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March 22, 2020 1:00 am
Amy, let's take our Bibles this morning and let's go to Mark chapter 15 and the you should have on your screen.
Our series entitled God's unrelenting love for his children. We've already dealt with the denial which is when I added on early big Gethsemane today will be crucifixion next Sunday is death on April the feel for his burial and then the Easter Sunday and I'm praying will all be together and can rejoice in those great truths together will have the resurrection this morning, the crucifixion will not actually get into where he departs and gives up his life.
We would cover the text before we get there. All right, Mark chapter 15 beginning in verse 21, and going through verse 32 and they pressed into service.
A passerby coming from the countryside with a soldering the father of Alexander and Rufus to bear his cross, and they brought him to the place Golgotha, which is translated place of the skull to try to give him one mixed with murder but he did not take it, and they crucified him, and divided up his garments among themselves casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.
It was the third hour when they crucified him inscription of the charge against him. Read the King of the Jews they crucified two robbers with him one on his right and one on his left and the Scripture was fulfilled which says that he was numbered with the transgressors. Those passing by our hurling abuse at him, wagging their heads and saying half you are going to destroy the temple and rebuild in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross in the same way the chief priest. Also, although the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying he saved others, he cannot save himself, let this Christ is King of Israel. Now, come down from the cross so that we may see and believe those who were crucified with him were also insulting him. Alexander the great was the king of the Macedon Empire. It was ancient Greek kingdom Alexander the great, never experienced one defeat. He spent his whole life as leader of this Greek Empire conquering other lands and before his death he actually had conquered the known world.
It was all this.
Historians tell us that near his death he was planning his funeral and he had some rather unusual requests, one of which was in his funeral procession when I put them in the coffin.
He said I want my hands outside the coffin so the world will know I take nothing with me, Alexander the great's point, I gave the world and could do nothing at the end I had nothing in my hands. Cecil Rhodes was the Prime Minister of the British colony of South Africa.
Quite a politician and a leader and an adventurer and a conqueror and he spent his life expanding the colony in South Africa and on the side making a fortune in diamond Cecil Rhodes deathbed he said so little done so much to do. Isn't that true of all men who live for this life and live for this world are we in one since all fakes. We think we can conquering control and accumulating possess and gain like Alexander the great are Handley to be outside our caskets at the funeral home because we don't like none of it. With this what ice shark impacting contrasts is our lives with our Lord's life in John chapter 17 verse four.
Our Lord said as he can is contemplated that he would soon die on the cross for his church be buried and rise again says this I have finished the work, thou gavest me to do. Jesus says I go to my death and I don't lose anything for my death. I gained everything when Jesus rose from the dead.
He had conquered sin have held death in the grave, and he had in one hand, the title deed to planet Earth and all that is and in the other hand, he had the title deed to men's souls. He is that he gained it all. We think we can get it all the work fakes when he lived or died. He did gain it all before we get to this text. A lot of things have already happened.
Of course it's Friday morning after the sun came up with. Jesus was arrested the night before they been interrogating human abusing him all not as morning comes, the Jews bind Jesus and carry him to Pilate, the Roman tetrarch of that region. In my what a contentious relationship, the Jews had under the Roman leader pilot. This job was to keep everything in peace, that was big in the Roman Empire wherever you ruled in the Roman Empire and the Caesar, you better keep those peoples in peace and contentment in living be in harmony with the Jews were particularly difficult for pilot but they know the Jews know they can't put anyone to death. This has to go through Rome so they bring Jesus to Pilate and therefore pilot they begin to accuse him and railed against him.
