Hope Lost, Hope Found (Mark 16:1-8)

Sermon: Hope Lost, Hope Found

Sermon Notes:

  1. A few of His friends went to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus 1-3

A.  On Saturday evening they purchased the necessary spices 1

1 And when the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

  • Sabbath over = Saturday evening
  • Mary of Magdalen:
  • Mary (mother of Jesus) the mother of James (the younger brother of Jesus).
  • Salome:  probably the mother of the Zebedee twins, James and John.
  • Spices =aromatic spices, used to mask the stench of the decomposing, drying body.

B.  On Sunday morning they went to the tomb 2

 2 And very early on the first day of the week, they came to the tomb when the sun had risen.

  1. They worried that a large stone blocked their entrance to the grave 3

 3 And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?”

  1. They were shocked to find an open tomb, an angel, and Jesus gone 4-7

A.  The tomb was open 4

4 And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large.

B.  They found a young man inside the tomb 5-7

5 And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed.

1.  The young man explained that Jesus had risen 6

And he said to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him.

2.  The young man told them to remind the disciples to go to Galilee 7

7 “But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He said to you.'”

  • Mark 14:28 “But after I have been raised, I will go before you to Galilee.”
  1. The women fled in fear from the tomb, saying nothing to anyone 8

 8 And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.

Welcomed…but not Wanted (Mark 11:1-11)

Welcomed, but not Wanted 

Big Idea: You can welcome Jesus into your life, but not want Him to stay.

  1. The Preparations for King’s entrance to His people and city 1-7

  A.  The right place on the right day: Jerusalem 1 

As they approached Jerusalem, at Bethphage and Bethany, near the Mount of Olives,

Luke 19:41 When He approached Jerusalem, He saw the city and wept over it, 42 saying, “If you had known in this day, even you, the things which make for peace! But now they have been hidden from your eyes. = This particular day was chosen to enter the city by Jesus because it was in exact fulfillment the day Daniel foretold the Messiah would enter the city = 483 years after Artaxerxes issued a decree to rebuild the walls of Jerusalem (Dan 9:25, Neh 2).

  B.  The right way: on a special colt 2-7         

He sent two of His disciples 2 and said to them, “Go into the village opposite you, and immediately as you enter it, you will find a colt tied there, on which no one yet has ever sat; untie it and bring it here. 3 “If anyone says to you, ‘Why are you doing this?’ you say, ‘The Lord has need of it’; and immediately he will send it back here.” 4 They went away and found a colt tied at the door, outside in the street; and they untied it. 5 Some of the bystanders were saying to them, “What are you doing, untying the colt?” 6 They spoke to them just as Jesus had told them, and they gave them permission. 7 They brought the colt to Jesus and put their coats on it; and He sat on it.

Zechariah 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout in triumph, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; He is just and endowed with salvation, Humble, and mounted on a donkey, Even on a colt, the foal of a donkey. = Signs of the Kings arrival in Jerusalem: Rejoicing, a King of justice, the ability to save, humility—and riding on a donkey!  Jesus purposefully had arranged the colt ahead of time, and deliberately rode it into Jerusalem so all who read the prophet Zechariah would know exactly who He was.

II. The Presentation of the King to His people and His priests 8-11a

  A.  …his presentation to the people on the road to Jerusalem 8-10

8 And many spread their coats in the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields. 9 Those who went in front and those who followed were shouting: “Hosanna! BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD; 10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”

Centuries earlier, when Simon Maccabeus entered into Jerusalem after defeating the occupying Greeks, he entered with “…with thanksgiving, and branches of palm trees, and with harps, and cymbals, and with viols, and hymns, and songs: because there was destroyed a great enemy out of Israel.”  There was clearly a strong militaristic spirit in this crowd—they felt that their Messiah, the King, was coming to do battle with the Romans who occupied their beloved country.

    1.     “Hosanna!” = Salvation, from suffering! 9a

Psalm 118:25 O LORD, do save, we beseech You; O LORD, we beseech You, do send prosperity!  (Hebrew word: hoshea = “Save, now!”)

     2.     “You are the blessed one of God” = Divine favor 9b

BLESSED IS HE WHO COMES IN THE NAME OF THE LORD;

      3.   “Bless the kingdom of David” = Political victory! 10

10 Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David; Hosanna in the highest!”

The response of the crowds tells the reader of at least three things that they believed about Jesus of Nazareth:

“Hosanna!” = T hey believed He would save them, MILITARILY, from their oppression and poverty.  “Blessed is He who comes in the name of the Lord!” = They believed that Jesus was God’s representative, and therefore brought DIVINE POWER with Him.  “Blessed is the coming kingdom of our father David” = they believed that the Davidic line was soon to be restored to the throne of Israel, in Jesus of Nazareth.  This was the POLITICAL salvation they longed for.

