Tried and Crucified

Scripture: Mark 14:53-65, Mark 15:1-41, Isaiah 53:1-12
Lesson: 12
Christ is tried, beaten and crucified, all in fulfillment of the Scriptures.
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Note: This is a verbatim transcript of the live broadcast. It is presented as spoken.

Happy Sabbath. Good to see each of you. I want to welcome our friends who are watching in our extended class around the country and other parts of the world. It’s always fun to hear the reports that are coming in from different parts of the globe as well as across North America. And if this is your first time tuning in this is Sabbath school study hour. This is a time when we get together and study the word of God. Little more of a teaching format than a preaching format. We are going through a study guide to help us take an outline through the Bible “Jesus Through the Eyes of Mark” and we’re reaching nearly the end of this quarter’s lesson. “Jesus Through the Eyes of Mark” today is lesson 12 “Tried and Crucified”. “Tried and Crucified”. Now with each lesson study we like to make a free offer for our friends who are watching and for those in North America if you would like the free offer it’s called “The Supreme Sacrifice”. That’s offer #704. Just request that when you call… toll free number (800)538-7275 and they’ll send that to you.

It’ll enhance your study of this important lesson. Now we have a memory verse and the memory verse comes to us from Mark chapter 15, verse 34 and here at Central if you’d say that with me you can find that in your Bibles. Mark 15:34, are you ready? “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice saying ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is being interpreted ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’” We’re going to get to that a little later. Now we are treading on sacred ground today so pray for me as I do my best to teach a very big theme in a little bitty space of time. We’re going to talk about the trial and crucifixion of Christ and that of course will be the theme of the angels’ study through ceaseless ages so it’s really just a few crumbs of heavenly manna that we’ll be able to explore in the little time that we have during a Sabbath school study. You know there’s a few quotes that will help bear this out. And here’s something from the book Desire of Ages page 83 “It would be well for us to spend a thoughtful hour each day…” and that doesn’t mean to mark off sixty minutes on your clock. It’s talking about in looser terms “a thoughtful hour” taking some time of meditation. “…in contemplation of the life of Christ.

We should take it point by point and let the imagination grasp each scene especially the closing ones.” Taking time every day to think about the closing scenes of Christ’s life. “As we thus dwell upon His great sacrifice for us our confidence in Him will be more constant. Our love will be quickened and we shall be more deeply imbued with His spirit. If we would be saved at last we must learn the lessons of penance and humiliation at the foot of the cross.” If we would be saved we must learn these lessons at the foot of the cross. And so we are taking strong medicine today when we study themes of the cross, aren’t we? This is industrial strength gospel medicine because it’s at the cross where we find the power. Now our lesson today is dealing more specifically with chapter fourteen of Mark and we’re going to be going from verses fifty-three through sixty-five then we’re going to jump over to chapter fifteen and God willing we’ll get from verse one to forty-one. And for some of you who have maybe missed prior studies if you go to the church website there’s a link there where you can listen to the archives because this ties in with some things that we’ve studied formerly and all you’ve got to do is go to and you can look at and listen to some of the former studies.

Alright Mark 14:53, “And they led Jesus away to the high priest; and with him were assembled all the chief priests, the elders, and the scribes.” You know it’s in my mind when I read about the close of Christ’s life and I hear them say they led Him to the high priest. What do you think of in the Bible when you hear “they led Him”? Where does your mind go? Anywhere in the Old Testament pop into mind? It’s like “led as a sheep to the shearers.” During the Passover it was common for the lamb to be led to the high priest and the Passover sacrifice to be made. Here Christ is being led to the high priest to be offered. Now He not only went to the acting high priest who was Caiaphas, in the first passage of your lesson you’ll notice it says, “Jesus was given two preliminary hearings; one before Annas alone, the other before Annas and Caiaphas.” Caiaphas was the son-in-law of Annas. They were both Sadducees of a more liberal sect of the religious people in Christ’s day. “He was arraigned twice before the Sanhedrin first by night then by day.” It was kind of a kangaroo court and a couple of the important players were not invited to this select group that tried Him. Who can think of at least a couple of the religious leaders that may not have been invited to this stage trial? Nicodemus.

