Faithlife Sermons

God's Murdered Son

Who It This Man?  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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Everyone in this story responds or reacts to Jesus in a different way. Only one person gets it right. What is your response to Jesus?

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Introduction

General
Historical events that rocked the world
Have you ever noticed that people are fascinated by kings and queens, lords and ladies, knights and dukes and stories of royalty? There are literally thousands upon thousands of stories, books, and movies about kings. And I think the reason why we are so infatuated with royalty and kings is because it is hardwired into who we are. We were created to live and prosper in the Kingdom of God under the righteous and just rule of King Jesus. Our hearts were made for a King—a good, righteous, merciful, loving, just, and powerful King.
Pearl Harbor
Neal Armstrong walking on the moon
The Chronicles of Narnia
Assassination of JFK
Braveheart
9/11 — what was your response?
Game of Thrones
Personal
The Man in the Iron Mask
The Crown
King Arthur
Biblical
The crucifixion was a turning point in human history, a watershed moment that demands a response.
And life in Jesus’ Kingdom is awesome. There is no sickness… There is no blindness… There are no disabilities… There is no evil… There is no death...
The picture of what kind of King Jesus is comes into focus in . Everything converges on the cross. Jesus is the kind of King who fills the gap, who steps into our place and willingly allows Himself to be murdered so that we could have a place in His Kingdom. He is God’s murdered Son who died so that we could live. No other king is like Jesus. No other god is like Jesus.
gives us little detail about what Jesus endured on the cross, and devotes far more words to describing how everyone in this story reacts and responds to Jesus. The focus of the chapter is on the various people around Jesus. Mark wants us to see how they respond to Jesus so that we can be challenged in how we respond to Jesus.
Biblical
Subject
Subject & Text

What’s holding you back?

The Story

1. Pilate was amazed but afraid

Exposition
Mark 15:5 NIV
5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
Mark 15:1–5 NIV
1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.
Mark 15:15 NIV
15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Pilate was amazed by Jesus; but amazement doesn’t equal faith.
Pilate was amazed by Jesus; but amazement doesn’t equal faith.
Mark 15:6–15 NIV
6 Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9 “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” 15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Connection: We’re like Pilate.
Some of us are so amazed by Jesus that we worship Him as our God, but we’re so afraid of what others think about us that we don’t really talk about Jesus or do much to advance His Kingdom.
I don’t want to invite my neighbor to Easter service because they’ll think I’m a Bible thumper!
Some of us have been amazed by Jesus—we think He was a pretty cool guy, a great teacher, a revolutionary, a man ahead of His time, but fear holds us back from accepting Him as God.
If I become a born-again Christian and identify myself in that way, what will my friends and co-workers and family members think? I don’t want to do that and risk my reputation.
If I believe that Jesus really is God, then I have to do what Jesus says, and I’m afraid of giving up control of my life to God.
Application
Let the power of the cross overcome your fear. Does it really matter if your friend thinks your weird? If Jesus suffered the cross for me, shouldn’t I be willing to suffer being thought of as weird for His sake? Whatever your next step with God is, whether choosing to follow Jesus, telling a friend about Jesus, or something else, don’t be afraid to take it!

2. The crowd was disappointed and angry.

Exposition
Mark 15:1–14 NIV
1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate. 2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “You have said so,” Jesus replied. 3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.” 5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed. 6 Now it was the custom at the festival to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did. 9 “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of self-interest that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead. 12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
Mark 15:12–14 NIV
12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them. 13 “Crucify him!” they shouted. 14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
These are the same people who just a few days prior had shouted, “Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!”
Connection: We’re like the crowd.
We expected something from Jesus and He didn’t deliver. We bargained with God, and we think He didn’t live up to His end of the deal. We think it’s not fair when something negative happens to us.
Application
When you’re disappointed, even angry, don’t turn your back on God. Bring your questions, your discouragement, even your anger to God. Look at what Jesus endured on the cross for you! He suffered and died so that you could be forgiven and have eternal life. Let’s not turn our backs on God because He doesn’t do what we think He should.

