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June 20, 2021 12:01 am
To most bystanders, the crucifixion of Jesus was just another criminal's execution. But after the centurion witnessed Christ's death, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God" (Mark 15:39). Today, R.C. Sproul brings us to the foot of the cross as he continues his series in the gospel of Mark.
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Today on Renewing Your Mind the crucifixion they gave him wine mingled with murder, drank, which was a narcotic to dull their senses. One of the very few humane elements that were recorded. The executed Jesus did not take it. He suffered the full measure of this crucifixion without any painkillers. The horrors of the cause or impossible for us to imagine room had perfected the cross was the of its torturous methods today on Renewing Your Mind, Dr. RC Sproul was going to remind us of the enormous link, our triune God was willing to go to bring us to himself morning as we turn our attention to the text of the gospel according to St. Mark out begin at verse 16 in chapter 15 and read through verse 41 alas, the current negation to stand for the reading of the word of God and then the soldiers led him away into the hall called tri-Taurean and they called together the whole garrison.
They closed him with purple and they twisted a crown of thorns and put it on his head and began to salute him hail, King of the Jews.
Then they struck him on the head with a read and spat on him and bowing the knee, they worshiped him.
When they had mocked him, they took the purple off and put his own close on him and let him out to crucify him then I compelled a certain man. Simon, us. I really am the father of Alexander and Rufus as he was coming out of the country in passing by to bear his cross, and they brought him to the place Golgotha, which is translated place of a skull and then they gave him wine mingled with murder 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 above the king of the Jews with him.
They also crucified two robbers one is right, the other on his left so that the Scripture was fulfilled which says and he was numbered with the transgressors. Those who pass by, blasphemed him, wagging their heads and saying you who destroy the temple and build within three days, save yourself and come down from across. Likewise, the chief priests also mocking among themselves with the scribes said he saved others, himself.
He cannot say let the Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe that even those who were crucified with him reviled him know when the sixth hour had come there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour and at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying LOA and away llama, Suboxone, which is translated my God, my God, why have you forsaken me some of those who stood by when they heard that said Lucky's calling for Elijah and someone ran and filled a sponge. Our wine put on a read and offered it to him to drink saying when I'm alone.
Let's see if Elijah will come to take him down. Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed his last.
Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion who stood up soon saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last. He said truly this man was the son of God were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joseph's and Salome, who also followed him and ministered to him when he was in Galilee and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem. This is the inspired record of the execution of our Lord. May God give us a deeper understanding of its significance for our lives. Please proceed. I don't believe that it was immediately transparent through any of the bystanders that day that what was taking place in front of their very eyes was anything more than a matter of local geographical interests.
They were watching the execution of a human being in the style of the Romans.
When the Romans used the execution form of crucifixion. They did not do it for Roman citizens but only for slaves, for the most vile of criminals and four captured the prisoners of war and yet what was going on in that place at that time was nothing less than the most momentous cosmic event imaginable that these people were witnessing and atonement by which the wrath and justice of God were satisfied by a substitute would not have been immediately apparent to them that we had to wait for the instruction of the epistles of the New Testament which by divine revelation give to us the theological significance and interpretation of this naked event. For this reason, I've decided to wait till next Sabbath morning to preach on the theological significance of the cross by examining the idea of atonement as it is set forth in the epistles of the New Testament, and to restrict my comments this morning, simply to the narrative that we have heard so let's look if we might at the story as Mark gives it to us will remember that last Sunday morning at the end of Jesus trial before Pontius Pilate. Verse 15 recorded with pilots wanting to gratify the crowd released Barabbas to them and he delivered Jesus after he had scourged him to be crucified. Some of you remember when we preach through the gospel of John and looked at the passion narratives of that gospel that I spent some time speaking of the significance of the scourging that was the routine aspect of execution by crucifixion those who were to be scourged were tied to an upright post, their backs were bared and then a guard use this leather braided song that within the Braves contained pieces of bone and pieces of metal and then the prisoner was lashed until his skin came off his body.
