Mark Chapter 15 Part 2

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Shalom and welcome to [foreign language 00:00:06] Israel, a Hebrew phrase which means you shall love Israel. we hope you’ll stay with us for the next 30 minutes as our teacher, Dr. Baruch, shares his expository teaching from the Bible. Dr. Baruch is the senior lecturer at the Zera Avraham Institute based in Israel. Although all courses are taught in Hebrew at the Institute, Dr. Baruch is pleased to share this weekly address in English. To find out more about our work in Israel, please visit us on the web at loveisrael.org. That’s one word, loveisrael.org. Now, here’s Baruch with today’s lesson.

Dr. Baruch:

No one likes to be rejected. For example, in high school, I can remember many young men didn’t want to ask out a pretty lady. Why? Because they were fearful that she would say no. Likewise, today we have high unemployment and many people stop looking for work. Not because they’re lazy, but because they’re fearful of another expression of rejection. No one wants to be rejected. But when we submit to God’s calling in our life to be faithful to him, to do his plans, his purposes, one of the things that we’ll certainly experience is rejection. And it’s only when we understand that [foreign language 00:01:29] that is the God of Israel, he is our judge. We don’t want to reject him, but in accepting his purposes, we may be rejected, just like Messiah taught. They hated him. They’ll hate us. They rejected him. They’re going to reject us.

Dr. Baruch:

Take out your Bible and look with me if you would, to the Book of Mark in chapter 15. The Book of Mark in chapter 15. Now we have learned and seen that Yeshua, he has gone through two trials. The first trial on the Eve of Passover in the midst of the Sanhedrin and the second trial early in the morning with Pontius Pilate . So we could say that there was one trial, that is a Jewish trial, the one with the Sanhedrin that the high priests, they officiated. And then the second one before the Gentiles, which Pontius Pilate officiated. And the same result was manifested. That is the death penalty. And how do we understand that? As Messiah being rejected.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, when we look at the scripture, we say that he came not to condemn the world, not to judge the world, but rather he came as an expression, as John 3:16 says, for God so loved the world. That is, he came with the context of love. He came to lay down his life. He came to minister, to serve, to heal the blind, to alleviate the suffering of many. And so all these good things that he intended to do, what happens? We see how the world rejects him. Why? Because the world is not focusing upon the things of God, the purposes of God, the programs of God, but rather, as we’ll see, upon the physical, the temporal. Those very things that when Messiah returns, he is going to judge.

Dr. Baruch:

So as I said, look with me to this 15th chapter of the Book of Mark, and we’re going to begin in verse 16. Now what we saw at the conclusion of last week’s lesson is that Pontius Pilate , he became a weak man. He agreed with the pressure of the people around him. And he sentenced Yeshua to death, death by crucifixion. And what happens thereafter? Well, now we’re ready for verse 16. There’s a focus on the soldiers, verse 16. And the soldiers led him, that is Messiah Yeshua, Jesus of Nazareth. They led him outside the courtyard, which is the Praetorium. And it says here they call together all the soldiers, that is the entire brigade.

Dr. Baruch:

Now let me point out something to you that it was not necessary or needed for an entire brigade of soldiers to come and carry out the crucifixion. It would take simply two, three, four, maybe five Roman soldiers to bring this about. So this is an unusual happening. Why did it take place? Well, it wasn’t for the purpose of the crucifixion. It was for another purpose. And that is simply to show the contempt that the world has for Messiah Yeshua. That he was totally rejected. And we see something parallel here.

Dr. Baruch:

Now I emphasized a few weeks ago at the end of the Sanhedrin trial, we see that the Sanhedrin said, [foreign language 00:05:25], that he is worthy of the death sentence. And what happens? Well, the servants of the high priests, the servants of the Sanhedrin, they took him and they began to beat him, torture him and to show contempt for him. That was on the Jewish side. And now we see the same things happening, we’ll get to it in a moment, on the Gentile side. And it’s simply to show how the world, all the world, rejected Messiah. What did they do? Well, look again at the next verse, verse 17. We read that they clothed him with argaman. Argaman is a color. It is a purple robe. It is the color of royalty.

