Class Notes: 6/3/2015
Mark 15:20-32; Jesus' crucifixion
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 15:20 where Jesus is lead out to be crucified. Last time we noted that crucifixion was only practiced for about 800 years of human history and that it was one of the most agonizing forms of capital punishment that has ever been used.
Mark's account of Jesus' physical sufferings is restrained because His physical sufferings were secondary to His spiritual suffering when He was judged for the sins of mankind.
He did not say a word until God the Father began judging Him for the sins of all mankind.
Mark 5:20b; Then they led him out to crucify Him...A large crowd apparently followed the Roman soldiers out of the Praetorium and as they were moving along the Roman troops and the crowd had formed a procession that was moving through the streets of Jerusalem. John 19:17;
Along the way Jesus began to stumble under the weight of the crossbeam because He had been so severely abused in the previous 12 hours. Even though His humanity was very strong after all of the beatings He had become so weak that He could not carry the wooden beam that He would be crucified on, as was the custom.
Mark 15:21; When the Roman soldiers saw Jesus staggering under the load of the crossbeam of the cross a Jew from Cyrene whose name was Simon was compelled to carry the cross even though he didn't want to get involved.
Simon was a Jew from North Africa who had come to Jerusalem to observe the holy days, beginning with the Passover and ending with the day of Pentecost. He was standing in the crowd gawking and before he knows it he is a part of it because the Roman centurion commandeers him to help.
The experience results in Simon becoming a believer and his sons Alexander and Rufus are mentioned here and in Romans where Paul greets Simon's wife and son Rufus as recognized spiritual leaders of the church in Rome. Rom 16:13;
Mark 15:22; The soldiers took Jesus to the place near the city but outside the wall called Golgotha, a Greek transliteration of an Aramaic word that means The Place of the Skull.
The word "Calvary" that is often used comes from the Latin word Calvaria, that is a variation of calva, that also means "a skull." Golgotha was a rounded, rocky knoll that vaguely resembled the shape of a human skull. Its exact location is unknown today.
Mark 15:23; According to Jewish tradition some women in Jerusalem provided sedative drinks for those about to be crucified to decrease their pain so on arrival at Golgotha, "they", presumably the Roman soldiers, attempted to give Jesus this drink, wine mixed with myrrh that was a plant's sap that had anesthetic properties.
But after He had tasted it (Matt. 27:34;) Jesus refuses it because His humanity must have full use of His volition so that he could express his unrestrained free will just like Adam and the woman did in the Garden of Eden when they sinned.
He had to make the decision to go to the cross, and remember His words in the garden of Gethsemane: "Father (speaking from His humanity) if it be possible let this cup pass from me." Mark 14:36;
The cup refers to the sins of the world, and on the cross Jesus is going to drink the full content of the cup. All of our sins are going to be poured out upon Him and God the Father is going to judge all sins in Christ; "yet not my will but your will be done," and in so doing He was expressing unrestrained free human volition to comply with the Father's plan.
Jesus has not yet arrived at the place where He is going to bear the sins of the world. No matter how many times He is flogged or hit in the head He must have a clear mind right up to the point where He begins to bear sins and He must of His own volition at the point where the sins are poured out upon Him, be willing to bear them as our substitute and be judged for them as our substitute.
In order to do this He must have a clear mind. Drinking the cheap wine with the narcotic would impair the clearness of His mind and because of that Jesus refused to drink it.
Jesus had His last wine at the communion table where He ha prophesied, "I will not drink of the fruit of the vine I drink it new in the Millennium." Mark 14:25;
When He said that He made it very clear that He would personally refuse anything of this type that was offered in order to have maximum capacity for accurate thinking right up to His death on the cross regardless of the pain.
He had to have His full mental faculties on the cross, more so than at any time during his life on the earth in unglorified humanity so in order to be able to successfully bear our sins and God's judgment for them Jesus refused anything that would affect His judgment.