His bones were exposed as well as his entrance. There were many many prisoners of Roman who were sentenced to execution by the cross, who never made it past the scourging. One of the reasons for the scourging was simply to humiliate the prisoner but also to make sure that the crucifixion itself would not have too long of a duration. And so Jesus was subjected to the scourging and then was led away to the Pretoria Mall, which was probably a portion of the palace of Herod and were told they call together the whole garrison of the cohort which would be 1/10 of a Roman legion or to be specific, 600 soldiers. So in the mockery that follows was not done by one or two people for the entire cohort of Roman soldiers, 600 of them had their fun with this prisoner were told that they closed them with purple which was the especially valuable die that was reserved for royalty and so in their mockery. They dressed him up like a king and they made a makeshift crown of thorns from a plant that had exceedingly sharp spikes and they put that on his head and they began to salute him in a mocking way, even as Caesar would be greeted by the words and will Caesar Augustus one so in a mocking tone. The soldiers saluted Jesus saying hey will King of the Jews they struck him on the head with a read. Then they spat upon him when I get out of the knee's and feigned obeisance again a mock worshiping of him and when they had mocked him, they took the purple off and put his own clothes on and let him out to crucify him.
Then Mark tells us in verse 21 that they compelled a certain man. Simon is Iranian, the father of Alexander and Rufus as he was coming out of the country in passing by to bear his cross, the language that is used here of compulsion is the way in which prisoners were compelled to be brought to their cells and in which animals were coerced and forced to go to their slaughter Simon of Cyrene just happened to be passing by and he was enlisted by the soldiers to carry the cross of Jesus is not realize that normally the custom was that the prisoner who was to be executed was compelled to carry his own cross to the place of execution, but was not the full crosses. Some artists tried to imagine, but it was simply the horizontal crossbeam that after they got to the side of crucifixion would be affixed to the vertical post that was already there and the point here is, is that Jesus had been so weakened by the scourging that he endured that he was not able to carry that cross piece himself and so they enlisted the aid of Simon of styrene who Mark gives us an interesting detail here, which is a departure from his terse style and custom when he is identified as the father of Alexander and Rufus that we have no other mention of Alexander in the New Testament, but there is a mention of Rufus, who is mentioned in the church of Rome in the middle of the decade of the 50s and scholars are pretty much convinced that the reason why is mentioned here is that because when Mark wrote this gospel he wrote it to the Christians at Rome and they would know about Rufus and Alexander and their father Simon of Cyrene. The irony here is that Jesus had told his disciples that if they were to be his disciples that were going to have to take up his cross and follow him. The first person in human history to do just that. Was Simon of Cyrene, who carried the cross of Jesus for him. So they brought him to the place of Golgotha, which is translated place of a skull. They gave him wine mingled with murder drink, which was a narcotic that was given for executed prisoners to dull their senses to the pain that they endured one of the very few humane elements that were accorded the executed by Rome. Jesus did not take it.
He suffered the full measure of this crucifixion without any painkillers. When they crucified him. They divided his garments, casting lots of them to determine what every man to think exactly as was prophesied in the Old Testament. Psalm 22 and then we read by Mark that it was the third hour, which, as Mark indicating that the crucifixion began at 9 o'clock in the morning because the timing began at 6 AM the third hour would be nine the six hours would be known and if your math is fine. You know that the ninth hour would be 3 o'clock in the afternoon but it started at nine in the morning and the inscription of his accusation was written above. Again, it was the custom of the Romans when they subjected someone to a public execution by crucifixion to tack up on the vertical beam of the cross.
The charges for which the prisoner was being executed.