Dr. Baruch:

So not only, and we’ll see this in a moment, not only did they begin to beat him, but the purpose was also to mock him. And as I say, show utter contempt, utter rejection for him. So verse 17, and they clothed him in a purple robe and they placed upon him that is a crown of twisted thorns, verse 18. And they began to do something, to beat him. And this word means literally to give someone blows. Sometimes what I’ve seen in my study of this word is that these weren’t just punches, but this word can be used in other great literature as a death blow. So I want us to see that he received strong beatings at the hands of these soldiers, these Roman soldiers, in addition to what he had received by the hands of the Sanhedrin, and also that flogging that took place.

Dr. Baruch:

So look again, verse 18. And they began to beat him. And here, what we see in this passage at the beginning of verse 18 is the mocking where it says literally that they began to bless him. And that’s an idiom for mocking. They weren’t serious about it. And they said, “Hail King of the Jews.” So in verse 18, we see this mocking of him. And then in the next verse, verse 19, we see this beating where they beat him upon the head with what? A reed. Now this was like beating someone with a piece of wood. So I want you to see that it just wasn’t a mocking kind of a symbolic beating, but it was highly intense. And with addition to this flogging that he went through and other beatings that he experienced before the Sanhedrin, Messiah suffered greatly. And we’re going to see how greatly in just a few minutes, but let’s return to verse 19.

Dr. Baruch:

They beat him on the head with a reed and they spat upon him and they gave their knee, which is a Greek idiom that they bow down in order to, in a mocking way, worship him. Verse 20. And they mocked him and they removed the argaman, that is that purple robe from him. And they clothed him once again with his own clothes. Now, what I want you to see here, more than anything else, we see two references to this mocking, this total rejection. And the word that keeps, really a phrase, that keeps repeating itself is this term King of the Jews, which is an idiom for simply Messiah. That is to say this, none of the world, none of those who were there in Jerusalem, saw him as truly a candidate for Messiah.

Dr. Baruch:

And that is extremely problematic because when you look at the earlier parts of the Gospel, what we see over and over is how Yeshua did the various things that the Messiah was supposed to do. And when I say Messiah, I’m speaking here about the work of the suffering servant. That he came into this world, not to be lauded, but rather to lay down his life and to receive all of these things. But he had done enough, for example, and we talked about this on causing the blind to regain their sight, causing the deaf to hear once more, causing those who were lame to walk, raising the dead back to life. All of these things were signs of his identity of Messiah. But once again, the people rejected that. They put no effort emphasis upon it.

Dr. Baruch:

So what happens? Well, look if you would, to verse 20 at the very end. It says here, and they led him out in order to crucify him. Verse 21. And there was one that was passing by whom they forced. Now, what did they force to do? Well, first of all, we see that this was a certain man by the name of Shimon. And he was from a place it says here in the Greek text, Cyrenian, which is a city that is in the modern nation of Libya. So he was from Northern Africa. It’s an example of someone who went up to Jerusalem to keep the Festival of Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.

Dr. Baruch:

And what do we see? Well, notice how he’s spoken of. We’re given information about him to emphasize that he was a real individual, that this isn’t folklore, that this isn’t some story that was made up, but it’s historical. We have the name of the man, where he is from, and it says that he was coming in from the field and he is the father of two sons, the first Alexander and the second Rufus. And they compelled him, as we see, in order that he should carry his cross.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, why is that important? That is to emphasize something. How greatly Messiah suffered, what he went through in the beatings and the flogging that he received prior to being crucified. So he was in a weakened state so much so that one of the main things that the crucifixion involved was causing the one who was sentenced to be crucified to walk publicly through the city, bearing his cross as a way of testifying to others: don’t cross the Roman empire. And this marching him through the city was especially important. And nevertheless, we see that he was so weak that he could not bear his own cross.

Dr. Baruch:

Look, if you would, to verse 22. And they brought him unto the place called Golgotha. Now this is a Hebrew word, which means skull. In fact, if we keep reading, it says, which is translated or its meaning is the skull. And there’s two primary ways that people scholars interpret the significance of that name Golgotha or the place of the skull. One, and I kind of reject this, but some will say that this was a place of death, which it was. And therefore there was numerous bones and skulls there. Now I reject that for one main reason, we’re talking about Jerusalem, and we know that Jewish law is very, very precise. And the dead had to be buried no matter who they were. In fact, we’re going to see later on that the Sanhedrin was very concerned that Messiah’s body would remain on the cross on a holiday.

