Monday, March 19, 2012

The Mockery of God

The Mockery of God

Mark 15:1-32


1-5 The Accusation

6-15 The Rejection

16-20 The Beating

21-32 The Execution

Have you ever felt the sting of rejection? The bite of false accusation? Ever had to endure the grizzly pain of abuse either physically, verbally, or emotionally? Have you ever had to endure a sharp, mean-spirited character assassination?

Today we are making a major transition from the ministry of Jesus, to the final rejection and death of Jesus. As we look at the abuse Jesus endured, on our behalf, put yourself in His shoes and consider 2 thoughts.

#1- Jesus took your place. The punishment you deserve, for your sin, fell upon Him. He endured the worst of life, taking our pain upon Himself so that we can be healed, so that we can be forgiven, so that we can have everlasting life.

#2- Jesus is your sympathetic high priest. He has endured the worst of humanity & can relate with the struggles that you face.

Mark 15:1-32

  1. Jesus was a real person, real feelings, real emotions, real nerve endings. There was nothing plastic about Him.

1-5 The Accusation

1 Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law—the entire high council—met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor. 2 Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” Jesus replied, “You have said it.” 3 Then the leading priests kept accusing him of many crimes, 4 and Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer them? What about all these charges they are bringing against you?” 5 But Jesus said nothing, much to Pilate’s surprise.

“Very early in the morning”- Blair mentioned last week that this whole process, this whole trial was shady. He was hung at 9AM so this was pretty early, at a time the masses were still turning in their beds, weary from the travel to Jerusalem.

After this trial before Pilate, Pilate pulled Jesus aside to talk with Him (Jn. 18:33-38).

6-15 The Rejection

6 Now it was the governor’s custom each year during the Passover celebration to release one prisoner—anyone the people requested. 7 One of the prisoners at that time was Barabbas, a revolutionary who had committed murder in an uprising. 8 The crowd went to Pilate and asked him to release a prisoner as usual. 9 “Would you like me to release to you this ‘King of the Jews’?” Pilate asked. 10 (For he realized by now that the leading priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.) 11 But at this point the leading priests stirred up the crowd to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus. 12 Pilate asked them, “Then what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?” 13 They shouted back, “Crucify him!” 14 “Why?” Pilate demanded. “What crime has he committed?” But the mob roared even louder, “Crucify him!” 15 So to pacify the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He ordered Jesus flogged with a lead-tipped whip, then turned him over to the Roman soldiers to be crucified.

To keep peace with the people, Pilate released 1 prisoner

Why Barabbas?

  1. “Barabbas”= Son of the father
  2. Zealot, murderer (Ex. 20:13)
  3. Jesus=worse criminal Ex. 20:2-6 - No other gods, don’t worship idols (higher tier)

BUT, they didn’t realize who they were killing. They were killing the very God they wanted to honor.

13- “Kill Him”, “hang him”, “a curse be upon him”.

14- Why? (Matt. 27:19-Pilate's wife’s dream) (Pilate=frustrated)

Their response Matt. 27:24-25 “blood be on us”

16-20 The Beating

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. 17 They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. 18 Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” 19 And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. 20 When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

21-32 The Execution

21 A passerby named Simon, who was from Cyrene, was coming in from the countryside just then, and the soldiers forced him to carry Jesus’ cross. (Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus.) 22 And they brought Jesus to a place called Golgotha (which means “Place of the Skull”). 23 They offered him wine drugged with myrrh, but he refused it. 24 Then the soldiers nailed him to the cross. They divided his clothes and threw dice to decide who would get each piece. 25 It was nine o’clock in the morning when they crucified him. 26 A sign announced the charge against him. It read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 Two revolutionaries were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 The people passing by shouted abuse, shaking their heads in mockery. “Ha! Look at you now!” they yelled at him. “You said you were going to destroy the Temple and rebuild it in three days. 30 Well then, save yourself and come down from the cross!” 31 The leading priests and teachers of religious law also mocked Jesus. “He saved others,” they scoffed, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this King of Israel, come down from the cross so we can see it and believe him!” Even the men who were crucified with Jesus ridiculed him.

23- Wine & myrrh. Myrrh, until recently was used as a painkiller & was prescribed by Greek doctors for pain & to treat infections. And He rejected it, choosing rather to undergo the full pain and suffering on our behalf.

Talk about kicking a man when He was down. All God’s people gathered it seemed in this rejection of their Messiah, their God, their king.

32- “So we can see and believe”

  1. They didn’t understand their own Scriptures (that Jesus would be pierced for them).
  2. Remember what Jesus said? “Not sign shall be given except the Sign of Jonah”- He was actually fulfilling their sign so that many would believe and be saved.

So why did Jesus go through all this suffering?

1. Couldn’t God have just forgiven us so that we could one day live in His presence? Couldn’t we do good works? No.

Sin is damnable, we are so wicked, so wayward, in God’s eyes. That there was no other option. Sin, our sin, deserves Hell & suffering. So Jesus paid the price for us. Are you starting to understand just how evil our sin is in God’s eyes? Have you invited Jesus to be your savior (TAKE TIME TO PAUSE & PRAY). He paid the necessary price for our sin. He took our place so the many could be forgiven.

2. He suffered, and therefore, He is able to understand us in our weakness. Hebrews 11:38.

Are you being accused of something falsely? Are you dealing with the sharp sting of rejection? Are you enduring physical abuse? Verbal abuse? Mental abuse? And not sure who to turn to? Do you carry the weight of others treating you as if you are worthless or not worthy of dignity and the respect that a normal person should have? Have you recently had to deal with the ripping of a loved one from you? Well, there is great comfort in knowing that there is one...

Sunday, March 18, 2012

You Can Have It All...

"I will give it all to you if you will worship me." -Luke 4:7

Satan was tempting Jesus and told Jesus this when they were standing on a high mountain.
I was reading this verse this afternoon, while waiting for the COTL concert & it gripped me. I never really thought about what Satan was offering Jesus here, and how that relates to our lives.

Basically, Satan was saying, "I will give you X if you will compromise & worship me."
It reminded me of Exodus 20:3-6, which teaches that we shall have no other God's before YHWH, nor shall we bow down to them or worship them. Satan was calling Jesus to break the first two commandments. And in Hebrew culture, the higher on the list the commandments are, the more weight they carry.

Question for me, what is my X? What am I willing to compromise my faith, and the Lordship of God over my life in order to get?

For me, I struggle with three areas (overeating, lust, buying things) because they all promise instantaneous pleasure, although each of these, after the "transaction" often leave me with buyer's remorse. In short, I am a hedonist. My X is to feel good, to be relaxed, to be invigorated, and to feel peaceful.

So often I compromise what I know is right in order to get that X. But not Jesus, He knew first that all of it already belonged to God & that it would be given to the Son anyhow...just like we know that God will fulfill His promises over us also. Jesus was unwilling to sin, to compromise His relationship with His Father in order to find temporary pleasure, or a quick easy solution. He was much more intelligent than that. May I become more like Jesus here too.

God is MY Father, He loves me, and has promised to care for me. May I be content with the real, lasting pleasure that that brings.