Mark 15:16-47 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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Jesus' Death
Comments for Study 31

Mark 15:16-47
Memory Verse: 34


I. The Crucifixion of Jesus (16-32)

>1. How and why did the soldiers mock Jesus?

* "The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. And they began to call out to him, 'Hail, king of the Jews!' Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they lead him out to crucify him." (16-20)

* The Roman guards mocked his kingship as a form of sick humour. They had contempt and hatred of the Jews. The Jews returned the hatred. Life was hard for everyone in Judea because of all the selfish hatred.

* The Roman's didn't believe that Jesus and the Jews were anybody important.

* The gentle and meek Jews who claimed to be a king wasn't their type of king. The soldiers had enforced harsh Roman law by killing and crucifying many. Their hearts were hard, full of hate and pride.

* In a soldiers dual world it was a way to get cheep excitement.

* The soldiers were a display of sinful man, the sinful nature.

>What was the significance of this from God's perspective?

* Human kings wear purple robes. Jesus had none, so they gave him someone else's.

* Human kings wear crowns. Jesus had none, and was given one made of thorns.

* Human kings receive praise and honor (usually). Jesus had no one to give him praise because his followers deserted him.

* Human kings have people fall all on their knees before them in honor and respect. No one would do that before the suffering Jesus.

* Jesus' kingship and kingdom is still mocked to this day.

* Jesus really is king and his kingdom endures forever.

* Their acts and lack of actions does not change his kingship.

* As my king Jesus took my place, receiving this in my place. The punishment for the sins and weaknesses has been paid for so that I can be made pure and thus a part of his pure kingdom.

>2. Who was Simon?

* "A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross." (21)

* Cyrene is in northern Africa in the area of modern day Libya. It was a very prosperous area at the time.

* He was in Jerusalem for the feast. From that distance it probably cost a lot of money to travel there.

* He came for the feast probably as a Jewish convert or a slave/servant of a Jewish convert. He was not expecting this.

* The cross of Jesus may be thrust on us suddenly, without warning.

>How might his experience in Jerusalem change his life?

* This would have made him wonder what was going on and who was Jesus.

* Since his name and his son's names are recorded he and/or his sons were probably in the first church.

* He personally knew what Jesus' suffering was, so he could testify about it later.

* He heard what Jesus said to the people on the way and at his crucifixion.

* When someone participates or witnesses suffering for Jesus and his namesake they are moved to know more. Though we carry a cross for a little while, our names and influences are recorded and know for eternity.

>What do you suppose is significant about the mention of his sons by name?

* They probably became important in the church later.

* This man must have brought his sons to the Passover as a family spiritual retreat. Now he would be blessed as he never had imagined.

* It is possible that carrying the cross would have caused wounds that would have not made it possible for him to return right away. He and his sons (perhaps more of his family) would have been in Jerusalem at Pentecost. Pentecost is forty-nine days after Passover.

* Most likely these young men became friends of Mark, also a young man.

* Acts 13:1 speaks of a prophet and teacher from Cyrene that was in the church in Antioch.

* Romans 16:13 is probably the same Rufus. "Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too."

>3. Describe the place of execution.

* "They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull)." (22)

* Golgotha was just outside the city at a gate on the main road. See map.

* Hebrews 13:11-12

* Isaac was offered there, on Mt. Moriah. (Genesis 22:2, 2 Chronicles 3:1)

* The guards would take the longest route to get there to let all know of the power of Rome.

* "place of the skull" -Perhaps because so many people were executed there or perhaps the rock formation looked like a skull.

* According to Luke two others were crucified with Jesus. Jesus being crucified with murderers fulfilled prophecy (Isaiah 53:12)

>Why do you think Jesus refused the pain killing drug?

* "Then they offered him wine mixed with mytth, but he did not take it." (23)

* Because he wanted to be fully conscience while suffering for our sins.

* Jesus willingly was there. He knew what he was going, sacrificing himself for freedom of his people's sin. He took it full force, without numbing agents.

* Sins is so terrible that it has a huge price to do away with.

* Drugs make humans vulnerable to suggestions. The Jewish leaders and others came to him suggesting that he come down from the cross.

* Duet. 21:23 says he was under God' curse.

>4. How does the writer show the inhumanity of the soldiers?

* "And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get." (24)

* The items had a little value. (Ps. 22:18)

* They were bored.

