2020-07-19 – Mark 15.1-39 – The Perfect Sacrifice
Bible Text: Mark 15:1-39 | Preacher: Pastor Jerry Higdon | Series: Mark | 2020-07-19 – Mark 15.1-39 – The Perfect Sacrifice
Greetings everyone. I am Pastor Jerry from the First Baptist church Orion Illinois. It is so nice to be able to spend some time with you all in fellowship with the Lord. Thank you and God bless you for being with us today.
Illustration: A man went to the store to get a loaf of bread and some coffee. With these items in hand he went to the check-out line. As he stood there he looked around and noticed the woman in line behind him. She had a cart piled full of groceries and clothing. Soon it was his turn to pay and the clerk behind the register invited him to pull a piece of paper from a fishbowl. She said, “If you pull out the correct slip of paper then your purchase is free”. So he reached in to try and to his amazement he pulled out the winning slip. His joy was short lived though when it dawned on him that he was only buying coffee and bread. Without missing a beat he turned to the woman standing behind him with the full cart and said to her… “Honey, what do you know, we won!” The woman stared at him, saw him wink and decided to play along. She quickly stepped up, put her arm in his and just grinned from ear to ear at her good fortune.
The reason I share that with you is that each of us, like the woman in the line, has been given a great and unexpected gift. God has loved us and given so much and we are invited now to spend eternity with Him. That gift was Jesus, and today we are going to witness the foundation of our faith.
Last week in scripture we saw how Jesus was Denied, Betrayed and Abandoned, not by His enemies, but by those who knew Him best, by those who loved Him. That set in motion what is called The Passion of Christ which lead Jesus to the cross to be crucified. The main theme and understanding was, that although we may fail the test of our faith walk, Jesus never did. He stayed the course and finished what Father God had sent Him to do. To sacrifice Himself for our sins.
Today we are going to see the final act in this Passion play. Jesus will allow Himself to be put on that cross. He will pay the price for our sin. He will pay the fine for the judgement we deserve. Like last week, we are first going to read together a somewhat lengthy account here in Mark 15, then we will pull out of few verses to further elaborate and reflect upon.
Please turn in your Bibles to Mark 15:1 (page 904) of God’s Inspired, Infallible and Living Word. But let us first start with Prayer.
As a quick recap from last weeks message, Jesus tells Peter that he will deny Him three times, which he vehemently denies. Jesus then takes His disciples to the Garden of Gethsemane where He asks them to pray as He takes on himself all the sin of man, but they couldn’t even stay awake to do that. Meanwhile Judas betrays Him and leads the temple police to arrest Jesus. And finally Peter denied even knowing Jesus three times, just as Jesus said it would happen. That takes us to our first verses today in chapter 15. Starting at verse one it says:
1 As soon as it was morning, having held a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin, the chief priests tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate. 2 So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?” He answered him, “You say so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate questioned him again, “Aren’t you going to answer? Look how many things they are accusing you of!” 5 But Jesus still did not answer, and so Pilate was amazed.
6 At the festival, Pilate used to release for the people a prisoner whom they requested. 7 There was one named Barabbas, who was in prison with rebels who had committed murder during the rebellion. 8 The crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do for them as was his custom. 9 Pilate answered them, “Do you want me to release the king of the Jews for you?” 10 For he knew it was because of envy that the chief priests had handed him over. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd so that he would release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate asked them again, “Then what do you want me to do with the one you call the king of the Jews?”13 Again they shouted, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate said to them, “Why? What has he done wrong?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him!”
15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them; and after having Jesus flogged, he handed him over to be crucified.
16 The soldiers led him away into the palace (that is, the governor’s residence) and called the whole company together. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, twisted together a crown of thorns, and put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 They were hitting him on the head with a stick and spitting on him. Getting down on their knees, they were paying him homage.
20 After they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple robe and put his clothes on him. They led him out to crucify him.
21 They forced a man coming in from the country, who was passing by, to carry Jesus’s cross. He was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull). 23 They tried to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
24 Then they crucified him and divided his clothes, casting lots for them to decide what each would get. 25 Now it was nine in the morning when they crucified him.
26 The inscription of the charge written against him was: The King of the Jews.
27 They crucified two criminals with him, one on his right and one on his left.
29 Those who passed by were yelling insults at him, shaking their heads, and saying, “Ha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
30 save yourself by coming down from the cross!” 31 In the same way, the chief priests with the scribes were mocking him among themselves and saying,
“He saved others, but he cannot save himself! 32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe.”
Even those who were crucified with him taunted him.
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?” which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” 35 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “See, he’s calling for Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, fixed it on a stick, offered him a drink, and said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”
37 Jesus let out a loud cry and breathed his last.
38 Then the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing opposite him, saw the way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
Again, this event sets in place the foundation of our faith.
I found this nice timeline that depicts most of the events we read through this morning.
So here are my summary thoughts on these short six-hours:
Before the religious leaders could put Jesus to death, they needed Rome to approve and carry out their illegal death sentence. However, according to their own rules even, council decisions made at night were considered invalid. Also, no sentence of capital punishment can be pronounced until a grace period of twenty-four hours between the verdict to the sentence. So the very foundation of their case was weak to start with. This was an illegal trial to say the least.
