“Delivered” is the name of the game these days—born out of necessity and propagated during the pandemic.
We can be recipients of wares shuttled from grocery, retail, or restaurants—curbside or to your front doorstep.
Things delivered have three key components in common: a source sender, a means of delivery, and a recipient. Which became the topic of conversation in our discipleship group on Mark 15.
And as soon as it was morning,
the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and
scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and
led him away and delivered him over to Pilate
(Mark 15:1 ESV).
A lot is happening to Jesus in this chapter. Everyone is active . . . except Jesus (or so it seems). Don’t let His passivity fool you! He may have been the one being handled, but He had a handle on the situation. The powers-that-be thought they had control, but Jesus was the one in control—even though He remained mostly silent.
Jesus suffered greatly at the hands of cruel, conniving men—but He didn’t fall into their hands. He was in the hands of God. For all sovereignty and authority are His . . . always.
The text says Jesus was delivered over. Yes, the chief priests delivered Jesus over to Pilate for the grave but, beyond the veneer, truth has further revealed that God was delivering Jesus to the cross for salvation.
The enemies of Jesus held firmly to the perception that they delivered Jesus over to death. But the truth of the matter is that God delivered Him over to life eternal.
Delivered over are two carefully selected, and often repeated, words. In actuality, it’s one word in the Greek, paredōkan (Strong’s #3860). It was a powerful word preached by Peter in the temple courts (Acts 3:13) and employed by Paul in his letters (Romans 4:25, 8:31, 1 Corinthians 11:23 and elsewhere). Likely because it was first used by their Lord and Master (Matthew 20:18-19, 26:2; Mark 10:33; Luke 18:32, 24:7, John 18:36 to name a few).
Jesus stated the truth of the matter in advance. After the fact, Peter and Paul, through the leading of the Holy Spirit, set the record straight. They correct the illusion of said delivery of Jesus to that of fact. As with all things delivered, they identified sender, courier, and recipient. They revealed, in the case of Jesus, that God is the Sender; the cross was the courier; and mankind is the recipient.
Jesus was given over because humanity needed to be delivered . . . delivered from sin (Romans 4:25). So Jesus, in willing obedience, laid down His life as Deliverer for all who would receive Him. He gave Himself over (Galatians 2:20, Ephesians 5:2, 25), sacrificially delivered into the hands of sinful man, for the greatest delivery of all time.
Will you receive Him?
Back in January, I published a post from our discipleship group’s first discussion, when we opened the Gospel of Mark together. Upon our conclusion of this study, I wanted to mark the occasion with this bookend. Our Saturday mornings were made far more precious for time together in prayer . . . in the Word . . . in sisterhood. I give thanks for all God taught us. But even more, for gracing us with glimpses of Jesus. I am forever changed. And offer encouragement for you to do likewise—and so be blessed.