* They were superstitious.

* They were allowed to keep these things as a form of pay. However, few wanted to own a dead man's clothes, whom they crucified. So they gambled for it either the loser or the winner would get it depending on ones point of view.

>What seems to be their philosophy of life?

* Each man live for themselves' to each his own.

* Obey leadership and do the job and try one's best to not associate with the evil being done.

* Who cares about you? I have an ugly job to support myself and my family.

>How might they have become like this?

* They were soldiers and therefore use to death, killing and crucifixions. Their hard hearts had been hardened to suffering.

* Sinful nature does not want to admit ones errors. We want to justify or disassociate from what we tell ourselves we must do to live.

>5. Why are the details (soldiers' actions, robbers, mockers, etc.) significant from God's point of view? (See Is. 53:3, 55, 12; Ps. 22:7-8, 16, 18)

* To show that this is a real event and fulfulled prophecy. It teaches why he died and how, full of pain, suffering, and humiliation.

* Isaiah 53:3 "He was despised and rejected by men, a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces he was despised, and we esteemed him not."

* Isaiah 53:5 "But he was pierced for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities; the punishment that brought us peace was upon him, and by his wounds we are healed."

* Isaiah 53:12 "Therefore I will give him a portion among the great, and he will divide the spoils with the strong, because he poured out his life unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors. For he bore the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."

* Psalms 22:7-8 "All who see me mock me; they hurl insults, shaking their heads: "He trusts in the Lord; let the Lord rescue him. Let him deliver him, since he delights in him." "

* Psalms 22:16 "Dogs have surrounded me; a band of evil men has encircled me, they have pierced my hands and my feet."

* Psalms 22:18 "They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing."

* Mark 15:25-28 "It was the third hour when they crucified him. The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left."

* "THE KING OF THE JEWS" -Pilate didn't know the significance of what he wrote. He followed the practice of writing the crime of the crucified, in Jesus' came mocking anyone who went against Caesar, yet in reality we wrote God's truth. He wrote it in three languages because Jesus died for all, as our king. If our king died this way, what is expected of us?

>6. What challenge to Jesus and temptation to him is hidden in the words of the mockers? (29-32)

* "Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, 'So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!'" (29-31)

* They were saying, "Prove you are the Messiah," in discuss and dashed hopes. Yet if he would have done what they suggested he would have disqualified himself as the Messiah.

* Unbelievers often mock our mission too.

* Jesus' followers are often tempted in reasonable arguments to give up our cross of mission too.

* The Passover, the Feast of Unleavened Bread, and the First Fruit Wave Sheaf was the most busiest time of the year for priests. They should have been in the temple doing their job, but they took out time to mock Jesus.

>Why did Jesus not come down from the cross as they suggested?

* It would have been a sin.

* If he didn't no one could be justified for their sins.

* God's principle of salvation work is to not come down from the cross of mission especially not to save ourselves.

* Jesus had power to save himself, yet did not out of love and obedience. (Heb. 5:8)

* God does not want me to prove myself to others. He wants me to keep the mission he has given me.

II. The Death of Jesus (33-41)

>7. Note the time (25,33) and the response of nature to Jesus' death. What does this suggest?

* "It was the third hour when they crucified him." (25)

* "At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour." (33)

* Jesus was on the cross six hours Hebrew time. Six hours of work like the six days of creation.

* The Hebrew days is not like our day. The Hebrew day starts at sunset (twilight), goes through the night and into daylight until sunset. At daylight it is one, or the first hour.

* John 19:14 says that Jesus was brought before Pilate in the sixth hour Roman time. Roman time is the same as our time.

* Mark records the events in Hebrew time. So the third hour is our 9:00 A.M.

* "darkness came over the land" -Scientists say that there was an eclipse. All nature morned his death. Evil takes over the land for our sin has come on Jesus and his Father forsakes him. (Matt. 27:51-53)

>8. At the ninth hour, just before he died, what did Jesus cry?

* "And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, 'Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?' -which means, 'My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?'" (34)

* Jesus said this not out of distrust, but a weighed down bitter heart.

* Proverbs 18:14 "A man's spirit sustains him in sickness, but a crushed spirit who can bear?"

* Jesus' cry was a real expression of agony.

* Jesus knew the answer to his own question. He wanted to express his agony so we would know what he did for us.

