Summary: This sermon looks at the different attitudes of those around the cross of Jesus and how those same attitudes can be found today.

Sunday Morning July 8, 2001 Bel Aire Baptist Church, Hobbs, NM


MARK 15:21-47


1. As I thought about the freedom that we have in the United States to worship when, where, and how we choose; I began to think about what freedom really is.

2. I had an experience this week that will forever change my ministry. As I stood talking to Kevin Tuesday afternoon, there was a loud bang on the door. I went quickly to the door and their stood a man at the other door about 30 feet away. He asked if I was the pastor and when I said yes, he quickly came up to me and walked inside the building. After a few minutes of him crying he opened up to me what was going on in his life and he knew that the only person that could possibly help him could be God.

3. There in the secretary’s office I had the privilege of leading this young man to the Lord. Do you want to know what grabbed me so hard? It was the fact that this young man lives in these townhouses 100 yards from our church and he had to come find us. The lost are all around us and they are desperately searching for something or someone that can give them hope, security, peace, love, and joy in their lives and I have the answer and I’m not getting it to them.

4. As I think about freedom now, I realize that although we are free to earn as much money as we can, free to own a house, free to own a car, free to go to whatever church we choose; that without Jesus Christ all of those things don’t mean anything. NOTHING AT ALL!!!

5. I have my freedom this morning. My freedom is from the punishment of hell for all of eternity, which by the way is what I deserve. Jesus has set me free!

6. Although I have been set free through Jesus, there are many who have not yet been set free, and there time is running out.

7. This is nothing new. In our text this morning we are going to go to the place where Jesus Christ was crucified. There at Golgotha, we are going to focus on the people gathered around the cross. The view that the writer gives us is not the view of looking at the cross, but the view that Jesus had from the cross.

8. The amazing thing about this view from the cross is in year 2001; you can still find the same kinds of personalities that Jesus found.

9. Let’s read our text: Mark 15:21-47

I. Simon Of Cyrene

A. Then

1. Can you imagine how Simon felt? Think about it. Simon had come to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover Feast. He had traveled all the way from Cyrene, which was in North Africa.

2. Simon was coming from his lodgings outside the city and had no idea that this strange event was about to take place. As he was watching Jesus stagger under the weight of the cross, Simon suddenly was grabbed by the soldiers and forced to carry the cross.

3. I’m sure he was mad about this interruption. Undoubtedly his attitude was one of unwilling involvement.

B. Today

1. There are many people today who are resentful that God would dare change their plans.

2. We don’t want things to happen to us by surprise that don’t fit into our routine.

3. We resent it when some circumstance over which we have no control suddenly changes our plans, especially if it involves pain and suffering.

II. Roman Soldiers

A. Then

1. Gathered around the foot of the cross were the soldiers who had crucified Jesus. These rough Roman soldiers had crucified many people.

2. They undoubtedly had much experience in crucifixion, because when they had finished their work and Jesus was hanging from the cross, these soldiers got out a pair of dice and started a crap game at the foot of the cross.

3. It seems strange to us that any man could contemplate the dying of Jesus and carry on in such a way, but here were men who were far more interested in making a buck than they were in the blood of Jesus.

B. Today

1. We too, in year 2001 have many people who are not at all concerned about the meaning of the death of Christ.

2. Their whole concern is focused on making a fast buck.

3. These soldiers stand forever as examples of those callous individuals who have no interest in the great story of the cross- who shrug their shoulders with indifference to anybody who tries to call their attention to what was really happening at this scene.

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