The Crucifixion

The Gospel of Mark – Part 51

The Crucifixion – Mark 15:21-32

Mosaic Rockford – Dave Spooner – Sept 13th, 2020


  • We are now at the point of the story where Jesus is crucified on the cross. He is betrayed, bloodied, and beaten. He has been falsely accused, denied, and condemned, yet He continues to walk according to the will of the Father, and He continues to minister until the very end. In this message, we are going to see Jesus fulfilling the scriptures, warning the weeping, forgiving the ignorant, saving the criminal, and providing for His family as He continues to receive the judgment of God for the sins of the world.   

Fulfilling the scriptures

  • This event of the crucifixion was described and prophesied in many places in the scripture—none of them as vivid as we read in Psalm 22. We are going to read the first 18 verses of this psalm together, and I want you to keep in mind the details of this psalm as we compare them to what is recorded about the death of Jesus—forsaken by God. 

Ps 22 ESV

My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, from the words of my groaning? 2 O my God, I cry by day, but you do not answer, and by night, but I find no rest.

3 Yet you are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. 4 In you our fathers trusted; they trusted, and you delivered them. 5 To you they cried and were rescued; in you they trusted and were not put to shame.

6 But I am a worm and not a man, scorned by mankind and despised by the people.7 All who see me mock me; they make mouths at me; they wag their heads; 8 “He trusts in the Lord; let him deliver him; let him rescue him, for he delights in him!”

9 Yet you are he who took me from the womb; you made me trust you at my mother’s breasts. 10 On you was I cast from my birth, and from my mother’s womb you have been my God. 11 Be not far from me, for trouble is near, and there is none to help.

12 Many bulls encompass me; strong bulls of Bashan surround me; 13 they open wide their mouths at me, like a ravening and roaring lion. 14 I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint; my heart is like wax; it is melted within my breast; 15 my strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue sticks to my jaws; you lay me in the dust of death.

16 For dogs encompass me; a company of evildoers encircles me; they have pierced my hands and feet—17 I can count all my bones—they stare and gloat over me; 18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.

  • Notice the details of this psalm and now notice the details of Christ’s crucifixion: 

Mark 15:21-32 ESV

And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the Father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.” 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

  • Actual people and places: Simon of Cyrene, Father of Alexander and Rufus (Rom. 16:13).
  • Golgotha, the place of the skull, was outside the city and was more than likely not a hill but a place of crucifixion (good evidence it is at the church of the holy sepulcher).
  • Wine mixed with myrrh: a combo to ease the pain and dull the mind of those who were suffering; Jesus did not take this but took on the raw pain. 
  • Dividing His garments, casting lots for them: these are fulfillments that were preordained by the sovereign Father.  
  • King of the Jews: the crime that He was charged with. 
  • Derided Him, wagging their heads, mocking Him, reviling Him.
  • All these things could not happen by accident: they were meant to be. This was not just some random, disillusioned, misunderstood man. This was the chosen one of God. This was Christ the King. 

Warning the weeping

Luke 23:27-31 ESV 

And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. 28 But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 

  • Jesus was not a drama queen who wanted people to notice Him and give Him pity. He continued to minister even to the very end. He warned these women that difficulties and disasters will come, and these things will cause you great pain and sorrow. What happened to Jesus was actually good for them. “Do not pity me, but I pity you for the suffering that you will be caused to endure.” This is our Savior, who continually focused on those who were around Him. He continued to be the good shepherd, even until the end.  

Forgiving the ignorant

Luke 23:33-35 ESV 

And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments.

  • Jesus here was asking pardon for the Roman Soldiers who did not know what they were truly doing. They were ignorant of who He really was. They were simply doing their jobs. There would be more crucifixions to do, the next day and the next . . . 
  • And Jesus was looking out for their welfare; He was asking forgiveness for them for something they did not even know they needed. He continued to minister to those around Him, even to those who did not know they needed it. 
  • Jesus indeed looks out for the ignorant, but now . . .

Acts 17:30-31 ESV 

The times of ignorance God overlooked, but now he commands all people everywhere to repent, 31 because he has fixed a day on which he will judge the world in righteousness by a man whom he has appointed; and of this he has given assurance to all by raising him from the dead.”

  • God now is calling people not just to know about Christ but to respond to Him by acknowledging who God is, our own sin, what Christ has done for us on the cross, and the judgment which is to come. This very scenario was seen in one of the criminals who was crucified next to Jesus.

Saving the criminal

Luke 23:39-43 ESV 

One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.” 

  • The first criminal just wanted an escape from his temporal situation: “Save yourself and us.” He did not understand who Jesus was and that He was saving him by taking the wrath, not running from it.  
  • The second criminal was different: he had all the elements of salvation. First, he had an understanding of God, who He is, and that He should be feared. Second, he acknowledged his guilt, “We are receiving the reward of our deeds.” Third, he had a recognition of the perfection and person of Christ. Fourth, he called out to Him for salvation. Because of these things, Jesus reassured this man, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” This man was not saved from the punishment for his crime; he was saved from the condemnation from his sin. What he received was of far greater worth than what the first criminal asked for. 
  • Jesus, even until His last moments, even when He was in agonizing pain, continued to minister to those around Him.  

Providing for family 

John 19:25-28 ESV

Standing by the cross of Jesus were his mother and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home.

  • Jesus, as the eldest son of the family, bore the responsibility of taking care of His widowed mother. In His death, He did not fail to “honor His mother,” but made sure that she would be provided for in His absence. Even on the cross, He continued to minister and take care of His family; He was not just focused on Himself, but continued to take care of the needs of others, especially His responsibility to His family. It is an honorable and righteous thing to make sure the needs of our families will be provided for even after our death.  

Conclusion and Communion 

  • The will of the Lord indeed “prospered” in the hand of Christ. He was not a pathetic, self-absorbed victim of faith, but God in the flesh who willingly followed the will and word of the Father, and until the very end continued to minister to those who were around Him. In full mind and spirit, He gave up His life so that we may live.  
  • I have found the best thing for us to do, especially in our pain and suffering, is to continue in the ministry God had called us to do by ministering to those around us according to His word. 

 2 Cor 5:21 NIV 

God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.