Summary: Ninth in a 12 part series examining THE most important week in all of history: The Passion Week, when Jesus fulfilled Mark 10:45. The Servant Finishes - His Death. Golgotha was A Place of Choices, Crucifixion, Prophecy, and Cruelty.
The Passion Week of Christ: A Study from the Book of Mark
Week 9: The Servant Finishes - His Death
A. Do you ever struggle to believe that YOU are someone worth dying for? I mean doesn't it seem ludicrous, don't we Christians seem to be off our rockers, to have a few screws loose, to think that 1) God exists, 2) that the God who created this vast universe didn't simply set it in motion and forget it but is mindful of us, and 3) despite how desperately wicked our hearts are with sin and that even the best we do is nothing more than filthy rags, that same God purposed from the foundation of the world to send His own Son to this earth to be born in a manger and then to die for us? But that glorious truth is exactly what the Bible tells us! And yet its not a SAY SO truth its a SHOW SO truth. Just like in the Mike's Chair song, God not only says we are someone worth dying for, He showed it, He proved it at the cross! Recite John 3:16.
B. So far in our Passion Week series, we have followed our Lord to many places...the home of Mary, Martha & Lazarus as He was anointed, the city gates of Jerusalem as He triumphantly entered them, the Temple where He cleaned house and taught, the Upper Room where He was betrayed, the Garden where He was forsaken, Caiaphas' home where He was rejected, the Roman HQs where He was condemned and so now Friday AM they brought him to the place called Golgotha. There's much we don't know about Golgotha - was it shaped like a skull or simply a place of skulls, was it located on the north side or on the west side of the city. We simply don't know...but one thing we do know. It was a place of limitless love in which Jesus gave His life as a ransom for many and proved that you, I indeed are Someone Worth Dying For. Let's journey now with our Lord to Golgotha, a place of limitless love. There we will see Jesus' limitless love for sinful humanity in the fact that Golgotha was A Place of Choices, Crucifixion, Prophecy, and Cruelty.
II. Scripture Reading & Prayer
A. Stand with me to honor the reading of God's Word. Read Mark 15:21-32.
B. Pray - Father, I shudder when I think of all that Your Son, Our Lord & Savior, went through that Friday AM not only saying He loved the world but also showing how much He loved the world by giving His life. As we travel this AM to Golgotha where He did just that, teach us truths that we can apply to our lives.
III. Golgotha: A Place of Choices (Read and explain 15:22-23)
A. Golgotha is an Aramaic word meaning "skull." Again the exact site is unknown. Given crucifixion was to serve as a deterrent to crime, it would have been a heavily traveled and highly visible location. Yet, its location is not so much important as the events that took place there that Good Friday AM. First & foremost, Mark tells us that our Lord was brought there. And that the Roman soldier's first order of business there was that they offered him wine mixed with myrrh. Myrrh has a bitter taste and is essentially a narcotic that deadens pain. The Jews had a custom, based on Prov. 31:6, of administering a pain-deadening medication mixed with wine to victims of crucifixion, as an act of mercy in order to deaden the pain. The Romans allowed it to be given not so much out of compassion, but out of convenience - to keep them from struggling as they were crucified.
B. And yet Mark records that Jesus did not take it. Offered is imperfect meaning they tried several times. Have you ever even considered why He chose not to take it? As we'll see shortly, even at this point, our Lord's body was howling out in pain. Discuss times in our lives we have been in such pain. Yet, think of this - have you ever taken a narcotic? What effect did it have on you? You see Jesus likely would have welcomed any amount of pain relief in that moment, but He needed His full mental faculties for the hours to come. His limitless love for humanity did not permit Him to slip into a drug induced stupor as He died on the cross. Even as He struggled for each and every breath, He was still about His Father's business - committing His mother to the care of John not His unbelieving brothers (cf. John 19:26-27), praying for the forgiveness of His enemies, through His words and actions bringing about the salvation of the thief on the cross who reviled him and the Roman Centurion who crucified Him. Love for sinful, lost humanity constrained Jesus to the point that at His hour of greatest pain He refused so much as a single Lortab!!!