Why didn’t they invite Nicodemus? He had said things that led them to believe that he sympathized with Christ. When they were getting ready to condemn Jesus he said, “Where in our law do we condemn a man before trying him?” And they said, “Oh, are you from Galilee too? Why are you supporting Him?” You remember? So they said, “Don’t invite Nicodemus!” Who else was left out? Probably Joseph of Arimathea who had also expressed support and he’s the one who went to Pilate and of course dedicated his tomb. So it was really a rigged trial. And takes place in the middle of the night. “…twice before the Sanhedrin first by night then by day.” Jesus appeared twice before Pilate, once before Herod in between the two appearances before Pilate. You read in Isaiah it says He’s taken from trial to judgment. He was taken here and there something like the fish took Jonah all over the place for three days and three nights. He’s being drug as a prisoner and all along the way there were various trials that met Him. “But Peter followed Him at a distance.” Now I don’t know if that captures your attention like it does mine. You look in Mark earlier. It tells us that Jesus invited a rich young ruler to follow Him. He said, “Follow Me.” And He was inviting him to be an apostle basically, “and he went away grieved for he had great riches.” He said no or not now but he didn’t, he turned away “because he had great riches.” He wasn’t ready to liquidate. Jesus said, “You’ll have treasure in heaven.”

He did not follow. He went away sad. Here it tells us that Peter followed but how did he follow? From a distance. What does that imply? When you follow from a distance isn’t that sort of saying you don’t want to get too close because you might be identified as a follower. If you’re tailing somebody in your car you want to know where they’re going and you want to follow but you don’t want to get too close so you don’t look like you’re following, right? So Peter is following from a distance but he doesn’t want to get too close because it’s not popular at the time. Are there others who follow Christ but they don’t follow too close, they follow from a distance? How did Peter end the night? It says he went out and he “wept bitterly”. Was he happy following at a distance? Now there’s one more example in Mark. In Mark 10 it tells at the end of the chapter about Blind Bartimaeus. Christ opened his eyes. He didn’t care what the crowd thought. The crowd said, “Be quiet” he would shout even louder, “Son of David! Have mercy on me!” Christ said, “What do you want?” “That I might see.” Opens his eyes. He says, “Go your way.” Jesus said you don’t even need to follow, go. What does it tell us? He followed Him in the way rejoicing right? Interesting. Rich young ruler goes away with his riches and miserable. Blind Bartimaeus throws away his rags and follows Jesus rejoicing because he followed all the way. He wasn’t ashamed. Three different ways that everybody follows Christ.

Not at all, some people say, “not now,” that’s the same as not at all. A lot of people procrastinate. To tell Jesus not now is to tell Him no. Isn’t that right? Or they follow from a distance and you become identified. You notice what Peter did. He kind of mingled in the courtyard with the enemies of Christ so he wouldn’t look like a follower. There’s a lot of Christians they think of themselves as closet Christians, secret Christians. You know somebody said once, “There is no such thing as a secret Christian for either the Christianity will destroy the secret or the secret will destroy the Christianity.” You know what I’m saying? You’ll either your Christianity will be so zealous you won’t be able to hide it, your Christianity will destroy the secrecy or your secrecy will drown the Christianity. But there really is no such thing as a secret Christian or a closet Christian.

Now I do think there are people out there the Lord is working on their hearts and they have not made a public commitment yet but that’s a different story than somebody who claims to be a Christian but hides it once they leave church. I met somebody in the supermarket one day I’d known for years and I don’t know how the subject came up but she discovered I was a Christian. And she said, “I didn’t know you were a Christian!” And I thought wow I’ve known this person for years. That’s really quite an indictment. It should be one of the first things people know about you. So “Peter followed from a distance right into the courtyard of the high priest and he sat with the servants and he warmed himself at the fire” tried to look like everybody else. And “the chief priests and the council sought testimony against Jesus to put Him to death, and they found none.” That’s why Pilate also said, “I find no fault in Him.” “For many bore false witness against Him, but their testimonies did not agree.”

Now what were they looking for? Is it enough to have a witness against Him or do they need at least two or three? The law requires at least two or three. They can’t get any two to agree until finally some rose up and bore false witness against Him saying, “We heard Him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another without hands.’” Now did Jesus say that? Well, it calls it false testimony. Really one word is changed. Jesus did say “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it up.” What was He talking about? So He did say something very similar to this but they put a little twist on it. You know sometimes somebody will take something you say and all they’ve got to do is add one word and make it a very dangerous lie.

