Today’s message is from Mark 14:62, “I am [the Messiah, the Son of the Blessed One].”
Following the prayer at Gethsemane, Jesus was arrested by a crowd sent by the leaders of the time. One of his beloved disciples, Judas, kissed Jesus as a signal, and Jesus got caught. And all the other disciples abandoned him and ran away. Jesus was left alone to this sad reality. He knew that his suffering was the fulfillment of Bible prophecy and said, “Every day I was with you, teaching in the temple courts, and you did not arrest me. But the Scriptures must be fulfilled”(Mark 14:49).
Like the disciples of Jesus, we believers sometimes face the harsh reality of denying our faith. Japanese Christians during World War II also faced a difficult situation. Many were physically persecuted. Even now, since the background of Japanese culture is based on other religions, we sometimes face situations in which we feel it’s easier to deny our faith and beliefs.
We, too, need to make the same decision, whether this Jesus is the Savior or a big liar. He can only be one or the other.
Leviticus 24:16 says, “Anyone who blasphemes the name of the Lord is to be put to death.” On that basis, they concluded that Jesus was a blasphemer of God and deserved the death penalty. The trial of Jesus was conducted by those who refused to listen and wanted to put Jesus to death. However, Jesus’ mission was to redeem the sins of mankind. Jesus, while being crucified, said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34).
In my next message, I’m going to talk about the cross of Jesus, but before that let us remind ourselves that we are forgiven by God. “For there is one God and one mediator between God and mankind, the man Christ Jesus, who gave himself as a ransom for all people” (1 Timothy 2:5-6). Let us give thanks that Jesus Christ became our mediator.