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Stories Converge at Easter

The storylines of Eden, Israel, and Rome converge with the resurrection of Jesus.


Read (Mark 1:1)

I started to read Unbroken: A WWII Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption. On the front cover is the title, the subtitle, and the author's name, Laura Hillenbrand, as well as marketing stuff like, "From the #1 New York Times Bestselling author." Then on the inside, there are pages and pages of information before you ever get to the book. There's info on the publisher and printer, a table of contents, and a preface, because in the modern world, paper is cheap and easy to come by.

Now Mark was written on papyrus, a form of paper made from a reed found on the banks of the Nile River. In the first century, it was astronomically expensive. Because of that, the author had to make every sentence, every word count. There was no cover or table of contents. Instead, the first line or paragraph was called the "incipit." The incipit was a literary device where the author would put a summary of the entire book in the opening line. This means all of Mark is crammed, packed, and shoved into the first sentence. If you can wrap your head around Mark 1:1, you can get the entire book.

Let's unpack the incipit, word-by-word, and then let's think about implications for Easter, and then let's think about implications for you and me.

The gospel

The first thing you need to understand is the word "gospel," or as my Bible says, "good news." The word "gospel" is euangelion in Greek. It's where we get the word "evangelistic." Now we think of "gospel" as a religious word, but in Mark's day, it was a political word, used by the Roman government. A euangelion was a royal announcement that would go out with a herald or a preacher all over the Roman Empire, and it was usually about one of two things: a new king was born or ...

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John Mark Comer is the pastor for teaching and vision at Bridgetown: A Jesus Church in Portland, Oregon. He’s also the author of a new book called Garden City: Work, Rest, and the Art of Being Human.

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Sermon Outline:


I. The gospel

II. Eden

III. Israel

IV. Rome

V. A climax in Jesus

VI. Paul and the Resurrection's implications