Christ is talking about His body. They made it sound like He was talking about the Jewish building, that He was a terrorist, that He was going to get a crowd together and join the Romans and somehow bomb the temple, He was going to destroy their temple and that was a national treasure. Did He ever say that? No, but that’s how they’re trying to make it sound. He said very clearly, matter of fact, John says, “He spoke of His body.” But it is true that Jesus said, “Destroy this temple and in three days I will make one without hands.” He did not say, Destroy this temple made with hands and I will make one without hands. See what the difference is? He was speaking of His body John tells us. Now that’s a very significant passage because that should have sunk in for them. What is the temple that Jesus destroyed?

Well, first of all He didn’t destroy it. He said, You destroy this temple. They destroyed His body, right? Killed Him. And He said when you do that, in doing that I will raise up one without hands in three days. We talked in our last study they began Thursday night to punish Him and destroy His temple, the temple body, and laid Him in the tomb, three days later He rose up. Thursday night, Friday night, Saturday night, rose Sunday morning. He was betrayed and started to suffer Thursday night. I keep hammering that because so many people misunderstand the three days and three nights. How many temples are in the world today? One. The church. Is there one in heaven? In Moses’ time there was one on earth, one in heaven. You remember when Jesus went up the Mount of Transfiguration three people were on top of the mountain Jesus, Moses and Elijah. How many of you remember that? We read it in Mark in our Sabbath school study. Peter said, “Lord, it’s good for us to be here; let’s build three temples: one for You, one for Moses, one for Elijah.”

How many temples in the Bible, physical temples? Three. One during the time of Moses, one during the time of Elijah and one during the time of Jesus. Is that right? Isn’t that interesting? So now Christ says, you destroy this temple and all of those temples are done away with. What happened in the temple when Christ died on the cross? veil was ripped from north to south exposing the Holy Place signifying that all of the ceremonial sanctuary services had met their fulfillment and now they were transferred to a different temple, the church. Paul says, “What, don’t you know you are the temple of God? You are living stones.” We are a spiritual house. We are all different bricks in the temple of God. But God still has a temple on earth. You and I are now the body of Christ. What do you call the church? The body of Christ. This is the temple. See what I’m saying how important it is to understand that? In keeping with that what is Christ’s final work before He returns? Cleansing of the sanctuary. How many sanctuaries are there right now?

Two one in heaven and one on earth. He’s still cleansing both, isn’t He? see it? alright. So this is what they accuse Him of. Very interesting that this was the testimony that they found. “‘Destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another one made without hands.’ But not even then did their testimony agree.” There were slight variations in what they said. “And the high priest stood up in the midst.” He becomes exasperated because they can’t get any testimony against Jesus. And he stands up in their midst and he says to Jesus, “Do you answer nothing?” “As a sheep is led before her shearers so He opened not His mouth.” Said nothing in His own defense. You know as soon as a person starts to defend himself they sound guilty. I remember one time somebody came to me and they said, “Pastor Doug, word is going around that during Christmas vacation you got drunk and were thrown in jail.” And I was so flabbergasted that they said such a thing that I started to try to prove that I really wasn’t in jail and as I started proving it I felt slimy.

I said this makes me sound guilty. Because as soon as you start trying to defend yourself… if I had just laughed and said nothing it would have been more convincing. I finally tracked that back. I had gone to visit a friend’s son in jail and somehow that got twisted around to I got drunk and got thrown in jail so. He was wise in that He said nothing to prove that their accusations were totally groundless. And you know what? The devil wants to engage us because then He can twist your words but if you don’t say anything he has nothing to work with. Christ would not even give them any fodder, any bait to play with. He said nothing. “‘Do you answer nothing? What is it these men testify against You?’ But He kept silent and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him saying…” and he asked him with an oath it tells us in Matthew, “Are You the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?” Now Jesus speaks. Why now? Because you have the high priest of the nation and no matter how wicked this man was God teaches in His word to respect the office.

Were the prophets to respect the king even if the king was wicked? Even Elijah ran before Ahab as a sign of respect and I could go down the line and site a number of other examples where prophets even respected wicked kings. Even David respected Saul. He said, “He is the Lord’s anointed.” Yes, he’s a hypocrite. Yes, he’s wicked, but he’s the Lord’s anointed. It’s a position. And so here Jesus recognizes the position. The high priest is saying we are needing to know if you’re the Messiah. How could He not answer that question? They were waiting and waiting for hundreds of years for the Messiah to come. Now Christ must speak. And he asks in the oath of the Most High His Father and Jesus can’t deny it. He says, I am. Ooh. Does that give you goose bumps? Where else do you here “I Am”? Moses said, “What is your name?” “I Am that I Am.” He said, “I am. And you will see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of Power…” What is that Power the Son of man will be sitting on the right hand of?

