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They Crucified Him (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston
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December 3, 2021 6:00 am

They Crucified Him (Part A)

Cross Reference Radio / Pastor Rick Gaston

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December 3, 2021 6:00 am

Pastor Rick teaches from the Gospel of Mark (Mark 15:16-32)

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Here it is. They've missed their chance to adore Him. They've missed this chance to love on Him, to just show respect, human decency.

They're too busy doing their human thing. This has been played out repeatedly through the centuries, and it is one of the great reasons why God has left us who love the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth. To bring this to the attention of those who think that it is fashionable to mock Him. This is Cross Reference Radio with our pastor and teacher Rick Gaston. Rick is the pastor of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville. Pastor Rick is currently teaching through the Gospel of Mark.

Please stay with us after today's message to hear more information about Cross Reference Radio, specifically how you can get a free copy of this teaching. But for now, let's join Pastor Rick in the Gospel of Mark, chapter 15, for a brand new study called, They Crucified Him. They clothed Him with purple, and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, and began to salute Him.

Hail, King of the Jews! Then they struck Him on the head with the reed, and spat on Him, and bowing the knee, they worshipped Him. And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. Then they compelled a certain man, Simon, a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by to bear his cross. And they brought Him to the place called Golgotha, which is translated, place of a skull.

Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take. Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. And the inscription of His accusation was written, The King of the Jews. With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. So the scripture was fulfilled, which says, He was numbered with transgressors. And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, Aha, you who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross. Likewise, the chief priest, also mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, He saved others, Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him. It is the most bittersweet passage of the Bible. It's very difficult to read publicly.

There's a charge of emotions, of course. They crucified Him. That's the title to the study of God's Word. There's too much going on between the four evangelists, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, in their account of this crucifixion to cover it all. It's out of sequence. I won't take the time to put sequence in place, at least not this round. Maybe I did it when we did Luke. But either way, just for example, the detailed verses and prophecies coming out of Isaiah 53, there's so many of them.

We don't have time to go into all, but we'll take some. We go back to verse 16. Then the soldiers led him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. Praetorium, the barracks there at the Antonia fortress of the Romans. It could house up to several thousand men and the support elements to go with it.

Pilate, Pontius Pilate, the governor, his residence was up to the northwest in Caesarea by the Mediterranean Sea. Of course, as he comes to Jerusalem for feast time, he's going to bring a large detachment of troops with him to protect him, and they make up the Praetorium Guard. And so here they are at this barracks for them. The translators have not done well with the word in the New King James here, translated garrison. Some may have cohort.

Either way, it's not a definitive number. It just means sort of a band of troops. And I say that as we move forward, looking down at verse 17, and they clothed him with purple and they twisted a crown of thorns and put it on his head. So here they are again with the abuse. This time it is coming from the Gentiles who are not so gentle. And the thorns, of course, every Christian, once we hear that word, thorns, especially in scripture, we're made mindful of sin because that's what it symbolizes in the scripture. Thorns are directly associated with sin. My sin personally, your sin personally, and mankind overall. Genesis chapter 3, where we read of Adam and Eve falling into sin.

God, part of the judgment on Adam was this. Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, speaking of the earth. In other words, hard times are ahead. Life's going to stick you because it's cursed now. And by the sweat of your brow, you're going to struggle through life. Everything is work in life. You can sit on the couch eating potato chips all day and it becomes work. There's just nothing.

There's really no truly happy place here. We enjoy the breaks that we get, but it's a business and it goes back to Genesis. Well, the thorns, this crown of thorns that someone had to take the time. It was so important to do this, to put this crown of thorns on his head, pressing on him with sin for us.

This is what it's saying to us. His pain and his blood wasn't important to them. Unbelief still does this to Christ in some way. He is the fulfillment of the scapegoat in the book of Leviticus according to the Jewish sacrifices. There were two goats, one they would take and they would sacrifice.

Well, he represents both of them. And the other scapegoat, the high priest would lay his hands on the goat and put the sins of the people on the goat and let it run into the wilderness. We pick it up in Leviticus 16. Aaron shall lay both his hands on the head of the live goat, confess over it all the iniquities of the children of Israel and their transgressions concerning all their sins, putting them on the head of the goat and shall send it away into the wilderness by the hand of a suitable man. And there we have pictured the scapegoat of Israel. It speaks of our sins on the head of our Savior.

He is the fulfillment of this verse, that verse speaking of his coming and dealing with our sins. That suitable man that takes the goat to the wilderness certainly makes me mindful of Joseph of Arimathea. Anyway, the transference of guilt from the one who committed no sin. That goat did not sin. The people did sin and the guilt is transferred to the goat who again symbolizes our sins against God. And this crown of thorns is speaking of these very things to us. The sin is upon him.

As that emblem going back to Genesis chapter 3 verse 18 now, Mark chapter 15. And began to salute him, hail king of the Jews. Here it is, they've missed their chance to adore him.

