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The Passion — Discussing Eric Echols' Book About Mark's Take on Jesus' Final Week & Crucifixion

In this book discussion episode of the Share Life podcast, I'm speaking with Eric Echols. Eric and I discuss his book, The Passion: Exploring The Final Week of Jesus' Life in Mark's Gospel.

Eric is the pastor of Freedom Bible Church in Evans, Georgia. He's also a public speaker and author. We originally met when he was in the Atlanta, Georgia area when he worked at Cross Pointe church through a mutual friend and business network.

Today in this episode, we're talking about Eric's book. I've read it and have put together several questions and excerpts for us to discuss. Enjoy!

Book Summary

"The Passion Week of Jesus holds great importance in the Christian faith. It is the last week of Jesus' life leading up to his crucifixion and resurrection. This week starts with Jesus being welcomed into Jerusalem with crowds waving palm branches and shouting "Hosanna!" This marks the beginning of a series of profound events, such as the Last Supper, the betrayal by Judas, Jesus' arrest and trial, and finally, his crucifixion and resurrection.

It is only fitting that a substantial part of Mark's Gospel focuses on the events of Jesus' final week. Mark boldly declared in the opening of his Gospel, "The beginning of the good news about Jesus Christ, the Son of God." (Mark 1:1). Therefore, every aspect of Jesus' life and ministry has been leading up to this momentous week.

The passion of Jesus was the ultimate display of God's love for humanity and marked the pinnacle of His plan for redemption. Jesus entered Jerusalem as the much-anticipated Messiah, only to be betrayed by one of his own disciples. Despite undergoing a sham trial and being mercilessly beaten, Jesus ultimately prevailed through his death and resurrection, overcoming sin and death and providing a means of salvation and everlasting life to all who believe in him. Through his act of love and sacrifice, Jesus demonstrated the power of redemption, leading to a path of salvation and eternal life with God. This one week changed everything and continues to impact the lives of millions of people around the world today."

Conversation Starter Questions

  • Eric tells us his story, why he wrote a book about Jesus' passion, and why he chose the book of Mark. 
  • In recent years, I’ve heard Tim Keller talk about the importance of catechism in our modern age. I got that catechism spirit from this book. Eric shares about this connection. 
  • I’m a dedicated reader of Oswald Chambers. I sensed his influence on Eric's writing. He shares about Chambers' influence.

Book Quotes Discussed

  • "To trust in God means we have to stop trusting in ourselves. It is only when we realize that we are weak and can do nothing apart from Jesus that we will learn to lean on God for strength."
  • "Our nationality, ethnicity, and political party should all take a distant second place to our identity as disciples of Jesus Christ. This perspective can help us maintain a Christ-centered focus in the midst of the political chaos in our world today."
  • "the punishment for our sins. At that moment in the garden, Jesus knows that He will bear the weight of every sin, every evil, every pain and hurt that humanity has ever known or will ever know."
  • "nowhere in this text does Jesus encourage his followers to engage in fruitless speculation about the timing of his return, the identity of the Antichrist, or to try and tie current events to the Apocalypse"

Watch or listen to our conversation below.

Connect With Eric Echols

Listen To This Discussion

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Additional Resources

Podcast - Book Discussion

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