestsellers. And lest you soon forget, Mark wants us to remember that Jesus is totally in control of it all. Vv. 12-21 give us indisputable proof that Jesus is control of his own betrayal. Here, the scheme is discovered and the betrayer becomes known. Those sneaking in the darkness to bring Jesus to His death by crucifixion come to light. Verse 12 …

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Mark 14:12-21 12 On the first day of Unleavened Bread, when the Passover lamb was being sacrificed [….this is the day before Jesus’ crucifixion now…], His disciples *said to Him, “Where do You want us to go and prepare for You to eat the Passover?” […They are about to commemorate the Lord’s rescue of Israel from Egypt in the Passover…] 13 And He *sent two of His disciples and *said to them [ …now here is Christ’s divine sovereignty … ], “Go into the city, and a man will meet you carrying a pitcher of water; follow him; 14 and wherever he enters, say to the owner of the house, ‘The Teacher says, “Where is My guest room in which I may eat the Passover with My disciples?”‘ 15 “And he himself will show you a large upper room furnished and ready; prepare for us there.”

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They are to find a man carrying a pitcher. Finding a lady in the midst of all of these thousands people with a pitcher would not have been a remarkable thing; this was the lady’s job in those days. However, a man carrying a pitcher, now, that’s a sign. Jesus predicts the sign.

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There’s secrecy, then. With the scheming in the background, Jesus takes special precaution. Jesus doesn’t want Judas to know the time and place where they would celebrate the Passover; otherwise, Judas the betrayer would also arrange that His captures be there. But Jesus can’t let that happen, because He must have His time with His own disciples before He ends His earthly ministry. He is in control of everything. I’ll read through this and make a few comments along the way…

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16 The disciples went out and came to the city, and found it just as He had told them; and they prepared the Passover. […that’s a miracle, just like when Jesus arranged the donkey to ride into Jerusalemhow many times does a miracle of providence like this have to happen before you trust him? … ] 17 When it was evening He *came with the twelve. 18 As they were reclining at the table and eating, Jesus said, [unlike DaVinci’s Last Supper, it says v. 18 that they recline. 1st century custom was to recline on a kind of U-shaped couch while eating, with the head toward the table, and not to sit on chairs at a table…v. 18 Jesus says…] “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray Me—one who is eating with Me.” […that could be any one of the 12 disciples, they all eat with him…] 19 They began to be grieved and to say to Him one by one, “Surely not I?” [there is self-examination. ] 20 And He said to them, “It is one of the twelve, one who dips with Me in the bowl. […and verse 21 is inexplicable …] 21 “For the Son of Man is to go just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”

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Only God is able to explain how the Son of Man is to be betrayed just as the Old Testament predicts by divine inspiration in Zech. 11:12-13 and at the same time Christ pronounces woe, or condemnation, upon the man by whom He is betrayed. God is totally in control, but man is totally responsible.

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APP: And Jesus is betrayed … even today and men are responsible. God is in control but men are responsible. Today, Jesus is betrayed into the hands of the enemy. The focus in our passage this morning is on the death of Christ. The woman prepares Jesus for burial as we’ll see, Judas and the Jews scheme to deliver him over to death, and the disciples will deny Jesus because of Jesus arrest for crucifixion. It’s all focused on the death of Christ.

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The betrayal of Jesus over the death of Jesus is still happening today. Those in the United Church are betraying Jesus by rejecting Jesus’ atonement on the cross. Rob Bell, former leader of what’s called “Mars Hill Bible Church” in Grand Rapids Michigan betrays Jesus. He is also the author of the New York Times bestsellers Love Wins and Velvet Elvis. In 2011 Time Magazine put Bell on its list of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. He denies the substitutionary atonement of Christ and seems to believe all, even those who reject Christ, are eventually saved. He seems to teach universalism. This is betrayal.

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In an interview, William Young, the author of the popular book The Shack, openly, clearly denies that God the Father punished God the Son for your sin. His book has sold more than 10 million copies and was a #1 seller in its category on the New York Times best sellers list from June 2008 to early 2010. But he openly denies the need for the Father to punish the Son and thus he denies the clear teaching of Isaiah 53:5-6 5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. 6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.

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Young was also asked the question, “The Muslim who rejects Christ, who does not believe that He is the Son of God, will he ultimately be saved?” He answered, “I don’t know, I don’t know that.”

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They are crafty in their denials, intelligent in their arguments and polite in their demeanor, but betrayers in their hearts. They deny eternal condemnation. Literally, there is hell to pay for your sins. You will pay for you sins in hell if you reject Jesus Christ as your Savior. You must repent and trust in Christ for salvation. Anything contrary to that is heresy.

