“Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.” Mark 15:2 NKJV
Jesus was, still is, and forever will be, the King of the Jews. He is also my Lord and savior.
Today let us read with all due respect – humbling our hearts, slowing down, and with an attitude of worship. Because today we read about the sacrifice to end sacrificial law. For Passover, all in the house covered by the blood, survived – except the lamb, who was slayed and died. Jesus is the lamb so I can live, you can live, and all who call upon his name to be saved from hell and gain a relationship with God can live.
Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.
Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.
If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father.
“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen
Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen
Today’s reading is the Book of Mark chapter 15 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV).
Jesus Faces Pilate
15 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. 2 Then Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered and said to him, “It is as you say.”
3 And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. 4 Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, “Do You answer nothing? See how many things [a]they testify against You!” 5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marveled.
Taking the Place of Barabbas
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, [b]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.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called [c]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 King on a Cross
21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 Then they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it. 24 And when they crucified Him, they divided His garments, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of His [d]accusation was written above:
THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left. 28 [e]So the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.”
29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”
31 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking among themselves with the scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and [f]believe.”
Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
Jesus Dies on the Cross
33 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” 36 Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.”
37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last.
38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that [g]He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, 41 who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb
42 Now when evening had come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time. 45 So when he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Then he bought fine linen, took Him down, and wrapped Him in the linen. And he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where He was laid.
- Mark 15:4 NU of which they accuse You
- Mark 15:8 NU going up
- Mark 15:16 The governor’s headquarters
- Mark 15:26 crime
- Mark 15:28 NU omits v. 28.
- Mark 15:32 M believe Him
- Mark 15:39 NU He thus breathed His last
MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:
Isaiah 41:10- “Fear not, for I am with you; Be not dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, Yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”
I say it every time we come to this part of the story – I hate it. It is too much for me! Yet it is not a story, but an historical event being recorded for all of time to remember. It had such an impact – we feel it today (many years in the future). It had such an impact that shock waves ratted the past with prophetic visions and news that the Christ would be slain on a tree pierced for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, but it would be by those stripes we would be healed.
We always say the spirit world is without time – meaning there is no linear line from here to there. Linear time is a human construct. But since event are ordered and the Bible refers to God in relation to time (like God is not slow) there is time – it is just not linear. Without any proof to back this claim, I have always thought of time looking more like the solar system. The cross at the center. If that is the case, then the temple would be like earth. And if you drew a straight line from the son to the temple you would encounter every version and reference to a temple along the way. Which is why when prophets speak of one, they speak of them all. I am NOT saying that is how it is, I am saying it is how I look at it. All prophecy and all of God’s action point to and encompass the cross. It is the center of all. In the sense of TIME. God of course is the center of it all in relation to importance (he is the end of time and the beginning of time which would make a circle, which is my only evidence that I am not wrong relating to it like this).
And by the cross – I mean the work of the cross – the death AND resurrection.
So why did I take the time to share this point of view? Because we are reading about an event that began with the first sin in the Garden of Eden and continues to impact our lives today and will continue for all of what is known. Through Jesus’s sacrifice all can be saved, all the way back in our linear time and all the way forward in our linear time. It is a timeless event. So I want you to join me with stepping out of time and seeing all the plans and paths and prophecies converge on this event. Earlier this year I pointed out the verse that shows this marks the beginning of the day of our Lord. That great and terrible day. The end of the world, dawned as Jesus stepped out of that tomb, but that is not on our linear time line – that is in the space of the spirit.
I know this is very abstract – do your best to follow. If not, I know you can at least grasp that we are speaking of events that are in the spirit and not in our time.
Yesterday, Jesus did not answer his accusers except to admit that he was the Christ. It was the only thing he could admit to. Everything else was chaos.
Today He is already exhausted from being up all night being beat – and He must answer to Pilate. Defenses in the Roman time were admissions of what you did. We saw with Paul, when we read Acts, he admitted to what he did do and did not answer the lies. To this day it is still the strongest defense strategy – yet seldom used. But how can you answer for someone else’s lie?
Jesus admits He is the king of the Jews.
Chaos brings confusion to the enemy – Pilate was not confused. Jesus was not confused. The Priests meant to accuse Jesus of blasphemy. But they did not. They ended up accusing Him of being the King of the Jews – a title Jesus happily laid down His life for. It is true. He has always been their King and will always be their King. Pilate was not confused and saw Jesus as innocent and the Priest as jealous.
And interesting point, not often made is that the Priests WERE jealous. I mean, Here they are running the temple and praying for the Christ to come. The Pharisees knew the prophecies – when the Christ came in power they would be out of a job. Jesus was a threat to their jobs, their way of life and all they worked to pass down to their children as an inheritance. Ironically, 50 years later they were all out of a job and unable to perform sacrifices anyway – because Rome destroyed Jerusalem, the Temple specifically.
Next, prophesy after prophecy is fulfilled. First the crowd ask to free the murderer with the criminal history. Based on current statistic almost half the people with Barabbas’s background offend again; here is a quote from Wiki on the matter: “According to an April 2011 report by the Pew Center on the States, the average national recidivism rate for released prisoners is 43%.”