Dr. Baruch:

So the fact that people think that skulls were laying around and bones in Jerusalem, well, this was not the case. A better understanding of that name Golgotha is how the place looked. Now many people because of a Psalm, imagine Messiah being crucified on a hill. That’s not the case. There was a hill there, but it was known as Skull Hill. It had the appearance of a skull. You can go there to this day and see the effects of that appearance and why it was named Skull Hill, but he was crucified down below. And what’s interesting to note is that today that location is a location of a bus terminal in East Jerusalem, and what’s important about that is we know that the Romans had a habit of crucifying people on major passageways or crossroads, intersections because they wanted it to be done in a very public manner. So it all fits together. So Messiah, he would have been crucified at this intersection, which today is a bus terminal in East Jerusalem.

Dr. Baruch:

Well, let’s move on to verse 23. And they gave him something. They gave to him a wine which was mixed with something bitter. Now that’s important. And we need to pay close attention to this because this being given a drink, some people miss out on the significance. And let me tell you who I’m speaking about. I’m speaking about an individual a rabbi by the name of Tovia Singer . He points out that there’s inconsistencies in the New Testament and he uses this verse as proof because he says, “Here, it says that Messiah,” and we’ll come to this in a moment, “that he would not drink, but in another place, it says that they gave him and he drank.” So inconsistency. That means that the Bible should be thrown out because it’s not reliable.

Dr. Baruch:

But what Tovia Singer does not tell you is that we’re talking about two separate incidents, not the same one. There’s no contradiction whatsoever. What I mean is this, before he was crucified, there was a tradition to give the person a drink that was mixed. And it was a type of a sedative to kind of knock him out while they did three things. While they drove one nail into his hand, whether it was in the palm or here, it’s not important. There’s evidence that it was here in some, that is by the wrist. And there’s evidence that it was in the palm. And when it was in the palm, they would bind the arm to the wood with rope.

Dr. Baruch:

Now they did something else. They did that the first hand and the other hand. And then they took both ankles and they put them together and they had a long, what’s called a mismar, a long kind of stake or a nail. And they drove it through the ankles, above the ankles with one long, long nail. Now this was painful. They had to do it precisely. And they did not want the person fighting and struggling and made it harder. So they would give this drink and they would tell, “This will knock you out. It will ease the pain of this being nailed to the tree.” And that’s how it was done. But Messiah, he refused this strength. That’s what it tells us. But later on, when he was on the cross, as we’ll come to, he says, “I thirst,” and he drank, but that’s for another reason. We’ll look at that later on.

Dr. Baruch:

But in Mark’s Gospel, we see here, look again at our verse, verse 23. And they gave to him a type of wine that had a mixture in it. And it says that he would not receive it, verse 24. And they crucified him and they did something. They divided his garments, casting lots for what each would receive, what each would take up. Now, that’s important because we’re going to see that in this account, there is some prophecy from Psalm 22. And what that tells us there is it speaks Psalm 22 about one who was rejected. We all know the scripture. Why have you forsaken me, oh God? This rejection.

Dr. Baruch:

And what we learned here is that this prophecy about dividing his garments, well, it was written by David some 1,000 years, approximately, a little bit less, before the actual occurrence. And we see, not only did he write this, but other things that he wrote in this Psalm so that when we see the fulfillment of it, we can look at the context of the Psalm and understand the significance of what took place on this Passover day when Messiah laid down his life.

Dr. Baruch:

So look again, verse 24. And they crucified him and they divided his garments by casting lots. Now that says something, it is not only an element of prophecy, but it reveals a great deal about the mindset of the people. Instead of thinking about the suffering of this individual, instead of having any compassion, any concern, what was their mindset on? Profit, how to profit from it some other’s misfortune, some other’s misery and suffering. And if we’re not careful the same thing. We will exploit situations, the sufferings of others, for our benefit. We won’t deal with mercy and kindness and acts of good deeds, but we’ll think about, and look at every situation with how we can benefit from it.

Dr. Baruch:

And that’s what the world was in, darkness. Looking only for how they might have some short-term gain. Verse 25 says, and the hour in which he was crucified, that is they crucified him, was the third hour. Now we need to pay attention to this. Now, if you have a Bible that is not literal, perhaps it will interpret it for you. And point out that the third hour, according to the timing back then is our nine o’clock in the morning. That’s true, but it’s not good. It’s not appropriate that we translate it as the ninth hour. Why? Because numbers have significance. And if we read the ninth hour, we apply something incorrect to what we’re doing.

