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MARK CHAPTER FIFTEEN
15.1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him Thou sayest it. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. 4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. 5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
A meeting of the minds it would seem, the chief priests, elders, scribes and the WHOLE council met to agree to the killing of the Lord. They hauled him off to Pilate and sought His death. There is bravery in crowds to be sure as it seems pictured here. When crowds gather and someone is stirring the pot, often trouble is the result of the situation. No different with the Lord and his accusers or false accusers might we say?
Christ spoke to Pilate but refused to respond to the false accusers. This amazed Pilate. It might be assumed that the amazement arose from the fact that the Jewish leaders were frothing at the mouth with their falsehood and Pilate knew or at least suspected it to be false and was impressed that Christ did not join into their little game of false accusation. The term translated "marveled" has the thought of admiration within its meaning. Pilate was not taken by the Jews, but admired the Lord for His actions.
So it is at times in church situations. You might be falsely accused but to respond will draw you into a fight that is un-win-able. Once falsehood is unleashed it often is impossible to counter even with the truth. False accusation often results in an innocent party being left with mud on their face and a name belittled.
Many years ago in a small town a woman made accusation against her pastor. He was ready to resign when his church board asked him to stay and told him that they were behind him 100%. He remained on for several months but the damage had been done. Rumors continued to circulate even after the woman admitted her sin and falsehood. The man was forced to resign and leave town due to the circumstance of falsehood.
The word translated council is the word we gain the Jewish council "Sanhedrim" from and is simply a council of the leaders. This was the big guns in Israel, the legislature if you will - the ones that caused things to happen in the country spiritually.
Pilate’s question probably was his attempt to find fault with the man. Had Christ said yes, that He was the King of the Jews there would have been grounds for sedition charges against him for attempting to usurp Roman authority. Since the Lord gave an evasive answer Pilate was left to consider Christ based on the lies of the Jews.
Robertson assumes that the Jews had given this as one of the many charges, though we do notknow if that assumption is correct. It would be impossible for Pilate to over look this charge or fact due to the fact that he himself could well be charged for overlooking such a crime against Caesar.
The trip to Pilate was also part of Roman law, Rome held sway over the death penalty so that the Jews could not just kill Jews that were friendly toward Rome.
6 Now at [that] feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. 7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. 11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Possibly I read too much into this text but it crossed my mind that they were willing to kill the true Messiah, the one that would set up their kingdom, and instead cry for the release of that one who fought the Roman’s. They truly did not understand their Messiah expected. They wanted freedom from Rome more than their Messiah. Not uncommon for lost man I suppose. Reject truth while embracing falsehood.
America today is embracing every falsehood set before them and love it since it feeds their personal desires. The truth of the Word is not to be had since it feeds the spiritual those negative messages of do not or do that, or do this - no do’s and don’ts for us.
The passage mentions that Pilate knew the Jews had brought Christ due to "envy." Now that portion of the equation has not come forth before, though it was pretty obvious as a good part of the Jewish leadership’s problem with Him. He could draw the crowds; He had the pizzazz needed to be a leader at this time in Israel’s life. Of course they were envious of His ability to draw followers. Followers that were no longer listening to the Jewish leaders, followers that were probably no longer giving to the leaders and followers that were finding truth in what the man said. Yes, envy must have been a factor. Even a lost Roman leader could see the inner workings of this mob.
Envy is a terrible thing. It not only causes problems for the one envied but it causes the envier to sin within and often to sin without with overt actions to get back at the envied.
Having been asked as a young seminarian to teach a senior adult class I dove in with all the gustopossible. I had taught the class several weeks and one Sunday I was speaking of service in the church. One of the elders asked what they could do in the church. I responded as devil’s advocate challenging them to tell me what they, the old timers, the has-beens, could do in the church.
The class responded with several dozen items that they were sure that they could do for the Lord in that church body.
No one told me before I took the class that the class was a bunch of do nothings that would balk at any suggestion that they do anything. I went to the pastor with my list with all the excitement of a young person expecting a good response from the pastor.
