The defining moment had come. Nothing was strange to our Lord Jesus Christ. The trials and the accompanied Crucifixion and His death on the Cross were the pathway to the salvation of mankind. It was the divine standard for our salvation. Our Redeemer was ready for the ordeal and pains that accompanied our salvation.
CRUEL MOCKING OF JESUS CHRIST—Mark 15:16-20
- They clothed Him with purple dress that purportedly made for the royal family of His time
- They made him a twisted crown that was made of thorns purposely to pierce His brow and cause sharp pains—The kings of the world wear crowns made of gold. Crown was never made to wound the King.
- They gave Him a mocking salute—With pretense they say, “Hail, King of the Jews”
- They struck Him on the head with reed
- They spat on Him—this is a symbolism of hatred toward humanity
- They gave Him a mock worship—When they bowed their knees to worship Him
The simple reason for the mocking of these people was to make a statement that the entire ministry of Jesus Christ amounted to foolishness and futility. They made Him a laughing stock to frustrate Him so that they could get Him angry. They mocked Him to show how lonely and isolated He had become. No word of encouragement was coming from anyone. No one was saying anything on His behalf. No one raised a voice of defense for Him.
But Jesus Christ was not perturbed by the cruel mocking of the people. The reason why He seemed not bothered was that He had conditioned His mind to be sensitive only to the things of the Spirit and be insensitive to the wickedness of the cruel people. If people are slandering and gossiping about you, if their comments are not encouraging and their attitude to you is suggesting mocking, please remember that Jesus Christ was mocked and also think about how He set His mind on the things above. Think about how did not allow the distractions of enemies at the crucial moments of His life.
CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS CHRIST Mark 15:22-32
Vs. 21 In the John account, Jesus Christ was made to carry His own cross, other gospel writers indicated that Simon the Cyrene was compelled to carry the Cross because of the exhaustion from the cruel torture and rigorous trials.
Vs 22. Golgotha, the place of a skull—an outskirt distance away from the city. It is called place of the skull because when criminals were crucified, they let them die on the stake where the vulture will feed on their dead bodies leaving behind their skeleton. Better still we can describe place of the skull as garbage dump.
Mark 15:24-27—Only 3 sentences explained the horrendous cruelty of crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It did not explain that six inches nails were driven by hammer into His hands and legs. Although He was in excruciating pains on the cross but no record of it in the scripture.
God’s Way vs. Man’s method—Mark 15:23 please read
First of all, our Mediator rejected the drugged cup of vinegar in order to faithfully drink the cup of God’s wrath set before Him. He knew that all the pain, terror, humiliation, suffering and horror that sinner deserved would be experienced by Him on the cross. Therefore, He rejected anything that would deaden the senses, alleviate the pain, ease the terror or calm the psychological torment.
Secondly Jesus rejected the drugged cup of vinegar in order to be a faithful high priest. We must not forget the fact that our Lord was the Priest in charge of His own sacrifice. Hebrews says that Christ “does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices first for his own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered Himself” (Hebrews 7:27). The Old Testament teaches that the priests go before God in their duties with alertness, sobriety or a clear mind. That is why Leviticus 10:9-11 says, “Do not drink wine or intoxicating drink, you, nor your sons with you, when you go into the tabernacle of meeting, lest you die. It shall be a statute forever throughout your generations, that you may distinguish between holy and unholy, and between unclean and clean, and that you may teach the children of Israel all the statutes which the LORD has spoken to them by the hand of Moses.”
Jesus glorified the Father in obedience in the way He went through the pains and tortures of the crucifixion and the painful death thereof. He did not accept a drink that can relieve Him of the pains in order to drink on our behalf, the full dose of the cup of anguish reserved for sinners. Sinless Son of Man took the place of the condemned sinful humanity on the Cross so that we can be reconciled with the Heavenly Father and have access to the Throne of Grace. His precious blood was shed for man on the Cross so that we may be cleansed of our sin sick soul.
The good women that were closed to him and His disciples that were following Him afar off were filled with sorrow, but on the other hand, Heaven were rejoicing because the work of salvation of man had been completed. Having all these facts at the back of our mind as we study this event today, we can understand that God does not measure His glory only when the going is good, He at times meticulously manifest His glory in the premise of pain and anguish.
In this study the whole account of His crucifixion is summarized in a poem
Upon the Cross,
The prophesies of old manifested.