Dr. Baruch:

The third, that means the number three, in Hebrew numerology has to do with revealing something. And we see that he was crucified at the third hour, to reveal what? Well, what we already talked about. That is the love that God has for you and me, for humanity in sending his son to die such a atrocious barbaric death in order that the payment of sin might be met, that we might be what? Well, what day is this happening on? Passover. We learned two things concerning Passover. That Passover is related to redemption and death. What we talked about is the fact that there is no redemption, that eternal redemption, without death. So this is all taking place at the third hour to reveal it to us.

Dr. Baruch:

Well, let’s move on to verse 26. And we read here that this was happening, why? Well, in order for people to understand who he was, without any excuse, why? At verse 26, it says, and it was written his charge, that is the accusation against him, was written above him. It says literally, it was written, here’s his crime. It says the King of the Jews. So all this was taking place at the third hour. That verse appears there to reveal to the reader who he is. His crime is he’s Messiah. That’s how the world looked at it. They reject it. We rejected Messiah, but he came into this world to suffer rejection, a horrible rejection, even death on the cross in order that redemption might be manifested to us, might become a reality for us.

Dr. Baruch:

Look on to verse 26. And with him, they crucified two thieves. Now these two thieves, and it’s interesting that that word appears here, thieves, because it literally means one on who steals. One who believes what? That he’s got to have something, that his needs aren’t being met. And they do what? They try to meet their needs violating God’s laws. And that tells us a lot. It tells us, remember two, what’s two? Two divergent opinions. That is there’s God’s truth and there’s our thoughts.

Dr. Baruch:

And the problem is our thoughts. We think that there’s a benefit. Those people stoled, why? Because they thought they were going to get their needs met through violating God’s laws. The truth of the matter is we only find God’s sustenance, his sustenance in our life when we submit to his word, when we apply his truth to our life. So we read here: And there was crucified with him two thieves, one on his right, and one on his left, verse 29.

Dr. Baruch:

And those who were passing by… Now notice what we see. Throughout this we see the mocking of the people towards Messiah. This great act of love that Messiah did, God sending his son into this world to die an atrocious death was mocked by the world. Verse 29, and those who were passing by, they blaspheme him and they were saying, what? Well, they were wagging their heads at him. That is a sign of contempt, an expression of contempt. And they said, “This one, who said that he would destroy the sanctuary and build it again in three days,” missing the significance of not speaking about the sanctuary in Jerusalem, but relating God’s will that every individual can be a temple of the Holy Spirit. He was speaking about his body.

Dr. Baruch:

And when it says he would restore it, build it in three days, a reference to what? The resurrection and the resurrection as we’ve talked about is inherently related to the kingdom. It was because of what he was going to do this death, burial and ultimately resurrection, that the kingdom would become a reality for you and me. Verse 30. Now notice how they were mocking him. They said, “Save yourself, come down from the cross.” Now notice they said that teasing, was, “If you’re really the Messiah, save yourself, you’re supposed to be the savior.” But in doing so, coming down from the cross would basically violate the work of salvation that he was sent to do.

Dr. Baruch:

So they say, “Save yourself, come down from the cross.” Likewise, and here’s something extremely interesting and problematic. What day is this? This is Passover. This is a day, one of three days, when the greatest amount of sacrifices are made and the high priests were responsible for what’s going on in the temple. And instead of being at the temple, what were they doing? Well, it says, look again at this verse, verse 31. And likewise also the high priests, they were mocking. And it’s literally in the presence. They’re mocking and saying to one another with the Scribes, saying to one another with the Scribes. They were saying, “Others he saved, but himself, he’s not able to save.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now what does that tell us? It tells us how often that people think that power should be used for our benefit. But one of the things that Messiah taught was if they strike you on one cheek, turn to the other. That is, we don’t function for ourself. We’ll lay down our life for others, but we will not raise a finger to save ourself. Why? Because it’s not about us. It’s about others. And that’s what the Torah manifests, a love of neighbor. Well, we’ll close with this until next week, when we continue on looking closely at Messiah’s death upon that cross.

Speaker 1:

Well, we hope you will benefit from today’s message and share it with others. Please plan to join us each week at this time and on this channel for our broadcast of loveisrael.org. Again, to find out more about us, please visit our website, loveisrael.org. There you will find articles and numerous other lectures by Baruch. These teachings are in video form. You may download them or watch them in streaming video. Until next week, may the Lord bless you in our Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus, as you walk with him. Shalom from Israel.

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