Anyone familiar with the Gospels recognizes that their focus is the Passion of Jesus Christ. But in Mark’s Gospel, there are two passions, or death stories: John the Baptist, and Jesus.In the plan of God, John the Baptist played the role of forerunner. He was the designated advance man for Jesus the Messiah. He came announcing, and Jesus came fulfilling. We often think that John’s role ended when Jesus appeared, but it is clear in Mark’s Gospel that John’s life continued to be a "preview" or "foretaste" of what would come to characterize Jesus’ earthly mission. Today we look at the circumstances that culminated in the execution of John at the hands of Herod Antipas. And we will see that Mark intends us to recognize in John’s death a preview of the death of Jesus, through which the law of God was satisfied, the wrath of God turned aside, and the forgiveness and saving grace of God made our present possessions.