Jesus was taken to the Governor Pontius Pilate who found no good reason to charge Him with anything. Then Pilate had Jesus sent to Herod who just happened to be in Jerusalem at the time. Jesus refused to answer Herod’s questions, so Herod sent him back to Pilate. Although Pilate found Jesus subsequently innocent, he feared the crowds and thusly sentenced Jesus to death. The crowd was manipulated by Jewish high priest Caiaphas to yell “crucify Him”. Mind you in this crowd were probably some of the same people that heartfully welcomed Jesus into the city just a few days earlier. Jesus was then beaten, mocked, stripped naked, and given a crown of thorns. He was made to carry His own cross and led away to Calvary where He was then crucified.
So everything we read today happened on that Friday from 9am-3pm. That is the same day we now generally recognize as ‘Good Friday’. Also known as “Holy Friday,” that immediately preceding Easter or Resurrection Sunday.
You might wonder why Good Friday is referred to as “good” since what the Jewish authorities and Romans did to our Jesus was definitely not good. However, the results of Christ’s death are very good indeed from the Christian’s point of view.
[Slide] Recall that in Romans 5:8 it says, “But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” And 1 Peter 3:18 tells us, “For Christ died for sins once for all, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive by the Spirit.” So for the Christian believer, what all happened on that ‘Good Friday’, although painful to recount, it also now provides for us the opportunity to go to heaven, and that is a very good thing for sure.
Six hours is all it took though from when Jesus was tried and convicted by Pilot until His death on the cross. Those six hours were no normal six hours. They were the most critical hours that changed the course of human history forever!
There are many prophesies that were satisfied by this event in scripture. I don’t have time to recount all of them but I will address a few here.
Isaiah 42:2 it says “He shall not cry, nor lift up, nor cause his voice to be heard in the street”
Isaiah 53:7, “He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is silent”.
Isaiah 53:12, “He was numbered with the transgressors”
Psalm 22:18, “they part my garments among them and cast lots upon my vesture.”
Psalm 22:17-18, “I can count all my bones; people stare and gloat over me. They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing.”
Psalm 22:7-8, Everyone who sees me mocks me. They sneer and shake their heads, saying, “Is this the one who relies on the Lord? Then let the Lord save him!”
Psalm 22:1-2, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer.”
Amos 8:9, “And it shall come to pass in that day, saith the Lord God, that I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day”
Again, there are many other prophesies that were satisfied on this first Good Friday event. All of which convinces me that this was God’s plan all along. I could easily argue that this plan was put in place even before the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Recall that God told the serpent in the garden, “I will cause hostility between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring. He will strike your head, and you will strike his heel.”
On that cross, Satan bruised the heel of Christ causing His death. But then the seed of the woman (Jesus) ultimately crushes the serpent’s head indicating Satan’s ultimate defeat. The Apostle Paul wrote in 1 Corinthians 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?” The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ”.
Yes, this was God’s plan all along, so that I might be saved and enter into heaven because of what Jesus did on the cross at Calvary. Who am I that the Lord of all the Earth, that the one that created everything, Jesus Christ, would freely accept this remarkable plan of redemption through the cross for me? And it is truly a mind boggling thought for me that God would give up His only Son before He’d give up on me. Thank you God, Thank you God.
For I am a sinner and I fail daily, hourly, and each minute sometimes even. And no matter what good works I can do on this earth, I can never make myself good enough to enter Heaven. I am petty and selfish and jealous and bitter and someone who can not NOT sin, even through all of my strongest efforts.
And yet, Jesus died for me. He offered Himself as a perfect gift for me. The gift of salvation and eternal life and the gift of being set free from the bondage of sin so that I can now be a part of His Holy family. And He gave this gift knowing full well of all of my sins and misdeeds and failures. He gave this gift freely just like He gave me free will, knowing that it would be up to me whether I would accept this gift and live a life for Him or whether I would turn away and reject it.
Truly we all have sinned and deserve God’s judgment. God the Father, sent His only Son to satisfy that judgment for those who choose to believe in Him. Jesus, the creator and eternal Son of God, who lived a sinless life, loved us so much that He died for our sins, taking the punishment that we deserve. He was buried, and He rose from the dead according to our Bible. If you truly believe and trust this in your heart, receiving Jesus as your personal Savior, declaring, “Jesus is Lord,” then you will be saved from judgment and spend eternity with God in heaven.
I hope this is clear for you today. I pray that you accept that amazing gift.
Before we close I have a short video to share with you that maybe you have seen before. It’s entitled It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming. I like this video because it puts things in perspective for me and it gives me hope going forward. Most of the words come from the scripture verses we read today.
As written in John 3:16 – Jesus said, “For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life”. Let us pray..
This was our final message today from this wonderful Gospel book of Mark. I pray you found it enjoyable. All of these messages are archived on our website..
Now as you go, think about that man in the grocery store, and demonstrate your good fortune and blessing by becoming a blessing to others.
God bless you all