Greater Love

Jesus Before Pilate (Mark 15:1-15)
The chief priests with the elders brought Jesus to the Roman governor Pilate and were bringing many charges against him but Jesus gave no answer but when Pilat asked, “Are you the king of Jews?” Jesus answered him, “It is as you say.” Pilot wanted to release Jesus because he knew that he had been handed over out of envy; however, the people requested that he release Barabbas instead, so after having Jesus scourged, he handed over to be crucified. There was nothing that Jesus had done deserving suffering and death, yet suffering and death was what he got. Barabbas was a rebel against the Roman government and had committed murder, yet he was granted freedom in Jesus place. There is no clearer example of penal substitution in this gospel record. The apostle Paul wrote: “He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.” (2 Cor 5:21)

Jesus Mocked (Mark 15:16-20)
Evil men who are given power are often very cruel. Not only was Jesus scourged and condemned to die the death of crucifixion but he was mocked by the Roman soldiers between the his scourging and crucifixion. Have I added to the suffering of others with my actions and words? 

The Crucifixion (Mark 15:21-41)
Simon of Cyrene was made to carry Jesus’ cross. After dividing up his clothes among them, the soldiers crucified Jesus. The charge put above his head read: “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” He was treated as a criminal but even worse, he was cruelly mocked. The mocking that began with the soldiers, continued with others, while he hung on the cross: passer-byes,  the chief priests, the scribes and even those who were crucified alongside of him. What the Lord of glory endured for us is amazing! Jesus said, “Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends.” (Jn 15:13)  The example of how Jesus endured suffering for our sakes is one that we should consider everyday of our lives. For three hours darkness fell over the whole land, this goes far beyond the explanation given of a solar eclipse. The creator of the universe was about to die. Jesus cried out in Aramaic, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” If anyone had ears to hear, they would know that he was employing Psalm 22, which was being fulfilled before their very eyes, but for some reason, they thought he was calling for Elijah. They gave him sour wine in a sponge. This was an additional cruelty, which added to his thirst. Jesus’ death was preceded by a loud cry and following his last breath, the temple veil was torn in two, from top to bottom, indicating that all had access to God. No longer is a priest needed to approach God!

The Burial (Mark 15:42-47)
Jesus’ dead body was wrapped in linen cloth and laid inside a tomb, hewn out in the rock, with a stone covering the entrance. There were several witness assuring the death of Jesus. The details of his burial are written for this purpose. A member of the council that had condemned Jesus asked Pilot for his body. Joseph of Arimathea, an elder of the people disagreed with the council’s decision; therefore, he took care of Jesus’ body. Pilate was assured that Jesus was dead by the Centurion who had witnessed his death, he had been standing right in front of him and saw him breath his last. The Centurion became a believer when he saw Jesus breath his last. The other witnesses were two women: Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses (Joses was Jesus’ younger brother) looked to see where his body was laid.

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