He looked at me for a long time after he snidely snickered and said that bunch will never to anything and you are foolish to think they will. I protested but was sharply cut off by the pastor and dismissed from his presence.
Within a few hours I was also dismissed from my teaching position and one of the deacons read me the riot act for being one of "Those young seminarians that is going to change the world." I was out of line for stirring the older folks up and a litany of other accusations fit for a young seminarian.
We left the church quite disheartened at our failure - till a few months later when we learned of another "young seminarian" that had been run off from the church for the same reasons. Then in another month or two someone informed us of the three other "young seminarians" that had been run off by the pastor and elders before I stumbled into the church.
Each "young seminarian" had crossed the line with some group in the church - they had started to have a rapport with the folks and were ministering to them. It seemed that the pastor could not stand to have anyone but him minister to the people. His envy was eating him alive. His church did not grow over the years in fact it dwindled to nothing. Yes, envy affects both parties if not contained within.
The saddest part of the entire story is that the pastor was a wonderful pastor, a great Bible teacher and he never realized how important he was to the church body.
16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him and led him out to crucify him.
The other end of envy is humility. Envy is jealousy due to an over inflated opinion of one’s ownpresence. Humility is the lack of willingness to allow self to be the criteria by which one sets one’s opinion of themselves. The Jewish leaders were proud of their position and status while Christ held His in abeyance to His purpose in life. He thought himself to be what He was, the Lamb of God present to take away the sin of the world, not Almighty God to show everyone who He was.
The crowd treated Christ as they desired, but not as He ought to have been. They did not grasp His importance to them nor to the world. They saw Him as a threat to their way of life and they were upset enough to beat Him and humiliate Him.
We find it easy to look at the crowd and condemn them for their actions, yet do we really treat God any better in our lives? Do we honor Him as our Lord and Savior, or do we tend to humiliate Him with our inattention, our lack of response or our lack of interest. God expects these things from the lost but expects more of His children.
The "reed" which is mentioned brings thoughts of a story my wife used to tell of her dear grandmother. When the grand children misbehaved they would be sent to the tree in the backyard to pick a stick for the swatting. They found if they picked a weak and small stick grandma would go to the yard and pick a more appropriate stick for the deed. They found quickly to pick one sturdy enough to do the job or grandma would pick one that would do the job better and more painfully.
The reed could also be translated staff, cane or walking stick so this was not just a reed from the marsh or as we used to say beat me with a wet noodle, but this was substantial and quite painful.
My father was paralyzed from the waist down and walked with two canes to hold him up as he shuffled along. My brother and I slept on a hide-a-bed in the living room. When we would not go to sleep we often horsed around. Mom would holler at us, then come in and scold us, and now and then give us a swat or two. It all was part of the scheduled activities and it seldom slowed our horsing around down. There was, however, one sound coming from the back of the house that would stop all activity and sound and that sound was the shuffling of dad’s feet as he started his long trek out to take care of the foolish brothers. Upon arrival an order was given to turn over and we would feel the sting of one of those canes across our backside. Even if we stopped everything upon that first sound he would not be swayed from his trip to the front room.
The pain was sharp and burning and did not always quickly go away and I would guess the Lord had much more pain than my brother and I.
Oh, it is so easy to speak of the fact that Christ suffered and died for us, but to stop and contemplate the pain, the humiliation and the mockery. Then to further comprehend the pain that He went through in the beatings and the crucifixion. To contemplate these things with any seriousness should move the contemplator to a desire to serve this One that gave and suffered so much for us.
Matthew also records that they knelt down before Him in phony worship. Dressing Him inscarlet, giving Him a scepter and kneeling before Him in mockery, they knew not that one day they will kneel once more before Him knowing what they did to Him and knowing that He truly was the true Messiah and that they had mocked Him to His face.
It is not a good thing to look the Messiah in the eye and tell Him that He is a phony baloney. Some compassion should be held for these poor souls that were so mistaken or so misled. They will not have a pleasant time before the Lord in judgment. (Romans 14:11 "For it is written, [As] I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God. 12 So then every one of us shall give account of himself to God." Philippians 2:10 "That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth; 11 And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father." See also Isaiah 45:23) This will not be a good day for these folks unless the Father’s grace was extended to them in salvation at a later date.
