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1230. Good Friday

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University
The Truth Network Radio
April 15, 2022 7:00 pm

1230. Good Friday

The Daily Platform / Bob Jones University

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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.

The post 1230. Good Friday appeared first on THE DAILY PLATFORM.


Welcome to The Daily Platform from Bob Jones University in Greenville, South Carolina. The school was founded in 1927 by the evangelist Dr. Bob Jones, Sr. His 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 Chapel platform.

Today's speaker is Dr. Steve Pettit, who served as an evangelist for over 29 years before becoming president of Bob Jones University. I'd 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 we'll look at this this morning as we consider this day is Good Friday.

I've always felt like it's 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, oh wow, today is Easter Sunday, and we really haven't given thought to that. And of course, a part of our worship of the Lord is not just a verbal acknowledgement of God, but it's an internal meditation. It's the way we think.

It's how we think. I'm so grateful for last night's living gallery presentation. And once again, as I was sitting there listening to the Gospel, I was moved to tears of just thinking about the Lord and God wants us to think about him. So let's think about him this morning as we look in Mark 15, beginning in verse 15 down to verse 27. And so Pilate, and I'll drop down to the end of the verse, delivered Jesus when he had scourged him to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the hall called Praetorium. And they called 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 reed and did 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 clothes on him and let him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon of Cyrenian who 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. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, that's nine o'clock in the morning and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, that is over his cross, the King of the Jews. And with him, 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. And we see this in the fact that Mark used the pronoun they 11 times. We find in this passage of scripture no direct speech is recorded.

All the action here is done in silence. It's written with the idea that we're there and we're watching it happen. It's called the historic present.

We're reading it as if we're 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 two courts, a religious court and a civil court, the Jews and the Romans. And in both courts, Jesus was condemned to die for a 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.

And as we look at this section, we see that the Roman governor Pontius Pilate had 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 lashed whip that contained 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 died and the primary cause of death was the filling up of the lungs with fluid. So in this passage we read today, we actually have two scenes. Scene number one takes place in the governor's headquarters called the Praetorium and there the entire company of Roman soldiers are called and it becomes a scene of major abuse. When 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 in a namak form of worship said, hail king of the Jews. The second scene occurs at a place we call Golgotha or it 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 that declared the charge or 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 and what he's trying to get us to understand and believe and that is he wants us to understand first and foremost who Jesus is. When my oldest daughter went to study in Israel, I knew that as she went there, she was going to go to a place that could be very confusing because it was the religious center of Jews, of Christians and of 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 then secondly, he wants us to understand what a real disciple is like, what a real follower of Jesus is like and that's really the gospel of Mark and 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 and then 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 these scenes here, you can look at it from actually different viewpoints or different sets of eyes and there are three viewpoints I want you to see. The first one is basically the most obvious, what we see on the surface, the natural viewpoint and that's a viewpoint of mockery. What does it mean to mock somebody? It means to make fun of them. You know, we all do that. I sometimes mock students.

You know, all students are unique, some more unique than others. So we mock each other and of course we understand in one way it's poking fun at each other but oftentimes it is in such a way as to pretend that they're not who they really are and that's what the Roman soldiers did to Jesus. Listen to what it says and they clothed him with purple and platted a crown of thorns and put it upon his head and they began to salute him saying, hail king of the Jews.

They smote him on the head with a reed and they did spin upon him 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 scene was mockery. But then there's a second viewpoint and that's the viewpoint of irony. What is irony?

It's 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 what the soldiers were saying and doing is actually true. The purple robe, a sign of royalty, the scepter in his hand, the crown, these are all artifacts of royalty. They're worshiping with words like, hail king of the Jews. Though they meant it as mockery, you and I as Christians know that the irony is he is the king of the Jews.

But then there's a third 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 eight, nine, and 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, 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. When 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 at me.

We know in Psalm 22 18, there was a prophecy concerning his garments and the casting 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 53 12 and he was numbered with the transgressors. So what appears here to be a mistake and 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 a king.

Think of it this way. All of these events was the way in which Jesus was being coronated as a king. When you think of a great coronation service, for example, if there became a new king of England, what would it be like? It'd be huge.

It'd be massive. There'd be this whole litany of liturgical services and there'd be the wearing of a crown. Think of this scene here as actually a coronation service. And so the liturgy or the order of the service begins with scourging and then spitting and then striking. And instead of him receiving a crown, he receives a cross.

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 have 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 as our redeemer, our sacrifice, our propitiation, our ransom, the one who shed his blood so that you and I could be saved.

And when we see Jesus on the cross, what do we do? We worship him. It's not mockery.

It's not even irony. It is who he really is. God forbid that I should glory save in the cross of the Lord Jesus Christ. What do we do when we look at the cross? We get a right opinion of God. We understand who God is. God is our redeemer. And so you and I as believers worship a suffering savior. Our worship is cross centered. It's not about worship.

