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?”