Mark Chapter 15 Part 3

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Shalom. And welcome to V’ahavta Yisrael, 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:

Many times you hear the expression, a sin is a sin, and that simply means that no matter what sin someone commits, whether in our eyes, it’s a great sin or in our eyes it’s something relatively insignificant and small, no matter what, it still requires that same precious blood of Messiah Yeshua to purchase for us the forgiveness. So in one sense, a sin is a sin, but when we look at it from a different perspective obviously there are some sins more serious than others.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, Judaism teaches something that’s very important. Judaism says that one of the worst sins that a person can commit, and we’re talking about a non-physical, we’re not speaking about killing someone or injuring or torturing them or something along those lines. But when we’re speaking about a sin, not physically related, one of the worst sins is when we embarrass someone. When we put a person down, when we make fun of them in a way that’s going to hurt them when we mock them.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, this was known not just in recent Judaism, but this principle about not humiliating someone was known in Judaism for many thousand years, since the time of Moshe Rabbenu, that is Moses, our teacher. And we see a gross violation of that in today’s passage. Take out your Bible and look with me to the book of Mark in Chapter 15.

Dr. Baruch:

Now we’re going to pick up where we left off last week with Messiah hanging on that tree. And we know the painful experience that he was going through. Having been flogged in a very cruel matter, beaten as well, mocked previously, and what’s happening? Well, if you look very carefully at verse 31, Mark’s gospel Chapter 15 in Verse 31, we see something very important. It says, “Likewise, likewise, the high priests were doing something.” We read, “Likewise also, the high priests were mocking with one another with the scribes.” Mocking who? Messiah.

Dr. Baruch:

Now imagine this, someone going through a very painful, in fact, experience that is going to lead to a torturous death, and what were these individuals doing? Those who were supposed to be representatives of the one true living God, what we call in Judaism El Malei Rachamim, which means the God that is full of mercy, what were these individuals doing? They weren’t setting an example about what should one be doing, but they were joined in like many others in mocking him.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, why is that so problematic? Not simply because it’s a violation of what Judaism teaches. But also we need to remember something, what day is he hanging upon that tree? What day did Messiah lay down his life? Paid that price to become that sacrifice for us? On Passover. And according to Jewish law, although every sacrifice and offering is important, passover is one of the most important, why?

Dr. Baruch:

Well we’ve learned, and we’ll see again, later on today, that Passover is related to redemption. And the price of redemption that Passover sacrifice was foundational. So this was one of the most important days in Judaism. And instead of the high priest being at the temple providing the supervision, the counsel to make sure everything was done properly, what were they doing? They were on the other side of town and they were watching and mocking an individual, a fellow Jew who was dying a gruesome death upon the cross. And all of that is to show us how far we moved the leadership was from the truth, from their own statues and commandments and their own calling. So in verse 31, we read, “Likewise also, the high priests, they were mocking with one another also with the scribe saying, “Others he saved.” And that’s an important statement.

Dr. Baruch:

That means that they knew that Messiah Yeshua had indeed saved done miracles. You know what comes into my mind? The words of Nicodemus. When he went and spoke to Yeshua up by night, what did he say? He says, we know why is that so important? We know because Nicodemus was a member of the Sanhedrin. In fact, if you pay very close attention to the terminology, he was the teacher of the Sanhedrin. So he says, “We know that you are sent from God.” They knew the miracles he did, but yet nevertheless, they’re mocking him and they say, “Others, he saved, but himself, he’s not able to save.” Now, that’s kind of like a challenge.

Dr. Baruch:

Now let me point out something to you. We know who is at work in this situation, and that is the enemy, Hasatan, Satan. And Satan, he really doesn’t know what he wants, he is torn between a dilemma here and what’s that dilemma? Well, Satan, that term in Hebrew, and it is a Hebrew name, Satan, it means basically the one who brings adversity, he loves adversity. Where God loves life, God loves to bless, God loves to heal, restore, redeem, Satan, he is like that prowling line that loves to just tear people apart, to bring havoc, shame, pain, turmoil, adversity.

Dr. Baruch:

So here’s his dilemma, he rejoices. Satan rejoices in the suffering of people. And he sees the very son of God suffering on that cross, he rejoices in that. But he also knows that that’s the means for salvation, that is for his defeat. So what is he doing? Well, he’s speaking through the high priests and what do they say? Look again at verse 31, “Others he’s saved, but himself he’s not able to save.”

