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Reform Magazine | July 15, 2024

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Chapter & verse: Mark 14 and 15 - Reform Magazine

Chapter & verse: Mark 14 and 15

John Proctor on Mark’s passion

Lent. Jesus’ journey to Jerusalem. Holy Week. Stations of the Cross. This is a strange and solemn season, telling of a topsy-turvy world and an upside-down kingdom. As the promise of spring starts to lighten the evenings, shadows gather around our worship. They lead us to a Friday that focuses all the evil and sorrow of the world, and we call it Good.

The four gospels tell of Holy Week and the crucifixion in their own distinctive ways. The main outline is similar as we move from one Gospel to another. Yet, each of the four has its own mix of incidents and insights as the events unfold. In our Church’s three-year calendar of readings, this is a year of Mark. So, how does Mark tell this bit of the gospel story?

Some call Mark 14 and 15 ‘the passion’. The word ‘passion’ originally meant suffering (although we more commonly use it today to refer to deep emotion). The passion in Mark is an intense experience of the senses. Mark’s is a graphic gospel, with energy, strong images and lively action, and this kind of writing runs right through to the crucifixion.

What happened to Jesus was truly part of this world of sight and touch. A lot of liquid flows. You can feel it, smell it, taste it…

John Proctor is General Secretary for the United Reformed Church


This is an extract from an article that was published in the March 2018 edition of  Reform

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