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960. The Crucifixion

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
April 2, 2021 7:00 pm

960. The Crucifixion

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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April 2, 2021 7:00 pm

Dr. Steve Pettit continues the series entitled “Passion Week,” with a message titled “The Crucifixion” from Mark 15.

The post 960. The Crucifixion appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.

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Darrell Bock Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, California.

Dr. Darrell Bock Jumping across the line and believing was a whole other ballgame. Well, we came into our second semester and then into the spring during my freshman year. And we had spring break, and I went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina for the spring break weekend.

And it was really a miserable time of my life. As I look back on it, it really was the grace of God at work in my heart and life to bring me to faith in Christ. And on Easter Sunday, 1975, I woke up early that morning and decided to drive home from Myrtle Beach to my home in Columbia. And I was driving down one of those lonely two-lane highways in the low country of South Carolina, turned on the radio, was going to listen to the local rock station, and I decided to listen to a Christian radio station. And I found a church service. I don't know what kind of church it was or who the pastor was. I just remember hearing the choir singing and then the preacher preaching.

And the preacher preached a very simple message. He preached about sin, and I was under conviction. I knew I was a sinner lost in need of a savior. But then he began to preach about Jesus, and he lifted Christ up in my mind on the cross. And I felt like I was standing at the foot of the cross. And as I looked on the cross and saw Jesus dying, at that moment, I don't know if I saw him dying for the world. I saw him dying for me. And it made sense to me.

It was clear to me. And then he simply explained how Jesus rose from the dead. And this was Easter Sunday morning and that this was the day of the resurrection. And suddenly it dawned on me that Jesus Christ truly was the Son of God. He did die for me. He did rise from the dead.

This is the truth. And that I can believe it or I can receive it or I can reject it. And on that day, Easter Sunday 1975, I accepted Jesus Christ as my personal savior.

That's why this weekend is so special to me. And so I hope you'll listen very carefully to this message on the crucifixion as Christ is lifted up on the cross. Well, I'm going to ask you to take your Bibles and turn, if you will, please, to the book of Mark, chapter 15. And I'd like this morning to conclude our message as we talk about the crucifixion and some of the events around it. We see in the passage that we read this morning that this is actually centered around primarily what the Romans did to Jesus. And it really begins by talking about the soldiers that led him away. And then 11 times, Mark uses the word they.

And so he's talking about the Romans and their treatment of Jesus. There's no direct speech recorded in here. It's just action. And it's all done in silence. It's written in what we call the historic present, which means that it's as if it's happening right now.

It's like you're right there. And obviously God intends for us to look and to listen because he wants us in our minds and our hearts to watch Jesus because the work of the Holy Spirit is to make Jesus real to us. Jesus was tried in two courts, a religious court and a civil court, before the Jews and before the Romans. And in both courts, he was condemned to die. In the religious court, he was condemned for blasphemy because he claimed that he was the Messiah, the Son of God and the Son of Man. In the civil court, he was condemned to die for treason because he claimed to be the King of the Jews. What we read this morning actually proceeded the trial before Pontius Pilate.

Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor. And essentially, he did two things to Jesus. Number one, he had him scourged. And number two, he had him condemned to be crucified. What was scourging? Well, it usually preceded crucifixion. It consisted of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip that contained embedded in the lashes, sheep bone and metal.

Many men died during scourging. The second was the crucifixion. The crucifixion was a form of capital punishment for those that violated crimes against the government. It was invented to make death as miserable as possible.

It was invented to be a deter to crime. So people would not commit crime because you got to die by crucifixion. When a person was crucified, they were nailed to a cross. Oftentimes, they would hang on the cross for days. They didn't die immediately. It was intended to be very painful.

You died oftentimes because of drowning because your lungs were filled with your own fluid and that's how you died. So in the passage that we read this morning, we find that Pilate has just scourged Jesus and he's condemned him to die by crucifixion. And so that's where the scene picks up. And there's actually two scenes.

The first scene is in the governor's headquarters called Praetorium. This is a scene where the entire Roman, you read here in the scripture, it says band, but it's the word cohort. And in today's language, it would be like an army battalion. Somewhere around 600 troops.

And I don't think they were all there, but, but we could say that there were literally hundreds of soldiers that were there. It became a scene of major abuse towards Jesus. And in the end, they bowed their knees and worshiped him in a mocking way by saying, Hail King of the Jews.