And that is in the USA where there are program and prison ministries that go in and try to teach these people how to stop being criminals.
They set Barabbas free instead of the Christ who healed 100% of those who came to him with the kind faith, belief and expectance, that put a demand on the blessing. Crowd mentality is a frightening thing – I never want to answer to a crowd.
So Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but he wanted to gratify the crowd – other versions of the Gospel explain the situation Pilot was in much better. Pilot was not guilty of Jesus’s murder – he washed his hands of it and gave the blame (physically and spiritually) back to the Jews. Which was good for him, because Pilate did not have authority under the Roman rule of the day to take a King’s life without a lot of rigmarole. But the Jews could kill their own leaders.
What happens next was so terrible and wrong – but prophecy must be fulfilled. The soldiers mocked Jesus. And beat him within a breath of his life, but remember he was awake all night the night before being beat – so they may not have gotten carried away like some movies depict. The regular scourging may have just been too much when the victim is going on more than 24 hours without sleep and was already beat all night the night before.
They mocked him and gave him a crown of thorns. How quickly they made it! And threw a purple robe on him – how did a bunch of soldier have the money, time and means to acquire a purple robe? I am NOT questioning the scriptures – I am saying that in the depth of it all God had a plan and prophecy was being fulfilled and all these things came together. Even when it is BAD – God is good and sovereign.
God’s sovereignty reigns even in the worst of the worst of all. God is Love and Love is therefore sovereign in this situation and I cannot even begin to imagine that day and that it was God’s plan. God said it was his plan – to send His son to die for our sins. How often we forget that His justice is in perfect Love and fall into condemnation and punishment.
Jesus Truly is the King to suffer so great for me. They did not just kill Him, but He suffered.
God bless you, Simon, who carried Jesus’s cross to the place of the skull. And more prophecy fulfilled with casting lots for His clothes.
“And the inscription of His accusation was written above: THE KING OF THE JEWS.” Verse 26.
And in the spirit – there stood Isaiah, seeing the prophecies and writing them down, many linear years earlier. As well as King David. As well as many others. And today YOU and I are also standing right there with the Prophets, looking at our King hanging on the tree. See what I mean, by looking at his outside of time?
There were two robbers (not as bad as that Barabbas – why didn’t they set one of them free?) in another gospel we learn on of them looks upon our Lord and recognizes Him as Lord and is saved.
“save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” Verse 30.
Oh those impatient for God’s work! Give Him 3 days like he said and he will come back as a rebuilt temple! He isn’t trying to save himself – He is trying to save me! He is trying to save YOU! He is even trying to save those very people who are mocking!! He was trying to save us all.
But not all of us would accept it and be saved.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 KJV
Jesus was hung on the 6th hour – darkness fell and stayed covering the earth until Jesus died. On the 9th hour Jesus cried out “…why have you forsaken me?” this was a reference to a psalm – a shout out to David for writing down the prophecy and being receptive to being their outside of time with us. God did not forsake Jesus. But it must have felt like it.
“Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” Verse 35.
Um, wrong prophet it was David who wrote that Psalm. But why not, maybe Elijah was there.
As Jesus died, the physical and spiritual world shook! In this Gospel we see the veil was torn in the temple. Today we think of sheer white wedding veils, see through and embellished. The temple veil was an inch thick, woven tightly together. This would be impossible to cut let alone rip. It would have taken so long to repair it was probably not finished by the time the temple was destroyed by Rome!
Other gospels point out that the earth shook and that graves opened and dead rose up and walked about.
”So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” Verse 39.
And the women? Well, there was nothing going to stop Mary, Jesus’s mother, from being there. Each gospel speaks of where they were a little differently – but she was there and therefore so were all the ladies who followed Jesus and supported His ministry. Other accounts have John there too.
Where are the rest of the men? I once heard a sermon on how brave the women were to be there and men feared for their lives. I do not think that is true. Women could go places men couldn’t back them. As a second rate being, no one paid them much mind. The women would not be arrested, beat and killed for following Jesus – they would have been pitied and left to mourn. The men however would have to be stopped unless they continue the work. Why did John get to be there undetected? He snuck in with the women.
Joseph of Arimathea was saved from hell. He was watching and praying for the Kingdom of God and he recognized it. He wasn’t looking for a savior, a warrior king, and a leader of a fierce army. His eyes were on the Kingdom of God… and so he recognized the kingdom of God in Jesus. Ever wonder why we are told to seek ye first the kingdom? Not to seek God first, although it can mean to seek God. Because almost ALL of us come seeking God for selfish things we need – even love. And God changes us slowly to seek kingdom. Seek sharing and saving souls. Seek spreading the good news. We are told to tell people, not convert them. So tell them. Let God convert them.
Anyway – Joseph throws together a quick makeshift funeral. No time to wash the body now – it will have to wait until the 3rd day after the Sabbath. Two of the Marys followed to see where he was laid, so they could come back and complete the ritual.
Tomorrow, we will finish the book of Mark. It was fast paced and full of impact – just wait till you see the crazy way the book ends and the controversy. Not to mention Jesus comes back from the dead!
Be blessed. Accept God’s love.
Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!