The glory of the Father. “…the right hand of Power and coming with the clouds of heaven.” Wonder what the expression will be on the face of Caiaphas when Jesus comes. You know the Bible seems to tell that God makes certain exceptions. Most of the dead are asleep right now, right? But are there some exceptions? Elijah is in heaven. He went an unusual way. Enoch went an unusual way. Moses is there. He was resurrected. There were some exceptions around the time of the cross when Christ rose from the dead many of the graves in Jerusalem, not universal, around Jerusalem, came out of the grave. When Jesus comes back again typically the dead in Christ will rise, the Christians will be caught up Him in the air and the wicked who are alive will be destroyed by the brightness of His coming but there are some exceptions.

You know what those exceptions are? It seems the Bible teaches there is a special resurrection and those who were involved in crucifying “those also who pierced Him” are going to come out of their graves when He comes again and see Him coming at the right hand of Power. There also are going to be some who died in the faith of the third angel’s message that will come forth in a special way to witness the second coming uncut, the whole thing, so to speak. And so God is going to make, He’s got that prerogative, He’s not breaking any rules, is He? No, He’s giving, you can give the front row seats to whomever you want. You can put the others in the balcony. I mean, He has that right. Caiaphas is going to get a front row seat because of the role he played. “To whom much is given, much is required,” and because of his role when he should have introduced the Messiah to the nation instead he condemned Him, he’s going to be leading the wrong parade and so Jesus... Ooh, that makes me shudder to think about it. Then the high priest goes on and he tears his clothes.

Now is there something wrong with that? What’s wrong with that? Do you remember when Aaron’s sons died, was it Hophnai and Phineas, (Nadab & Abihu) because they brought profane, they got drunk and they kindled the fire instead of bringing the sacred fire into the altar and fire came down from heaven and destroyed them? And then Moses told Aaron, “Do not rend your robes and mourn for your sons.” The high priest was to never tear his garments because they were a symbol of the righteousness of Christ. And here now the high priest rends his robes. What does that signify about his righteousness? He not only is breaking the law of the high priest it symbolically says something about him and he does it to condemn Jesus. Now there’s great symbolism there. The righteousness of earthly religion gets torn at the very time when Christ says, “I am the One.” Can you see a transference happening there? At the very time the high priest is tearing his robes Christ is saying I am the one. It wasn’t the robes of a man anymore now it was the robes of Christ.

Not only did the veil rend in the temple but the clothes were torn on the high priest. So everything that had to do with that priesthood is done away with as well the temple. Can you see how the cross and Christ dying was a pivotal point for the whole gospel? Now do we have the old Moseic or ironic Leviticul priesthood? Is that what we operate under? Or is it a different priesthood now? Now if you are Christ’s, you are kings and priests. We believe now in the priesthood of all believers. It is not a special caste within the Christian church. Are there still some churches that still teach that the priesthood is a special caste within their church? Not only our Catholic friends and many of the Orthodox churches, Latter Day Saints also teach something along the same line, don’t they? And the Bible says now we are a nation of kings and priests.

Isn’t that right? He tore his robes, the veil of the temple was torn, what is God telling us about that old system? Torn. It’s gone. Now new temple, new priesthood, right? A lot is happening here. He “tore his robes” and he said, “What further need do we have of witnesses?” He’s saying, we don’t need witnesses! You heard the blasphemy! “What do you think?” Now you know what in a real court what they should have done is said, “Alright, you claim to be the Messiah. Let’s evaluate the evidence. Do you meet the criteria?” He would not listen to any testimony to validate whether or not Christ was. He just said obviously you can’t be, didn’t examine any evidence. I mean if somebody says they’re something and you just pronounce them guilty without letting them present any evidence something is really wrong with that. That’s a kangaroo court, isn’t it? Without allowing Him to opportunity to say, let’s go through the prophesies. You know what Christ could have done? If Caiaphas had said, “Show us from the scriptures that You are the One.”

Jesus could have preached a sermon there to the Sanhedrin that He preached to the two disciples on the road to Emmaus where He starts with Moses and He goes to Malachi and He shows them from all the scriptures that He’s the Messiah. He could have presented the evidence. They didn’t listen. They just condemned Him for having the audacity to say… which you know it makes you wonder who would they have ever accepted. If they wouldn’t listen to the evidence of the True would they have ever listened to the evidence of the false? Well, actually they did. They wanted a Messiah that was going to come in like a Alexander the Great or Caesar and fight their enemies. They didn’t want one who was going to come like a lamb. “‘You’ve heard the blasphemy! What do you think?’ And they all condemned Him to be worthy of death.

