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April 15, 2022 7:00 pm
Dr. Steve Pettit preaches a message in light of the coming Easter holiday titled, “Good Friday,” from Mark 15:16-27.
Welcome to the daily form from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones Senior's intent was to make a school where Christ would be the center of everything, so he established daily chapel services today. That tradition continues with fervent biblical preaching from the University travel platform today speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who served as an evangelist for over 29 years before becoming president of Bob Jones University like to invite your attention this morning to the gospel of Mark chapter 15 Mark 15 I'd like us to read Mark's account of the crucifixion of our Lord and then will look at this this morning as we consider this day is good Friday.
I've always felt like is very easy in a school year to get so busy and you're just trying to make it through each week that suddenly you come up to Easter Sunday and you go all out today is Easter Sunday and we really haven't given to that. And of course a part of our worship of the Lord is not just a verbal acknowledgment of God. But it's an internal meditation is, is the way we think is how we think.
So grateful for last night's a living gallery presentation and once again as I was sitting there listening to the gospel. I was moved to tears of just thinking about it and God wants us to think about.
Let's think about them this morning as we look at Mark 15 beginning in verse 15 down to verse 27 and so Pilate and I'll drop drop down to the end of the verse deliver Jesus when he had scourged him to be crucified. The soldiers led him away into the hall called Pretoria and they call together the whole band and they clothed him with purple and planted 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 read and is spit upon him and bowing their knees worshiped him, and when they mocked him, they took off the purple from him and put his own close on name and let them out to crucify him and they compel one Simon of Cyrene, and who pass passing by coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus to bear his cross and they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is being interpreted, the place of a skull and they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh, but he received it not when they had crucified him. They parted his garments, casting lots upon them what every man should take. It was the third hour. That's 9 o'clock in the morning and they crucified him in the superscription of his accusation was written over that is over his cross the King of the Jews, and with them they crucified two thieves. The one on his right and the other on his left this entire passage that we just read is centered around what the Romans did to Jesus. We see this in the fact that more use the pronoun they 11 times we find in this passage of Scripture know just direct speech is recorded all the action here is done in silence. It's written it.
It's written with the idea that we are where they are and were watching it happen. It's called the historic present. We are reading it as it were sitting there watching the whole event and that's what God intended. Because God wants us to look at it and he wants us to listen and he wants us to watch and understand what's happening to Jesus. We know that Jesus was tried in 2 quarts, a religious court in a civil court. The Jews and the Romans in both courts. Jesus was condemned to die for crime in the religious court. He was condemned to die for blasphemy because he claimed to be the son of God in the civil court. He was condemned to die for treason because he was charged with being the king of the Jews, so he died a death of condemnation as we look at this section we see that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate.
It already done two things to Jesus.
Number one he had scourged him and secondly it condemned him to die by crucifixion scourging always preceded crucifixion.
It consisted of a severe beating with a multi-last when they can. They contain embedded pieces of bone and metal. Many people died under scourging crucifixion followed and it was invented to make death as miserable as possible because not only were you nailed to a tree, but you hung there until you die in the primary cause of death was the filling up of the lungs with fluid. So this passage we read today we accept to sing see number 1 Takes Pl. in the governor's headquarters called the Pretoria and there the entire company of Roman soldiers are called and it becomes a scene of major abuse we think of abuse. Think of what Jesus experienced. He suffered obviously verbal abuse, mental abuse, emotional abuse and physical abuse. They ended their time of abusing him by bowing their knees and in a mock worship, said hail, King of the Jews.
The second scene occurs at a place we call Golgotha right means the place of the skull.
This is where Jesus was crucified.
It was outside the city walls of Jerusalem and the Roman soldiers had nailed Jesus to a cross and they put a plaque above his head declared his good charge for the accusation against him and in writing. It stated the king of the Jews so Mark is saying here what he's actually been saying all along in the gospel. What he's trying to get us to understand and believe and that is he wants us to understand first and for those who Jesus is.
