December 26, 2019

In the Name of Christ Forebear - Mark 15:11-15

"One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome."

Family Discussions:

  1. How does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross?
  2. How does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this.
  3. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends?

Transcription:

00:14          The scripture today is the pinnacle of human history. It's a moment in the life of Christ that would literally shake the foundations of the world. We're in Mark chapter 15, and we're in verse 11, and it says this, "But the chief priest stirred up the crowd to ask Pilate to release Barabas for them instead. Answering again, Pilate said to them, 'then what shall I do with him whom you call the King of the Jews?' They shouted back, 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' But Pilate said to them, 'Why? What evil has he done?' But they shouted all the more. 'Crucify him! Crucify him!' So wishing to satisfy the crowd. Pilate released Barabas to them. And after having Jesus scorched, he handed him over to be crucified."
 
01:07          One of my favorite writers, Chuck Colson, and one of my favorite books, 'Loving God', talks about an Asian monk named Telemachus back in the days of the Roman empire. The cruel and perilous Roman empire. Telemachus one day heard the voice of God in his heart. And God said, Telemachus, go to Rome. I can only imagine the feeling that this dear old godly man had as he walked up the Appian way, that so many hundreds of Christians had marched into Rome knowing that they would soon be slaughtered for their faith in Christ. He walked straight into the Colosseum. And as the gladiators were out in the Colosseum killing people, In fact, Fox's book of martyrs says that some days in the Colosseum of Rome in the first and second centuries under Domitian and under Marcus Aurelius and under Nero, some days, 5,000 Christians would be slaughtered in the Colosseum of Rome for their faith in Christ.
 
02:02          So Telemachus walks into the Colosseum. The gladiators are slaughtering people and he screams with a voice that silences the crowd. He screams in the name of Christ. Forebear. The crowds begin to call him names and jir at him. So he jumped over the wall onto the dirt floor of the Colosseum where the gladiators were out in battle. And he looked up at the proconsul of Rome and he said the name of Christ forebear. Well, the second time he said it, one of the gladiators took his sword and he slashed him across the chest and as Telemachus fell to his face in the dirt of that Colosseum joining the other martyrs for the faith. With one last burst of energy, he raised his head from the dirt and he said in the name of Christ forebear. And he put his head down and he died. One by one, the people in the crowds began to walk out of the Colosseum until the Colosseum was empty. And history testifies to the truth that that was the last day of the gladiator killings in the Colosseum of Rome. That man, it ended that tradition.
 
03:13          So the questions today are these, how does Telemachus and his act of incredible life sacrificial bravery remind you of what Jesus did on the cross? And then secondly, what does or how does Barabas' good fortune remind you of what Christ did for you? And then the third question is this. What do you think Jesus meant when he said, no greater love has any man than to lay down his life for his friends? And here's the thought for the day. Love is love when it's strong enough to die for.

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