Friday, March 25, 2011

Mark 15:6-15 Jesus Christ to be Crucified

Mark 15:6-15
6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion. 8 Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do just as he had always done for them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. 12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” 14 Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15 So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.

It seems most sinister that during the very feast God initially gave to commemorate His saving the Jews. That the chief priests during it would be seeking to kill the One whom God sent to save us all. Nonetheless by their doing so, through their evil plot, God’s Sovereign plans for the redemption of the human race will find its fulfillment (Acts 3:18). For evil in the world, though permitted by God for a season, never thwarts the good designs and intentions of God for those He has chosen out of the world. Instead His plans and His course for history will unfold just as He has decreed it. So that what mankind has destroyed through unbelief, and sin and self rule, God will ultimately recreate and reestablish through His Son’s Rule, by the Kingdom of God, which is now brought near to you. For though Jesus Christ will be crucified by human will, yet He has risen from the dead according to God’s Will. For God by permitting their own free will has accomplished His own will. Indeed even while Sovereignly rendering judgments on both nations and individuals God seeks our reconciliation and redemption; though it is only in regards to this that human will, may if it is in the permissive will of God, supplant His own will. For God predestines no one to eternal damnation. Instead He reveals Himself to each and every individual so that the choice is ultimately their own. For though God elects and predestines people to eternal life, so that as many have been appointed to life believe in Christ (Acts 13:48). It is only as one hardens their heart to God, that God hardens them (Consider Psalm 95:7-11; Rom. 1:18-32, vs. 28; 2 Thess. 2:11-12).

Still not one person will take their stand with Jesus Christ to halt the proceedings on this day. The high priest didn’t (though they should’ve) when false witnesses testifying against Jesus were in utter disagreement as to what they were testifying against Jesus about. Instead it was the chief priests who arranged the false witnesses to testify against Jesus. And with their failing to condemn Jesus, it will be the high priest himself, Caiaphas who will condemn Jesus Christ, accusing Him of blasphemy for simply affirming when questioned by him, that He is the Son of God. Likewise before Pilate, the chief priests having arrested and brought Jesus to him, will stand as Jesus' fierce accusers. And Pilate though having authority to execute just judgment and justice; since Herod acquiesced and returned Jesus back to him after Pilate in trying to defer judgment to Herod sent Jesus to him. Instead Pilate after examining Jesus, and being determined to release Jesus. Ultimately does nothing in regards to doing what would've been just and right. Instead Pilate being the weak leader that he was yields to Jews will to crucify Christ. Pilate then offers the raucous crowd a choice to release to them “the King of the Jews” or Barabbas who was taken into custody for rebellion and murder. Not that Pilate is in faith or reverence acknowledging Jesus as the Christ; by calling Him “the King of the Jews” he is simply assigning Him a designation by which He may be condemned. Since he knew that Jesus was handed over to him because of the chief priests envy (vs. 10; consider John 15:24-25).

And so it is that Pilate wanting to appease the raucous crowd does nothing except evade his duty to make a just decision. Instead he passes off his moral and legal obligations onto the assembled mob, placing Jesus’ fate in the hands of the Jews, which the chief priests and elders had already railed too, against Jesus. But if Pilate thinks that by washing his hands before them he can absolve himself of any culpability for allowing an innocent Man to be condemned in his presence, he is sadly mistaken (Matt. 27:24). For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ and give an accounting of ourselves (Rom. 14:10-13; 2 Cor. 5:10-11). That reality will not escape Pilate, or you, or me. For it is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment (Heb. 9:27-28), the passage then, indeed the whole passion narrative, screams out that someone stand up for truth and justice! Yet that will not happen on this day. Instead they all wanting to see Jesus Christ crucified on this day of their feast, unite themselves in a Godless vociferation (i.e. a boisterous shout) to “crucify Him!” As they demand that Pilate release to them Barabbas instead; a scoundrel of a “man” taken into custody for murder and sedition. And thus they reject the Most Noblest of Men offered to them, the very Man of God sent to them; the One of Highest Spirit, Stature, Majesty, Character, Judgment and Power, the Lord and King of the Kingdom of heaven sent to redeem mankind on earth from sin and death and usher in the Kingdom. And instead they choose the vilest, lowest and worst of all men offered to them. The contrast is profoundly and grotesquely striking. Then if that weren’t enough, they ask that Jesus Christ’s blood be upon themselves and their children (Matt. 27:24-25); as if mocking God and His Son will have no consequences. How about you? Who are you going to choose when the Lord Jesus Christ is offered to you? Will you choose to have Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord of your life? Or are you going to be like the brazen and raucous mob and choose to keep your life wrapped up in your sins and the values that you live out in accord with them.