Then some began to spit on Him, and blindfold Him, and beat Him.” Is that the way to treat a prisoner? “And to say to Him, ‘Prophesy!’ And to the officers they struck Him with the palms of their hands.” Now in our lesson study it does not go back into the denial of Peter because we’ve talked about that before so I’m going to jump down to chapter fifteen. Before I do that… No, I’ll do that now. Chapter fifteen verse one. Matter of fact, I’m not giving anybody a chance to read here with me. Maybe I’ll get someone who will read for me verses one and two of chapter fifteen. Hold your hand up if you’re willing. Got a hand right here. And I’ll see if I can share a little bit of this with you. “And when he thought about it, he wept. Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consolation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, and led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate. Then Pilate asked Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ He answered and said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” Now He’s at a trial.

They have to bring Him to Pilate to secure the death sentence. And when they first brought him to Pilate, he said, well if He’s a criminal you try Him. And they said we can’t because He deserves the death penalty. And he said, well what has he done? And they’re angry that Pilate would even ask the religious leaders a question. Well, if we say He’s worthy of death why are you asking for evidence? Just trust me or just trust us. Condemn Him. Something obviously is very wrong with that. And even though Pilate didn’t really care about prisoners. He was a soldier who had seen many people condemned to death and would just as soon see another prisoner executed and get a few more hours of sleep than wake up and have a trial but he had heard about Christ and he was intrigued and he also read the jealousy in the face of the priests.

He understood men and he could see that Christ was not what they were charging Him to be. And he asks Jesus, “‘Are you the King of the Jews?’ And He said, ‘It is as you say.’” But somehow he recognizes He’s not claiming to take my position. Pilate is not at all threatened. He realizes Christ is speaking in spiritual terms. “And the chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate again said to Him, ‘Do You answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!’ But Jesus still answered nothing, so Pilate marveled.” He had seen so many people argue and beg and plead for their lives and here Jesus is saying nothing in His own defense. Why? Why didn’t Jesus say anything to defend Himself? Could He have? How often did His enemies try to condemn Him? And Christ with a few words would just… I mean you think of some of the cases where they’ve got Mary and they’re ready to stone her and they say, “Moses and the Law says that she should be killed but what do You say?” And they think, We’re giving You a yes or no answer.

Execute her or let her go. If You say, “Let her go,” You don’t believe in the Law of Moses and we’ll get the mob to stone You. If You say, “Execute her,” we’re going to execute her and then go to the Romans and say that You pronounced the death sentence which they could never do. They say, “We’ve got Him! No way out.” What did Jesus do? Just He was so incredibly brilliant with His words (obviously He’s God). He said, “He that is without sin, let him cast the first stone.” Ooh! They didn’t expect that answer. Could Christ have argued to save Himself eloquently? Or they’ve got Him trapped. Do we pay taxes to Caesar or not? Now we’ve got Him! People hated paying taxes to Caesar. And if He says, “Don’t pay taxes,” we’ll run to the Romans. They’ll kill Him. If He says, “Do pay taxes,” the people will kill Him. We got him. No way out. He says, “Show me a coin.” Right? And He gets them there. Jesus could have argued His way out of it so easy but He said nothing. Why?

Have you ever caught somebody like your children doing something they shouldn’t do and you ask them and they’re speechless. Why are they speechless? Because they’re guilty. And do you remember when the king says to the man without the wedding garment, “Where’s your wedding garment?” and he doesn’t say anything. Why? There’s no excuse for not having a garment. Why was Christ speechless because He was guilty for you and me. He was taking our guilt and so He said nothing to defend Himself because He knew what He was suffering, the separation from the Father, the cup that He was drinking was the one that belonged to you and me and so He took it. Does that make sense? And so “they accused Him of many things.” And “at the feast Pilate was accustomed to release one of the prisoners to them, whomever they requested. And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow insurrectionists; and they committed murder in the insurrection. Then the multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he had always done for them.”