    B.    …his presentation to the priests in the temple in Jerusalem 11a

11 Jesus entered Jerusalem and came into the temple

Malachi 3:1 “Behold, I am going to send My messenger, and he will clear the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple; and the messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight, behold, He is coming,” says the LORD of hosts. = It was one of the last prophecies of their own Scriptures that the Lord they so desperately sought after would Himself come “suddenly” to His temple.  And yet, when the Lord did come into the temple He was not received, it sounds as if He wasn’t even noticed.  What is perhaps most notable of the events of this day are not so much what did happen–as bizarre as His entrance into Jerusalem was–as much as what did not happen:  The promised Messiah of God came into the Holy City on te exact day He’d promised, in the exact way He’d promised, and He ended the day barely noticed in His own temple–the very heart of Judaism!

  1. The Departure of the King from the temple and the city 11b

…and after looking around at everything, He left for Bethany with the twelve, since it was already late.

What is the story telling Grace Bible Church today, and what does it mean for us tomorrow, on Monday morning?

They welcomed Him as a savior from their hardships, but not from their sins. They wanted deliverance from the Romans, the priests, their hunger, their troubles, but not from their own sins.  We are often tempted to see our need for salvation as something outside of ourselves; as being delivered from those people and these circumstances that hold back blessing and health from us, when what we desperately need is inner transformation.

They welcomed Him as someone sent from God, but not as in fact being God.  We do the same today when we suggest that Jesus was a great moral teacher, a great man, etc., but they don’t then follow Him, per se, but might select the parts of His teachings that resonate with their own values and desires, and reject His teachings that challenge those things. 

They welcomed Him as the rightful king over their own nation, but not as the Ruler over all nations. “the kingdom of our father David…”  They were hoping for a tribal-king to unify and defend them from the nations, not the God of the nations.  We do this today when we treat Jesus as if He we have an exclusive privileges from Him that others don’t have, or when we treat our church as an exclusive, members-only club, and not a huge, welcome, open-to-the-public celebration of hope, salvation, and opportunity.

Save the Date! (Psalm 45)

What is this psalm about?  The Jewish rabbis clearly saw it as a Messianic Psalm.  That’s a psalm (song) that is primarily related to Israel’s Messiah (Anointed One), the historical figure of Davidic descent who would one day arise from within the nation to deliver His people from oppression and oppressors, and begin an eternal reign marked by international prestige and dominance, and national righteousness, prosperity, and security.  The book is full of such Psalms, and has legitimately been called “the Prayer-book of the Messiah.”  The last words He spoke on the cross were a quotation of a verse of the Psalms, and it appears that Jesus clearly saw His own life and ministry, death and resurrection, etc., as the fulfillment of the book of Psalms.  His apostles seemed to view it the same way, with the very first sermon preached (on the day of Pentecost, by Peter) taking the structural form of an exposition of two of the Psalms, 16:8-11, and 110:1.  In the gospels, Jesus clearly proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah of Israel.  The writers of the book of Hebrews clearly affirms this messianic identity of the Lord when he quotes a couple of verses of Psalm 45, introducing the phrase, “But concerning the Son…” (Hebrews 1:8).  In doing do, the writer identifies the Lord Jesus as THE Messiah figure promised to Israel, and desired with great anticipation by that nation.  Therefore, this is clearly a psalm written in anticipation and worship of the coming Messiah, our Lord Jesus.

After an introduction to his psalm in which the author identifies himself as a member of the “sons of Korah,” and reveals the type of psalm he has written (perhaps to inform the music director of the type of music to play in accompaniment).  He then goes on to share why he has written the psalm:  He has been meditating on his Messiah, and through divine revelation has learned amazing things about this coming King—and he simply must record what he has seen…

My heart overflows with a good theme; I address my verses to the King; My tongue is the pen of a ready writer. (1b)

A loose but workable outline of this psalm can be expressed in one sentence: The awesome Messiah-King, Jesus Christ, is coming to fetch His bride, to return to His Father’s home where the grand wedding will take place, commencing an eternal marriage.   I have placed this sentence as large divisions of the passage, over a textual outline of the passage.  I hope in doing so I have not created too tangled an outline of the marvelous love song written to our dear King Jesus!

I.  The Messiah-King, Jesus Christ, is coming… 2-9

A.  He is handsome appearance and gracious speech 2

2 You are fairer than the sons of men; Grace is poured upon Your lips; Therefore God has blessed You forever.

B.  His astounding might in battle 3-5

1.  He is a mighty warrior 3

3 Gird Your sword on Your thigh, O Mighty One, In Your splendor and Your majesty

2.  He always fights for the right things 4

4 And in Your majesty ride on victoriously, For the cause of truth and meekness and righteousness; Let Your right hand teach You awesome things.