Pilate then stops them and ask are you the king of the Jews that time he decided he would not speak again. The Bible says he gave them no further answer and then pilot civil okay you know the custom I deliver one of your Jewish brethren from prison every year during the Passover as a gesture of goodwill shall I deliver Jesus back to you so I give him back to you. I said no let's take Barabbas instead of they start crying for Barabbas, a convicted murderer that I kept yelling, but crucified Jesus crucified Jesus addressed him in purple to mock him because he claimed to be king of the Jews. I put up a crown of thorns on his head to mock him, they spit in his face. I punched him with their fist, they beat him with the rod in a Mockingly bowing in front of him, saying, hail, King then they lead them out to go to Calvary. All of these events in this passage occur between 9 AM and 12 noon.
I think the most interesting things about this is Forrest describing the actual crucifixion.
None of the gospel writers give us hardly any detail. Very little, but I think that has a very distinct purpose. You see, Jesus was not coming to arouse our curiosity in the morbid facts of the crucifixion and the writers wrote not to arouse our curiosity, but to assure our faith crucifixion. We all know was a horrifying death. It was a detestable and shameful event. The Roman said that no Roman could be crucified. It's two is to shameful list to a vial of a death for any Roman experience only the vilest criminals were crucified, but it is interesting that though the writers do not give hardly any detail of the actual crucifixion. They do give a lot of detail about all of those who participated in this event and I want to look at those closely in just a moment. Again now we come to verse 22 and our text in the Bible says they brought him to the place Golgotha. He is led down the Via Dolorosa the road of suffering. It's called and then they summoned someone to carry his cross from him. Simon of styrene before get there though one of the things Rome was trying to accomplish and encourage requiring you to walk down the the way of suffering with the cross on your back was because as you carried that cross. They, in effect, were saying that you were saying. I am guilty in Rome. It's just I am guilty and robust. You a crisis brought the opposite when he cured the cross. The proclamation was your all guilty and I'm just so here this one comes Simon of Sirena and he's required to cure the cross of Jesus and Simon went to Jerusalem at that time to celebrate the Jewish Passover and there he finds the Passover lamb, but he didn't know it. Let's remind ourselves as we see Jesus walking down the Via Dolorosa and Simon siring carrying his cross at the cross event was not something that just came up the plan to put Christ on the cross by the heavenly Father was planned in eternity past, it was accepted and committed to by God the son Jesus Christ in eternity past, it continued all throughout human history. There's a red river of redemption that throws to the pages of the Old Testament. As I've said many times, the cross is not an ambulance it to the scene of an accident is the pathway that began in eternity and that all must find to find eternal life.
The old song says I must needs go home. By the way of the cross. There's no other way but this I will never catch sight of the gates of life the way of the cross.
I miss Golgotha is the name of the heel where he's to be Crucified. That's the Aramaic word that the Latin word is Calvary.
We get our English word from that it's a hill about 1 mile outside of the city gate. The text clearly city was taken out of the city.
There's a real significance there because if you were spiritually unclean. Then you had to be taken out of the city. Jesus is the Lamb who would take on all of our uncleanness. He's taken away as an outcast in verse 23 they give him wine mixed with myrrh. The Bible says it's actually a narcotic. This was not an act of mercy. This was to make the soldier's job easier as they laid him down, his back already at like hamburger meat if you will, from the beating he's taken and now they gotta melt nails through his hand and drive nails through his feet, and they would give these criminals convicted of this execution. I a narcotic to make it easier on them that they would not struggle violently as the nails were driven through hands and feet. Interestingly, though the Bible text tells us here in verse 23 that Jesus didn't take it you didn't drink it.
I think it's because the full blow of suffering and death was to be his because he was dying and suffering for us in our place.
Verse 24 and they crucified him they crucified him three words based.
That's all it says three words three words for the most enormously significant significant event in all time about assist the soldiers in verse 24, gambled for his close this film. Psalm 22 verse 18 and they divided my garments among them, for mock clothing they cast lots.
Verse 25. The Bible says it's the third hour that would correspond to our 9 AM in verse 26 the Bible says there's a placard on the vertical beam of the cross above Jesus head that says this is the king of the Jews Bible tells us it was written in Latin it was written in Greek and in Aramaic pilot had this done, the Roman governor had this done.