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APP: Will you betray Jesus? Will you reject Jesus’ atonement as entirely effective to take away sin? Do you believe that Jesus died to take away your sin? Will you trust Him to do that?

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TRANS: With heinous betrayal in the background, now in verses 9-13, in the foreground is warm devotion. In the midst of the plotting of the Jews with Judas (14:1-2, 10–21) stands the perfuming of Jesus by a devoted woman (14:3–9).

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  1. Devotion (14:3-9)

Mark chapter 14:3 begins the story of the woman showing special devotion to God. Women have a special place in Mark’s gospel. Christ gives special attention to them in that he heals them, like Peter’s mother-in-law in Mark chapter 1. They also serve as models of true Christian discipleship, again like Peter’s mother-in-law who, after being healed, rose up and served him, Mark 1:31.

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And the story that exceeds all the others, is this story the anointing of Jesus at Bethany. And one of the reasons why we could say that this story of this woman exceeds all the other stories about women in Mark is the nature of Jesus’ commendation of her act. Mark 14:9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

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And in the context, this story of this woman is set opposite to the woman at the end of Mark 12, with the story of the widow giving all that she owned to the Temple. And the Lord Jesus commends her as well for her act of giving.

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And so in between these two stories of these exemplary women, is Jesus explanation on end time events in Mark chapter 13. And now in Mark 14:3-9, the woman prepares Jesus for his burial while Jesus enemies prepare to kill him. From the background as the scheming of these wicked men but in our sight we can see a devoted woman expressing her great love to Christ.

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In Mark 14:3, we have the act of devotion itself.

Mark 14:3 While He was in Bethany at the home of Simon the leper, and reclining at the table, there came a woman with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.

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So Jesus and his disciples are in the town of Bethany. Notice whose home they are in. They are in the home of Simon the leper. Leprosy is a horrible disease. It disfigures your body by causing you to lose sensation wherever it appears on your skin.

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Jewish law required the isolation of these lepers. And often times they would even require that the home of these people be burned down because of the disease. And so for Jesus and the disciples to go to the home of Simon the leper implies that Simon had been healed from his leprosy and that it was likely Jesus who heal him.

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And they were all reclining at the table and now here a woman comes! And who is she? Mark does not tell us. We do not know her name, but verse 3 says she came “with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.” And Jesus’ estimation this is an incredible act deserving of worldwide proclamation for her remembrance, as verse nine indicates. But we do not have her name!

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This is true discipleship, isn’t it! True discipleship proceeds in radical service for Christ without any desire for recognition. And so here we have another woman in Mark’s gospel and like other minor characters in the book of Mark, she will be contrasted with the disciples. The disciples in Mark’s gospel as we have seen over and over again are not in a good light. In a moment, we will see how the disciples will deny Jesus in the face of Jesus’ arrest. However, this woman actually prepares Jesus for his burial, as Jesus says in Mark 14:8.

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Mark 14:8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial.

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And like a true disciple of Jesus Christ, this woman does not find this easy. It costs her something.

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Verse 3 again…the woman came “with an alabaster vial of very costly perfume of pure nard; and she broke the vial and poured it over His head.”

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She comes with an alabaster vial. This is likely a large vial made of a white mineral, like marble. One picture I saw has a long neck and could be easily plugged to pour small drops. In it was, our version says, nard. That’s an oil extracted from an East Indian plant that has a very strong and pleasant smell.

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It’s very costly, Mark notes. The disciples say in verse 5 that it could have been sold for 300 denarii. 1 denarius was a day’s wage. This is vial of perfume that costs about a years’ salary. How many days do you work in a year? How much do you make?

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So just like the last woman at the end of Mark 12, this woman likewise is demonstrating extravagant and radical devotion to God and we know that because of the sacrifice. What you do with your money is an indication of what you’re devoted to.

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If you had more money, what would you do with it? This woman? $30,000 or more … She breaks the vial … She can even use that anymore… And she poured the entire contents on Jesus head. The entire thing is gone! $30,000 or more, gone! The previous woman at the end of chapter 12, also gave all that she had.

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Does this woman not realize what else could’ve been done with that kind of money? Can you sympathize with the disciples in Mark 14:4-5 4 But some were indignantly remarking to one another, “Why has this perfume been wasted? 5 “For this perfume might have been sold for over three hundred denarii, and the money given to the poor.” And they were scolding her.