The second scene occurs at a place called Golgotha, which is called the place of the skull. This is where Jesus was crucified outside the city walls of Jerusalem. And there the Roman soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross.

And then they posted a plaque above his head that declared his charge or his accusation that was written against him. And it says the King of the Jews. So in both scenes, we see the King of the Jews, one group, they are bowing before him.

The other one is posting who he claimed to be. And Mark is saying here what he has been saying all along, because in this passage of scripture, we actually see the theme of Mark unfolded. What is the theme? The primary theme is that Jesus is God's son, who is God's suffering servant. The secondary theme is that this is a message for all of us as disciples is Jesus, that if we're going to follow him, we have to die to ourselves, take up our cross and follow him. And so this morning we will see these two things come out very clearly in the passage of scripture. And the end result is for us to worship the King. The first thing Mark reveals is who Jesus is, that Jesus is the true King. And when you look at these scenes, you can look at it from three different ways, three different viewpoints or three different sets of eyes. The first viewpoint is a viewpoint of mockery.

Mark tells us that this is what's happening on the most natural or surface level. Verse 17, and they clothed him with purple and plaited a crown of thorns and put it upon his head and began to salute him, hail King of the Jews. And they smote him on the head with a reed and did spin upon him and bowing their knees, worshiped him. And when they had mocked him.

This is the viewpoint of surely the Romans. That's how they would have viewed it. To mock means to ridicule. It means to make fun of someone by pretending that he's not what he is or by imitating him in a distorted manner. So the Roman soldiers mocked Jesus for his claim to be King. The mockery included the purple robe, a robe of royalty, a crown of thorns and bowing their knees. So there's the viewpoint of mockery. Then there's the viewpoint of irony.

And I think that's really what Mark is intending to do here. Irony is the expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite. So think with me, the purple robe, the scepter, the crown, they're all artifacts of royalty. Hail King of the Jews is really a public salutation. He is the King of the Jews. And when the soldiers mocked him, they were actually telling the truth.

That's the irony. And as a reader of the book of Mark, you and I reading it as Christians, we see that. We see that what they were doing in mockery was actually the opposite. It's the truth that they were confessing. But then there's a third viewpoint and that's God's viewpoint.

And how did God view this event? And here's what I want to make clear. Everything that takes place is as God intended it.

It's the viewpoint of sovereignty. You see, what we read this morning is not a mistake. What happened to Jesus is not a series of unfortunate events.

I want to really burn it in our mind. This is God's sovereign plan. This is what God intended to happen.

And how do we know that? Because the entire event had already been prophesied. It was prophesied by Jesus three times in Mark's gospel, chapter eight, nine, and ten. Along with his final prediction at the last supper where he would give his body and his blood, memorialized in the bread and the wine of the meal, at least four times Jesus prophesied how he was going to die. This is exactly what God intended.

But not only did Jesus prophesy, but the Old Testament did. For example, let's take the mockery. Psalm 22, verse seven. All who see me, mock at me. They make mouths at me.

They wag their heads. Consider the parting of his garments and the casting of his lots, prophesied in Psalm 22, 18. They did divide my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots. And then consider, even as Mark stated it, that the two thieves hanging on either side of Jesus was prophesied in Isaiah 53 and verse 12. He was numbered with the transgressors. Folks, what is God trying to say? This whole event, exactly what happened, is exactly what God planned. We read it this morning that Jesus was crucified at the third hour. That's nine a.m. in the morning, three hours after six a.m. But what we read, if we read on in Mark's Gospel, is that it's actually according to schedule. Because it says in verse 25 that he was crucified at the third hour. At the sixth hour, in verse 33, it says that it became dark in the land. And then in verse 34, at the ninth hour, he died. He died at three o'clock in the afternoon. Jesus was only on the cross six hours, nine in the morning to three in the afternoon.

And why at three in the afternoon? Because folks, that is the time of the evening sacrifice, when every morning and every evening they sacrificed a lamb as a burnt offering. And folks, God is trying to show us that this was all in his time schedule. And so what appears to be a mistake in the mistreatment of Jesus was the sovereign plan of God. Therefore, folks, the road that led to the cross was God's path for his son to be the king. How did Jesus become the king?

Through this way. You could say this was his installation service as the king of kings. So the soldiers scourging him, the soldiers spitting on him, the soldiers striking him was a part of God's liturgy.

His order of service for his coronation. Because Jesus's crown is a cross. And Jesus's throne is a tree.