You see, the religious leaders had just won a victory over pilot again in their contention. They always were pushing stuff very contentious relationship and pilot would push back and locked the jab at each other and cut it each other and this was Pilate's way to get back at the religious authorities say this is your key humbled week dying shameful King King of the Jews we going to verse 32. The last part of the gospel writers elaborate a little bit more, but those two robbers crucified with him were also railing insults against him.
Isaiah 5312 says, and he was numbered with the transgressors filling that part of prophecy and then we come to verses 29 through 30 in the Bible says. Everyone's joining in the notice again how much emphasis is put on what other people are doing around the cross very little about Jesus and what he's enduring on the cross so others are joining in and they get used that word in verse 29 hi Leslie is translated in the new American Standard is like, look at you the one that said this and said that, politically missing claimant look at you. It's an exclamation of scorn and glee in condemnation is a sense that they even the people the common people had victory over Jesus. Mind you that some of these claim to worship him when he was feeding them what he was healing their diseases.
But now they just go along. The pack mentality join the crowd condemning Jesus and the religious leaders in verses 31 and 32 says in the same way, the chief priest also along the scribes were mocking him a notice among themselves. They didn't say this to others are talking just among themselves and saying he saved others, he cannot save himself, let this Christ the King of Israel not come down from the cross so that we may see and believe it's a lie became down for the cross. I would believe I saw his miracles they saw his power and you know as we look at all of these people at the cross.
These unbelievers is a category here that represents every single person who's ever lived either either presently or in the past you fit one of the categories of these who were at the cross.
So let's look at the five different groups. The five groups of participants's who were at the cross. On this day first Wallace notice there was a forced unbeliever Simon of siring.
As I said before your Simon siring just comes to Jerusalem. He may not know hardly anything about this Jesus, he may not have ever heard his name. He's from Africa he he wasn't from the regions Jesus administered to during his earthly ministry and all the sudden he's in the wrong place at the wrong time or in God's providence he was at the right place at the right time and the Roman soldiers require him to carry Jesus crossbeam because he can't. Himself, he was forced into facing Jesus Christ what this choice just happened. Maybe that's where some of you are today. Your urine unbeliever and your hearing about Jesus Christ and you've heard about Jesus Christ and you're hearing about it now, but up to this point if you you been a forced unbeliever, you don't really want to go to church.
Your wife nags you into going you really want to go to church. Mom and dad make you come to church our friends been pushing you so you're obligated to, maybe that's what you're sitting there in front of your television or computer screen this morning. So what else ask you to encourage you in the case of children required you to be there. And right now you're a forced unbeliever, but now you're hearing of Christ. Now your responsibilities greater Simon siring was forced into being confronted with Jesus Christ will, there's a glory in this, though this is not the end of Simon story and X11. Many Ceridian's are stated as those who are becoming believers in Jesus Christ. In Romans 1613. The Bible says great ruthless outstanding in the Lord and his mother and mine. Rufus was Simon, son.
So we have every confidence to believe that this one, he was not looking to become a believer who is not planning to give his life to Christ. But somebody somebody made sure that he heard and he became a believer and that's the way some of you are God ordained the events in Simon's life, but some of your lifeguards or dating your mom and dad or friend or spouse or work associate you now see and hear of Jesus. Secondly, not only a forced unbeliever notice there are ignorant unbelievers represented by the soldiers. These are hardened men. These are callused me and these are brutal men had no no thought of Jesus, no heart for Jesus no love for Jesus.
He was just the next guy to be crucified, and these guys did it with the light but they were ignorant. They did not know who he was. They had not heard the preaching of the prophets. They did not have the Scriptures like the Jews had up to this point. They were ignorant on this day. They did the vilest deed that's ever been done of all of human history. They they exhibited the utter depth of human depravity of crucifying the son of God, but they were ignorant. They had not been taught, and I thought how tragic today so many even down here in the Bible Belt have been taught little and much of what they called is wrong with this morning your hearing that there is one who, in his name is Jesus became in love and unrelenting love of God for his children and he came to bear cross and pay for our sins so you can pledge ignorance no more. You may be a forced unbeliever are neither ignorant unbeliever, but somebody made sure you heard the gospel of Jesus Christ. So you cannot say no man cared for my soul. Somebody cares for yourself, the Roman soldier shook the dice.