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Surely Jesus as well is sympathetic with this, right? Wouldn’t be better to give money to help the poor?

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But Jesus responds Mark 14:6-9 6 …”Let her alone; why do you bother her? She has done a good deed to Me. 7 “For you always have the poor with you, and whenever you wish you can do good to them; but you do not always have Me…. [Not that Jesus doesn’t care for the poor, but who is Jesus? They don’t always have Jesus with them; they could not do good works to him for much longer … his death is imminent. Later, after His ascension, they may do good works for him when they help the poor, but only now can they actually do it to him…. ] 8 “She has done what she could; she has anointed My body beforehand for the burial. 9 “Truly I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what this woman has done will also be spoken of in memory of her.”

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The woman is opposed by the disciples of Jesus themselves. Her radical devotion to Christ is scolded, but Christ, the one whom the disciples claim to follow, commends her act. If someone were to give it all up for Christ …literally, would you commend them like Jesus or scold them like the disciples? If someone in their speech and life is radical in their devotion, would you honor them, or think something is wrong with them?

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ILL: Robert Murray M’Cheyne was the minister of St Peter’s Church in Dundee, just north of Edinburgh Scotland. He was born in 1813 and was saved around 1831 when his older brother, who fervently prayed for his salvation, died in Christ.

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His would rise at 6:30 am and spend two hours in private prayer and meditation. From 8:30-10 am he had breakfast and family prayers. On Sundays he would spend six hours in prayer and devotional reading. M’Cheyne felt so strongly about private and family Bible times that he devised a yearly calendar for his people to enable them to read the Old Testament once and the New Testament and Psalms twice. I’m using this plan myself these days.

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Now, that devotion sounds crazy. That’s 3 and 4 hours a day of devotions. Perhaps he should get off his knees and get to work. Would we commend him or condemn him?

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Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

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I live because of the cross and I live for the One on the cross and I live through the power of God found in the cross and resurrection! The woman had in her heart by the power of God to…

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1 Chronicles 16:11 Seek the Lord and His strength; Seek His face continually. Her heart longed like in Isaiah 55 …

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Isaiah 55:1 1 Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. 2 Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread? and your labour for that which satisfieth not? hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight itself in fatness. 3 Incline your ear, and come unto me: hear, and your soul shall live; and I will make an everlasting covenant with you, even the sure mercies of David….. Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: 7 Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. …

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Will people say of you, like they said of this woman, “Oh, see, watch her sacrifice, see how she loved Him!” And they will keep on saying this of this woman throughout the entire church age as this gospel is preached.

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“She did what she could” Jesus said. Some may view it as extravagance, her view was it’s the least I could do because of Jesus’ death for me. Do you do the least for Him who gave all for you? As a fragrant aroma, a sweet-smelling sacrifice, will you pour out your soul for Christ? In light of the mercies of God, how could we not sacrifice radically for His sake who sacrificed all?

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What will you do with the death of Christ? Will you betray Him and openly reject its significance? Probably not. But will you actively devote your life to Him who hung there for you?

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TRANS: So, here was meal during which was an act by a woman who gave up all for Christ; it cost her much, and she voluntarily gave it up. So, now we move from a meal where she was memorialized, to another meal, in which Christ is memorialized, the Lord’s Supper.

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And in verses 22-31, in this warm intimate setting with the disciples, Jesus predicts in stark contrast, his own denial by the very ones who eat with him. How will you respond to the death of Christ? We have the heinous betrayal of the religious leaders, the extravagant devotion of a humble woman, and now the denial of the disciples.

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  1. Denial (14:22-31)

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Mark 14:22-25 22 While they were eating, He took some bread, and after a blessing He broke it, and gave it to them, and said, “Take it; this is My body.” 23 And when He had taken a cup and given thanks, He gave it to them, and they all drank from 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 never again drink of the fruit of the vine until that day when I drink it new in the kingdom of God.”

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Jesus is inaugurating the New Covenant in His blood, as predicted in Jer. 31:31. Jesus’ death is again in focus with the phrases “this is my body” and in verse 24, “this is my blood” of the covenant, …see, Jesus is inaugurating the New Covenant on the Thursday night before He will be crucified on Friday.

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As they ate the Passover meal that night, he took some unraised bread.  He broke the bread, symbolizing His broken body. And said “take it, this is my body.” Then He took the cup and gave thanks to His Father and gave that one cup to His disciples, and they all drank from the one cup.