My oldest daughter went to study in Israel. I knew that she went there she was going to go to a place that can be very confusing because it was the religious center of Jews of Christians and Muslims. And I said, sweetheart, you're going to have to settle this in your life.
With or without your family and that is you're going to have to tell me who do you believe Jesus is because it is all our faith is all centered around a person, Jesus, and that's what Mark is trying to do to help us understand who Jesus is and secondly he wants us to understand what a real disciple is like what her real father were of Jesus is like and that's really the gospel of so this morning as we look at this passage of Scripture.
I want us to look at it from those two points. First of all, Mark is revealing to us who Jesus is in the secondly he is revealing to us what a real follower, a real disciple of Jesus looks like. So let's begin with what Mark reveals about who Jesus is and when you look at the scenes here you can look at it from actually different viewpoints different sets of eyes and their three viewpoints. I want you to say the first one is basically the most obvious what we see on the surface of the natural viewpoint and that's a viewpoint of mockery.
What is it mean to mock somebody means to make fun of them. You know we we all do that I buy sometimes mock students, you know you know it they're all students are unique, some more unique than others. So we mock each other in a course. We understand that one way it's poking fun at each other, but often times it is in such a way as it is to pretend that they're not who they really are and that's what the Roman soldiers did Jesus listen to what is says and they closed them with purple and platted a crown of thorns and put it up on his head and they began to salute him, saying, hail, King of the Jews.
They smote him on the head with a read and they did spin up running and bowing their knees worshiped him, and when they had mocked him, and basically this is the viewpoint of the way the Romans saw Jesus they did not see him as the king of the Jews and everything about this thing was mockery. But then there's a second viewpoint and that's the viewpoint of ironing.
What is irony is an expression of one's meaning by using language that normally signifies the opposite. So as you and I look at this as Christians and what they were doing to Jesus. The irony of the whole thing is that the soldiers were saying in doing is actually true. The purple row, a sign of royalty.
The scepter in his hand the crown.
These are all artifacts of royalty there there worshiping with words like hail, King of the truth.
Jews, though they minute is mockery human eyes.
Christians know that the irony is that he is the king of the Jews.
But then there's 1/3 viewpoint and that viewpoint is the deepest of all, and that's the viewpoint of sovereignty. That's how God looks at it and everything that is taking place in this passage of Scripture the mockery.
The irony all that Jesus was experiencing is exactly what God intended it to be.
The whole event was not a mistake. It was not a series of unfortunate events, but it was God's sovereign plan. How do we know this. First of all because Jesus prophesied this would happen three times in the Gospel of Mark. Mark chapter 8 and nine in 10 Jesus prophesied told his disciples.
This is what's going to happen to me in Jerusalem when they got to Jerusalem they had a last supper supper a Passover meal and he broke bread and they drank wine and he said this is a symbol of my body and blood, which is going to be broken and shed for you. We go back in the Old Testament we find that everything that took place on that day was prophesied. For example, the mockery was prophesied in Psalm 22 seven when it reads all who see me mock me. We know in Psalm 2218 they lead. There was a prophecy concerning his garments in the casting of his law of lots for his garment, where it reads they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots that was written a thousand years before Jesus was born, and then the two thieves on the cross was prophesied in Isaiah 5312 and he was numbered with the transgressors. So what appears here to be a mistake and in Jesus's suffering was actually the eternal plan of God and what is it that God is revealing to us in this particular event, this road that led to the cross was actually God's path for his son to be king. Think of it this way all of these events was was the way in which Jesus was being chlorinated as a king when you think about a great coronation service it. For example, if there were, there became a new king of England. What would it be like to be huge and be massive to be this whole litany, the liturgical services in their be the wearing of a crown. Think of this scene here is actually coronation service and so the liturgy or the order of the service begins with scourging and then spitting and then striking instead of him receiving a crown he receives across instead of him receiving a throne he receives a tree and from a human standpoint. It is the Romans that crucified Jesus, but from a divine perspective. The Romans were crowning him as King on the cross. You see God's ways are not our ways. Our thoughts are not his thoughts and what God is showing us here what he's opening our eyes to see if you see it because some of you not seen this yet is God is showing us his wisdom, because what God was doing was he was sending his son to a cross to crown him is our Redeemer, our sacrifice, our propitiation, our ransom, the one who shed his blood so that you and I could be saved and we see Jesus on the cross. What we do we worship him. It's not mockery. It's not even irony. It is who we really is. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. What we do when we look at the cross, we get a ride opinion of God.