They've missed this chance to love on him. To just show respect, human decency. They're too busy doing their human thing. This has been played out repeatedly through the centuries and it is one of the great reasons why God has left us who love the Lord Jesus Christ here on earth. To bring this to the attention of those who think that it is fashionable to mock him. People are too busy living life for themselves apart from Christ to listen to the love of Christ. We struggle with it ourselves. We struggle to be focused on what it is we're supposed to be doing as believers. Knowing that Jesus said, take up your cross daily and follow me. And the cross is that emblem of shame and of judgment and of sin dealt with. There's so many things that the cross of Christ speaks to us about.

And hopefully I can cover some of that as we move through this 15th chapter. Verse 19 now, then they struck him on the head with a reed and spat on him and bowing the knee they worshiped him. What were the angels doing?

Who was holding them back? Having already received the blows of the Jews in the court of the Sanhedrin. Also having received the scourge, the lashings ordered by Pontius Pilate. Which incidentally, when Pilate ordered his scourging, he was hoping that the Jewish leaders, religious leaders, would have sympathy for Christ looking at him. And so Christ comes out and Pilate says, behold the man, and that was hopefully they would not be so bent on his death. And yet they shouted, crucify him.

So that we get some of that from John to help the sequences flow. Anyway, Isaiah chapter 50. Isaiah speaking of the coming Messiah, almost 800 years before these events that we're reading here in chapter 16. Isaiah said, I gave my back to those who struck me. I did not hide my face from shame and spitting. He took it like the Savior. He did not back down from any of it. He knew this was coming.

And now it is here. And of course, love restrains him from retaliating against these men. Vengeance was banished from him by his decree. Father, forgive them, they know not what they do. And speaking of our Father who is in heaven, he is watching all of this take place. The Holy Spirit is right there watching all of this take place.

The cherubim, the seraphim, the archangels, the angel, Michael, Gabriel, they're all aware of what is going on here, except these people are not. Paul later in his ministry writes a similar thing. He says to the church at Corinth, for I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last as men condemned to death. We have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men. Of course, as Paul is going around preaching in the Gentile world, many of the Gentiles, they want to hear it. They wanted their idols, they wanted their immorality, they wanted nothing to do with the Savior. And Paul is saying, you know, we suffer these people, they come against us.

We're made a spectacle amongst them many times. Still, while Christ is subjecting himself for all sinners loving the world, not the system of the world, but the people in it, still most of mankind at this moment is totally oblivious. They're out waking up in the morning, going about their chores, going about their activities.

You know, when an Egypt is mindful of this, for example, the far reaches of the world to the east, they're not mindful of these things, they have other things to do. And here, the Savior of the world alone in the eyes of men is suffering this. Where is Peter? Where's John? Where are the disciples? Well, they would be powerless anyway to do anything. Their lives wasted trying to rescue him would have been just that, wasted. We are grateful that they did not barge in and try to make some sort of rescue attempt. But we, we look at this and we say, okay, these lessons, they fly off the page towards us. They glare at me sometimes.

What am I supposed to do with this information? I don't want my ears to be tickled. I want my heart to be moved so that I can do something with my life for my God. One day, I will spend more time with God than I will ever spend with him in this life. And I want my life to be in that direction, preparing for that moment when I am in heaven forever.

Verse 20, And when they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. If this were just a man, if this were a prophet of God, like Isaiah or Jeremiah or Abraham or any of the other great characters of Scripture, we would say, what a tragedy. But this is the sinless one, the creator of the heavens and earth, subjecting himself to this for me.

Hopefully, speaking for myself, it will make me look at my problems a little differently, because, of course, my problems are always huge. And looking at God, I have to say, he is larger, whatever happens here. Job, in one of his expressions of just grief over what was happening to him, was saying, you know, it's gotten so bad between me and God.

Even if he speaks to me, I wouldn't know it was him. Job, like us, had said to himself, God is sovereign, therefore he's responsible. What a thought. Responsible for what? Well, God says, I'm responsible for your eternity.

How about that? Either this stuff you're going through now that you're facing now, it won't last forever. We know that. Yet our flesh demands insist on something protecting us from everything. And God says, it's not like that right now.

Stay focused on me. Our Savior giving us that example, everything here, the mission was going to be completed. So focused was he on the mission that when it was time to sort of numb him up, so he wouldn't feel so much of the pain, he said, no. I still have ministry to do, and I will not enter ministry with a muddled mind.

We'll come to that momentarily. Coming back to verse 20, and when they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. Who would offer him just a sip of water at this point?

Who would show just a scintilla of kindness? Still to come was the wrath of the Father. Still to come, yeah, the crucifixion, but the wrath of God would be upon him. He earned those thorns on his brow because of his love for us.

The one person in history that could wipe out all of humanity with less than a blink does not do it. Isaiah, again, chapter 53, He was taken from prison and from judgment, for he was cut off from the land of the living. For the transgressions of my people he was stricken. They beat him for the sins of my people, Isaiah is saying. God expands that and says, my people are the people of earth, those who live. And in a sense, not of the sense of a relationship, right relationship with God, but in the sense of the sins of the people, in that lesser sense. The cross they laid on him had everyone else's name on it except him. Very interesting.