Pilate thought oh, this is an opportunity to let Jesus go. Pilate says, in verse nine, “‘Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?’ For he knew that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. But the chief priests” realizing the people might say, yes, let Jesus go. The chief priests circulated among the people and they told the crowd that they should ask for the release of Barabbas. This is very interesting. Pilate said to them again, “What do you want me to do with the One whom you call the King of the Jews?” And they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Who do you think was instigating the mob to do that? Well, the religious leaders and obviously the devil and his demons. I tell you I don’t think that there was a single demon in the waiting room anywhere in Hell. I think that they were all on patrol during the time of the cross. None of them had the day off. It’s like when you’ve got some kind of an emergency in the city the police will say everybody must be on duty. Well that’s what was happening.

The devil had called out every single demon and they were stirring up that crowd to make sure that they blocked every possible way of escape and that Christ would be executed. “Crucify Him!” and Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” You notice they can’t think of any evil that He’s done. Their only answer is to shout louder, “Crucify Him!” When a person doesn’t have a logical argument they just raise the volume on their illogic. You ever notice that? Some preachers have nothing to say so they shout. They think that volume is a substitute for content. You ever run into that before? I think I told you one time this custodian in a church was cleaning and pastor had left his notes on the podium and they started to look over his notes and in his notes he had underlined a spot where he had written, “Pound pulpit and raise your voice.

This is a weak point.” And so the people shouted even louder, “Crucify Him!” “Why, what evil has he done?” “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.” Wow. Somebody read for me Acts chapter three, Acts 3:13 & 14, this will give a little background. Do I have a volunteer? Got a hand right here. Acts 3:13 and 14. Here’s a microphone for you. “The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers, glorified His Servant Jesus, whom we delivered up and denied in the presence of Pilate, when he was determined to let Him go. But you denied the Holy One and the Just, and asked for a murderer to be granted to you.” That’s good. Thank you. He says, Peter when he’s preaching goes back to the time of the trial and he says you asked Pilate to condemn Him when Pilate wanted to let Him go. And the people no one denied what Peter was saying. Pilate was saying, “He’s innocent.

Let Him go. I can’t find any fault in Him” twice. And then he tries to let Him go by saying, “Well I know how to get them out of this pickle. I really think He’s a good man. I will put Barabbas in front of the people, who is obviously a hardened criminal.” You could just look at his countenance and see he was acquainted with evil. “And I will put him side by side with Jesus” who had already been bloodied by the Romans and others who had mistreated Him and you would think that it would draw some pity from the crowd. So here he puts this hardhearted Barabbas and he stands him next to Jesus who’s got this majestic bearing. He’s already been brutalized and he says “Which one do you want to let go?” And anyone with normal empathy would say, “Let Jesus go.” I mean, Barabbas has committed murder. He’s known to be a murderer. Even the Jews here said he was a thief, a murderer, a rebel. And they say, “Give us Barabbas.” Now what do you think the significance is of the Jewish nation clamoring for Barabbas and saying crucify Jesus? First of all, what the Jewish nation did every one of us does. Not just them. They are symbolic of the human race. They said, “Give us that kind of leader.”

What kind of Messiah do you want? “We want a Messiah that’s going to be a take charge kind of guy that’s going to use force and if it’s necessary to steal, if it’s necessary to kill to overthrow the Romans, that’s the kind of Messiah we want. We want a Robin Hood, someone like King David, you know, who will lead the people against the enemy.” They wanted an earthly leader. What does Barabbas mean? Who remembers? I’ve told you many times. What does the word bar mean? B-A-R. Bar in Hebrew. “Son of” bar is son of. Barnabas tells us “son of consolation.” Bartimaeus son of Timaeus. You’ll see bar all the time in the bible. Bar- who knows what abba means? “Father” it almost sounds like a baby going “baba, abba,” right? It’s very similar. In many languages the word for mama is similar. That’s where they get the word mammary, for milk is mama. Baby comes from babal, Babylon. Now I’m teaching you more than I intended. Bar-abba “son of the father.” Here you’ve got Jesus who is the Son of God and you’ve got Barabbas.

He is a counterfeit Christ. He is a carnal Christ. He was a deliverer. He was going to deliver the people through, he was a zealot, through robbing the Romans and killing them and trying to deliver the people from their enemies using carnal earthly means. That was Barabbas. And they said, “That’s the kind of leader we want. Give us Barabbas.” They didn’t want Jesus. You know there are still Christians today who say we’d rather have a Jesus who’s going to help us carnally. He’s going to make us rich. He’s going to take care of our physical needs. You remember they wanted to make Jesus king when He fed them. That’s the kind of leader they wanted. Someone who would take care of their physical needs. They weren’t caring about the spiritual needs. Give us Bar-abba the son of the father, counterfeit Christ.

