When Life Is Unfair
Mark 15: 15-20;29-32;37-39; 16:5-7 2/28/2010
What we read of the sufferings of Christ, in the foregoing chapter, was but the prologue or introduction; here we have the completing of them. We left him condemned by the chief priests; but they could only show their teeth, they could not bite. Here we have him, Arraigned and accused before Pilate the Roman governor. Cried out against by the common people, at the instigation of the priests . Condemned to be crucified immediately. Bantered and abused, as a mock-king, by the Roman soldiers. Led out to the place of execution with all possible ignominy and disgrace. Nailed to the cross between two thieves. Reviled and abused by all that passed by. Forsaken for a time by his father. Dying, and rending the veil. Attested and witnessed to by the centurion and others . Buried in the sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea
1. Christ led to be Crucified. (Mark 15:15-20)
(Mark 15:15)So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
16Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.
Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the death of the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are put together. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christ made satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace human nature could be loaded with. It was a cursed death; thus it was branded by the Jewish law, Deuteronomy 21:23 . The Roman soldiers mocked our Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest’s hall the servants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown of thorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glory which he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame and contempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame and contempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, though he did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, are ever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in his best hours, he cannot be weary. Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I, a vile sinner, fret or repine? Shall I indulge anger, or utter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries?
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
2. The Crucifixion. (Mark 15:29-32)
(Mark 15:27)With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28_ So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” _29And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”31Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and _ believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was called the place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; for he was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was written over his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieves with him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him great dishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even those who passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from the cross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, though he gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from the grave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believes the truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek for salvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hope of forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godly sorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord of glory!
3. The Death of Christ. (Mark 15:37-39)
(Mark 15:37)And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
38Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that _ He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
There was a thick darkness over the land, from noon until three in the afternoon. The Jews were doing their utmost to extinguish the Sun of Righteousness. The darkness signified the cloud which the human soul of Christ was under, when he was making it an offering for sin. He did not complain that his disciples forsook him, but that his Father forsook him. In this especially he was made sin for us. When Paul was to be offered as a sacrifice for the service saints, he could joy and rejoice, Philippians 2:17 ; but it is another thing to be offered as a sacrifice for the sin of sinners. At the same instant that Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. This spake terror to the unbelieving Jews, and was a sign of the destruction of their church and nation. It speaks comfort to all believing Christians, for it signified the laying open a new and living way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The confidence with which Christ had openly addressed God as his Father, and committed his soul into his hands, seems greatly to have affected the centurion. Right views of Christ crucified will reconcile the believer to the thought of death; he longs to behold, love, and praise, as he ought, that Saviour who was wounded and pierced to save him from the wrath to come.
4..Christ’s Resurrection Made Known the Women.
(Mark 16: 1-8)
(Mark 16:5) And entering the tomb, they saw a young man clothed in a long white robe sitting on the right side; and they were alarmed. 6But he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He is risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid Him. 7But go, tell His disciples—and Peter—that He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him, as He said to you.”
Nicodemus brought a large quantity of spices, but these good women did not think that enough. The respect others show to Christ, should not hinder us from showing our respect. And those who are carried by holy zeal, to seek Christ diligently, will find the difficulties in their way speedily vanish. When we put ourselves to trouble and expense, from love to Christ, we shall be accepted, though our endeavours are not successful. The sight of the angel might justly have encouraged them, but they were affrighted. Thus many times that which should be matter of comfort to us, through our own mistake, proves a terror to us. He was crucified, but he is glorified. He is risen, he is not here, not dead, but alive again; hereafter you will see him, but you may here see the place where he was laid. Thus seasonable comforts will be sent to those that lament after the Lord Jesus. Peter is particularly named, Tell Peter; it will be most welcome to him, for he is in sorrow for sin. A sight of Christ will be very welcome to a true penitent, and a true penitent is very welcome to a sight of Christ. The men ran with all the haste they could to the disciples; but disquieting fears often hinder us from doing that service to Christ and to the souls of men, which, if faith and the joy of faith were strong, we might do.
We have a short account of the resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus: and the joys and triumphs which it furnished all believers with, will be very acceptable to those who sympathised and suffered with Christ in the foregoing chapters. Here is, Christ’s resurrection notified by an angel to the women that came to the sepulchre to anoint him . His appearance to Mary Magdalene, and the account she gave of it to the disciples . His appearance to the two disciples, going to Emmaus, and the report they made of it to their brethren. His appearance to the eleven with the commission he gave them to set up his kingdom in the world, and full instructions and credentials in order thereunto, His ascension into heaven, the apostles’ close application to their work, and God’s owning of them in it .