It should be very interesting, challenging. So you younger Christians, have you ever read Isaiah chapter 53? And if you have, have you said to yourself, here's a man that wrote this 800 years before these events and Christ finished them, followed every one of them, they are prophecies that have been fulfilled only by Jesus Christ.

No one on earth comes close to fulfilling Isaiah 53, leaving us with no excuse to reject him, but every reason to accept him, just Isaiah 53, for example. There are others, I'm just pointing out that one, verse 21 now. And they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by to bear his cross.

Well, there's a lot here. I think, I don't, I remember doing a character study on this Simon the Cyrenian. Well, coming back to this and we'll open it up some about the man. A Roman soldier compelled Simon to carry the cross of Christ.

All right, we get that. The love of Christ compelled him to never put that cross down. This man becomes a believer. It'd be pointless to mention his children here if the church at that time didn't know who those children were. And at that time, when you had a testimony like that, you were serving God. You were not just a church goer. And for them to say, his sons are with us to this day.

Remember, Mark is writing at least 20 years after these events. And still, the children of Simon the Cyrenian are in the Gentile church. Alexander is a Gentile name. And there is Rufus who is mentioned again in Romans 16. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord. And Paul says, his mother and mine. What a powerful testimony.

The aged apostle Paul, many years later writing to the church at Rome, 30 years after this at least. He's talking about this man's son and this man's wife. And he's saying, make sure you say hello to Rufus.

And his mother, who's like a mom to me also. This is, you know, we were just singing one of the most challenging Christian songs that there is. They'll know that we are Christians by our love. Oh yeah?

Will they really? What a challenge. Challenges me. Simon the Cyrenian, now that's in North Africa. And it goes back, the Jews have been there over 300 years since the days of Ptolemy. And they had a substantial community. He is a convert, a proselyte to Judaism.

He's a Gentile that has become a Jew. They had their own church in Jerusalem. Because they were pretty, no question, knowing how people are. Knowing how the Jews were in Jerusalem in Jesus' day. They were sort of, you know, B-class believers.

Hopefully we don't have that view of one another. But anyway, carrying the cross of Christ was something Simon can do. Personally, I'm convinced he was a dark-skinned African. Which would contribute to him standing out in the crowd. And, you know, here he is, minding his business.

And he singled out. Simon the Cyrenian, in the place of Simon Peter. I wonder if Peter ever put that together.

I would hope not for his sake, but you know, we see it. His carriage of the cross was by appointment. He didn't know it until afterwards.

Much, I'm sure, long afterwards. That cross never belonged to guiltless Christ. If anybody should carry it, it would be anybody. Anybody was fit to carry that cross. And of course, those crosses, they were just logs pretty much. You cut down a tree that was just thick enough. You know, the girth was enough to hold a man's body on it. And there was no, you know, finished carpenter coming in to make sure the splinters were sanded out or anything like that. Probably it's still a bark still on it. They just chop it down, put a cross beam on it, and impale the prisoner. And likely use it for firewood when it was all said and done.

And we'll be glad about that. I might cover that moment here. I know I say I may cover a lot of things, because there's just so much stuff.

And you can't see inside my head flying around, bumping all over the place. Anyway, everybody, if you just walked up after Simon was picked to carry the cross, and he is lugging the cross of Christ, and you just walked up, you'd think he was the felon. You know how sensitive we are for people having a wrong opinion about us. They said, what?

I mean, none of us like to have people slander us, say something about us, especially negative that is not true. No man before or since Simon can claim to have carried the cross of Christ. Abraham can't say it. Moses, what a distinction that we cannot look at this man carrying the cross of Christ and say, boy, I missed my opportunity. I have a chance every day to carry the cross of Christ, not the cross he died on, but the cross he assigned me.

Take up your cross and follow me. There's no cross like this. Only Christ could die on this piece of wood. That's why Peter said they crucified him on a tree, because that still looked like a tree. When you looked at the cross, it wasn't, again, this nice block of wood that someone had shaped and smoothed out. And when they crucified them, they put them at face level, so you could see into their face the horrors of what crucifixion was.

It was to be a deterrent. Rome knew how to do it. They crucified so many of those with Spartacus.

They crucified so many Jews after the destruction of the temple, they ran out of wood. The father of Alexander and Rufus, that's who Simon is. And clearly, Mark understood that his audience was familiar with these men. And I think that is what we call testimony. Men are people of Christian reputation. Thanks for tuning in to Cross-Reference Radio for this study in the Book of Mark. Cross-Reference Radio is the teaching ministry of Pastor Rick Gaston of Calvary Chapel Mechanicsville in Virginia. To learn more information about this ministry, visit our website, crossreferenceradio.com. Once you're there, you'll find additional teachings from Pastor Rick. We encourage you to subscribe to our podcast. When you subscribe, you'll be notified of each new edition of Cross-Reference Radio. You can search for Cross-Reference Radio on your favorite podcast app. That's all we have time for today, but we hope you'll join us next time as Pastor Rick continues to teach through the Book of Mark, right here on Cross-Reference Radio.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-07-14 21:06:54 / 2023-07-14 21:16:07 / 9

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