It was God's purpose for Him to bear our sins in His own body on the tree (1Peter 2:24) and therefore He absolutely refused to do anything that might hinder His ministry or His mission.
When Jesus drinks the cup of our sins the pain is going to be more intense and worse than anything that anyone in the human race has ever experienced, and we will see that when that occurs He will express His pain for the first time during this entire event.
Mark 15:24; Mark's Roman readers needed no elaboration on crucifixion and he offered none. Normally a condemned man was stripped (except possibly for a loincloth), laid on the ground, and both outstretched forearms were nailed to the crossbeam that he had carried to the site.
Then the beam was raised and fastened to an upright post already stuck in the ground and the victim's feet were nailed to it. A wooden peg partway up the post on which the victim sat helped support his body.
Death from extreme exhaustion and thirst was painful and slow and usually came after two or three days. Sometimes death was hastened by breaking the victim's legs (John 19:31-33;).
The person's personal belongings became the property of the execution squad. In Jesus' case the four-man squad (John 19:23;) cast lots, probably dice, for His clothes-an inner and outer garment, a belt, sandals, and perhaps a head covering to see what each one would get.
The soldiers would sell the clothes. The middle voices indicates their lust and desire to obtain His garments because apparently they were high quality so they would bring a good price; "casting lots," present active participle. They gambled for them because they couldn't tear the garments apart up to divide them.
The parallel passage in John 19:23-24; explains why they divided His clothes in this manner and that it was a fulfillment of prophecy, "that is might be fulfilled," aorist passive subjunctive (in a point of time) passive (this receives fulfillment) subjunctive (prophecy is not fulfilled until the historical events actually occur); to fulfill scripture.
The fulfilled scripture is Psa 22:18. "They divide (distribute) my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots." So the prophecy written by David a thousand years earlier is fulfilled at this point.
Mark 15:25; NET note 43 Mark gives us a timestamp with this statement. It had been 3 hours since the Jews had hauled Jesus to Pilate to be condemned so these events had happened rather rapidly even though for Jesus it probably seemed like eternity. It also tells us that Jesus was on the cross 3 hours before God begins to judge the sins of mankind on Him.
Mark 15:26; This verse tells us what Jesus was charged with and why He was crucified. Remember that is what the Jews accused Jesus of when they brought Jesus to Pilate to be condemned to death. Net note 44
The parallel passage in John 19:20; tells us that the placard was written in three languages. Latin, the official language of the Romans; Hebrew (Jewish Aramaic), the native language of the Jews at this time; and Greek, the universal language of the Roman empire and the official language west of the Adriatic Sea. Latin was the general language on the western side of the Adriatic Sea.
The full inscription actually read: THIS IS JESUS THE NAZARENE KING OF THE JEWS. Matthew and Mark omit the words "The Nazarene" because Jesus was not born in Nazareth."
He was not a "Nazarene" or as some also assume a "Nazarite" which is why He is often depicted with long hair." He lived in Nazareth because that was where His family resided before and after His birth until He moved to Capernaum when He started His ministry of presenting Himself to the Jews as their Messiah and King.
He was born in Bethlehem, the town of David because the Davidic line of Jewish kings was from Bethlehem so even though it is true that Pilate put it on the inscription Matthew and Mark omit it because it is inaccurate.
Pilate put this inscription on the sign to mock and antagonize the Jews and their desire to be independent and because they had brought that charge against Jesus and when they objected He told them "I have written what I have written." John 19:22;
Mark 15:27; The two robbers may have been sentenced at the same time as Jesus because they were familiar with His case (Luke 23:40-42;). It is also possible that they were insurrectionists like Barabbas who would have suffered the same punishment that day if he had not been released in place of Jesus.
Mark 15:28; This verse is in brackets indicating that it is not in the best original manuscripts so it is omitted from the NET Bible and other modern translations Net note 45
Mark 15:29-32; In these four verses we have the mocking of the spectators. This represents the majority opinion of the Jews regarding Jesus. Remember that even though the majority is a means for making decisions the majority does not often decide what is right.