As for the steak they divide quite unaware that on the cross, the world's Redeemer died, but in the circus of our day we thoughtless act. The clown, while God is speeding up his work to ring times curtain down the Roman soldier shook the dice. As for the steak they divide are we as unconcerned as they that Christ for us, has died. Dear Sir, ma'am young person do you care the.you he gave his life to save you. You can pledge or plead ignorance no longer you have a choice to make. There's a glory here. Also look at verse 39 of our text when the centurion who was standing right in front of him, saw the way he breathes his last, he said. Truly this man was the son of God sows all likelihood, this man's become a true believer in Jesus Christ. He went from total absolute utter disdain for Jesus had no thought of him no love for him. He never heard advanced features the criminal I'm just going to nail him to cross like I did the other two executed but something happened and his heart was changed this day.
This morning, God's changing some of your heart begin to sense.
I need him. I need forgiveness I need cleansing on the know I need a new life.
He gives all you need to come to Christ like this formally ignorant soldier before Jesus came the crucifixion and nothing of him.
Then there's thirdly the knowledgeable unbeliever, the knowledgeable unbeliever, represented by the robbers that were crucified with him last part of verse 32 tells us that they were both hurling insults at him.
Their wicked hearts perceived his right life rather as a righteous and holy and, therefore, in contrast, they saw themselves as condemned and unholy estimate also always is with Jesus, you can't take into your mind and contemplating your heart, the teaching of Christ without also saying the contrast to your own condition before him that you're unclean and he's clean your holy he's holding your unholy he's righteous your unrighteous is pure you're impure, he's clean your unclean and these robbers evidently had that knowledge is there, standing there in there watching her hanging there with their watching him a nursing the way he suffered nursing the accountant at the nursing he's just different. There's something about him. It's just different.
I know that he is in some way. God sent Savior for mankind. Luke 23 tells us that one of the two robbers became every picture and a believer. On this day he yelled to the other robber friend up there said were getting what we deserve this man's done nothing wrong. How does that happen. Only you can explain is the Holy Spirit of God enable them to grasp the habit knowledge. This is God's help.
This is God, Savior, and after that one turned and said remember me when you come in your kingdom. She said I have a little better than that this don't wait for the future kingdom that's coming it certain how about today mean you just go to paradise. That's glory that's Gloria that's Kari thief on the cross could think nothing could do nothing repent and believe in Jesus, so that's good enough.
Let's go to paradise today mean you did you know you have I been preacher long time suffered on preacher stories, but can you imagine what happened when Jesus showed up for the father to present his blood on the.the holy mercy seat of heaven and the father said he got with you. He said here's my first one. What is hers. I was laid on basis of age is a filthy ball robber, but I cleaned them up volleyball the way home today today and you can't.
Christ will save you Christ will forgive you.
Christ will give you hope Christ will give you love Christ will give you please Christ will cleanse your sin.
Just like he did this robber, this robber who had some knowledge. This was the holy one. This is true, this man's right knee came to Christ. Fourthly, there were fickle unbelievers here in our Bible Belt culture do not have a lot of this all around us. Look at verse 29. Those who were passerby's those who were passing by were hurling actually the word means blaspheming hurling abuse of him, wagging their heads are just joining in the. The fray and saying how you are going to store the temple and rebuild and relay.
Save yourself and come down from the cross. These passing by, hurling abuse at him. These unbelievers doubtlessly included so many of those in Judea and Galilee that saw his miracles that received his healings that ate the miraculous food he provided and they loved him for that. But now he's doing nothing to appease their fleshly wants and desires.
