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Simon of Cyrene

03/29/15

Speaker: Mark Petersburg

Series: Encounters with Christ

Summary: Simon of Cyrene could never have imagined such a unique, life-changing experience when in Jerusalem. Hoping that through his participation in the Passover his sins would once again be covered over by the sacrifice of a lamb, he was to see the fulfillment of centuries of prophecies about the coming Messiah – a Messiah whose blood would actually bring about forgiveness of sin! Pulled out of the crowd by Roman soldiers, he was compelled to carry the cross of Jesus to Calvary. This “bit player” in the redemptive drama would have his life changed though this encounter, just as ours is changed when we lay hold of the meaning of Christ’s sacrifice for us.

Malchus

03/22/15

Speaker: Mark Petersburg

Series: Encounters with Christ

Summary: Malchus was a servant of the Jewish High Priest. He accompanied Judas and the authorities to the Mount of Olives to observe the arrest of Jesus. He could never have imagined what his experience would be like: Peter lopping off his ear with a sword; Jesus touching his ear and instantaneously restoring it. Many believe that through this experience he became a believer in Jesus. Look at the event in the Garden of Gethsemane through his eyes as one who encountered the Christ.

The Greeks

03/15/15

Speaker: Mark Petersburg

Series: Encounters with Christ

Summary: The day after Mary’s anointing of Jesus in Bethany, Jesus enters Jerusalem. At this time, the Apostle John records that some Greeks seek an audience with Jesus. Perhaps it is significant because the time is drawing near when Jesus will die for the whole world – Jew and Greek (Gentile). Against this backdrop, Jesus lays out three great paradoxes of faith: Only by death comes life; Only by spending life do we retain life; Only by service comes greatness. How incredibly important and applicable are these truths to Jesus’ coming death and the disciples’ experience in living out their faith in the days, months and years to follow.

Mary of Bethany

03/08/15

Speaker: Mark Petersburg

Series: Encounters with Christ

Passage: John 12:1–12:8

Summary: Jesus is enroute to Jerusalem where his earthly life will end on the cross. There are several poignant encounters during this last week. The day before he enters Jerusalem, Jesus stops in Bethany, home to Mary, Martha and Lazarus who put on a dinner for him. Mary chooses to give her most precious possession to Jesus as an act of love, of devotion, of worship. She anoints Jesus’ head and feet, declaring (according to Jesus) his coming death and burial. We see in Mary’s action three wonderful aspects of love: love’s extravagance, love’s humility and love’s unselfconsciousness. All are a small example of God’s love towards us as his children.