* Jesus showed his humanity.

>What does this mean?

* Jesus was quoting and remembering Psalm 22.

* Because of our sin on Jesus, God had forsaken him; God left him.

* The result of sin is separation from God; suffering in flesh, mind, and spirit follows.

* Jesus was completely isolated.

* Psalms 69:1-4 "Save me, O God, for the waters have come up to my neck. I sink in the miry depths, where there is no foothold. I have come into the deep waters; the floods engulf me. I am worn out calling for help; my throat is parched. My eyes fail, looking for my God. Those who hate me without reason outnumber the hairs of my head; many are my enemies without cause, those who seek to destroy me. I am forced to restore what I did not steal."

>In what respect was his perfect relationship with the Father momentarily broken?

* He took our sins upon him when he did this the Holy Father left him.

* In doing this he received the punishment that we would receive; separation from God.

* Hell is eternal separation from God.

* Galatians 3:13

>How did the people around the cross react?

* "When some of those standing near heard this, they said, 'Listen, he's calling Elijah.' One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 'Now leave him alone, Lets' see if Elijah comes to take him down,' he said." (35-36)

* The soldier who said this might have been the one who gambled for his clothes.

* Usually when a man who is crucified dies he has no energy. He just gives up pushing up with his legs to get a breath of air. Jesus however had enough energy to cry out.

* Sometimes we will be misunderstood and even mocked in doing God's work.

* "wine vinegar" -very bitter cheep wine.

>9. What do you think is the significance of the temple curtain being torn? (Cf. Ex. 26:31-35; 25:22; Heb. 9:7, 11-12,; 10:19-22)

* "Make a curtain of blue, purple and scarlet yarn and finely twisted linen, with cherubim worked into it by a skilled craftsman. Hang it with gold hooks on four posts of acacia wood overlaid with gold and standing on four silver bases. Hand the curtain from the clasps and place the ark of the Testimony bhind the curtain. The curtain will separate the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. Put the atonement cover on the ark of the Testimony in the Most Holy Place. Place the table outside the curtain on the north side of the tabernacle and put the lamp stand opposite it on the south side." (Ex 26:31-35)

* "There, about the cover between the two cherubim that are over the ark of the Testimony, I will meet with you and give you all my commands for the Israelites." (Ex. 25:22)

* "But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance." (Heb 9:11-12)

* "When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal redemption." (Heb 9:11-12)

* "Therfore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body, and since we have a great priest over the house of God, let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us form a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water." (Heb. 10:19-22)

* "curtain torn in two" -signifies Jesus opened the way for all to enter a relationship with God. Now we can go to God easily.

* This curtain was not weak or thin. It took a lot to tear it.

* Jesus' death alone opens the way for man to be one with God.

* Hebrews 6:19-20

>10. How did the women of Galilee show their love for Jesus?

* "Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there." (40-41)

* These women left the comfort of their homes, their families to follow Jesus, even to see him on the cross. This is the true beauty of a women.

* John 19:26-27

* Luke 23:49

* Matthew 20;21

* The place of crucifixion was a bloody, horable place to be.

>How did they share his suffering and prepare to be resurrection witnesses?

* They saw him truly die and buried. They saw him limp body. They saw the shaft go into his heart. Later they found out the tomb was empty.

III. The Burial of Jesus (43-47)

>11. How did the burial of Jesus confirm the fact of Jesus' death?

* He was dead for sure. A dead body handles differently than a live one.

* Isa. 53:9 is fulfilled.

* Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead. A crucified man could last for days on the cross. Pilate knew Jesus' strength of character and will. He did not expect Jesus to die like this.

* Pilate confirmed Jesus' death.

* Jesus had to die on Passover so that he could be in the gave on the Sabbath, and then rise on the Feast of the First Fruit Wave Sheaf, thus fulfilling all foreshadowing.

>How did Joseph reveal his faith?

* He boldly buried Jesus out in the open for all to see even though he was a leader of the Jews.

* He offered spices and took care of Jesus' body properly. He was willing to loose all for Jesus. This is the true beauty of a man.

* He came out in the open and admitted to being a believer when he could have been killed for it.

* He probably gave up his tomb.

* He was waiting for the coming kingdom, and even though the king dies he believed.

* Jesus was buried according to the law.

* Jesus' death can make us strong.