I will in the following be giving evidence as to why Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice and his suffering, death and resurrection as shown in Mark’s gospel are important to Christians today. I will achieve the above by looking at the different ways Jesus suffered during Holy week, looking at the events of the resurrection and by looking at ways Christians can live by Jesus’ example of self sacrifice and suffering. There are many instances are many instances where Jesus suffers in Mark’s gospel.
Jesus knew that he was going to be betrayed and denied by one of his closest friends the supper proves this when he says, “I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me. ” This would lead Jesus to suffer mentally, waiting to be betrayed, and when he was betrayed he knew that it would lead to his physical suffering. Jesus would also have been distressed knowing that Peter would disown him, “Tonight, before the cock crows twice, you will disown me three times. ” In the Garden on Gethsemane Jesus suffered emotionally because he knew that he was going to die.
Jesus was praying to be relieved of the pain, “Father, everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. ” He was scared of dying, this shows his human side and also it shows us that Jesus is suffering emotionally. It added to his frustration that when his friends were supposed to be keeping watch for Romans for him, they kept falling asleep, even though they had made a promise to him. The actual betrayal of Judas and Jesus’ arrest would have caused Jesus further suffering. He would have felt let down by his friends, especially Judas.
This would have caused great emotional pain for Jesus. Jesus was put on a trial that was unfair towards him. We can see that the Jews wanted rid of Jesus to an extent that they broke their own rules by conducting the trial at night and by meeting at the high priests home. The trial before Pontius Pilate was particularly unfair because the choice was between Jesus and a Murderer, but there were a lot of Jews in the audience that wanted to see Jesus put to death because of his ‘blasphemy,’ this would have cause a great deal of fear and distress for him.
After the trial, when Jesus knew that he was to be put to death, the Roman soldiers constantly mocked him and humiliated him they did this by mockingly shouting “Hail the king of the Jews” and putting a purple robe on him. They put a crown of thorns on his head, which would have been extremely painful, they also beat him, needless to say this would have caused a great deal of physical suffering.
The actual crucifixion of Jesus would have been excruciatingly painful and still people didn’t cease to mock him. Jesus’ suffering can effect the life of Christians by showing them that Jesus died for what he believed in therefore Christians should stay faithful, and remember that Jesus paid the ultimate sacrifice. Jesus himself begins to lose faith when he is dying on the cross, crying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? ” or “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? ”
When Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome took spices to where Jesus was buried, upon reaching the tomb they noticed that the boulder that covered the tomb was rolled away, when they entered the tomb they saw a young man dressed in white, whom some Christians believe was an Angel. He said, ” Don’t be alarmed. ” He then goes on to say “He has risen,” meaning Jesus. Jesus’ resurrection put a metaphorical bridge over sin and death to allow people to be able to cross into heaven when they die, whereas before they would fall into the ‘river’ of sin and death.
Some Christians suffer for their faith, following the examples of Jesus’ self sacrifice. Catholics in China are tortured just for their faith, which shows the example that Jesus’ self sacrifice gave. In Northern Ireland Catholics and Protestants both die because of attacks that one group might do to another just because they are different types of Christian. Some people from the Philippines, in order to remember what Jesus went through, and to follow his example, crucify themselves. Catholic Priests suffer in a way because they have to give up having a family, which would obviously be lonely.
Although some Christians have to make sacrifices in order to be Christian not all do but they should still try to follow Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice by making smaller sacrifices in their life, for example they are expected to give to the poor, and help third world countries develop, by taking part in days of fast to raise money. Mother Teresa devoted her whole life to helping the poor and the very sick, the people who not many others would even walk near. Maximilian Kolbe is another good example of a devoted Christian, he was a Polish Priest.
In 1941, the Nazis imprisoned Father Maximilian in the Auschwitz death camp. There he offered his life for another prisoner and was condemned to slow death in a starvation bunker. These people fully devoted their lives to helping others and suffered for this. This shows that they followed Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice. It would not be possible for every Christian to devote their lives to helping people, but they can do it to an extent that is practical. For example, Christians can fast, donate money to charity, do voluntary work for charities such as the Red Cross, Cafod, or Oxfam.
Money is not necessarily all that has to be donated, some Christians donate clothes for the less fortunate, like the homeless or those in developing countries. Jesus suffered many times in the events leading to his death and resurrection. Much of this suffering was emotional, and some was physical, they would both have been as effective to Jesus as one another. The emotional pain of knowing that you are going to go through a painful death would be unimaginable. Christians can follow Jesus’ example of self-sacrifice by helping the less well off, and remembering that Jesus died for what he believed in. A cross or crucifix is not a suitable piece of jewellery” I think that a cross is a suitable piece of jewellery because it allows us to remember Jesus and what he went through for us. A crucifix also is a suitable thing to wear. Catholics are expected keep a crucifix in their house, so they can pray to it, so I can see why a Christian might wish to wear one, if they are not going to be at home to pray to their crucifix, and also Nuns wear crucifixes, but crosses and crucifixes seem to have become a fashion accessory.
Many people who wear crosses are not at all religious and just wear them because they think it’s necessary to wear a cross to make a fashion statement, but I’m sure that if given the chance these people wouldn’t wish to wear a gold electric chair or a guillotine, so I think it is wrong to wear it in this sense. I also think that you should not wear a crucifix if you are not going to use it for the purpose of praying. Some people wear crucifixes as a constant source of inspiration, and strength. Some people may also wear one because they believe that Jesus intended Christians to.
In Luke (14:27) Jesus says, “Anyone who does not carry his cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. ” Some Christians believe that wearing a crucifix symbolises the love that Jesus has for us. Some Christians also believe that the crucifix is a reminder to us that is was our sins that nailed him to the cross, so it reminds us not to sin. Christians didn’t wear or display crucifixes until it was no longer a form of capital punishment. Instead they made the sign of the cross, if wearing a cross or crucifix means the same as the sign of the cross then I see no reason why it would be unsuitable to wear them.