Based On: Mark 4:26-34
How many times have you prayed the Lord’s Prayer and said “Your kingdom come”? But what is the kingdom of God and how does it come? First, the kingdom of God is not a geographic location. It is God ruling in the hearts of his people. For example, when Elijah talked to God on Mount Sinai Elijah claimed that he was the only believer left. God told him that he had reserved 7,000 in Israel who had not worshiped the false god, Baal. That was God’s kingdom in the hearts of those 7,000 believers who only worshiped the true God. Now, how does His kingdom come? Or to ask the question another way, how does God’s kingdom grow? Jesus tells us that the kingdom of God grows in ways that we don’t understand and it grows to a size that we don’t expect.
Based On: Mark 6:1-6
What is honor? Webster’s dictionary says it is your good name and public esteem. It is your reputation and the recognition you receive from others. Our Savior, more than any other, is worthy of honor. The angels in heaven sing, “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” With their words the angels give him honor – they give him recognition and esteem. The Lamb who was slain rescued the whole world from death. The Lamb who was slain is worthy of honor, but when he came to his hometown he was without honor. He came to the world he created and the Lamb, our Savior, was without honor. He was without honor among us and yet, he was without honor for us.
Based On: Mark 15:37
Tonight let us look at Mark chapter 15, verse 37. “With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” It was finally over. After hours of pain, torture and the shedding of much blood it finally ended. Christ was dead and our sins were paid for. It was Christ’s suffering and his last breath that won forgiveness for our sins.
The Bible mentions Jesus’ breath one other time. That was on the third day after his death on the cross. In the evening of that first Easter Jesus came to the disciples while they were in that locked room and the Bible says, “he breathed on them and said, ‘Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you do not forgive them, they are not forgiven.’”
The two events are intimately connected. On Good Friday Jesus died on the cross and paid the price for every sin that anyone has ever or will ever commit. On Easter Sunday Jesus tells his disciples, and therefore he tells the church, that they have the power to forgive or withhold forgiveness for sins.