3.  He defeats all His enemies 5

5 Your arrows are sharp; The peoples fall under You; Your arrows are in the heart of the King’s enemies.

C.  He rules over an eternal kingdom 6-9

1.  He rules in eternal righteousness 6

6 Your throne, O God, is forever and ever; A scepter of uprightness is the scepter of Your kingdom.

2.  He loves what is right, and hates what is wrong. 7

7 You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; Therefore God, Your God, has anointed You With the oil of joy above Your fellows.

3.  He is desirable to all who draw near to Him. 8-9

8 All Your garments are fragrant with myrrh and aloes and cassia; Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made You glad. 9 Kings’ daughters are among Your noble ladies; At Your right hand stands the queen in gold from Ophir.

II.  …to fetch His bride the Church… 10-15

A.  She lives with longing for her King alone 10-12

1.  She leaves all to follow after Him alone 10

10 Listen, O daughter, give attention and incline your ear: Forget your people and your father’s house;

    2.  She worships Him alone 11            

11 Then the King will desire your beauty. Because He is your Lord, bow down to Him.

3.  She expects future blessing through Him alone 12

12 The daughter of Tyre will come with a gift; The rich among the people will seek your favor.

B.  She is adopted into a royalty when she marries Him 13-14

13 The King’s daughter is all glorious within; Her clothing is interwoven with gold. 14 She will be led to the King in embroidered work; The virgins, her companions who follow her, Will be brought to You. 

III.  …to return to His Father’s home where the grand wedding celebration will take place. 15-16

15 They will be led forth with gladness and rejoicing; They will enter into the King’s palace. 16 In place of your fathers will be your sons; You shall make them princes in all the earth.  

Cross-ref: Revelation 19:6 Then I heard something like the voice of a great multitude and like the sound of many waters and like the sound of mighty peals of thunder, saying, “Hallelujah! For the Lord our God, the Almighty, reigns. 7 “Let us rejoice and be glad and give the glory to Him, for the marriage of the Lamb has come and His bride has made herself ready.” 8 It was given to her to clothe herself in fine linen, bright and clean; for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints. 9 Then he said to me, “Write, ‘Blessed are those who are invited to the marriage supper of the Lamb.'” And he said to me, “These are true words of God.”         

Post-script: The author’s blessing on the King 17

In response to the marvelous things the author has seen of this King and this beautiful bride—symbolic of the Lord Jesus and His Church, the author resolves that he will do one thing:  he will seek to write so that the name of the King will always be remembered, so that thanks would be given to the King forever.

17 I will cause Your name to be remembered in all generations; Therefore the peoples will give You thanks forever and ever.

Conclusion: What does this mean for us today at Grace Bible Church?  

Sharon and I received a card last week in the mail that simply said, “Save the date!”  It was a pre-invitation, asking us to be sure to “save the date” of my nephew’s wedding in July.  We have to make plans, or NOT make plans—in order to be sure to make it to the wedding.  In the same way—expecting the King, our Groom, to return for us one day, to take us to His Father’s home, where He is preparing a “place” for us—that requires a change in how we plan and look at life, too.   I bleive this Psalm is a type of “Save the Date” message to us from God.

This Psalm presents a warning, an invitation, and celebration to us today:

1.  There is an underlying warning that runs throughout the Psalm: This King loves righteousness, and will one day return to judge the unrighteousness of our world.Cross-ref: Revelation 19:11 And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse, and He who sat on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He judges and wages war. 12 His eyes are a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems; and He has a name written on Him which no one knows except Himself. 13 He is clothed with a robe dipped in blood, and His name is called The Word of God. 14 And the armies which are in heaven, clothed in fine linen, white and clean, were following Him on white horses.  

2.There is a clear invitation here, an announcement for us to “Save the Date.”  We can ignore that announcement, if we so choose.  But we are all invited.  We’ve been invited—will we now “Save the Date” in our hearts and lives, in a practical way, be living with a view to that future, indescribably joyful day when our King arrives to take us to the Father’s home, to live with Him forever? There are some clues here in this Psalm about how we might join the celebration:  Listen, O daughter…give attention…incline your ear…Forget your people and your father’s house..”   We only save the invitations that we receive that we truly value, and intend to respond to.  Do you value this invitation from God to have a relationship with His Son, Jesus Christ?     

3. There is a matchless celebration coming, where the Groom and His Bride are finally together, for all eternity. While we are certain the Bride of Jesus today, as His beloved Church—there is still an ache, a longing and desire to finally be with Him forever—to have our “marriage” to this King finally, once and for all time celebrated and commenced.  The Bible promises that one day there will certainly be a grand wedding feast where we will indeed finally be with Him forever, face to face!