We understand who God is. God is our reading and so you and I as believers worship a suffering Savior. Our worship is crawl's centered. It's not about worship is not about the way I feel. Worship is not about what I get. Worship is bowing down and recognizing that God became a man and he died for me and I worship him owned that cross and he suffered and he bled for me that's the viewpoint that Mark is trying to bring us to and so the Romans who had ironically mocked and crucified Jesus became the tool's became the instruments in the hand of a sovereign God to accomplish his purpose. And so what should we do, we should bow our names. We should honor him. We should revere him. We should adore him. We should be amazed. We should be astonished we should worship him as the true God and Jesus Christ the King. That's what Mark wants us to see. But then there's something else and that is Mark is not only revealing to us who Jesus really is. He is the Lord is the king but is also revealing to us what a true disciple. A true follower of Jesus is like, and it's not a complicated picture. He's all he already told us in Mark chapter 8 verse 34 what it was to be a disciple. Listen to what Jesus said if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me now at this point in Mark's gospel chapter 15 the 12 disciples actually had miserably failed at. Following these demands, what it happened. One had denied the Lord.
Peter wanted betrayed the Lord Judas and the rest of the disciples had run away from the Lord and what what what Mark wants us to understand is that there were those people who didn't measure up to God's standard and we see it in this passage of Scripture, and what we see here in this passage is that Mark is using what we are writing technique to make his point and to grab our attention, and you see this throughout the gospel of Mark and that technique is a contrast between insiders and outsiders. Now we come to understand that hear Bob Jones, for example, how many of you had at least one parent 10 Bob Jones University. Raise your hand. Okay look around. Okay, now do we call these people insiders another words they knew about budgets.
How many of you I attended Bob Jones Academy, would you raise your hand. Okay, how many of you only have ever gone to Bob Jones from kindergarten all the way up to college, raise your hand. Okay. We call these people become insiders. How many of you came to Bob Jones and you had nobody in your family. Nobody in your church ever come to Bob Jones University and you had no idea what was going on here.
Raise your hand your called an outsider. Yet as soon as I had okay when I came to Bob Jones. I was a total outsider.
I grew up in Columbia South Carolina I went to Publix high school I went to a public university when I came to Bob Jones.
I met all these people I met people like were born here. I mean literally they were born here. They never escaped Johnson what I can about his of the total outsider. Okay, I think with me in the gospel of Mark, who were the insiders they would've been the 12 disciples, they would've been Jesus's family. In other words, these are people who are intimately close to him. On the other hand, there were outsiders, those who came to Christ. Those who follow Christ, but there was no apparent our previous knowledge or relationship with Jesus.
And here's the point that Mark is trying to make. And that is the outsiders were the ones who modeled the true followers of Jesus and the insiders were slow and reluctant reluctant to follow Jesus and often did not model discipleship and often times that's what happens when you have insiders and outsiders, and even though Jesus is inside disciples had failed. Mark illustrates true discipleship. Through the example to outsiders and who were those outsiders. The first outsider was a man named Simon of Cyrene, we read in verse 21 and they compel one Simon, I sort of Cyrene, and who pass by coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus to do what to bear his cross. What did Jesus say take up your cross and follow me when a man was condemned to die by crucifixion he can to carry his cross on his back. It was usually the horizontal bar. It was called the particular midweight about 100 pounds. The ancient Greek biographer, Plutarch said, every criminal condemned to death, bears his cross on his back.
So Jesus is was carrying his cross, but under the weight of the cross.