3. The soldiers mocked and scorned.

Exposition
Mark 15:16–20 NIV
16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
Connection: We’re like the soldiers.
My guess is that not many of us say these kinds of blasphemous, mocking words about Jesus. But how many times do our actions reveal that the attitudes of our hearts are not all that much different than the attitudes of these soldiers?
When we think things like:
“I know what the Bible says, but...”
“I know God wants me to do this, but...”
When we think things like:
“This sin won’t hurt anyone else, so it’s okay for me...”
“I’ll do this in secret and God’s probably not going to notice...”
When we live a life that’s a lie, pretending in one social circle to be a Christian, but in another social circle living like God doesn’t exist.
Application
Don’t mock God by pretending He doesn’t see or care about your actions. God does care about our sin, and Jesus paid for your sin and mine by giving His life on the cross. Sin is a big deal! So when you sin—and you will!— confess your sin, come to Jesus, and be forgiven.

4. The religious leaders were filled with blind arrogance.

Exposition
Mark 15:21–32 NIV
21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. 25 It was nine in the morning when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. 27 They crucified two rebels with him, one on his right and one on his left. 28 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Mark 15:31–32 NIV
31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Messiah, this king of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
Connection: We’re like the religious leaders.
Dusty…
Application
Get over yourself. Don’t be so wrapped up in your own agenda that you are blind to what God is doing right in front of your face. It’s not about you; it’s about God. Let’s respond to Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross by getting over ourselves, and making our lives about Him. If Jesus was willing to die for me, I ought to be willing to live for Him.

5. Joseph lost hope.

Exposition
Mark 15:40–41 NIV
40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.
Mark 15:43–46 NIV
43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
Mark 15:33–47 NIV
33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”). 35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said. 37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. 38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!” 40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joseph, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there. 42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph saw where he was laid.
Joseph of Arimathea hoped that Jesus was going to bring the Kingdom of God to earth; but Jesus was murdered—and so were Joseph’s hopes for the coming Kingdom of God.
Connection: We’re like Joseph.
Application
Don’t lose hope. Stay awake and stay with Jesus.

6. The centurion got it right.

Exposition
Mark 15:39 NIV
39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
How ironic, that the only person in the chapter to correctly respond is a Gentile who’s a Roman centurion! The person you’d least expect is the one who nails it.
Think of someone you know in your family, in your neighborhood, in your workplace, in your school—someone who you would say, “That person would never follow Jesus!” The person you are thinking of who is the farthest away from God of anyone you know, that’s the Roman centurion. Nobody is too far gone for God to save them.
Connection: We can be like the centurion.
No matter how far away from God you are, it’s only one step back.
Application
No matter how far away from God you are, it’s only one step back.

Conclusion

Pilate was amazed but afraid.
Don’t be afraid to run into the arms of the Savior. Come to Jesus.
The crowd was disappointed and angry.
Don’t turn your back on the God who gave His life on the cross for you. Come to Jesus.
The soldiers mocked and scorned.
Don’t live a life that’s a lie, mocking God by pretending that He doesn’t see or doesn’t care about your choices. Turn from sin and come to Jesus.
The religious leaders were filled with blind arrogance.
Don’t be so wrapped up in your own self and your own agenda that you are blind to what God is doing right in front of your face. Humble yourself. Jesus died for you; won’t you live for Him? Come to Jesus.
Joseph lost hope.
When you’re in the midst of despair, pain, and suffering, don’t lose hope. Come to Jesus.
The centurion got it right.
We can too. Acknowledge who Jesus is, the Son of God who brings the Kingdom of God near; God’s murdered Son, a King who died in your place, so that you could have a place in His Kingdom. Believe in Him, and receive Him as your King and your God. Love Him with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength. Come to Jesus.
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