Friday, January 25, 2013

Lesson 17 ~ Mark 15 January 25, 2013

Sunday night several churches in our community gathered for a “Song Service.” Though small in number, our church choir displayed a passion for singing and harmony; harmony in our group and harmony in music which is the simultaneous combination of tones, especially when blended into chords pleasing to the ear. When constructing this lesson on the Crucifixion and Death of our LORD, I rediscovered the SEVEN LAST WORDS of Jesus from the Cross, using all four gospels to sequence the events. Harmony of the Gospels is an arrangement of the contents of the Gospels, of all four, designed to show their parallelism, mutual relationships, and differences.
It is important to understand that the Jews mark time from 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM.  Three specific times are mentioned in this section of Mark: the third hour is 9:00, (Mark 15:25,) the sixth hour is noon, (Mark 15:33) and ninth hour is 3:00pm (Mark 15:34.)
The Apostle John used Roman time in his descriptions so the sixth hour is 6:00 am
 Lesson 17 Mark 15
The Trial (15:1-15)
• The Crucifixion (15:16-33) THIRD TO SIXTH HOUR
• The Death (15:33-39) NINTH HOUR

He did it all for me!
·       TheTrial (15:1-15)
And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole council had made their verdict. Jesus was bound and delivered him over to Roman Governor Pontius Pilate to condemn Him to death.
And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.”
Pilate and Herod were in Jerusalem for the feast. Combining facts from the four gospels, Pilate stated he found no fault in Jesus. Three times he tried to avoid the verdict of crucifixion: sending Jesus to Herod; offering to set Him free; (they choose Barabbas) severe scourging of Jesus to arouse pity from the crowd. To appease the crowd and avoid a riot, the Governor gave in to cries of the crowd and delivered Jesus to be crucified.

Throughout His trial Jesus did not protest. Wiersbe says, Our LORD suffered quietly and did not fight back, a lesson Mark’s readers would need to learn as they faced official persecution.

Isaiah 53:7 (ESV)He was oppressed, and he was afflicted,
    yet he opened not his mouth;
   like a lamb that is led to the slaughter,
    and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent,
    so he opened not his mouth.

Yet upon the cross, when His fate was sealed Jesus spoke treasured words. The form of death made talking almost impossible. From all four gospels are compiled the last seven expressions of Jesus Christ on the Cross recorded in Scripture. Let’s find a lesson in each expression.

He did it all for me!
According to the law victims of crucifixion must carry his cross to the place of execution.  Mark15:21 Jesus was so weak, He could not continue, soldiers drafted Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross.  Golgotha is a Hebrew word meaning skull. 
Visitors to the Holy Land today are shown Gordan’s Calvary which does head the appearance of a skull.  We cannot know the exact place where Jesus was crucified but we know it was outside of the city walls, the place of rejection Hebrews 13:12-13.

   David in Psalm 22 makes a striking prophecy of the death of the Messiah at a time when crucifixion was not known to exist: 16-18they have pierced my hands and feet 17  I can count all my bones— they stare and gloat over me”; “they divide my garments among them, and for my vesture they cast lots"
Mark 15:24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.  
The Crucifixion (15:16-32)
"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do."
Luke 23:34
The first words were words of intercession. They were spoken for the soldiers who had taken Him in the garden as well as for those who had borne false witness against Him. They were spoken for the High Priest and whole council that called for His crucifixion. Include Pilate and Herod and those who crucified Him and mocked Him at the cross.
But is he not also thinking of his Apostles and companions who have deserted him, to Peter who has denied him three times, to the fickle crowd, who only days before praised him on his entrance to Jerusalem, and then days later chose him over Barabbas to be crucified? At the height of his physical suffering, his love prevails and He asks His Father to forgive them!

Mark 15:
25 It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews.
Even to His final hours on earth, Jesus is teaching His disciples forgiveness.  Instituting the Last Supper, He tells his Apostles to take the cup and …
"Drink of it, all of you; for this is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins" (Matthew 26:27-28).
Now it is not just the religious leaders or the soldiers that mock Jesus, but even one of the thieves on the cross.
Psalm22: All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads;
8“He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

"Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."
Luke 23:43
But the criminal on the right defends Jesus, declaring both thieves are deserving of their punishment, whereas "this man has done nothing wrong."
 SLIDE 10 Then, turning to Jesus, he asks, "Jesus, remember me when you come in your kingdom" (Luke 23:42). What unexpected faith this remorseful sinner has in Jesus.  Ignoring his own suffering, Jesus mercifully responds with His second word.  
The second word again is about forgiveness, this time directed to a contrite sinner. Jesus shows his Divinity by opening heaven for a repentant sinner - such generosity to a man that only asked to be remembered! “TODAY you will be with me in Paradise."  
He endured it all for me!

