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                          "THE GOSPEL OF MARK"

                   Binding The Hands Of Jesus (15:1)

INTRODUCTION

1. In Mk 15:1, we are told the enemies of Jesus bound Him and sent Him
   to Pilate...

   "Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation
   with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound
   Jesus, led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate."

2. As we read this, it is easy for our hearts to be filled with sadness,
   and even with a touch of righteous indignation for that crowd that
   bound Jesus in such a way

3. And yet, there are few today who are not guilty of binding the hands
   of Jesus in a figurative way!

[To see what I mean, consider some of the various ways we can be guilty
of "Binding The Hands of Jesus" today...]

I. BY REFUSING TO OBEY THE GOSPEL

   A. JESUS STRETCHED OUT HIS HANDS AND DIED FOR OUR SINS...
      1. Today, through His gospel, He pleads with all to take advantage
         of His vicarious suffering
      2. He does not want us to suffer for the guilt of our own sins
      3. In truth, then, His "tender invitation" of Mt 11:28-30 is still
         being offered today

   B. BUT WHEN ONE REFUSES TO OBEY THE GOSPEL...
      1. The hands of Jesus are bound!
      2. There is no way such a person can then receive the benefits of
         Jesus death!
      3. For him or her, the death of Jesus was in vain!

   C. IS THIS TRUE OF YOU...?
      1. It will be...if you do not obey the gospel of Christ - cf. Mk
         16:15-16; Ac 2:38
      2. And if so, you will one day have to face His righteous
         indignation! - 2Th 1:7-9

[But even those who obey the gospel can be guilty of "Binding The Hands
Of Jesus".  How...?]

II. BY REFUSING TO BE TRANSFORMED

   A. CHRISTíS WILL IS THAT WE BE TRANSFORMED...
      1. This transformation involves a renewal of the mind - Ro 12:1-2;
         Ep 4:20-24
      2. Through study and meditation upon the Word of God - 1Pe
         1:23-2:2; Php 4:8

   B. BUT MANY NEGLECT THE INSTRUMENT OF RENEWAL...
      1. We do not "receive with meekness the implanted word..." - Jm
         1:21
      2. Thus we "bind the hands of Jesus" that we do not change!

   C. ARE WE GUILTY OF THIS...?
      1. We are, if we neglect to study the Bible on our own!
      2. We are, if we fail to take advantage of opportunities to study
         with others!

[Neglect the transforming power of the Word of God, and we are just as
guilty of "Binding The Hands Of Jesus" as were those who delivered Him
to Pilate! We can also bind the hands of Jesus...]

III. BY REFUSING TO PRAY

   A. JESUS HAS BECOME OUR HIGH PRIEST...
      1. He became man for this very purpose - He 2:17-18
      2. Heís made it possible for us to boldly approach the throne of
         grace in prayer - He 4:14-16
      3. As our high priest...
         a. He is able to save those who come to God through Him - He
            7:25
         b. He "ever lives" to make intercession for us - ibid.

   B.  WHEN WE DONíT PRAY AS WE SHOULD...
      1. Jesus cannot be our high priest, our intercessor!
      2. Figuratively, weíve taken the "praying hands" of Jesus and
         "bound" them behind His back!

   C. ARE WE DOING THIS...?
      1. If so, what a travesty this is!
      2. For here is Jesus...
         a. Who "lives" to intercede for us
         b. But Who canít, because we prevent Him from doing so by our
            failure to pray!

[Another way to be guilty of "Binding The Hands Of Jesus"...]

IV. BY REFUSING TO DO OUR PART IN THE CHURCH

   A. THE CHURCH IS DESCRIBED AS THE "BODY" OF CHRIST... - Ep 1:22-23
      1. As His body, we are individually members of one another - 1Co
         12:27
      2. As members of one another, we are to care for one another - Ep
         4:15-16
      3. It is through such "mutual edification", that Christ provides
         much of His help for the members of His body!

   B. WHEN WE FAIL TO DO OUR SHARE, AGAIN JESUS IS "BOUND"...!
      1. Just as our physical head can do little if our bodily members
         fail to follow its leading, so it is with Jesus and His church!
      2. Jesus could do so much more for His members, if only more of
         the members did their part!

   C. HAVE YOU EVER CONSIDERED...?
      1. That by failing to do our part, we "handicap" the body of
         Christ?
      2. That because of neglect or apathy...
         a. Either the whole body of Christ suffers
         b. Or others are forced to do "double duty" in order to make up
            the difference?

[Yes, there are many ways we can be just as guilty of "Binding The Hands
Of Jesus" today as were the religious leaders who delivered Jesus to
Pilate!  But consider just one more...]

V. BY REFUSING TO SHARE THE GOSPEL WITH THE LOST

   A. DISCIPLES ARE JESUSí "HANDS" TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE LOST...
      1. Consider Mt 28:19-20; Mk 16:15-16; 1Pe 2:9
      2. In every case of conversion recorded in Acts, Jesus used a
         disciple to tell the good news
      3. Jesus works the same way today!

   B. TO THE DEGREE WE KEEP THE GOOD NEWS TO OURSELVES...
      1. We have "bound the hands" of Jesus once again!
      2. We hinder Jesus from telling others of His wonderful grace!

   C. ARE WE "BINDING THE HANDS OF JESUS" IN THIS WAY...?
      1. Every day, countless souls die with no hope of eternal life
      2. This need not be, if more made sharing of the gospel the
         primary concern in their lives!
      3. Sadly, in too many cases the primary concern of Christians is
         the pursuit of pleasure and acquisition of worldly treasures!

CONCLUSION

1. Yes, one does not have to literally "bind the hands of Jesus" to be
   guilty of the same sort of offense that we read about in Mk 15:1; as we
   have seen, there are many other ways as well!

2. Why not today, resolve to "loose the hands of Jesus" so that in us
   and through us He may accomplish His full desire?  Which is...
   a. To save us!
   b. To transform us!
   c. To use us!

               Christ Has No Hands But Our Hands
                  ~ By Annie Johnson Flint ~

     Christ has no hands but our hands to do His work today
     He has no feet but our feet to lead men in the way
     He has no tongue but our tongue to tell men how He died
     He has no help but our help to bring them to His side.

     We are the only Bible the careless world will read,
     We are the sinnerís gospel; we are the scofferís creed;
     We are the Lordís last message, given in word and deed;
     What if the type is crooked? What if the print is blurred?

     What if our hands are busy with other work than His?
     What if our feet are walking where sinís allurement is?
     What if our tongue is speaking of things His lips would spurn?
     How can we hope to help Him or welcome His return?
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