And from a human standpoint, the Romans crucified Jesus, but from a divine perspective the Romans crowned him as king when they nailed him to the cross. And how opposite is that of the way that we all think. We don't think this way.

Why? Because his ways are not our ways. God's thoughts are not our thoughts. This is not man's wisdom. This is God's wisdom.

Don't you see how smart God is? And through the cross what do we gain? We gain the right opinion, the right viewpoint of who Jesus is.

For on the cross what happens? He becomes our redeemer. He becomes our sacrifice. He becomes our propitiation. He becomes our ransom.

Thank God he becomes our king. No wonder Paul said in Galatians 6.14, but God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ by whom the world is crucified unto me and I unto the world. Biblical worship is always a cross focused worship.

To be honest with you the atmosphere that we've experienced here in the services this week particularly today is the way that we properly approach God. We approach him with reverence and respect and a sense of fear and awe and trembling and love. We worship a crucified king. We view all the benefits and the blessings of Jesus through the cross.

So the Romans who had ironically mocked and crucified Jesus became God's tool for the accomplishment of his sovereign purposes. Oh worship the king. Does he set high on the throne of your own heart? Is that where Jesus is today?

But then there's a second thing I want you to see. Because what is Mark's theme? The Mark's theme is about the true king but he also shows us in this passage what a true disciple is.

It's nothing new. It's not like Jesus has never told them this. He's been telling this all along. In Mark chapter 8 and verse 34 he gives clear requirements to be his disciple.

If anyone would come after me let him deny himself. Take up his cross daily and follow me. At this point in Mark's gospel where are the 12 disciples?

How well have they done? At this point they've miserably failed God's demands. One has betrayed Jesus. One has denied Jesus and all the others ran away from Jesus. So has God's purpose and plan failed because his disciples failed? No because we later learned that they actually come back and they learned that their faithfulness is not found in their own ability and strength but in God's faithfulness. I want to be very clear that God's standard for discipleship does not change because his disciples fail. God's standard remains the same. In this passage Mark uses a writing technique.

I believe to arrest our attention and to illustrate his point and what is the technique? It is a contrast between the insiders and the outsiders. Who are the insiders? Well it's those that are closest to Jesus. That would include of course his disciples and even his family. These were those who knew Jesus best. They had spent time with him. They were intimately close to him. But what about the outsiders?

Who are these? These were mentioned throughout the gospel of Mark like the maniac of Gadara and blind Bartimaeus and the Syrophoenician woman. These are those who came to Christ and they followed him without any apparent or previous knowledge of Jesus or relationship with Jesus.

And here's the point that Mark is making is that the outsiders quickly modeled the true followers of Christ whereas the insiders were very slow and reluctant to follow Jesus and often did not model discipleship. I say that to you this morning as a crowd of most of you are insiders. I remember when I came here as a student at Bob Jones University I felt like a total outsider. Total outsider. In my mind it's ironic that I'm the president.

I'm serious about that. I didn't grow up in a Christian home. I didn't go to a Christian school. I didn't have Christian parents. I got saved in college. I didn't even get into a Christian education until I was 22 years old.

When I came to Bob Jones I was a total outsider. But you know what I've learned? I've learned that it doesn't matter if you're an insider or an outsider. It matters what do you do with Jesus.

Are you going to really follow him? Because there are some of you that have grown up with it all your life and the truth is the lights haven't even turned on for you. And there are others of you that have come here and you sort of feel like I'm not really an insider. You know I'm not a legacy student.

My parents didn't go to school here. It's as if that gives you a one up with Jesus. You know? And what we see in Mark is that God is no respecter of persons. And even though Jesus' inside disciples failed, Mark illustrates for us true discipleship in this passage through two outsiders. Who are the outsiders?

Well you already know who they are. Number one, it was a man named Simon of Cyrene. The Bible says that they compel one Simon, a Cyrenian, who passed by coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. Whenever a man was condemned to die by crucifixion, he was forced to carry his own cross. It was just the cross beam, not the upright piece called the stipes.

It was called the patibulum. He had to carry it. It weighed over 100 pounds on his back to the site of execution. Jesus began to carry his cross to this place of execution that was called Golgotha, the place of a skull, either because it looked like a skull or there literally were skulls there, there were bones there. When Jesus carried his cross, today if you were to go to Jerusalem, there's the way of the cross, so the Via Dolorosa. And perhaps because of weakness and blood lost during the scourging, Jesus was not able to carry the patibulum. So a man passing by named Simon of Cyrene was conscripted by the Roman soldiers to carry Jesus' cross.