It is not impossible that some of the tears that the Lord will wipe away will be shed over seeing poor souls such as these being condemned to an eternity of punishment. (Revelation 21:3 "And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. 4 And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away)"
Put yourself in the Lord’s place for a moment. You know that death awaits, yet they prolong that death and suffering by turning you over to the crowds for suffering and pain. Capital punishment seems to be the Lord’s standard for the world, but there is no need of prolonging that agony with other activities. If it is to be done, do it quickly.
21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Simon was minding his own business and they made him take up the cross for the Lord evidently the beatings had taken a serious toll on the Lord’s physical being. We are not told who the "they" were, but since it was the Roman soldiers that were given the orders it would seem that they were the ones that picked Simon.
That would have been some interruption to one’s life. In town to run some errands and you get loaded down with a cross to carry out to the place where they killed the criminals.Simon is specifically identified as being a Cyrenian and the father of Alexander and Rufus. This may have been for identification from all the other Simons that were around. Gill mentions some detail: "They found a man of Cyrene: a place in Libya, and one of the five cities called Pentapolis: which were these, Berenice, Arsinoe, Ptolemais, Apollonia, and Cyrene .... There were many Jews dwelt here, as appears from Acts 2:10, as this man was a Jew, as his name shows; and besides, there was a synagogue of the Cyrenian Jews at Jerusalem, Acts 6:9, so that though he was a native of Cyrene, he might now dwell there, and some of these were converted to the faith of Christ; for of those that were scattered abroad at the death of Stephen, some were men of Cyrene, Acts 11:19. And it is very likely, that this man was a favourer of Christ, which might be one reason why they laid hold on him, and obliged him to bear the cross of Christ; since he was the father of Alexander and Rufus, who were men of note among the first Christians:"
Gill mentions that Christ was stoned just outside the Sanhedrim however I find nothing in the text to indicate this. This might reveal why Christ needed someone to carry His cross, but it is an assumption as near as I can tell.
The term translated "Golgotha" is a transliteration and the term translated "skull" is the Greek word from which we gain our term cranium. Golgotha simply means a knoll. Several commentators suggest that this was the place where the Jewish leaders killed those that they condemned.
Gill presents this picture of Golgotha: "that is to say, a place of a skull: some say Adam’s skull was found here, and from thence the place had its name; this is an ancient tradition, but without foundation (m): it seems to be so called, because it was the place where malefactors were executed, and afterwards buried; whose bones and skulls in process of time might be dug up, and some of them might lie scattered about in this place: for, one that was executed as a malefactor (n), "they did not bury him in the sepulchres of his ancestors; but there were two places of burial appointed by the sanhedrim; one for those that were stoned, and for those that were burnt; and another for those that were killed with the sword, and for those that were strangled; and when their flesh was consumed, they gathered the bones, and buried them in their place; i.e. in the sepulchres of their ancestors."
Not only did they give Him false worship while they were beating Him but they further declared who He was by telling everyone present, in their ignorance, who He was. "And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS." Not that they knew that all they did was truth, nor did they give this information knowingly and truthfully, but in reality their falsehood and mockery told the world what they were too ignorant to know - this was the King of the Jews come to set up His kingdom on earth, yet they rejected and made a mockery of His presence among them. Well, rather normal for man - reject truth and embrace falsehood.
27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. 29And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
We see the priests and leaders calling Him Christ, the king of the Jews and crucifying Him in a manner consistent with prophecy. They either missed this completely or they did it on purpose to further mock Him. Either way they were showing their complete ignorance of Him and His authenticity.
Oh the self-control that the Lord must have been using. They are mocking Him in a way that really would boil most of us right over the edge of the pot and when our emotions hit the burner it would just sizzle and fry.
They were attacking His personal character and calling Him a liar, one thing most of us would not tolerate, yet the Lord tolerated this as well as the humiliation of being hung among thieves and being crucified for doing nothing more that existing.