Yet know this God that desires no one to perish but that all might come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9); for though this crowd in their ignorance will condemn the Christ. Yet God in His abounding mercies will offer salvation to them after the Lord Jesus Christ’s resurrection from the dead (Acts 3:11-26). How about you have you come to the place of repentance before God and received by faith the Lord Jesus Christ for yourself? For though you may have been the worst of sinners, nonetheless Jesus Christ was crucified for you and me too, so that by His death on the cross God could provide atonement for our sins but also spare us from His just and everlasting wrath as well. Then by the Lord Jesus’ resurrection from the grave, having vanquished death forever, God could impart new and everlasting life within us who believe, by His Spirit within us the moment we believe. But we must first believe in Him, and then confess Jesus as Lord to have Him as our own (Rom. 10:9-10, 13). That is the beginning of discipleship and having Jesus Christ as one’s Lord. For not until one is born again by faith in Jesus Christ can obedience to Jesus Christ as Lord and fellowship with God the Father, the Son and Spirit occur. For to die without the Lord Jesus Christ justifying one is to die without Spirit life, and be alienated from God and Christ and eternal life in the Kingdom of heaven forever. Don’t make that terrible choice at the cost of your soul; choose Life, choose Christ.

Now between verse five and verse six in Mark’s gospel is Jesus’ brief interview by Herod Antipas, the Tetrarch of Galilee. Herod was the appointed Roman ruler of the region that Jesus was from. For when Pilate heard that Jesus was from Galilee and that He was a Galilean he sent Jesus to Herod who was in Jerusalem at that time (See Luke 23:6-12). That is what follows Pilate’s first interview of Jesus and finding no fault in Him (John 18:28-38, vs. 38). Pilate then deferred judgment to Herod since the more he examined Jesus the more he was uncomfortable with pronouncing judgment on Jesus. And so Jesus is brought to Herod who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now Herod was initially excited about meeting Jesus since he heard about the things Jesus had done and so He wanted to see Jesus do a miracle. However when Jesus is brought before him and He remains silent, Herod will soon turn against Him. And so Herod will treat Jesus with contempt and mock Him just as Pilate and the Sanhedrin had. And having done so Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate, and with that these former enemies now become friends with each other. For that is what the world does when Christ fails to meet their expectations; whatever these are, they find common ground in their rejection of the Lord Jesus Christ and their persecution of Him, and those who are His. This may happen over time or in a moment in time, yet we are told that this will happen to us if we are Christ’s (John 15:19-21). Now just as Jesus intentionally didn’t meet Herod’s expectations; so the Lord Jesus will not meet yours either if you have preconditioned your faith in Him on His meeting them first. For Jesus Christ the Lord will not be conformed into either your or anybody else’s image of Him (Matt. 11:16-19). And so it will be that Jesus being sent back to Pilate and Pilate having failed to appease the crowds cry’s to crucify Jesus by offering them Barabbas instead; will scourge Jesus will deliver our Lord and Savior to be crucified (vs. 15).

Scripture Quotations
The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.

Note: This work is still in progress.

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