How Jesus’ Example of Self-Sacrifice and his Suffering, Death, and Resurrection, as Presented in Mark’s Gospel
In this essay, I will explain how Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice and his suffering, death, and resurrection, as presented in Mark’s gospel, is important to Christians today. Marks Gospel begins with the words ‘this is the Good News about Jesus Christ the Son of God. The coming of Jesus Christ was Good news because it meant freeing people from sin. As Christians, we believe that God has a plan and that the death of Jesus was for the benefit of humankind. Jesus said he had to suffer and die, as he had been sent on a mission of self-sacrifice.
He hadn’t come to change people; he had come to help them and serve the Lord. He knew when he came he was going to sacrifice his life to benefit people. Mk 10:41-45 Jesus relieved pain, and he removed suffering. He did this when other people wouldn’t and even did this more than other people. An example of this is when he saved Jairus’ Daughter. Also, when he calmed the storm and healing the blind Bartimaeus. The main cause for much of his suffering was that Jesus forgave sin. We as Christians believe that God was incarnated, on Earth, as Jesus himself. The suffering Jesus went through was both physical and emotional, leading up to and before his death.
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He was tortured by guards and taunted. And his death was a painful death by crucifixion. He did this for his people. Jesus experienced emotional pain in the Garden of Gethsemane. He was so distraught by the thought of death by crucifixion and the lead up to it. But he put these feelings aside with his strong belief in God and his plan and prayed to God. In Mark 12: 41-44 (The Widows Offering), Jesus is in a temple and, to please him, rich men came and gave many riches and jewels, yet, when a poor widow came along and dropped in a few pennies, Jesus showed his disciples that this woman had given a greater amount than anyone else, as she gave everything that she had, whilst the rich men gave what they had spare.
This story shows an example of self-sacrifice, as she gave all that she could without putting herself ahead of others, unlike the rich men to whom the money they offered was but a measly amount. Jesus was trying to teach people about these types of sacrifice. Although self-sacrifice is hard, Jesus did more than his best to do Gods work. And it was hard for him- “Father”, he prayed, “my Father! All things are possible for you. Take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet not what I want, but what you want.” Mk 14:36-37.
This quote shows us that Jesus was still human like the rest of us. But unlike the rest of us may have done, Jesus did not try to escape death and accepted it. He was spreading the word to the people and stuck by his beliefs and what God wanted. Many would not go on like Jesus, knowing how they would die, but Jesus did it because he would be crucified for his beliefs. The suffering of Jesus is used as a sign for us Christians today of encouragement in our lives, to show that we do not have to suffer on our own.
Although we may not suffer as much as Jesus, we still suffer from the disease, illness, poverty, and many terrible things. Jesus suffered as to be someone we can relate to, to in some sense share our pain with and grow stronger, as Jesus did in his resurrection. Jesus died for his beliefs, us, and he also knew he had a place in heaven, as do we all. Jesus was crucified and rose from his death through the Lord, our father. We as Christians believe that the Resurrection of Jesus is relevant to us because Jesus broke the power of sins we commit and Hell we feared by his death on the cross. He took on himself the punishment for sin. He was not only crucified; as the Apostles Creed states, ‘He descended to the dead’. He died for every one of us, sinners and all. To us Christians, the Resurrection is not just something that happened to someone a long time ago; it is a sign of the power of Jesus, even over death, and know that his suffering, death, and resurrection are so important even now.
To follow Jesus, our own Self-sacrifice can be in many forms and many different difficulties, yet, even the least enthusiastic Christian is fully capable of helping one. Another, be it holding a ladder for someone for a couple of minutes or just asking someone if they think what you are to do is sensible beforehand, we should be ready to give up some of our time and/or effort for others as, when we are in the same situation, we would want them to help. By doing this, we are nearing Jesus dream of a perfect world of peace on Earth. Jesus was a saviour, sent by God to save humankind from suffering, sin and unholy death. So we are safe in knowing now after Jesus suffered, died, and resurrected, that we can look forward to life in Gods kingdom with Jesus and be free from the pain and suffering of our own lives.