It's 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 on 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 tools, became the instruments and the hand of a sovereign God to accomplish his purpose. And so what should we do? We should bow our knees. 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. Jesus Christ is 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. He's the king. But he's also revealing to us what a true disciple, a true follower of Jesus is like.

And it's not a complicated picture. 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, 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 had happened? One had denied the Lord, Peter. One had betrayed the Lord, Judas.

And the rest of the disciples had run away from the Lord. And what Mark wants us to understand is that there were those people who did 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 a 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 kind of understand that here at Bob Jones.

For example, how many of you had at least one parent attend Bob Jones University? Raise your hand. Okay. Look around.

Okay. Now who do we call these people? Insiders. In other words, they knew about Bob Jones. How many of you 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 through college? Raise your hand. Okay. What do we call these people? We call them 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. Okay. You're called an outsider. You understand what I'm saying?

Okay. When I came to Bob Jones, I was a total outsider. I grew up in Columbia, South Carolina. I went to a public 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 and they never escaped. You know what I'm saying? When I came to Bob Jones, I was a total outsider.

Okay. Now think with me. In the Gospel of Mark, who were the insiders? They would have been the 12 disciples. They would have been Jesus's family. In other words, these were people who are intimately close to him. On the other hand, there were outsiders, those who came to Christ, those who followed Christ, but there was no apparent or 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 to follow Jesus and often did not model discipleship. And oftentimes, that's what happens when you have insiders and outsiders. And even though Jesus's inside disciples had failed, Mark illustrates true discipleship through the example of two 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, a Cyrenian who passed 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 had to carry his cross on his back. It was usually the horizontal bar. It was called the petibulum.

It weighed about 100 pounds. The ancient Greek biographer Plutarch said every criminal condemned to death bears his cross on his back. So Jesus was carrying his cross, but under the weight of the cross, he stumbled and he fell. And so the Roman soldiers conscriptured a man named Simon to carry Jesus's cross. He was from Cyrene.

Cyrene was on the coast of North Africa in a country today called Libya. Perhaps Simon was a man of color. And Mark uniquely does something. He mentions not only Simon and where he's from, but he mentions the names of his two sons, Alexander and Rufus. That's kind of interesting.

Why would he do that? And there are different ideas, but one of them is this, that in the epistle of Romans chapter 16, the apostle Paul writes, greet Rufus chosen in the Lord, also his mother who has been a mother to me as well. You see the Gospel of Mark was written to the Romans. And when Paul wrote, there was a Rufus that was there. And obviously they would have all known each other. And just like you and I, sometimes I find this here at Bob Jones, 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 oftentimes it's like they're a senior and I see the parents and I see the kid and I go, oh yeah, I got it.

Well, that's kind of like what it was. Rufus, your dad was Simon? The man that carried the cross? And Simon became a revered disciple of Jesus.

And what does he do? He shows us the distinguishing mark of discipleship. It 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're not ashamed of him. They stand for him. They proclaim him everywhere they go.

I ask you, have you yourself identified yourself with Jesus and his cross and you show that to the world? That's what it means. By the way, that's what it means even if suffering comes. That leads to the second group of outsiders. And those were the two thieves. The scripture says in verse 27, and with him they crucify two thieves. Now what do these two dying thieves remind us of? We know the story that they were on either side of Jesus. But back in chapter 10 of Mark's Gospel, Jesus had predicted his crucifixion and James and John come to him with a very unusual request.

Do you remember what that was? They said, master, there's something we want you to do for us. And Jesus said, what do you want me to do for you? And they said, grant us that we may sit one on your right hand and one on the other on the left hand in your glory. James and John wanted to sit on either side of Jesus when he entered into his reigning glory and their perception of Jesus' glory meant a throne and it meant a crown. But they did not realize that Jesus' glory was actually a tree and a cross. The glory of God is seen in what Jesus did on the cross. So Jesus says, it's 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. And it's at this place in the story, every reader would have remembered what James and John requested because in light of the disciples' failure in Simon's cross bearing, it 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, to not be ashamed of his death, his blood, his redemption, his sacrifice, but it actually means I'm willing to share in his suffering whatever that may mean. And I want to 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 by 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 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. Let me 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, will 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 realized he really is the son of God. And they embraced 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 in all things in Jesus name.

Amen. You've 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? You can easily do that through the website, 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. Whether you're seeking to expand your skills, pursue a passion, or develop a ministry on your own time, qualified and engaged instructors will help you reach your goals. For more information, visit or call 888-253-9833. We hope you'll join us again next week as we study God's word together on The Daily Platform.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-04-30 22:36:00 / 2023-04-30 22:45:32 / 10

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