Mark 15:16-3

Friday, April 6, 2012

Key Verse: 15:31b                                                                                     Kevin Jesmer NIU UBF

                           “…“He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself!”

     Dear Lord Jesus, thank you for willingly laying down your life for the sins of the world. Thank you for transforming my life by your Gospel. I pray that I may know you and love you and serve you, my Lord and Savior Jesus. I pray that you may bless the young people to know your grace and your truth. May you work in the hearts of this culture to draw the multitudes unto yourself. Please open our hearts today to understand more about the deep meaning of Easter. May we all grow in a deep appreciation of what you have done for us. I pray in Jesus’ mighty name. Amen!

  1. Jesus’ Kingship Mocked By Soldiers (16-20).

Verses 16-20 read, “The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.”

All the soldiers took Jesus into the palace and, with sadistic joy and brutality, mocked Jesus’ kingship with a royal robe, a painful crown of thorns, and mock homage. They beat him and spat on him many times. Jesus was despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering in order to fulfill prophecy in Isa 53:3, which reads, “He was despised and rejected by mankind, a man of suffering, and familiar with pain. Like one from whom people hide their faces he was despised, and we held him in low esteem.”

Jesus felt all kinds of shame. He was actually mocked and humiliated by those he came to save. In the movie, “The Passion”, directed by Mel Gibson, the cruelty of the Romans soldiers is clearly revealed. Why did Jesus have to suffer shame and ridicule? It is because he was taking all the shame that is due us, so that we can be set free from our shame. Even now our sins that we have committed in the past bring shame to our consciences. There are things in my past, even decades ago, that when they come to mind, I feel pangs of shame. I don’t dwell in them. I newly come to Jesus, repent and accept his grace of forgiveness and move ahead. But think of how shameful it will be to stand before the throne of God with unforgiven sins! It will be unbearable. People will be crying out for the mountains to cover them. People, with unsolved guilty consciences suffer a lot. It may even drive people to some forms of mental illness as they suppress and bury things that only Jesus can take away.

But that will not be the case for those who are in Jesus. Since Jesus bore all of our shame in his passion and suffering, we are set free from shame. That does not mean that we are shameless. It means that we are forgiven. Our consciences are cleansed from the acts that lead to death. We can stand before the throne of God, without shame, as we wait in eager expectation to spend eternity with our Savior Jesus Christ. Thank you Lord, for saving me from my shame and my guilt.

2. At The Cross Of Jesus (21-27).

Verses 21-27 read, A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.  25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left.”

Simon fromCyrenewas randomly consigned to help Jesus carry his cross. He did not know what he was getting into when he helped Jesus carry his cross. But to be certain, he tasted a little of Jesus’ sufferings. He shared in the sufferings of Christ. In doing so his heart opened up to Jesus. He knew that the sufferings that Jesus was experiencing were for him. Later on he accepted Jesus. We know thus because his sons, Alexander and Rufus became members of the Christian church. His family became Christian. When we share in the sufferings of Jesus, we come to realize what Jesus accomplished through his own sufferings. We can share in the sufferings of Jesus, through sharing the gospel, by living a sacrificial life of faith, by tasting rejection from others because of our faith and by denying ourselves to live by the truth. Our faith should lead us to sharing in the remaining  sufferings of Jesus.

AtGolgotha, they offered Jesus a pain-killing drink, but he refused it to avoid an easier way and to keep a clear mind. He wanted to take the full brunt of the punishment that was due us because of our sins.

They crucified him. Soldiers gambled for his clothes. It was the third hour (9 a.m.). They were not wasting any time in carrying out the crucifixion. The written charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. Pilate had this sign posted above Jesus as a way to get back at the Jewish religious leaders who bullied him to have Jesus crucified. But the sign proved to be prophetic, for Jesus is the King of the Jews and also of the whole world in a spiritual sense and in a literal sense too, for he lives and reigns forever more. May we make Jesus the King of our lives and live under his lordship everyday. (See the video of Jesus’ suffering. click here).

Jesus was crucified between two robbers. This is again in fulfillment of the prophecy in Isaiah. Isaiah 53:12, reads, Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.”  It was all unfolding according to the God’s plan of salvation that he had since the beginning. In another gospel, one of the robbers received salvation and the other cursed God right to his dying breath. (Lk 23:39-43) He lost a great opportunity to receive eternal life and enter into theKingdom ofGod. The other robber repented and believed. He proved that one can be saved by simply believing in Jesus, for he could not do anything since he was nailed to the cross. We must stop our fighting against Jesus and simply repent and believe. Then we can be with Jesus in paradise.

3. Jesus saved others (28-32).

Verses 28-32, “.Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”

Jesus was insulted and mocked on all sides: by passers-by, by the priests and teachers, even by the crucified robbers. Possibly the robber who repented and believed, started out mocking Jesus but then had a change of heart. But even though their intentions were evil, his mockers testified to his beautiful life, for they said, “He saved others” (31). Yes, Jesus Christ saved others. He could have saved himself, but he chose not to in order to save us. This is pure grace. He surrendered himself, so that we can be saved. How beautiful it that?

There is a practical principle here. We are faced with the will of God. We are faced with the truth. But so often we avoid our own personal crosses in order save ourselves in this world. But when we do this then God can not work through our lives to help others come to Jesus. If you think about it, we came to Jesus through the love and the sacrifice of someone who was not saving themselves. We need to adopt the attitude of Jesus and then others may come to the cross of Christ.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for not saving yourself in order to save others, like me. Help me not to try to save my life, but be a part of saving others’ lives.

One Word: Jesus saved others, not himself

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