Gospel of Mark Chapter 15 Part One
Introduction: A key idea in the Gospel of Mark is that Jesus is the servant of God. Today, we hope to discuss Christ before Pilate, abuse by the soldiers, and the crucifixion of Jesus. ( click here for pdf version)
Read the Gospel of Mark 15:1-15
3. Christ Before Pilate. The religious leaders handed Jesus over to Pilate (i.e., essentially the Roman Governor of the area). Pilate knew that the root issue was that the religious leaders were envious of Jesus. He tried to let Jesus loss, but the people were stirred up by the religious leaders. Jesus was flogged and scheduled for crucifixion.
- Choose a team. Notice in vss. 1-15 of this chapter in the Gospel of Mark that people can come together to do evil. Religious leaders, mean soldiers, and swayable people converged in the crucifixion of our Christ.
First, especially as a leader in God's church, don't allow the devil to use you in his efforts to stop God's will from being carried out. Anytime we say or do the wrong thing, especially against what God is trying to get done through His leader, we are supporting the devil more than supporting God.
Second, we ought not allow religious people to sway us from supporting God's will. The people went from shouting hosanna to shouting for the crucifixion of Christ, in our text. We should study the word of God for ourselves, so we don’t allow tricky and secretive people in the church to get us tied up in their ungodly agendas.
Third, we should learn to work together at a higher level than the people in the text to carryout God's will. This level of unity requires our being strong disciples and our being committed to working together for the good of Jesus' body and church. Let's work on staying off of the devil's team and being strong members of God's team.
- Watch what you say. Notice in vs. 2 of this chapter in the Gospel of Mark that Jesus responded wisely to what was being asked of Him. It is easy to get emotionally unbalanced and say things that we should not say and leave out items that we should say.
Let's work on providing wise responses to what is asked of us. This is especially important when we find ourselves under attack. And it is especially important when God has trusted us with leadership authority and responsibility (e.g., family, job, community, and church).
- Godliest principles. Notice in vss. 9-10, 15 that Pilate had poor principles. On one hand, he knew that the religious leaders were up to no good. But on the other hand, he was willing to allow an innocent Man to suffer death, so that he could please the people and save his job.
This is a good example of what not to do. Life has a number of conflicted situations for each one of us. However, we are charged to grow in our discipleship to a point that we will stand for the greater good, even when it has a high personal cost for us.
Let's work on standing on the godliest principles. Prayerful study and obedience to God's word with the support of other disciples can help us discern the greater good and stand on it. (think about lying on a job application to get a job, listening to gossip for the sake of keeping your "friends," etc.)
Read the Gospel of Mark 15:16-20
4. Abuse By The Soldiers. The Roman soldiers led Jesus to a palace and severely mistreated Him. They mocked Him with cloths, words, and gestures. They beat Him, spat on Him, and even placed a crown of thorns on His head. And then they led Him to be crucified.
- Dedication. Notice in vss. 16-20 that Jesus loved us so much and was so dedicated to being obedient to the Father that He endured so much humiliation. When we look at what Jesus went through for us and see how we go through so little for Him, it should move us to shame.
Too many of us excuse ourselves from faithful and need meeting service, because we feel as if we are being ignored, feel like we are not being appreciated by people, or we feel too tired to serve the Lord, even though we have enough energy to do other things we like to do for ourselves.
Let's work on our daily dedication of discipleship. As is often the case, prayerful study and obedience with the support of other disciples can help us in this regard.
Read the Gospel of Mark 15:21-32
5. Crucifixion of Jesus. A man from Africa is forced to help Jesus carry His cross (i.e., about 40-100 lbs. cross bean) up to Golgotha. There Jesus is crucified. Everyone seems to be mocking the Lord.
- People of color. Notice in vss. 21 of this chapter in the Gospel of Mark that mention of a man from Africa. Here is a nice piece of evidence that everybody in the Bible did not have pale skin, blond hair, and blue eyes. People of color have been around the Bible lands and Jesus for many centuries.
Even if we disagree about how black Simon was, we would have to agree that could not be as pale as Charleston Hesston. He would have to have at the least deep and lasting tan that Middle Easterners are known for having.
We must fight the faulty Hollywood images of only Whites being in the Bible. This is an important point for those Black believers who understand that self love is of foundational importance to loving others, as we love ourselves.
This is also an important point for those who have an interest in accurate portrayals of what really happened in Biblical history. Let's work on seeing ourselves as God sees us and living the way God calls us to live. God calls us to love one another, as we love ourselves.
- Notice in vss. 21-32 that we are reminded of both the meanness of people and resolve of Jesus. Let's make sure we don’t let the devil use us to be a part of the mean people. But let us resolve to follow the example of our Lord and be faithful, even unto death.
Conclusion: Based on our studies in the Gospel of Mark, let's work on being servants of God. God has much for those who obey His will.
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