I love mountains.  They inspire, challenge, and humble me. Here is a list of the few mountains that I have touched personally (most of which I have actually walked or climbed).  The first is Mount Katahdin which is the highest mountain in the U.S. state of Maine at 5,269 feet (1,606 m).  When we drive back east (home), Katahdin is the marker that we have arrived.  Cadillac Mountain is another one of our favourites.  It’s located in Baxter State Park in Bar Harbor, Maine.  We had several of our sweetest dates as young lovers in Baxter State Park and Cadillac Mountain.  I’ve been up St. Thomas Mountain near Chennai, India.  The spot that enshrines the martyrdom of Thomas the Apostle as the evangelist who travelled the greatest distance to preach the Gospel.

My youngest son, our “caboose” and I climbed Sharp Top Mountain in Virginia.  I’ve stood in breathtaking awe at the Rocky Mountains in western Canada.  I’ve been on top of Mount Tabor (Mount of Transfiguration) in Israel while imagining Jesus in His glory.  I’ve gawked several times at the splendor of Mount Hermon (pictured above).  And I crawled my way up parts of the mountains on Israel’s side of the Gulf of Aqaba (Eilat), a large gulf at the northern tip of the Red Sea, east of the Sinai Peninsula and west of the Arabian Peninsula.  Its coastline is divided among four countries: Egypt, Israel, Jordan and Saudi Arabia.  I will never forget an early morning run along the coastline of the Red Sea (5.32K to be exact). 

But of all the mountains I have visited, “The Mount of Olives” is my favourite!  It’s more like a “ridge” on the eastern side of Jerusalem, from which it is separated by the Kidron Valley.  Its first mention in Scripture is during King David’s flight from Jerusalem due to the rebellion of his own son, Absalom (2 Samuel 15:30).  David is described as going “up the ascent of the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went, barefoot and with his head covered.”

The Mount of Olives (as you know) played a pivotal role in the ministry of Jesus.

  • It was from the mount that Jesus wept over the city of Jerusalem (Luke 19:37-44)
  • It was from this location that He gave prophecies concerning the global trials and tribulations that will occur just before His second coming (Matthew 24)  
  • After His death and resurrection, Jesus led His disciples out again over Olivet, to Bethany, and after a parting blessing ascended to heaven (Luke 24:50-51)
  • It is also to the very mountain that Jesus Christ will return in power and great glory according to Zechariah 14:4

Undoubtedly, the Mount of Olives is most famous for the agonizing prayer vigil that was held there by Jesus a short while before His betrayal and His arrest.  His suffering began in the Garden of Gethsemane where He would wrestle with the impending banishment from the Father’s presence and where He would surrender Himself with the famous words, “Not My will but Yours be done.”  This scene has been called the “Holy of Holies” of the New Covenant. 

Come join me on Sunday morning for our journey to Easter.  We have services at 9AM and 11AM.  I look forward to worshipping the Lord together with you.


Pastor Deric


Mark’s account of “the Last Supper” includes Jesus telling the disciples that the LORD Himself would ‘strike the shepherd, and the sheep would be scattered’ (Mark 14:27 & Zechariah 3:17).  For a bunch of reasons, the image of Jesus as our Shepherd is a favourite among believers.  Think Psalm 23!  As He Himself said, He is “the good Shepherd who gives His life for the sheep” (John 10:11).  His life given in sacrifice for the sheep.  Not only is He the good Shepherd who gave His life for the sheep, but He is the great Shepherd who returned from the grave to give us new life (See Hebrews 13:20).  As the Bible says, “we were dead in our trespasses and sins,” but through Christ, the great Shepherd, we have the forgiveness of sins and the gift of abundant life.  He leads us out of death and into life. 

Mark presents Jesus as both the Shepherd and the sacrificial Lamb.  He is portrayed as the PASSOVER LAMB that was slain for the sins of the world.  Mark Chapter 14 details both the preparations for the Passover meal that Jesus shared with the disciples, and the actual breaking of the bread and the drinking of the cup.  This Jewish festival is the most significant of all their festivals.  All the way back in the book of Exodus the Jews were instructed to slay a lamb and smear the blood over the doorposts of their home as an act of faith. 

During the “last supper,” Jesus also called out the one who would betray Him, Judas Iscariot.  We can’t help but be struck by the love and grace by which He did so.  In Jesus’ handling of the presence of a traitor at the Passover, we learn His chosen way of overcoming evil.  I can’t explain it any better than Paul did in Romans 12, “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, “Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.”  To the contrary, “If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.”  Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”  Jesus didn’t “lock horns” with Judas, rather, He owned the narrative, extended one last call for repentance and then pronounced the judgment on Judas, “Woe to the one by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.” 

As Jesus instituted what we Christians sometimes call the “Lord’s Table,” He warned His disciples that they would all fall away because of the crisis that would fall upon them.  Peter, the renowned spokesperson for the disciples, refused to acknowledge his own propensity to failure.  Jesus inserted a simple promise as He delivered the warning to His disciples, But after I am raised up, I will go before you to Galilee.”  In Mark Chapter 14, He is the good Shepherd, the Passover Lamb, the confronter of evil, and the restorer of the fallen.

Come on Sunday morning and study this great text with your church family. 

I look forward to seeing you there,
Pastor Deric