He stumbled and he fell and so the Roman soldiers construed in Scripture demanding Simon to carry Jesus's cross. He was from Sirena Cyrene was on the coast of North Africa in the country today called Libya. Perhaps Simon was a man of color in Mark uniquely does something he mentions not only Simon waste from, but he mentions the names of his two sons Alexander and Rufus. That's kinda interesting. Why would he do that in their different ideas, but one of them is this that in the gospel in the epistle of Romans chapter 16 the apostle Paul writes greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord.
Also, his mother, who is been a mother to me as well. You see the gospel of Mark was written to the Romans and with all road there was a Rufus that was there and obviously they would've all known each other and just like you and I sometimes I find this here about Joan.
Sometimes I'll meet a student and I get to know the student, but I don't know their parents. But I know their parents, but I don't connect the dots and all that I dislike their senior and I see the parents and I see the kid and I go yeah I got it lets, like what was Rufus.
Your dad was Simon the man that carried the cross and Simon became a revered disciple of Jesus and what is he do, he shows us the distinguishing mark of discipleship is taking up your cross and following Jesus and Simon becomes the first person in the gospel of Mark to fulfill that command. This command was not a symbolic gesture. It was a real command.
He literally picked up the cross and he followed Jesus and a true disciple is one who has identified themselves with Jesus and they identify with his crucifixion. They are not ashamed of him. They stand for him. They they proclaim him everywhere they go. I ask you have you yourself identified yourself with Jesus in his cross, and you show that to the world. That's what it means by way that's what it means even if suffering comes that leads to the second group of outsiders and those were the two thieves through the Scripture says in verse 27, and with him. They crucified two thieves now one of these tooth dying thieves remind us that we know the story that they were on either side of Jesus back in chapter 10 of Mark of God of Mark's gospel. Jesus had predicted his crucifixion in James and John come to him with a very unusual request to member what that was.
They said master there something we want to do for us in Jesus and what he wanted to do for you and they said grant us that we may set one on your right hand.
One of the other on the left hand in your glory. James and John wanted to set on either side of Jesus when he entered into his raining glory and their perception of Jesus's glory minute throne and admit a crown. They did not realize that Jesus's glory was actually a tree and across the glory of God is saying what Jesus did on the cross so Jesus says is not in my power to give you that place of honor, but he said there is something I can do for you and that is I am going to drink a cup of suffering and you can drink that cup with me is that this place in the story.
Every reader would've remembered what James and John requested because in light of the disciple's failure in Simon's cross bearing became quite clear that the position on either side of Jesus in Jerusalem was not a position of power, but it was a sharing in his suffering, and right here we see the second element of what it means to follow Jesus not only to identify with Jesus on the cross did not be ashamed of his death, his blood, his redemption is sacrifice, but it actually means I'm willing to share in his suffering, whatever that may and I will say to all of you sitting here that it is our duty as believers to suffer with him because if we suffer with him, what did Paul say we will reign with him.
What James and John wanted they actually got but it was not sitting next to him, but it was by suffering with him. I ask you as a student body. Are you willing to embrace suffering and that's suffering actually is identifying with Jesus we are living in a world today that is becoming very dark and we are going to be called to suffer they put it this way you're going to be called to suffer and you're going to be called to suffer because if you identify with him. You will suffer. I ask you this morning.
You embrace that because that's what a true disciple does. By the way did James and John embrace that of course they did. They embraced it after Jesus resurrected from the dead and they realize he really is the son of God, and they embrace suffering not as a pain, but as a privilege as a joy to suffer with Jesus.
This is Mark's message to us today, and may we embrace the cross and worship Jesus. Father, thank you for your word and thank you that you love us. Help us to follow you faithfully and all things in Jesus name, amen.
You been listening to a sermon preached by Dr. Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. If you appreciate this program and benefit from the faithful preaching and teaching of God's word would you consider sending us a special financial gift.
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The Daily Platform.com. I'm Steve Pettit, president of Bob Jones University. Thank you for listening to The Daily Platform, the Bob Jones University school for continuing online and professional education offers convenient and affordable online programs.
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