Dr. Baruch:

Verse 32. Now they address him in a very significant manner. Now, obviously we can say they’re doing so sarcastically, they’re doing so as we saw mocking him, but for the reader, this is very important because they address him as the Messiah or the Christ in the Greek language. “Messiah.” And then they say, “King of Israel, come down now from the cross, in order that we might see and that we might believe.” Now they say that as I said, mocking, but it was a form of temptation.

Dr. Baruch:

I mean, what they’re saying, if you take it, literally, Yeshua, if you come down from that cross right now, we see that we’ll know that you are the King of Israel, that you’re the Messiah. And what does it say? And will believe in you, a form of temptation. But Messiah did not come to submit to temptation or to the expectations of man and that’s wise counsel for us. We aren’t called to submit to what others want us to do, what they believe right, what is going to move them in a certain direction. We’re called as Messiah gave us that perfect example to be obedient to the call of God upon our life, what we see written in the word of God.

Dr. Baruch:

So they were tempting him and they said, “Come down now, and we’ll believe.” Also, those who were crucified with him, it says they were ridiculing him. No one was speaking anything kind to him. Verse 33. Now I emphasize, and one of the reasons why I take the time to deal with the Greek language and translate it for you is in order to get the most out of the text as possible, to try to find every nuance there in their original texts so that we can understand the implications that God would have us to understand so we can respond in obedience.

Dr. Baruch:

And many Bibles, they want to put it into a colloquium and in doing so, it lessens the power and the significance of the text. Let me give you an example. Verse 33, it says, “And would it became the sixth hour.” Now some of your Bibles will say when it became twelve o’clock, now that’s true. The sixth hour from a Jewish rendering is twelve o’clock noon. But if we write twelve o’clock, we miss out on the significance of the text, why? Because numbers have significance and the number six relates to grace.

Dr. Baruch:

So when Messiah was on that cross, it is his suffering, his death is a means to our grace he was paying the price for sin. So it says in this passage of scripture, “And it became the sixth hour.” And what happened? “Darkness happened upon the entire earth.” Now, why is that important? Well, it’s important because of what Judaism teaches.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, we’ve already said that Messiah is dying on what day? Passover. Passover occurs on the 14th day of the Jewish month of Nisan, we’ve talked about that. But what’s emphasized in the book of Exodus Chapter 12, it happened not during the daylight hours, but darkness. We read the expression in Hebrew, [foreign language 00:11:19] laila, at midnight. So there’s a relationship in the biblical texts in the Torah, in the book of Exodus Chapter 12, between redemption Passover occurring and darkness.

Dr. Baruch:

And in Judaism, those who would have been in Jerusalem to celebrate Passover, those who came from a Jewish perspective, trained in Jewish law, they had been taught redemption and darkness, there’s a connection between them. So at the six hour, what happens? Well, it tells us darkness took place. Now darkness in the context is related to redemption and six is related to grace. The means of redemption. And it says, if we keep reading here in Verse 33, “And this occurred over the whole earth.” Meaning this grace is available to all people.

Dr. Baruch:

Doesn’t make a difference if you’re Jewish or Gentile? What’s your race? What your ethnicity may be, this grace, this redemption is available for all. And it says, “It remained this way to when the ninth hour.” Here, again, some Bibles will try to help you understand and in doing so, you miss out on the significance. Yes, he died at the third hour. Darkness was upon the earth from noon until 3:00 PM. But we need to see it from the sixth hour grace until the ninth hour, why? Because the number nine relates to a deed, a work or a result. So here again, darkness redemption, what was the result? The work, the outcome of Messiah being upon that tree, dying upon that cross? Very simple, the outcome was redemption. And that’s what these numbers are trying to convey to us. So once again, Verse nine, it says, “He was there until the ninth hour.” And what happens? Yeshua cried out with a great voice.

Dr. Baruch:

Now we alluded to this a few minutes ago in another message, and that was when someone dies on a cross, if he dies by crucifixion, he suffocates, meaning he becomes so exhausted. He is tortured to the extent that he does not have the power to breathe. Now that’s fatigue, that’s exhaustion. So you die because you become so weak you can’t take a breath. And as I said, Bill O’Reilly wrote this book where it says, well, we have a conflict because what it says in the text could not be because how could it be that Messiah right before he died, and we’re coming to this, the moment before he died, he cried out in a loud voice. He says, it cannot be, but what’s the problem? Well, never in the scripture does it say that Messiah died because of crucifixion?