"Jesus said to his mother: "Woman, this is your son".
Then he said to the disciple: "This is your mother."
John 19:26-27
Jesus addresses his third word to his mother Mary and John. Concerned for the ones that love Him, Jesus asks John to take care of His mother.  John is the only eye-witness of the Gospel writers and the only disciple placed at the cross
Mary, mother of Jesus, is present at the foot of the Cross. She knew her first born would be the Messiah.  What sorrow must fill her heart, to see her Son mocked, tortured, and crucified? Perhaps she remembers the words of Simeon at ceremony of purification for the child Jesus. Luke 2:34-35 He will be a sign from God which many people will speak against 35 and so reveal their secret thoughts. And sorrow, like a sharp sword, will break your own heart.”
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Mark 15:34
This was the only expression of Jesus in the Gospels of Matthew and Mark. Both Gospels related that it was in the ninth hour, three o'clock in Palestine after 3 hours of darkness, which Jesus cried out this fourth word. His fourth Word is the opening line of Psalm 22.
Mark 15:33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”
This cry is from the aching heart of the fully human Jesus who must feel deserted by His Heavenly Father. God cannot look upon sin, so when all the sins of mankind were heaped upon Jesus, God had to turn His face from His Son.
 It is in defeat of his humanity that the Divine Plan of His Father will be completed. It is by His death that we are redeemed.
"For there is one God. There is also one mediator between God and the human race, Christ Jesus, himself human, who gave himself as ransom for all" (l Timothy 2:5-6).
He endured it all for me!
"I am thirsty"
John 19:28
Mark 15:35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.
Jesus shows His humanity in His physical suffering, an unbelievable agony. The brutal wounds inflicted upon him in the scourging and the painful crown of thorns pressed into his scalp caused enormous blood loss from walk to Golgotha. The hours hanging on the Cross with nails in His hands and feet, plus the struggle to breathe, was draining His life’s blood.
"He himself bore our sins in his body upon the cross,
so that, free from sin, we might live for righteousness.
By his wounds you have been healed."
I Peter 2:24.

When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, "It is finished!" 
And He bowed his head and handed over the spirit.
John 19:30
The sixth word is Jesus' recognition that his task is completed. Jesus’ obedience to the Father’s will by was the gift His life for the Salvation of mankind. His death was the most excruciating death by crucifixion on the Cross. O What a Savior!
Jesus fulfilled His mission: 25 For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed his life, shedding his blood. (Romans 3:25 NLT).
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said,
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”
And having said this he breathed his last.
Luke 23:46
The seventh word of Jesus is from the Gospel of Luke, and is directed to His Heavenly Father, just before He dies. Taken from Old Testament scripture Psalm 31:5 "Into thy hands I commend my spirit; thou hast redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God."

John 19:33-34 But when they came to Jesus and saw that he was already dead, they did not break his legs. (fulfilling Psalm 34:20 He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.) But one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water. The piercing of his side fulfills the prophecy in Zechariah 12:10 "They will look on me whom they have pierced."
He endured it all for me!

Matthew27: 51 And behold the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
Remember Jesus’ ride into Jerusalem when the chief priests tried the people from shouting. 
Luke 19:40 He answered, “I tell you, if these were silent, the very stones would cry out.”
Mark 15: 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
The Death (15:33-39) Mark related with a horrible sense of finality, "And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last" (Mark 15:37).
Jesus died at the ninth hour (three o'clock in the afternoon), about the same time as the Passover lambs were slaughtered in the Temple. Christ became the Paschal or Passover Lamb, "For Christ our Passover lamb has been sacrificed" (1 Corinthians 5:7). The innocent Lamb was slain for our sins, so that we might be forgiven.
"Greater love has no man than this that a man lay down his life for his friends" John 15:13
He did it all for you!
Will you choose to be obedient and sacrifice for others?
“When the first missionaries went to Japan, a young Japanese man who wanted to learn English was given the Gospel of John to translate into his native tongue. In a short time he became very restless and agitated. At last he burst out with the question, ‘Who is this Man about whom I have been reading, this Jesus? You call him a man, but He must be God.’”  
“What Manner of Man?”

