The Gospel of Mark – Part 50
Perseverance Through Suffering – Mark 15:1-20
Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Sept 6th, 2020
- Jesus continued to submit himself to the will and word of God His Father. He never stepped out of bounds, He never rebelled, He never sinned. These things had been demonstrated in every moment of His life and ministry. The depth of His commitment to follow the will and the word of His Father was seen in His suffering. Jesus verbally committed and submitted His will to the Father’s in the Garden of Gethsemane, and physically and fully fulfilled His vow and His mission.
Isa 53:10 ESV
Yet it was the will of the Lord to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the Lord shall prosper in his hand.
- The will of the Lord prospered in His hands. And may the will of the Lord prosper in your hands as you give yourself to it.
- As Jesus prayed in the garden, He was betrayed by one of the 12. He was abandoned by the disciples, He was falsely accused and condemned by the council and He was denied by His friend.
Luke 22:63-65 ESV
63 Now the men who were holding Jesus in custody were mocking him as they beat him. 64 They also blindfolded him and kept asking him, “Prophesy! Who is it that struck you?” 65 And they said many other things against him, blaspheming him.
- In all these things, Jesus continued to submit Himself to the will of the Father, and persevered through suffering.
Perseverance under religious persecution
Mark 15:1-5 ESV
And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.
- Those who claimed they could “see” were blinded by their pride, jealousy, and hardness of heart. They did not see or believe the word of God and the identity of Jesus as the Christ. After they condemned Jesus for claiming that He was the Christ, they brought the whole council together first thing the next morning. They had decided to kill Him and wanted to do so by the hands of the Romans. So, they brought Him to Pilate who was the Roman governor of the region.
- They knew the Romans were wary of people rising up and rebelling against them, as that happened in that region time and time again. So, the Jewish leaders thought that Rome would take Jesus out if He said that He was “King of the Jews.” Jesus, indeed, was the king of the Jews, but much more than just the king of the Jews. He was the King that was above all kings. He did indeed tell them the truth, but He did not tell them what that meant.
Luke 23:4-18 ESV
Then Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no guilt in this man.” 5 But they were urgent, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee even to this place.”
6 When Pilate heard this, he asked whether the man was a Galilean. 7 And when he learned that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him over to Herod, who was himself in Jerusalem at that time. 8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was very glad, for he had long desired to see him, because he had heard about him, and he was hoping to see some sign done by him. 9 So he questioned him at some length, but he made no answer. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. 11 And Herod with his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. Then, arraying him in splendid clothing, he sent him back to Pilate. 12 And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before this they had been at enmity with each other.
13 Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. 15 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. 16 I will therefore punish and release him.”
- He was accused of all kinds of things by the religious leaders and He did not defend himself, but continued to submit Himself to the will of the Father as He persevered under religious persecution and continued to persevere under political pressure.
Perseverance under political pressure
Mark 15:6-15 ESV
Now at the feast, he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead. 12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
- The leaders and the people had one more opportunity to correct their mistake. They insisted they choose to seal their fate, and His as well. As they celebrated their deliverance from slavery from Egypt at the Passover, the political leaders decided to release a prisoner of the people’s choice to them. It was a political jester to appease the people.
- While Pilate was debating these things, his wife sends him a message about a dream she had. She told him not to have anything to do with that innocent man (Matt. 27:19).
John 19:7-13 ESV
The Jews answered him, “We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God.” 8 When Pilate heard this statement, he was even more afraid. 9 He entered his headquarters again and said to Jesus, “Where are you from?” But Jesus gave him no answer. 10 So Pilate said to him, “You will not speak to me? Do you not know that I have authority to release you and authority to crucify you?” 11 Jesus answered him, “You would have no authority over me at all unless it had been given you from above. Therefore he who delivered me over to you has the greater sin.”
12 From then on Pilate sought to release him, but the Jews cried out, “If you release this man, you are not Caesar’s friend. Everyone who makes himself a king opposes Caesar.”
- Pilate tried to convince the people that they were making the wrong choice (how ironic), and that he found Jesus innocent and void of any evil. This made them cry out all the more.
- They chose a messiah of their own making – a messiah they desired, not the messiah they needed. We still do the same today. (Barabbas was a zealot who led a rebellion against Rome).
- Politicians are concerned about keeping their positions of power, so Pilate “washed his hands of this man’s blood” and said it was their responsibility. The people responded, “His blood is on us and on our children” (Matt. 27:24-25), so he gave the people what they wanted and sent Him to be flogged and crucified.
- The flogging was no joke. The “Preaching the Word” commentary explains it this way:
The flogging was done by the dreaded “flagellum” whip, consisting of strains of leather plaited with pieces of bone and lead. Eusebius tells of martyrs who “were torn by scourges down to deep-seated veins and arteries, so that the hidden contents of the recesses of their bodies, their entrails, and organs, were exposed to sight.” Josephus describes this in similar terms. The flagellum left Jesus with bone and cartilage showing . . . his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind” (as prophesied in Isaiah 52:14)
- All the while, Jesus submitted himself to the will of the Father and persevered under political pressure
Perseverance under military power
Mark 15:16-20 ESV
And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
- The governor’s headquarters was also a military base that housed at least a battalion of soldiers. A battalion was around 200 – 600 men. The whole battalion was called together to come out to further mock and make a spectacle and sport of Him. Because Jesus claimed to be a king, they put a “kingly” robe on Him and also gave Him a crown made of thorns. They then proceeded to salute him and mock Him and kneeled down to Him while calling out, “Hail, King of the Jews!” along with striking Him on the head and spitting on him.
- Power can indeed corrupt. These men were no different and they used their power brutally and abusively. The only real solution to stopping the abuse of power is the transformation of the soul through the power of the spirit, because of the work of Jesus and giving themselves to serve Him above all.
- Years later, near the end of his life, the apostle Peter reflected upon these things and wrote for us these words:
1 Peter 2:19-25 E
For this is a gracious thing, when, mindful of God, one endures sorrows while suffering unjustly. 20 For what credit is it if, when you sin and are beaten for it, you endure? But if when you do good and suffer for it you endure, this is a gracious thing in the sight of God. 21 For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. 22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth. 23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly. 24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed. 25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
- Jesus is indeed the “Good Shepherd” who lays down His life for His sheep. We have been called to submit ourselves to the will of God, to endure sorrow while suffering, following in the footsteps of Christ while continuing to entrust ourselves to the One who judges justly. We are to die to sin and live to righteousness.
- I want you to think, prayerfully meditate, and consider these things as you choose to live your life during this time. Place the will of the word over your own will and trust yourself to God who judges justly.