Dr. Baruch:

He was crucified, but why did he die? Well, because the sins of humanity were laid upon him. Sin is synonymous with death, it’s not that he died because of crucifixion, he was crucified because of the punishment of sin and that is death. And he was in control of everything. We’re to see how important this is in the text. Look again, Verse 34, “And on the ninth hour, Yeshua cried out in a great voice.” A loud voice, and he said, “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani,” which is Aramaic. And it’s translated into Hebrew force where it says, My God, My God, for what have you abandoned me or forsaken me?

Dr. Baruch:

Now that is, and we’ve seen that Psalm 22 last week, we saw a couple of references to Psalm 22 and it continues today in this passage. And Psalm 22 is key in understanding the cross. So in that Psalm, we have David writing this verse, “My God, My God, why has thou forsaken me?” Now, what’s the message? Well, we’re speaking and don’t miss the significance of this, we’re speaking about a separation. We know that God the Father and the God the Son, they are one. But for that moment, when the sins of humanity were placed upon Messiah and sin, and God can have nothing in common. Sin and God that’s a separation, a division.

Dr. Baruch:

So when Messiah, as Paul says in 2nd Corinthians Chapter 5 in verse 21, “When he who knew no sin became sin for us, what happens? That relationship between God the Father and God the Son was broken. And that’s why Messiah cried out, my God, my God why has thou forsaken me. Now, look at the response, we read in Verse 35 and there were certain ones standing there. And these individuals, Jewish individuals, presumably, why do I say that? Because they knew the scripture, but they didn’t know it real well, why? Look again, Verse 35, “And certain ones who were standing there, they heard, and they said behold, he calls Elijah.”

Dr. Baruch:

Now, why would they think that? Well, here again, we have to be acquainted with the biblical language, in this case, Hebrew, because Elijah is Eliyahu, that’s in the first work of Elijah. Now, scripturally speaking, if you look some time to the very last chapter and the very last section of the book of Malachi or Malaki, you’ll see that Elijah spoken to. And it says before that great, an awesome day and awesome in a negative sense of God’s wrath, God’s judgment being poured out. It says before that day, who’s going to come? Elijah. But instead of using the term Eliyahu it uses Eliyah, which is an bridge formed of Elijah.

Dr. Baruch:

And in the Greek language, when he’s speaking or in Aramaic, perhaps it sounds very similar. So these individuals heard him saying, quoting Psalm 22 and mistakenly they thought he was calling Elijah by that name in the book of Malaki Chapter 3. And they thought that perhaps Messiah was indeed Yeshua and that he was calling Elijah. So what happens? Verse 36, and one of the ones there, he did something it says, “And running and filling a sponge with drink.” And this is important, in another gospel tells us that it was bitter, and that’s important because of another prophecy being fulfilled. It says, for example, in the book of Numbers Chapter 9, that part of the Passover law is that the Passover lamb and the matzah and the bitters have to be eaten together, come in contact.

Dr. Baruch:

Well, we know Yeshua, he’s the Passover for us, he is also that unleavened bread, the bread of life. And when that bitter wine touched his lips another scripture was fulfilled. And we see over and over to what extent the word of God was completed in Messiah, Yeshua. Well, here, it just says that they gave him that wine, that bitter wine, and what happens? Well, they set it upon a reed and they gave drink to him sane let’s see what happens, meaning leave him alone, let’s see if Elijah comes and brings him down, meaning take him down from the cross.

Dr. Baruch:

But after Yeshua drank that, and here again, remember we’re talking about two separate situations. I alluded to last week that there was that one individual who is against the truth of the new covenant against the message of Messiah Yeshua, that is Jesus of Nazareth. And he’ll say, you have a problem. And one scripture, it says that Messiah refused to drink it, another one, it says that he drank, that’s a conflict, no, it’s not.

Dr. Baruch:

Because the first time when he refused to drink, he refused to take that wine that was sedative before he was crucified. But now upon the cross in another gospel, he even cries out, I thirst in order that why? That the scripture might be fulfilled. And when he took that drink of this bitter and fulfill that passage from Numbers Chapter 9, dealing with Passover law, what happens? We’ll look at it Verse 37. And Yeshua he cried out once again in a great or a loud voice and he let go of a spirit, and that’s exactly what it says. Meaning this, Yeshua was in control of his death. When he says no one takes it from me, but I lay down my life, he gave me precise moment when he was going to die. He was in control even up to his death and there after.