Cyrene was off the coast of North Africa in Libya today. Perhaps Simon was a man of color. And Mark uniquely mentions not only Simon, but he mentions his sons, Alexander and Rufus.

Why? Because Mark is writing to Christians in Rome. And we don't know anything about Alexander, and we really don't know that much about Simon, but we know that there was a man in the church of Rome who was called Rufus.

For Paul writes in Romans 16, 13, greet Rufus chosen in the Lord, also his mother who has been a mother to me as well. So most people believe that this Rufus identified in the book of Romans is who he's talking about here in the Gospel of Mark. So it appears that Simon was a revered disciple of Jesus in the minds of the Romans. And Simon is mentioned immediately following Jesus being led out to be crucified.

Why? To reinforce the distinguishing mark of discipleship. You're to take up your cross and follow Jesus, and that is exactly what Simon did. Simon becomes the first person in Mark literally to fulfill this command. For Mark, discipleship is not a symbolic gesture.

It is a concrete command. If you're going to follow Jesus Christ, you have to deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow him. God is not going to change his demands for discipleship. But then there's a second illustration, and that's found in verse 27. And these are also outsiders because they're thieves. And so we read, and with him they crucified two thieves, the one on his right hand and the other on the left. What do these two dying thieves remind us of? Well perhaps you'll recall back in chapter 10, after Jesus predicted his crucifixion, James and John came to Jesus with an unusual request.

Do you remember what they said? They said, Master, we would that you should do for us whatever we desire. And Jesus said, what would you that I should do for you? And they said unto him, grant unto us that we may sit, one on your right hand and the other on your left hand in glory. Well James and John wanted to sit with Jesus when he entered into his reigning glory, and the perception in their mind of Jesus' glory was a throne and a crown. But they did not realize that his glory was actually a tree and a cross. And so Jesus tells them that it's not in his power to give them those places of honor. However, he could offer them something.

And what was that? Jesus said, you don't know what you're asking. Can you drink of the cup that I drink of and be baptized with the baptism that I'm baptized with? And they said unto him, we can. And Jesus said, you shall indeed drink of the cup. And with the baptism I'm baptized with, you shall be baptized. But to sit on my right hand on my left hand is not mine to give, but it shall be given to them for whom it is prepared.

At this place in the story, every reader would remember what James and John requested. In light of the disciples' failure and Simon of Cyrene's cross bearing, it becomes quite clear that the position on either side of Jesus in Jerusalem is not a position of power, but it is a sharing in his suffering. Jesus could not guarantee James and John the position that they requested. However, he could guarantee them a share in his suffering, which would guarantee a position on either side of Jesus, like the two thieves. Paul tells us if we suffer, we shall also reign with him.

We reign through suffering. This is how Jesus became the true king. And this is how you and I become true disciples.

Could I encourage you to do something over the next couple of days? Take these two chapters, Mark 14 and 15, and just read them through. Let the word of God soak into your heart and soul. Take the passage that has to do with the crucifixion and just think about it. Let it roll over your heart and wake up Sunday morning fired up because this same king who died on a tree walked out of a grave alive.

First time I went to Jerusalem, I'll never forget it. I was able to go to the tomb where Jesus was buried. And I walked into the tomb and there's a placard on the door as you enter in the tomb and it says these words. It says, he is not here for he has risen. The empty tomb is the testimony that he is the true king. Folks, we do not worship a dead man. We worship a resurrected king. He is the Lord.

He is the king. And it is in him that we have the power to be a true disciple of Jesus. Father, we praise you for your word and we thank you for what you've done on the cross. Lord, grant us a spirit of reverence and fear in all and worship and glory in your cross in Jesus' name.

Amen. My listening friend, can I ask you a question? Have you received the crucified resurrected Jesus as your own personal savior? No doubt, God is speaking to your heart. There's a knock on the door of your heart and he's asking to come in. Would you personally individually right now call upon the name of the Lord, ask Jesus to be your savior for whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.

Let me urge you to do that right now. May God bless you. From all of us here at The Daily Platform radio program, consider the words, he is risen. He is risen indeed as we celebrate the resurrection of Jesus Christ this weekend.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-12-09 01:04:34 / 2023-12-09 01:14:23 / 10

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