Paul gives us the most memorable description of "the powers" in Ephesians 6:12: For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.
Paul isn't using a wordy way of talking about Satan or the Devil or other nonsense. It's real world, real life powers that insinuate themselves cleverly into our lives. Paul recognized the spirituality of these powers and their ability to command our attention, loyalty, devotion, and adoration. In their exercise of power, they draw people of faith away from the good news of Jesus and into their own empty, futile, even brutal promises, a false righteousness that justifies and hallows the sinful and unrighteous.
The scene in Mark 14 is a rich exposure to the powers at work. We already know that the religious authorities in Jerusalem are plotting to remove any threat that Jesus might pose. But within the story, we see other common powers in play, particularly among the disciples.
In Isaiah 50, in a section among the "suffering servant" passages, the prophet details how sharing God's word faithfully has drawn more than rebuke, but attacks, beatings, and getting spit on. In the face of such animosity, the prophet demands that his accusers confront him. He worries not at all about the outcome, for he is faithful to the Sovereign Lord who justifies him fully.
Find out how these pieces work together in the sermon video below, noting the downloads below the video panel.