During this season leading up to Good Friday and Resurrection Sunday, we are looking at the Gospel of Mark and in particular the last week of the ministry of Jesus.
During that last week, Jesus prepared His disciples for what was to come. He taught them about prayer, devotion, and their time on earth after His death and resurrection. He prepared them to take the Gospel to the world.
When Jesus died on the cross, those followers lost everything. Their hope and future crashed around them. They lived in fear and essentially gave up. They huddled in the Upper Room for fear of what the Jewish authorities would do to them. After all, if the authorities cruelly beat and then crucified their Master, what would they do to them?
What happened next is without question the most amazing time and events in history.
Because they saw the risen Lord, they set out to tell everyone. They endured every kind of persecution and all but one of the surviving 11 disciples died a martyr’s death because they had seen Jesus and because their lives were changed.
They are one of the infallible truths of the resurrection. They were not the same men. They were eternally changed. They did not die for a lie; they died for the truth.
Jesus, who became sin that they might become the righteousness of God (2 Corinthians 5:21), was raised from the dead. It was something they could not deny and would not deny.
Not only did Jesus die for us, but His followers did also. His was an atoning death while theirs was a gift of truth–Jesus is alive, and He is worthy of our worship and our lives.
The message they gave to us we must give to others. When we do that, our journey to Golgotha is complete.