Now let me take one more spin on this. There’s so much here you can see I’m not going to get through it. How many crosses had been prepared for an execution that morning? Three crosses. How many criminals were there? Well they got four. They got Barabbas, his two thieves, and Jesus. Someone’s got to go free. They don’t have enough crosses so Pilate says, “Well, we’ve got a technical problem with our execution today but I know how to get out of this. We’re supposed to let someone go during the Passover and Jesus is obviously innocent so we’ll get this trial over with and they’ll ask for Christ and I’ll crucify the other three.” Barabbas is tied up. He is already, they’ve got a number on his head about where they’re going to bury him. He’s marked for execution. Now you’re standing side by side, put yourself in Barabbas’ shoes and by the way you are Barabbas.

Are we guilty of murder? Not only the murder of Christ but the Bible says if you hate your brother without cause you’re a murderer. Are we guilty of stealing? Barabbas was a partner with those thieves that died with Jesus. Yeah, we’ve robbed God like the prodigal son robbed his father of all these blessings he’s given us. So you’re standing there, you’re all tied up and you’re about to be crucified and I wanted to have more time to talk about that. Crucifixion was the most brutal form of execution that had been devised. The idea of crucifixion was to extract the ultimate amount of physical suffering before a victim died and to be suspended between heaven and earth naked so you’re humiliated along with the shame of the crime being nailed above your head and the dehydration and the scorching elements blazing down on you and the flies and bugs in your wounds and one historian said that it wasn’t uncommon for the birds of carrion to light upon those who were dying of crucifixion and begin their work before they died. It was an awful, awful way to die. And you’re going to die like that.

You’re guilty. Remember Jesus took your penalty so you are Barabbas. And all of a sudden to hear Pilate say, “You go free.” And you’re almost afraid to ask why, but you do. He says, “He’s taking your place.” How appreciative would you be? You have to wonder. You know, it doesn’t say in the Bible. There have been stories about it in movies that Barabbas… what happened to Barabbas? Everyone wants to know. The Bible doesn’t really say. But you’d like to believe that his life was somehow changed by the One who took his cross. See there may have been a little sign nailed on that cross. They may have said, “Thief #1” “Barabbas Thief #2” and so when Christ died on the cross that was tagged for Barabbas, what does Barabbas mean? Son of the father. He died on Barabbas’ cross. You see what I’m saying? He took our place.

There is so much here, friends, and we are on sacred ground. Where was I? “So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd,” had Him scourged. Why scourge Him? He’s innocent. “…to be crucified. Then the soldiers led Him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole garrison. And they clothed Him with purple” (mocking Him as a king) “they twisted a crown of thorns…” Why thorns? What are thorns a symbol of? When did they first appear? When Adam and Eve sinned thorns and thistles came forth. Every time I get nailed by a thorn whether it’s a berry bush or a rose you know what I think of? Eve, you know, if you just hadn’t eaten that fruit! You remember the Bible tells us that the ram that took Isaac’s place was caught by his horns in a thicket. And you know what that word thicket means? A thorn bush. One of these desert thorn bushes.

A ram with a crown of thorns and they put the thorns on His head. If thorns are a symbol of sin Christ became the king of sin. He went from Melchezadek King of Righteousness to king of sin for you and me and put it on his head. Purple. Purple is not only a sign of royalty. Purple is what the scarlet harlot wears in Revelation 17. “…and began to salute Him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they struck Him on the head” driving the thorns in “and they spat on Him; bowing the knee, and they worshipped Him.” Mock worship. What was it that the devil wanted from Jesus? Bow down and worship me and I’ll give it all to you. He would not do it. And so now the devil is going through the mockery of worshipping Him. “And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off of Him, they put on His own clothes...”

Don’t forget they put His own robe back on Him which means His garments were not bloodstained. Remember that’s all He leaves behind. “…and they led Him out to crucify Him. They compelled a certain man, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus,” sometimes called Simon Niger and many believe that this was an African American who became a member of the church. “…father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. And they brought Him to the place of Golgotha, which is translated, Place of the Skull. And they gave Him wine mingled with myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.” Now when you read in the gospel of John verse 23, I’m rushing along because we’re about out of time, a few points left here. In the gospel of John it says “when He had tasted it”.