Reality of the new became unfolded.
Upon the Cross,
Love was appealing towards the sinners.
Hatred of the persecutor was repelling.
Upon the Cross,
Divinity love mercifully encountered humanity hatred,
Helpful hand of God met the hopeless situation of mankind.
Upon the Cross,
The hands that created the universe were surrendered in crucifixion.
Christ yielded to the will of God to be our exchange in substitution.
Upon the Cross,
Mercy and compassion of God prevailed, when Christ prayed.
“Father forgive them for they know not what they are doing.”
Upon the Cross,
Christ unleashed a shout in agony, “It is finished!”
And His Mission of Mercy was accomplished.
Upon the Cross
Believers are grafted to the covenant of love of God.
And our spiritual adoption was sealed with His precious blood.
Upon the Cross,
The Salvation exchange became real and perfect.
Eternity gate became opened to repented sinners.
Upon the Cross,
Let Christ have His way in your life,
To make a difference in your eternity.
CHRIST DEATH AND BURIAL Mark 15:33
- Mark 15:33 There was darkness over the whole land from sixth hour (12 noon) until the ninth hour (3.00 pm). This is signifying the eclipse of the sun. When the eclipse of the sun occurs like this, it means the heavenly bodies, that is the sun, the moon and the earth are in one straight line. This is suggesting that if humanity does not appreciate the Creator, these heavenly bodies mounted a guard of honor for the dying Son of Man that was the reason for the eclipse. This also was signifying that the darkness that prevailed upon the earth for those three hours was turned to light on the 9th hour. This is suggesting that our dark sinful lives can only be turned into the bright light in the hands of Jesus Christ.
- Matt 27:51-52 The earth quaked in humility before its Creator also suggesting that it is not worthy to receive the physical dead body of the Son of Man. Dead in the grave arose
- Mark 15:38 Lastly the thick veil of the temple between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies parted into two. In the Jewish Old Temple setting, the high priest only visited Holy of Holies once in a year. The parting of the temple’s veil is suggesting that the Lord had paved way for whosoever will repent and identify with Jesus Christ by faith is free to have access to the Living God and worship Him without hindrances
These three events were not coincidence at all. The events had never happened simultaneously before and had never happened since then. The centurions who had earlier made jest of Him confessed the divinity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
2. The significance of His death was that as He died on the cross, so also the sins of man imputed on Him was pronounced dead. Man is no longer slave to sin. In Romans 6:4-5,7 “Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection … For he that is dead is freed from sin.” Get ready to die with our Savior in order to be free from sin and prepare also to rise with him in newness of live.
3. Fulfillment of the word of God.
Prophesy: And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth. (Isaiah 53:9)
Fulfillment: Read John 19:38-42
Think about the two big men, Joseph Arimathea and Nicodemus, They were member of the Sanhedrin the high ruling class of the Jews.
These two men were transparent credible eyewitnesses that Jesus Christ actually died and they were the instrument that God used to bury Him. His burial in the tomb of the rich man that was hewn from the stone, and also the big stone they used to cover the grave made His resurrection a miraculous and a unique spectacular event.
At a certain point in their lives, they have encountered Jesus Christ. That is why people called them secret disciples. Little did they know why they were divinely connected with Christ in their journey of life. God prepared them for that important moment. What they have done was really BIG—they buried the God incarnated Son of the Living God.
These two played important roles in the burial of Jesus Christ. Where were the disciples that were with Him for three years? Where were his earthly relatives? They did not come up to ask for his body for burial. But these two big men made history they became instruments in the hand of God to fulfill the prophecy of Isaiah.
What do you do with your position? If you are a big and wealthy person sitting in this place today, I thank God for your life. If you are a potential rich person of tomorrow, I thank God for your lives. Remember that you do not come across Jesus Christ in the journey of your lives by accident. God had been preparing you for a purpose. You may not need to bury the Son of Man because Joseph and Nicodemus had done that, but think of that big thing you can do for the Lord. Think of the way you can your influence and resources as a powerful instrument in the hand of God like Joseph Arimathea and Nicodemus to draw people to the Cross to embrace salvation. Your good deeds may become important reference of history tomorrow. God did not forget the labor of love of these two Jewish big men; Your labor of love in the Lord will not be in vain, in Jesus name.