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Mark 15:6-15, 25, 26, 33-39
We come to a most reverent part of Scripture in reading about the sacrifice of Christ for our sins.
It is here the words of John the Baptist, “Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world,” have even greater meaning. The prophet Daniel saw this time when he said the Messiah would “be cut off, but not for himself,” but for the sins of the world.
Another prophecy, this one in Genesis 49: 10, declared “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come.” The Jewish priests arrested Jesus and turned Him over to the Roman governor because they had no power to execute Jesus, and in this they fulfilled prophecy.
Having heard the many accusations made against Him, Jesus stood meekly before Pilate, and He did not respond to His critics. It was the practice during Passover that Pilate would release any prisoner the people desired to set free. The multitude that gathered to make accusations against Jesus called for the release of Barabbas, not Jesus. Barabbas was being held in jail because he was part of a rebellious mob, and he had committed a murder.
Pilate, seeing no reason to hold Jesus, asked, “Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?” Pilate knew Jesus was standing before him only because the chief priests were envious of Him, yet he was willing to give the multitude Barabbas to satisfy their wicked desire.
In this, Pilate showed his weakness and the chief priests showed they would not give up their pursuit to have Jesus put to death. The religious leaders convinced the people to call for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Jesus.
“Why, what evil hath he done?” Pilate asked. The roar from the crowd only grew louder as they cried out for Jesus to be crucified. He scourged Jesus in a final attempt to appeal to the sympathy of the people, but this failed because there was no compassion for Jesus.
At about 9 a.m., Jesus was crucified. A sign proclaiming Jesus to be “The King of the Jews” was attached to the cross above His head.
While He hung on the cross, the sun was darkened for three hours, a sign to the Jews that the man they crucified was their Savior. The other sign during this time was the rending of the temple veil, showing that barriers between God and man no longer exist. Christ Jesus is our High Priest.
“My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” Christ cried from the cross. Truly, His words tell us He was made a curse for us as He took upon Himself all our sins. We cannot begin to imagine the agony He suffered physically for us, nor are we able to understand the agony He knew in that time as the weight of all the sins of all mankind were laid upon Him.
Christ Jesus died for our sins. Why would anyone refuse to trust Him as Lord and Savior?
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.” (John 15: 13)
The Sunday school lesson is written by Ed Wilcox, pastor of Centerville Baptist Church. He can be reached at [email protected]
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