When the personal attacks come, silence is often the best response. It lays the heckler out flat for their best shots are falling on deaf ears. Of course they will probably further their attack behind your back while telling others how wasted you were by their attack. Silence will give them nothing further to use against you.
Many years ago in the middle of a business meeting I was falsely accused but the accusation was so terribly ridiculous I just smiled and went on with the discussion. My wife and I were pastoring a small church that had been planted by other pastors in the area. We had moved at our expense to the town and were renting a large enough home to meet in but the room was becoming cramped due to growth.
My wife and I thought it might work well if we would buy a house that was larger with a large basement to meet in and we could live in it as well. We thought then that when we left for another ministry we could just sell or give the house to the church for a parsonage. I presented this to the church body and one of the members spoke up and said that he thought I felt that the present meeting place was beneath our housing standard and that I was just trying to lead the church into a bigger NICER house that I would be more satisfied with.
He did not know the house we were in was provided by the Lord, it was the first house that we had ever lived in as a family (only apartments before) and we felt terribly blessed to have been in this nice house already for over a year.
My wife was sitting on the front row with the children. I looked over and tears were streaming from my wife and my small children looked like their dad had just been skewered with a lance. As mentioned this was such a ridiculous comment that I just smiled and moved on. I had nothing that would come to mind to respond to such an off the wall comment."He saved others; himself he cannot save." Ah the irony of it all, He is about to save all mankind by giving Himself and they are still stuck on the physical and have no clue spiritually what is going on in the situation that they have created. Oft times it seems that Satan and his minions are so very clueless. In their rush to get the Messiah out of the way they do not know that they are sealing their own fate by their final downfall. They were totally defeated at the cross even though they are allowed freedom for awhile to test the saints and spin their webs of cleverness that can never succeed.
Christ set his total dominion over the earth in the death on the cross and the Devil has no further say in his "superiority" over God - he is not and that was proven by Christ’s victory over death and the provision of salvation for all mankind, if only they will receive that salvation.
"Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days," Ah more sweet sweet irony. They taunt Him with His own words as He is fulfilling those very words and they show their complete lack of understanding of what He said at the temple. He is going to raise Himself up in three days, not the temple that has not been destroyed. He spoke of His body, not the building though He could certainly have done that as well. In fact one might wonder if there will be a literal fulfillment of the building in the end time as well.
"I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands." Mark 14:58 This passage speaks of Christ doing the destruction not Romans in 70 AD thus this was not fulfilled with the destruction of the physical temple. It is possible this is a prophecy for the end times but obviously it is a prophecy of his physical body being destroyed but His having a new body not made of hands.
33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 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? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
The term translated "reed" here is the same word used of the people beating Christ with a reed giving good evidence that it was more than a small reed but more on the order of a staff or cane. The man lifted up the spunge with the reed, which would require some strength as well as length to lift the heavy sponge up to the Lord.
The people thought that He was calling for Elias or Isaiah to come and save Him from the cross. This was simply a comment to His Father in His time of pain and loneliness. Just what is meant by "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?" is much discussed in theology classes across the nation and world, but there is no definitive answer to the question. Let us see what different men have said of the phrase.
Wesley: "Thereby claiming God as his God; and yet lamenting his Father’s withdrawing the tokens of his love, and treating him as an enemy, while he bare our sins."
Henry also follows the thought that the sin of the world was upon the Lord at this point making Christ feel as though abandoned. He puts it this way: "Because in this especially he was made sin for us; our iniquities had deserved indignation and wrath upon the soul (Romans 2:8), and therefore, Christ, being made a sacrifice, underwent as much of it as he was capable of; and it could not but bear hard indeed upon him who had lain in the bosom of the Father from eternity and was always his light. These symptoms of divine wrath, which Christ was under in his sufferings, were like that fire from heaven which had been sent sometimes, in extraordinary cases, to consume the sacrifices (as Leviticus 9:24; 2 Chronicles 7:1; 1 Kings 18:38); and it was always a token of God’s acceptance. The fire that should have fallen upon the sinner, if God had not been pacified, fell upon the sacrifice, as a token that he was so; therefore it now fell upon Christ, and extorted him from this loud and bitter cry."