Dr. Baruch:

Verse 38. Now here we’re going to look at some of the implications of his death. Verse 38 speaks about a very miraculous occurrence. We read, and the parokhet now, that’s the veil that divided the whole holy place from the most holy place. And this curtain as it was parokhet or veil, it was made of several materials and it was thick and heavy, it was also very high. And what do we read here? Well, it was torn and it says it was caused to be torn, it wasn’t cut, but rather it was torn from the top to the bottom.

Dr. Baruch:

Now, when I lived in a very, very Hasidic place in the North of Israel, there was a raafi, rabbi that is, that would give a weekly Shiva lesson. And one of the favorite things that he would do, he was looking at passages and he would point out where the work was taking place, what God was up to. And he said, if God was working through man it would be from below going up. But if God was working himself, it would be from above to below. And in this passage and he showed numerous examples of this, it was a very good lessons that he would give. And this is another example of that truth. Because if we read very carefully in Verse 38, it says, and the parokhet that is the veil of the temple. Now it’s not the normal word for temple. He wrote, it’s the word nails, which is that inner sanctuary, the Holy of Holies or the [foreign language 00:23:00] in Hebrew. Literally, it was caused to be torn into from above to below.

Dr. Baruch:

Verse 39, “And behold, a Centurion who had been standing before Yeshua.” Now this Centurion, he was a Roman leader as soldier, over 100 individuals, a 100 soldiers. And he was probably sent there the Centurion in order to observe and to make sure that in fact, Yeshua died. He probably was one who was always, when people were crucified, he was there watching to make sure that the sentence was carried out in fullness. So what we can conclude from this is that this particular Centurion, he had seen a lot of people, a lot of people died by crucifixion. But he had never seen the son of God give his life. And notice what he says and why his perspective is so significance.

Dr. Baruch:

Look again, Verse 39, “And behold the Centurion who had been standing before Yeshua.” It says, “When he saw thus, he gave up his spirit.” That is when he saw how Yeshua died that he cried out in a loud voice, well, that never it happened before. And he says, “Surely, truly this one, this man is the son of God.” Now that’s so significant because he had witnessed person after person dying but when he saw Yeshua’s death, he knew that this one, Yeshua ben Nazareth, Jesus of Nazareth is indeed the son of God.

Dr. Baruch:

Verse 40. Now, beginning in Verse 40, we see something very significant. We see that there is an emphasis upon women. Now, why is that important? Well, we’ve learned he died on Passover. Passover is the festival of what? Redemption. We also see women, whenever women take the forefront of a passage, the context is redemption. So over and over, we’re speaking about redemption, the day of redemption, the work of redemption, the means of redemption women are mentioned. And there were women from a distance who were perceiving. And who were they? Among them they were Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Jacob, the younger and Mary, the mother of Joseph and Solomon.

Dr. Baruch:

And these were the women who had come, who followed after him from the Galilee. And they ministered unto him, and there were many others and they went up with them to Jerusalem. Verse 42. Now these women are going to play an important role on resurrection day, that’s what we’re going to focus in on next week. But let me simply share with you before we wrap up how important the time element is so that we can understand things in a more precise manner.

Dr. Baruch:

Mark, although he rushes through things, tell things immediately one thing after another, he’s very precise on the timing. Look at few words, Verse 42. “And when it’d be came evening.” Now evening does not mean darkness evening in Judaism is from about the three o’clock in the afternoon hour up into darkness, that’s evening in a very precise way. So it’s coming near, the day is coming to an end, what day?it says for it was the preparation day. And term preparation day is synonymous with Passover. In fact, it even tells us the day before the Sabbath.

Dr. Baruch:

But be very careful. We are not speaking about the Sabbath as a Saturday, a seventh day Sabbath. John tells us in John Chapter 19 that this Sabbath was a high Sabbath, which is a colloquium simply meaning it was a holiday Sabbath. He died on what day? The 14th at Nisan Passover. The 15th day, the next day is a holiday, it’s a High Sabbath. So we have very clear here, a two descriptions of preparation day or Passover when he died. Verse 43, we’re going to see beginning here a very significant man takes center stage. And that’s the individual that we’re going to focus in as we begin next week our study of the resurrection of Messiah and seeing how the resurrection and the kingdom are inherently related. Well, until next week, may God richly bless you.

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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