In this case, the simple message was Jesus of Nazareth, the king of the Jews with him million crucified two robbers one is right, the other on his left. So again, the Scripture was fulfilled which says that he was numbered with the transgressors. According to the prophecy of Isaiah. Those who pass by the public that were watching the spectacle as they walked by, they wagged their heads at him and again they mocked him, saying, you are the one who were going to destroy the temple and built up in three days. Let's see you save yourself, save yourself and come down from the cross with their friends. Jesus wasn't about saving himself. Jesus did need to say he was about saving us, and even those like the chief priests continue the mockery he saved others, himself, he cannot save let the Christ the King of Israel to send Mel from the cross, that we may see and believe they saw the Christ, and they saw the king of Israel, they saw the Savior, but as long as he was attached to that cross. They had no exercise of faith whatsoever. Come on down Jesus stepped down then maybe will begin to believe the claims that you have made an even those who were crucified with him reviled him. We know according to the other gospel accounts that one of them changed that reviling in the face before he died that day, but initially, both of them were mocking Jesus and when the six hour income.
There was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. Amazing. From noon until three in the afternoon the light of the sun was blotted out and darkness came upon the land that must've terrified the people who were there. The same kind of reaction. The people of antiquity would have when a solar eclipse would come for 15 or 20 minutes would scare them to death because I didn't know why it was happening but here was much more than a solar eclipse were God himself plunges the world into darkness and there is significance to that. As I've indicated before and will try to develop more next week. But in this atoning death. The light of the countenance of God was turned off and the father turns his back on his son because what was hanging on the cross was the most grotesque, obscene thing in human history because it contained the fullness of the pollution of our wickedness and God is too holy to even be whole soon so the father turned the lights out on the sun, which was part of the curse for sin and when that happened she uses screen not at the agony of the thorns and have the spears of the males of the cross forsaken us of God, God's own son who was with him from eternity willingly gave up his glory to become incarnate who enjoy the closest possible intimacy with the father throughout his entire lifetime. Now drinks the cup of the father's wrath and must experience forsaken this what happens.
He screams God but God, why have you forsaken.
Now the eyewitnesses are not only watching but there listening and they hear this anguished cry from Jesus sums that he's calling for Elijah someone RAM filled a sponge. Our wine put on a read and offer them to drink saying them alone. Let's see if Elijah will come and take him down. Elijah didn't come nobody took him down until it was over the spot on which this occurred. By the way, traditionally was a spot of Old Testament Mount Moriah where Abraham was commanded to sacrifice Isaac on the altar and when he found his son and raised the knife to plunge it into the heart of his son at the last second, God called him Abram Abraham lay not thy hand upon my son for now. I know you trust me, and behold, Abraham looked off to the side there was a lamb caught by the horns and the thicket and God's who was Jehovah gyrate provided a substitute for Isaac, so the son of Abraham was spared the 2000 years later on that same hill on a different altar wasn't Abraham's son.
It was God's son and this time, beloved nobody hollered stop. So Jesus cried out with a low voice, and he breathed his last.
At that instant the veil of the temple that veil that separated fallen humanity from the sacred holy of holies in the Temple that veil of several strands of woven things that could not be penetrated suddenly was torn from top to the bottom and that wall of separation was ended.
That should've been a clue of the more than local significance of what was happening on this occasion when the centurion stood opposite him, saw that that he cried out like this and breathe his lassie cost of the Romans would have four soldiers guarding the prisoner during the execution. Headed by FF two was a centurion who was a leader over 100 soldiers in the centurion maybe was the first to recognize something going on here beyond the local execution when he said truly this man was the son, and that should be the confession of everyone who looks upon Christ and sees his perfect life is unjust death and his miraculous resurrection. The centurion believed that day. When you look upon Christ. Do you believe he's the son of God were glad you joined us for this board stay addition of Renewing Your Mind.
I'm Lee Webb each Sunday we hear a sermon from Dr. RC Sproul series in the Gospel of Mark in our resource offer today will allow you to study Mark's gospel in-depth on your own when you contact us with a donation of any amount we will provide you a digital download of Dr. scrolls commentary on Mark you can go online to firstname.lastname@example.org. You may also enjoy listening to Dr. Stephen Nichols podcast five minutes in church history will travel back in time and take a look at the people.
The events and places that have shaped Christianity.
You can browse the archives at five minutes in church history.com or you can subscribe wherever you listen to podcasts just before Jesus died. He said it is finished that statement is loaded with meaning and RC will explain it next Sunday message titled, the atonement