Liberals today try to convey the idea that the majority is always right. But majority is never right as such, majority and minority is simply a way of making decisions in a democratic type of organization. The majority vote on a decision determines the policy but it doesn't mean the majority is right. In fact, more often than not the majority is not right.
The majority of people were antagonistic toward the Lord Jesus Christ but they were propagandized and deceived by the chief priests, the scribes and the Pharisees who were nothing but religious rabble-rousers and community organizers.
This is the same thing the liberal political rabble-rouser community organizers are doing in our country today. Today however they are propagandizing against divine establishment and the Gospel that God's Word reveals is the thinking of Jesus instead of the person of Jesus.
Religion is Satanic, it is the devil's ace trump, and we are going to find that the chief priests the scribes and Pharisees, the religious people, are the ones who are leading this antagonism and the mocking of Jesus.
In addition to the religious instigators there are the dupes, the people who will scream when they are told to scream and riot when they are told to riot. They comprise the mob.
Mark 15:29;The crowd was so large that they all couldn't see at once so they formed a procession in order to walk by and gawk at Jesus. Another reason they had to pass by is that the Roman soldiers kept the people moving so they couldn't form a large stationary crowd because Pilate was afraid of the formation of a riotous mob.
Those who passed by kept on speaking evil of Him. The word translated 'hurling abuse" in the NASB is the Greek word "blasphemeo" that is transliterated "blaspheme."
"Wagging their heads." means to shake one's head in derision. Actually, what they did was to make obscene signs at Him. In every generation people have ways of making obscene signs, and the wagging of the head was their way of showing their derision.
Mark 15:29b-30; And saying, "Aha!" "You who destroy the temple, and rebuild it in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross."
This is a satanic statement because Jesus could have left the cross but if He did He could not save mankind. Jesus cannot save himself and simultaneously save us. Satan is using the crowd in an attempt to goad Him into doing the wrong thing.
If He listened satan's voice that was coming from the religious mob there would be no salvation. In verse 32 they go on they say, "If you will come down we will believe," this is very subtle and is Satanic propaganda at it's best. It is a brilliant statement from the angel of light the greatest propagandist ever.
Mark 15:32a; If you come down from the cross we will believe, they say. What does that mean? If he came down from the cross and they would believe, they would believe in what? Nothing!
Without Jesus substitutionary death on the cross, without bearing our sins on the cross, Jesus Christ is not the Savior. And it is the object of faith that counts. There is no merit in believing; it is the object of faith that has merit.
The subject in salvation is "whosoever" and the object is the person of Jesus Christ. The merit lies in the object. But if Jesus gets down off the cross they believe in nothing and there is no salvation.
This was Satan's last attempt to head off the cross and this was probably the greatest temptation that Jesus ever had since He had asked the Father if there was another way.
Mark 15:31; "Likewise also the chief priests, and the scribes" this is religion, mocking him ( present linear they were constantly mocking him), said (kept on saying). "He saved others but he cannot save himself."
This is religion speaking and it is true. He cannot save Himself and save mankind at the same time, and He chose to save us. "Let this Christ the King of Israel, come down from the cross, and we will see and believe."
These people who said "we will believe" have seen three years of Messianic evidence. They have seen and they know that everything fulfills the Word of God. These men knew the Word of God and now they say, "If you will do just this one thing we will believe."
Matt 27: 43; adds "He trusted in God (the Father); let Him (the Father) deliver him now because he said "I am the Son of God."
If the Father is going to save mankind the Father can't deliver Jesus either. God the Father has to judge Him with all the sins of mankind. These priests didn't think this up by themselves; they got this directly from Satan and his doctrines of demons. 1Tim 4:1-2;
Mark 15:32b; Mark states that initially both of the robbers were mocking Him, but one of them had a change of thinking. Net note 50
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