Thursday, March 31, 2011

Mark 15:16-20 Jesus in the Praetorium

Mark 15:16-20
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.

The high priest along with the Sanhedrin counsel having mocked and abused Jesus after they tried Him and found Him "guilty", then sent Jesus to Herod and Pilate who also similarly mistreated Him. And so with Jesus fate being sealed and He being turned over to Pilate's guard, will now have the soldiers charged with delivering Jesus to be crucified first take him into the hall called Praetorium (a hall adjacent the Governor's Palace where the soldiers resided). Once there the elite Roman soldiers who were charged with crucifying Jesus Christ as the “King of the Jews” will be most vicious in their executing Pilate’s order. For before they will crucify Jesus they will first make sport of Him, exposing Him to a kind of military hazing. For this they will gather together their whole garrison and place Jesus in the midst of them before they strip Him naked and clothe Him in purple (the color of royalty) and twist a crown of thorns and place it on His head. And with that they begin to salute Him saying “Hail, King of the Jews!” vs. 18 And having done so the Scripture says “Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.” Vs. 19-20

Within that brief narrative one cannot imagine what must have been said and done as these Roman soldiers mocked and abused Jesus. Nor can we imagine what Jesus must have felt when He was enduring all these things, already suffering the physical agony from being scourged, and knowing what was still ahead of Him. All we can say is that Jesus endured all these things without a Word being spoken by Him, as the prophet Isaiah said He would:
“He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.” Isaiah 53:7

And so having mocked Jesus the soldiers take the purple robe off Him and dress Him in His own clothes’ before they lead Him out to crucify Him. And so Jesus being physically and emotionally beaten and humiliated He must now somehow find the strength to endure the cross that awaits Him. Yet it was for this very purpose that He came into the world to suffer and die in our place so that we could have the grace and salvation of God the moment we believe in Him. Know this then though the whole garrison partook in Jesus Christ’s humiliation. Still any one of these Roman soldiers (or even previous counsel members who condemned Jesus to death) after Jesus Christ’s crucifixion death, then His resurrection from the dead, could’ve been completely forgiven and reconciled back to God, just as you and I can be the moment we repent and believe in Him. That is the love and grace of God that Jesus extends to us all, irrespective of whether we have been His friends or His enemies in this life. Again all it takes is repentance and faith. Repentance being a change of mind about oneself (that is ones own sins and ones need to be redeemed from them), as well as God and just what Jesus Christ has suffered and done to purchase our redemption from our sins and bring us into a personal relationship with God. No longer proud in spirit then and living independently of God, but rather poor in spirit and seeking salvation from God which is freely given to anyone who sees their need to redeemed by God and in faith calls upon the name of the Lord Jesus Christ who saves all by what He has suffered and done for all our sins atonement (the moment we believe in Him) so as to bring about our redemption and reconciliation with God. 16 “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 “For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. 18 “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. John 3:16-18

Have you then come to Jesus Christ? Come to Him poor in spirit believing in Him, that’s paramount. For that is the only way to enter the Kingdom of heaven (Matt. 5:3). Then come to place of surrender to Him, that’s discipleship’s call, learning to obey the Lordship of Jesus Christ in every aspect of one’s life. For that is what God requires of us all, faith in and obedience towards His Son.

If you would like to be reconciled to God and receive through His love and by His grace, remission of all your sins and everlasting life, why not invite the Lord Jesus Christ into your heart and life. By saying a simple prayer in faith, Jesus Christ who was crucified to make it all possible, will come into you and change you. Simply pray something like this: Dear Lord Jesus I believe You suffered and You were crucified to save me from my sins and restore me back to God the Father. Therefore I now invite You into my heart and life to be my Lord and Savior, in Your Precious Name Lord Jesus, amen.

Scripture Quotations
The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982.

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