Lesson 16~Mark 14

The first of this week Jean and I attended two funerals. The first was for a dear Christian friend, one of the most righteous women I have known.  Pat Shirley’s life was dedicated to Christ and family. Her work in the church and the love she showed to others was a testimony to an honorable life lived well in service to her LORD.
The other service was for a man that lived his life fully, enjoying all the pleasure that money could buy. The spray of flowers on his casket mirrored what he treasured in life- playing cards, noise makers, and party favors.  But his life was not dedicated to the work of the LORD. This man was raised in a Christian home, but he had just recently come to acknowledge the LORD in the due to a debilitating illness. The attending pastor accurately depicted this man’s life also ended well.  Remembering the parable in Matthew 20 of the workers, we are reminded those hired for the last hour of the day received the same pay as the men that served the Master all day. This friend entered into the arms of Jesus even though he missed the joy of serving Christ during his life.
During first service, I wept not for Pat but for my loss of a dear friend and opportunities I missed to be with her and show her I cared. The last service my heart was broken for the “lost” who live their lives selfishly accumulating treasures that they cannot carry with them into eternity.
Take a minute to imagine what will be said over your body; what objects will show what you treasured in life.
The 23rd Psalm was used in both services and the same haunting question presented to those left behind-What will you do with Jesus?
Please open your bibles to Mark chapter 14. Jesus received various responses from the people that he came in contact with this week. While the Pharisees plotted to take the His life, Mary spent an exorbitant amount of money to buy precious ointment.
Let us look at the different situations and decide how you would have treated Jesus.  He was
·        Anointed
·        Betrayed
·        Forsaken
·        Denied

Mark 14:3 And while he was at Bethany in the house of Simon the leper,a as he was reclining at table, a woman came with an alabaster flask of ointment of pure nard, very costly, and she broke the flask and poured it over his head. 4There were some who said to themselves indignantly, “Why was the ointment wasted like that? 5For this ointment could have been sold for more than three hundred denariib (the equivalent of one year wages) and given to the poor.” And they scolded her.
Most commentaries agree the unnamed women in Matthew, Mark, and John was Mary sister of Lazarus and Martha. They lived in Bethany and frequently hosted Jesus and his disciples in their home. Loved by Jesus, Mary is mentioned favorably in all three notations in the gospels; listening at the feet of Jesus while Martha worried herself with the entertaining.
When he brother Lazarus was in the tomb, she revealed her faith in Jesus and the resurrection.
This time she brought an alabaster jar of expensive Spikenard imported from India. Some have suggested since she was unmarried, this money may have been set aside for her dowry. Mary believed He was the long awaited Messiah and by generously anointing Jesus’ head, Mary was in essence declaring Him King. By this expressive gesture, she offered comfort and assurance to Jesus days before His death. Mary's love for Christ, at so much cost to her character (her wealth), poured itself out.
6 But Jesus said, “Leave her alone. Why do you trouble her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. 8 She has done what she could; she has anointed my body beforehand for burial. 9 And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is proclaimed in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her.”
It is true! Songs have been written, pictures painted, and sermons preached about this lavish gift of love. How will we be remembered for our treatment of Jesus? Is He first place in your life? What have you sacrifice for Him?
Matthew Henry says “Did Christ pour out his soul unto death for us, and shall we think anything too precious for him? Do we give him the precious ointment of our best affections?”
What will you do with Jesus?

In addition, the separate incident in Luke chapter 7, specifically speaks of a sinful woman who seems to intrude into the Pharisee’s home uninvited. She wept and anointed Christ feet with her hair.  Luke 7:47 event presented a different message. Therefore I tell you, her sins, which are many, are forgiven—for she loved much. But he who is forgiven little, loves little.” 50 And he said to the woman, “Your faith has saved you; go in peace.”
·        Judas Betrayed Jesus
Mark 14: 17 And when it was evening, he came with the twelve. 18 And as they were reclining at table and eating, Jesus said, “Truly, I say to you, one of you will betray me, one who is eating with me.”
John13:26 Jesus answered, “It is he to whom I will give this morsel of bread when I have dipped it.” So when he had dipped the morsel, he gave it to Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot. 27 Then after he had taken the morsel, Satan entered into him. Jesus said to him, “What you are going to do, do quickly.”… 30 … he immediately went out. And it was night.
Mark 14:21 For the Son of Man goes as it is written of him,(referring to predictions of his death) but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born.”
Judas had followed Jesus for the three years of His public ministry, watched miracles and healing, listened to Jesus explanations of parables, broken bread with Jesus, even trusted to manage the finances. We can’t understand how one who walked and talked with Jesus could approach the chief priests and ask “What will you give me if I deliver him over to you?” Matthew 26:14-15 Both Luke and John confirm that Satan entered into him.
Later in the Garden Judas will betray Jesus with a kiss. Why a kiss? Rev. Bouwman tells us in the Old Testament scripture the function of a kiss was not a sexual act. Beginning in Genesis men communicated friendship, loyalty, unity, a bond of fellowship with a kiss. When Judas, therefore, comes with a kiss, he comes with the pretence of friendship.