Now he's hanging on across the spiritual work and they're not spiritual men. That's why so many are today put on a surface in the church and church in that show up and that's not always wrong. 4 July picnic.
It will show up about oh, I'm were glad you show up in your always loving you're always welcome. Here's what I'm saying you only interested when you're fleshly Carl appetites are satisfied is really part of you today that says I'll take Christ believe on Christ. I'll embrace Christ as both my Savior. I need his forgiveness.
But now, my lord the one who tells me how I'm to live and how to conduct my life. So many today are like this make the church worldly and I'm in. There's a glory here next trip to Peter's preaching on the day of Pentecost and 3000 of the common folks in this in the city that they were converted in later days, thousands more converted. Doubtlessly some the very same ones who hurled abuse at him when he was dying on the cross. You'll save you if you been a fickle unbeliever all, I'll show up I'll attend the church if it's fun little circus put on the show and I'll come you're lost your unbeliever, you need today to come to Christ, receive him as your Lord and Savior trust in him and him alone to save you the be the Master and Lord of your life.
Lastly, the last category of persons that you either presently or in art one time were one of that's the religious unbelievers reps in the course by the religious leaders member in verse 31 there talking among themselves and what think save himself he thinks himself, and this problem will believe on him liars you here's the problem that religious people have about the way I'm told that religious gladness religious Methodist religious Assembly of God religious Pentecostals, religious Catholics and religious first protect Presbyterians and religious Episcopalians. Here's what the here's what happens. You all your religion you're comfortable in your religion. You control your religion.
It's what you want. It's what you've chosen is what maybe your forefathers have chosen, and you don't want anybody to shake you out of what you're comfortable with telling you Jesus Christ came into this world to shake everything, including your false hope in religion. A lot of people unbelievers because they've inoculated themselves with a narcotic becoming religious and they've never come to repent of sins, and trust.
Listen in Christ and Christ alone as their salvation religious unbelievers will if you will do this all join up with us like this. That's what the religious leaders who do know just come to Christ and receive him like he is. But the Gloria next chapter 6 verse seven and the word of God kept spreading and a great many of the priest will becoming obedient to the faith, even these hardened callous religious hypocrites help me out Christ to the cross.
I don't know which particular one, but there were some of the leaders, the priest becoming a believer in Jesus Christ. I don't know about you but I'm really grateful that Jesus saves sinners all kinds of centers my FISA zone, people he saved the center. Maybe you been a religious unbeliever pretender and today you need to come to know Jesus Christ. I remember so clearly in the early days of God reforming our church to be more healthy, better understanding of the gospel in our understanding of what repentance is and what conversion, if I remember, in those days, just a steady stream and when the flood but there was a steady stream of some of our most faithful churchgoers who would come and say pastor. I believe six months ago I was converted probably last year when you preach that series. I came to faith in Christ and one by one by one by one we saw people go from being religious unbelievers to believers is really the key to the strength of grace like church today is the key. The strength of any church that to truly regenerate membership. Are you in unbeliever today. You need to understand that in a figure of speech, and it is a true true biblical statement. Your your sin mailed Jesus to the cross. Was it for crimes that I had done. The songwriter said was it for crimes that I had done. He groaned upon the tree. Amazing. Grace unknown and love the on degree. Our sins were laid on him member reading about a pastor who was preaching on the crucifixion and he would just head on his heart, mind, that's what I do every every Saturday night.
I take my notes I go to bed I go over my prayer, think about them and that night he dreamed about the crucifixion and he saw himself there was some distance away. The seeing his Savior dying on the cross that preacher said in my dream I felt no no no this can't be stopped. Don't do this in the set up. I ran toward the cross and I grab that century, and yanked him around when he turned around. That was my face. I had nailed to the cross. Your sin is why God became. He suffered, he bled and died for you is another statement. The crowning statement of God's on relenting love for his children. His love is that correct