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Mark D. Roberts
Mark D. Roberts Archives

In this series on the death of Jesus, I have presented four different perspectives on why Jesus had to die: Roman, Jewish, Jesus’, and Early Christian. I believe that each of these points of view has merit, and that we […]

An Act and Symbol of Love Perhaps one of the most startling of the early Christian interpretations of the cross was that it was all about love. It’s easy in our day, when crosses are religious symbols, attractive ornaments, and […]

The Means of Reconciliation In my last post, I examined one of the very earliest Christian statements of the purpose of Jesus’ death. According to the tradition encapsulated in 1 Corinthians 15, Jesus died “for our sins in accordance with […]

The Earliest Christian Reflection We have relatively little direct information about what the very first believers in Jesus thought about his death and its meaning. Acts of the Apostles gives us a small window into this period of time, but […]

Summing Up As we have seen, Jesus not only predicted his death, but also spoke of it as being necessary (e.g. Mark 8:31). Why? Why did Jesus think he needed to die? Jesus provides several different answers to this question. […]

The Blood of the New Covenant As the Last Supper draws to a close, Jesus refers to the cup of wine as “my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many” (Mark 14:24). This is an allusion to […]

The Last Supper: Megalomania or Mission? In my last post I discussed Jesus’ statement that he came, as Son of Man, to give his life as “a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). Here we begin to grasp Jesus’ sense of […]

A Ransom for Many In my last post, I discussed the statement of Jesus: “For the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Mark 10:45). I talked […]

The Serving Son of Man In my last post in this series, I examined a passage from Mark 10 where James and John ask to be given places of honor and power in the kingdom of God. Jesus responds by […]

Drinking the Cup In Mark 10 Jesus not only speaks of his pending death, but also suggests reasons for this death. In verse 33 he says to his disciples, “See, we are going up to Jerusalem, and the Son of […]

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