The beginning of the gospel about Jesus Christ the Son of God. It is written in Isaiah the prophet:
“I will send a messenger ahead of you who will prepare your way.
“A voice of one calling in the desert,
‘Prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for him.’” Mark 1:1-3
The gospel according to Mark begins not in the life of Jesus, but in the prophecy of the Old Testament. He does not begin with the nativity (as Luke does), or the genealogy (as Matthew does), or the philosophy (as John does). He lays the foundation in the eternal promise of a Coming King.
When we come to the Word, it is easy to jump right into the story and miss the fullness of the whole council of God. So, when Mark begins his account of the extraordinary life, death, and resurrection of Jesus the Christ, he reminds us to see it as part of the bigger story of God’s work. So, let’s look back and put it in context of the larger story.
Creation- “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth. Gen 1:1 This whole story starts with a creator God who stepped into time and created. Before the foundations of the earth, the Eternal God stands and in perfect love creates, and it is good.
Fall- “indeed, has God said?” Gen 3:1 Silently doubt crept into the good garden and whispered questions about God’s goodness. The woman ate, and gave to her man, who followed the created rather than the good God who created him. In one bite, sin and death entered in to our world.
Cost- “The Lord made garments of skin to clothe them.” Gen 3:21 Death entered the good garden when an animal’s life was forfeit to cover their sin. Innocent blood fell, and their nakedness was covered, but the cost of sin would continued to be paid by their offspring to this very day. Sin always equals death.
Lostness- The rest of the Old Testament illustrates our lostness and His faithfulness. Sin reigns on earth and in the hearts of men. The flood cannot wash it away, the Law cannot control it, the desert cannot eradicate it. In prosperity and peace as in suffering and exile, God’s goodness reaches out to His people, calling them back to the relationship lost in the garden. He pours out love and faithfulness, discipline and correction but this is an inside job…
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you;
I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. Ezekiel 36:26
The Lord says: “These people come near to me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me. Their worship of me is based on merely human rules they have been taught. Isaiah 29:13.
Hope– It is into this story of loss and grief, that the hope of deliverance comes. We need a Messiah who will fulfill the promises of the Old Testament and provide a way out of this tangle of sin (Romans 7:24). So, when Jesus enters into time, He is coming into this whole story of lostness- of violence and pain, rebellion and anguish, faith and hope for a way out. Here we see the long awaited hope for deliverance and help…. Jesus Christ the Son of God!