< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: The New Covenant Mark 14:27-31

Thursday, December 27, 2012

The New Covenant Mark 14:27-31

Mark 14:27-31 27 You will all fall away,” Jesus told them, “for it is written: “‘I will strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered.’ 28 But after I have risen, I will go ahead of you into Galilee.”

29 Peter declared, “Even if all fall away, I will not.”

30 “Truly I tell you,” Jesus answered, “today—yes, tonight—before the rooster crows twice you yourself will disown me three times.”

31 But Peter insisted emphatically, “Even if I have to die with you, I will never disown you.” And all the others said the same.

God made us a promise and Jesus is the promise keeper. Back in verse 24 Jesus said, “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many”. God is a covenant making God. All throughout the Bible. A covenant is an expression of God’s desire to know us.

And every time there was a covenant man broke it. All the old covenants: with Abraham, with Moses, were sealed with the blood of an animal. And then the prophet Jeremiah spoke of a new covenant.

Jeremiah 31:31-33 31 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when I will make a new covenant with the people of Israel and with the people of Judah. 32 It will not be like the covenant I made with their ancestors when I took them by the hand to lead them out of Egypt, because they broke my covenant, though I was a husband to them,” declares the Lord.
33 “This is the covenant I will make with the people of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God,
and they will be my people.”

God wants to relate to us. He wants us to be His people. He wants to be our God. This covenant would be different then the ones carved in stone. This one would be in our hearts. And that was accomplished by the Holy Spirit moving into a believer’s body. This is being born again.

But blood would still have to be shed and the disciples of course knew this Jeremiah passage and were waiting all their lives to see whose blood it would be. And now Jesus told them. His blood! He was the sacrifice.

Luke 22:20 20 In the same way, after the supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood, which is poured out for you.

Jesus also refers to Himself as the shepherd in this passage. ‘I will strike down the shepherd (Jesus) and the sheep (the disciples) will scatter.” This refers to another Old Testament passage Zechariah 13:7 Awake, sword, against my shepherd, against the man who is close to me!” declares the Lord Almighty. “Strike the shepherd, and the sheep will be scattered, and I will turn my hand against the little ones.”

“Against the man who is close to me.” God would strike His shepherd, His very own son. And the sheep would scatter.

The disciples heard this much and got all huffy because they didn’t like to be called faithless. They totally missed where Jesus said he’d rise and go ahead of them to Galilee. Peter jumped in saying everyone else might desert Him, but not him! Jesus was wrong! But Jesus told him that he, Peter, would deny Him three times that very night.

Peter wasn’t listening and therefore he wasn’t doing what he was supposed to be doing. He was trying to do everything his own way. Peter did become humble later. Probably that very night when Peter had just finished saying the third denial and the cock crowded and he looked up to see Jesus watching him across the courtyard. Can you imagine how Peter felt in that moment? But would Jesus have looked at him with anything but love, understanding and forgiveness?

And because He rose and because He forgave Peter, Peter told this story to Mark – with all of Peter’s faults in it – and it became the Gospel of Mark. And Peter became a pillar in the early Christian church.

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