I think there is a bit of error mixed into Henry’s comments such as "as he was capable" indicates Christ took upon Himself all that He could stand - however He took upon Himself all that was due, every whit of it, not just what He could stand to take. He suffered for the sins of the world in total not in part.
Gill waxes eloquent on the subject but does not really give us the answers we seek. He suggests that this was the Lord human speaking not the divine. This may be but this is not clear from the Scripture.
The Lord human was definitely not separated from the Lord divine, the statement was related to God the Father being separated from Him. Gill relates this to the separation of the lost from God in Hell. That is of interest, but does not really relate because the lost will still see separation from God in Hell. The Christian was saved from this fate, so not sure why you would need Christ separated from God the Father even if it were possible within the Godhead which it is not.
This was Christ (both human and divine) speaking. Had God forsaken Him in the sense that we understand it? Was there a separation between the Son and the Father? Both seem rather impossible as we understand the Trinity.
We need to understand this within the context of Christ being totally God and totally man, not two entities tied up in one container. He was both at once, not both at different times or some blended mix of some sort.
Clarke mentions: "Some suppose "that the divinity had now departed from Christ, and that his human nature was left unsupported to bear the punishment due to men for their sins." But this is by no means to be admitted, as it would deprive his sacrifice of its infinite merit, andconsequently leave the sin of the world without an atonement. Take deity away from any redeeming act of Christ, and redemption is ruined. Others imagine that our Lord spoke these words to the Jews only, to prove to them that he was the Messiah. "The Jews," say they "believed this psalm to speak of the Messiah: they quoted the eighth verse of it against Christ - He trusted in God that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him.
(See Matthew 27:43). To which our Lord immediately answers, My God! my God! etc , thus showing that he was the person of whom the psalmist prophesied." I have doubts concerning the propriety of this interpretation."
He also presents the thought that the words might be interpreted slightly differently to produce a different conclusion to the words of the Lord. "The words, taken in this way, might be thus translated: My God! my God! to what sort of persons hast thou left me? The words thus understood are rather to be referred to the wicked Jews than to our Lord, and are an exclamation indicative of the obstinate wickedness of his crucifiers, who steeled their hearts against every operation of the Spirit and power of God. See Ling. Brit. Reform. by B. Martin, p. 36.
"Through the whole of the Sacred Writings, God is represented as doing those things which, in the course of his providence, he only permits to be done; therefore, the words, to whom hast thou left or given me up, are only a form of expression for, "How astonishing is the wickedness of those persons into whose hands I am fallen!" If this interpretation be admitted, it will free this celebrated passage from much embarrassment, and make it speak a sense consistent with itself and with the dignity of the Son of God." He continued to support my thought that there is no possibility of a division within the Godhead thus there must be a different meaning to the text and I would heartily concur. His explanation seems to be the better of all options read to this point in time.
Barnes submits the usual line of thought which this author has been taught through reading and classes over the years. This line of thinking has never really given me a proper understanding of the text whereas Clarke’s thinking seems more the logical. I will allow the reader their own struggle with understanding this text.
"Eli, Eli ... - This language is not pure Hebrew nor Syriac, but a mixture of both, called commonly "Syro-Chaldaic." This was probably the language which the Saviour commonly spoke. The words are taken from Psalms 22:1.
"My God, my God ... - This expression is one denoting intense suffering. It has been difficult to understand in what sense Jesus was "forsaken by God." It is certain that God approved his work. It is certain that he was innocent. He had done nothing to forfeit the favor of God. As his own Son - holy, harmless, undefiled, and obedient - God still loved him. In either of these senses God could not have forsaken him. But the expression was probably used in reference to the following circumstances, namely:
"1. His great bodily sufferings on the cross, greatly aggravated by his previous scourging, and by the want of sympathy, and by the revilings of his enemies on the cross. A person suffering thus might address God as if he was forsaken, or given up to extreme anguish."2. He himself said that this was "the power of darkness," Luke 22:53. It was the time when his enemies, including the Jews and Satan, were suffered to do their utmost. It was said of the serpent that he should bruise the heel of the seed of the woman, Genesis 3:15. By that has been commonly understood to be meant that, though the Messiah would finally crush and destroy the power of Satan, yet he should himself suffer "through the power of the devil." When he was tempted Luke 4:1-44, it was said that the tempter "departed from him for a season." There is no improbability in supposing that he might be permitted to return at the time of his death, and exercise his power in increasing the sufferings of the Lord Jesus. In what way this might be done can be only conjectured. It might be by horrid thoughts; by temptation to despair, or to distrust God, who thus permitted his innocent Son to suffer; or by an increased horror of the pains of dying.