Judas greed for money overshadowed any devotion for Jesus. Perhaps Jesus’ large following was the appeal that drew Judas, a chance for riches, power, prestige. Judas’ name was consistently listed last among the disciples while the inner circle was listed first. This seemed to indicate his lack of personal relationship with the Master.
Some speculate that Judas offended by the rebuke earlier where Mary was praised for her act of adoration. Perhaps he was disillusioned when Jesus entered Jerusalem as a peacemaker instead of a Conquering Warrior. That possibly his actions were to force Jesus into action to assume the throne.
Whatever the reasons, God used Judas to bring about His master plan of salvation for you and for me.
Judas made a conscious decision to betray Jesus. Have you made a decision about Jesus? How will you treat Jesus when God calls you into His service?
 What will you do with Jesus?
Mark vv. 22- 25 Jesus instituted the Lord's Supper by blessing the bread and wine and sharing  with the disciples, “Take; this is my body.” He took a cup, gave thanks and they all drank of it. “This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many. 26 And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.
·       The Disciples Forsake Jesus
Mark 14: 32-41 At Gethsemane asks His disciples three times to “Sit here while I pray.”  Remain here and watch.” “Watch and pray.”
Upon enter the garden Jesus was greatly distressed and troubled. “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death. Jesus needed to talk to his Father. He fell on the ground and prayed, “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” V. 38 “The spirit indeed is willing but the flesh is weak”.
Jesus had prophesied his destiny with the disciples; three times with increasing detail. 8:31; 9:31; 10;33 “The Son of Man will be delivered over to the chief priests and the scribes, and they will condemn him to death; …mock him and spit on him, and flog him and kill him. And after three days he will rise.”
Had they not heard, did they not understand the time was near? Even during the Passover meal, he reminded them of his betrayal. And at the Lord’s Supper he would not drink wine again until in the new Kingdom of God.
Yet when he asked for their companionship, their watchfulness, he returned each time to find them asleep.  Was it too much to ask His disciples to watch and pray? Were they too full of food and wine to be expected to watch and wait?
41 And he came the third time and said to them, “Are you still sleeping and taking your rest? It is enough; the hour has come. The Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. 42 Rise, let us be going; see, my betrayer is at hand.”
Satan uses our weakness to tempt us. This time he tempts the disciples with sleep?
Have you ever received an appeal from a friend, perhaps late at night? Did they poured out their sorrow and distress to you? Would you roll over a go to sleep?
Jesus was not without friends, yet He was all alone! How would you have treated Jesus?
What will you do with Jesus?
Mark 14:43-50
Immediately Judas came, with him a crowd with swords and clubs, from the chief priests and the scribes and the elders. 45 The one I will kiss is the man. Seize him and lead him away under guard.” 48 And Jesus said to them, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs to capture me? 49 Day after day I was with you in the temple teaching, and you did not seize me. But let the Scriptures be fulfilled.”
Where are the disciples now? V. 50 And they all left him and fled.
All left Him. What trick of Satan now? FEAR. I will admit the mob carrying swords and clubs in the middle of the night, would strike fear in my heart.
 Ladies in our present day the time is coming when we may be asked to take a stand! How will you react? What will be your response?
What will you do with Jesus?
·       Peter Denied Jesus
After the supper they went to the Mount of Olives and Jesus foretells Peter's denial. Luke 22: 31 “Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat,

Judas we may understand, maybe even one of the lesser known disciples, but not Peter. Hadn’t Jesus said in Matthew 16:18You are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Satan chose Peter because he was the outspoken leader of the group who announced, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” He was bold, the only one who walked to Jesus in the water. Peter was the favored three who accompanied Jesus when Jairus daughter was healed, at the transfiguration, when Jesus went further in the Garden to pray. He asked the hard questions, spoke for the group. Peter was passionate and protective.
But also prideful and overly confident, rebuking even the Master when Jesus predicted His own death. Stating emphatically 33 “Lord, I am ready to go with you both to prison and to death.” Luke:22 If you were Satan and you wanted to discredit and destroy God’s salvation, wouldn’t you target Peter, the leader of the disciples.
I think I more closely identify with Peter that any of the others. We both have that “foot in mouth disease.” Peter had good intentions, he desperately wanted to do the right thing, but He still did not comprehend why Jesus had to die.
 “Before the rooster crows today, you will deny me three times.” It happened as Jesus said.
 But….don’t you like that qualifier. 32 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail…. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.”
Jesus believed Peter was strong enough to hold the disciples together, to use eleven very ordinary men to spread the gospel and fulfill God original plan for Salvation.
It happened as Jesus said.
What will you do with Jesus? Have you made your decision about Jesus?  
Come now and kneel at the altar as I pray. MUSIC
Will you choose to follow God’s will for your life, whatever it is?
“Miss Miriam Booth, daughter of the founder of the Salvation Army, at the point of death a friend visiting her replied it is “a pity that a woman so capable should be hindered by sickness from doing the Lord’s work.”  She replied with gentle grace,
 ‘It is great to do the Lord’s work, but it is greater to do the Lord’s will.