He did not drink it, but He did… they put it on a sponge up to His mouth and He tasted it to find out what it was. What it was is sour wine and you’ve heard me say this before but all these profound truths always move me. First miracle of Jesus was He turned water into wine. What kind of wine? New wine. Grape juice at a wedding feast. He saved the best for last. First miracle of Jesus; He gives at a wedding new wine. What’s the last thing that happens before Jesus says, “It is finished”? They put on a pole a sponge, they give Him sour wine. Wine in the Bible is a symbol for the blood of the covenant. First thing He does is He gives them pure new wine in a wedding. He wants to be married to the church. Last thing He does is He takes our sour wine. He took our sin and He gives us His purity. He gives us His blood transfusion.

It’s like somebody who’s got some liver or kidney disease gets good blood in their body from someone healthy and the bad blood is taken out. That’s really what Christ did. And they brought Him to that place and when they crucified Him they divided His garments among them. They cast lots just as it had been foretold. The inscription of His accusation is written above His head, “The King of the Jews.” Quickly I want to remind you that statement when you read all four of the gospels is worded a little bit differently. It doesn’t mean the Bible is inconsistent. How many languages was it written in? Hebrew, Greek and Latin. The different gospel writers drew from one of the different translations. All of the gospel writers spoke some Latin, some Greek, and certainly Hebrew, right? And so don’t be upset if you see that the wording, one says “King of the Jews”, “Jesus Christ, King of the Jews”, “Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews”, they’re a little different. That’s because it was written in three different languages. So I just thought I’d throw that in.

They crucified Him between two robbers, one on the right and one on the left. We later read one of those thieves is saved one of those thieves is lost. Those two thieves represent the whole human race. Think about it. They both wanted to be saved but only one was because one had faith. They were both guilty of rebellion and murder and stealing as we are. They were hanging naked and condemned, helpless to save themselves. They both had an opportunity to be saved. They both knew they were dying. Do we? One of those thieves saw Christ forgive His enemies, his heart was transformed and he ends up believing. Now you read it will also tell us that Christ was crucified, Mark 15:25, “Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him.” Who knows what time of day that would be? 9:00 a.m. That’s correct. Nine in the morning Jesus was crucified.

Then “about the sixth hour,” this is Mark 15:33, “there was darkness over the whole land.” The sixth hour is noon. Three hours after nine o’clock is noon, right? Should be the brightest time of the day is now the darkest. What should have been the brightest time of the Jewish nation had become the darkest. The Messiah was here but He was being condemned as a criminal, being rejected. Then three hours later He says, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” He quotes from Psalm 22. Did Jesus believe that He had been forsaken? Why did He say, “My God, my God, why have You forsaken Me?” Did Christ think He was forsaken, or was Jesus doing the part of the high priest? The high priest would read from one of the Psalms before the lamb was sacrificed. Did you know that? Christ was the high priest and He’s the lamb. He quotes from Psalm 22. Why Psalm 22?

That’s the Psalm where it says, “His garments would be divided, they pierce His hands and His feet.” He wanted those watching to think, “Ah! It’s being fulfilled before our eyes!” That’s why He quoted from that Psalm. Christ, how long is He on the cross? Crucified nine, sky grows dark noon, He cries out at three and He dies. Right? Six hours alive on the cross, one hour resting while they get His body and take it down. Seven hours on the cross. Isn’t that interesting? Six hours suffering for the sins of the world one hour resting on the cross. They calculate that’s about how long before Joseph could get His body. Sabbath hadn’t come yet because they wanted to get Him off the cross and they got Him in the tomb, they just didn’t have time to finish embalming Him. Fascinating when you think about it. We’re out of time. I want to remind you, friends, to ask for the free offer #704 “The Supreme Sacrifice”. Thank you for studying with us and I hope you read the entire lesson. There’s so much here. It’s a beautiful study. I always feel frustrated that I have to rush through the theme of the cross. It is one of the most beautiful subjects.

We are so happy you could join us today for Central Study Hour. I’m sure you’re looking forward to next week’s lesson #13 titled “Buried but Risen”. Can we be sure Christ died on the cross and was actually buried? How can we know He did rise from His tomb? These are important questions that the Bible supplies full evidence for. No other religious leader can make claims to an empty tomb because of a resurrection. The facts surrounding His resurrection give us complete confidence in the resurrection of the saints that are sleeping at the time of the second coming of Jesus. You’ll not want to miss this exciting lesson. If you would like to watch or listen to any of today’s programs again you may do so at Also at this site you may choose to listen to any of the previous lessons posted there. Until next week, may God bless you.

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