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This all is symbolic of being a true partaker of Christ. By taking the Lord’s Supper you are preaching to all of us that you have become a true partaker of Jesus Christ. His body was broken and blood was spilled for “many” it says in verse 24. The word “many” is not intended to limit Jesus’ sacrifice. In ancient grammar, the word here for “the many” normally stands for totality, all. It’s the very “many” whom Isaiah in Isaiah 53 refers to as the sinner or transgressor. Clearly, the grammar and Isa. 53 both teach that the many here refers to all or everyone as 1 Timothy 2:6 says …[that Jesus] gave Himself as a ransom for all…”

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Jesus died for the sins of the whole world, since all are sinners! Jesus’ death effectively paid the price of the sins of every human being. But only the ones who turn are saved from sin and hell.

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I’d like to come back to this passage in a couple of weeks for our Lord’s Supper on Thursday the 29th and give some more insight to it then.

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But after signing a hymn, Jesus and the disciples return to the Mount of Olives and He predicts the falling away of the disciples.

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Mark 14:27 And Jesus *said to them, “You will all fall away, because it is written, ‘I WILL STRIKE DOWN THE SHEPHERD, AND THE SHEEP SHALL BE SCATTERED.’

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Again, a note of Christ’s sovereignty as He predicts this. Verse 28 Mark 14:28 “But after I have been raised, I will go ahead of you to Galilee.”

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He predicts his own resurrection and He predicts He will go ahead of them to Galilee. Does He actually go ahead of them there after the resurrection? Yes, He does, but the disciples missed this! Peter immediately jumps to his statement in Mark 14:29-31 29 But Peter said to Him, “Even though all may fall away, yet I will not.” 30 And Jesus *said to him, “Truly I say to you, that this very night, before a rooster crows twice, you yourself will deny Me three times.” 31 But Peter kept saying insistently, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” And they all were saying the same thing also.

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Truth is, they all actually deny Him, as we’ll see. Jesus predicts it and the disciples reject it. They were all saying the same thing “even if we have to die, they will not deny!” John Andrew, James, Bartholomew, they were all saying that! Jesus predicted it, it will literally happen. If we interpret Jesus literally, we’ll know that in a few short verses they will deny Him.

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But denial is going on today, by those claiming to be disciples. We may not reject the significance of his death, but those claiming to be Christian deny the truth of His death by their lives.

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CONCLUSION What is the Meaning of Mark 14.1-31

[1]There was a Christian conference in New York City and the topic was social justice. Theologians, pastors, lay church leaders were all in attendance. At one point a poor disciple stands up in the meeting and says, “Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are materialists with no experience of the Spirit. Regardless of what the New Testament says, most Christians are individualists with no real experience of community.” He paused for a moment and then continued: “Let’s pretend that you were all Christians. If you were Christians, you would no longer horde things on this earth. You would share everything you had. You would actually love one another. And you would treat each other as if you were family.” His eyes were piercing as he asked, “Why don’t you do that? Why don’t you live that way?”

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Those who claim to be Jesus’ followers have lost their way and have lost power. The efforts of the church at winning souls to Christ from sin and hell have failed perhaps in part because the gospel is not being lived out in the world.

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Peter writes a 1 Peter 3:15 but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence;

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Peter is basically saying that you need to be ready to explain yourself. Peter likely assumed that certain questions would asked of those early disciples like, “Why do you people live the way you do? It’s a mystery to us. It’s contrary to our whole way of life. So what motivates you?” Peter, realizing that such questions would be asked, wanted Jesus’ followers to be prepared for those questions. He told them to be ready, when the questions were asked, to give reason for the hope that was within them.

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The power of today’s evangelism today is tested by the question, “What do we have to explain to the world about the way that we live?” But that question is no longer being asked of Christians. No one is asking why we live the way we do. Why? Because most people already know the answer: Most of those claiming to be Christians live the way they do for the same reasons that everybody else lives the way they do. Christians look like they live for the same things everybody else lives for. Christians live like the world around them and are pursuing the things, goals, and aspirations of this world.

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Are you denying Jesus by the way you live? You attend church when it doesn’t interfere with other things that are more important. Or, when you come to church you come as observers… as if to taste and sample the parts we like in the service or sermon, rather than sitting underneath the judgment of God’s Word.

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Or do you come as the woman and pour out your soul to God and plead with Him for His mercy and grace? Are you pursuing a life of extravagant worship, devotion, and sacrifice? Radical, crazy devotion so that people may ask “why is it that you live the way you live? What motivates you? Make it Christ…Christ alone!” Play through once…Hymn 342 …how old McCheyne was …

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  1. From http://www.somareview.com/betrayingjesus.cfm

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