"3. There might have been withheld from the Saviour those strong religious consolations, those clear views of the justice and goodness of God, which would have blunted his pains and soothed his agonies. Martyrs, under the influence of strong religious feeling, have gone triumphantly to the stake, but it is possible that those views might have been withheld from the Redeemer when he came to die. His sufferings were accumulated sufferings, and the design of the atonement seemed to require that he should suffer all that human nature "could be made to endure" in so short a time.
"4. Yet we have reason to think that there was still something more than all this that produced this exclamation. Had there been no deeper and more awful sufferings, it would be difficult to see why Jesus should have shrunk from these sorrows and used such a remarkable expression. Isaiah tells us Isaiah 53:4-5 that "he bore our griefs and carried our sorrows; that he was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities; that the chastisement of our peace was laid upon him; that by his stripes we are healed." He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us Galatians 3:13; he was made a sin-offering 2 Corinthians 5:21; he died in our place on our account, that he might bring us near to God. It was this, doubtless, which caused his intense sufferings. It was the manifestation of God’s hatred of sin, in some way which he has not explained, that he experienced in that dread hour. It was suffering endured by Him that was due to us, and suffering by which, and by which alone, we can be saved from eternal death."
There is much discussion relating to the work of the Lord on the cross. Some suggest that He suffered what we suffered had we gone to hell; however there is no real proof of this. He saved us in some manner from that fate, however it is not stated that He took our punishment upon Himself. Indeed if the picture of the Old Testament sacrifice is related to the Lord’s own we see that the lamb did not suffer the fate of the saint, it only died and shed its blood, which in fact the Lord Jesus Christ did for each one of us. He died and His blood was shed, no more is required of the Lord to save us.
Others point to the fact that the Lord went into hell to suffer our punishment - no there is no indication of this. He died in our place, He shed His blood for atonement, but there is no indication that He suffered hell for us. Just a point of logic, how could one suffer millions of eternities in hell for all mankind in a few hours in the grave? The requirement for sin was the sacrifice of another - an animal in the Old Testament, and God in the case of the New Covenant - this is clear in the book of Hebrews. The emphasis is on the shedding of blood, not suffering torment for the saint.
Did He suffer on our behalf? Definitely, in beatings, in humiliation and in death, but He did not suffer the fires of hell for an eternity so that I would not have to. As I type these thoughts the general teaching on this subject over the years seems more and more polluted. It is clear that we have been misled and it is quite possibly due to the misinterpretation of the Lord’s words in this text.
Let us list some items and see if we can gain some overall understanding of the work on the cross.
There is the fallen nature often called the sin nature. There is the death physical that was part of the curse upon Adam. There is spiritual death. There is the second death. There is suffering in hell. There is atonement. There is Christ’s death. There is Christ’s shedding of blood.
Just how do all of these items relate to one another? Let us see if we can work through these one at a time and relate them to one another if they are indeed related.
THERE IS THE FALLEN NATURE OFTEN CALLED THE SIN NATURE. This in my mind was dealt with at the cross for all of mankind. All Old Testament people died and went to Abraham’s bosom (often called Sheol) according to Luke 16:1-31. Christ took the saints out of this location after His work on the cross indicating that the Old Testament saints were not complete in their salvation in some manner. I would relate this to their lack of regeneration a work of the Spirit that could not take place until the provision of the cross. Their salvation was completed at the cross so that they could go to be with God after that completed work.
The fact that the Old Testament lost were in the same location as the saints, though in a separated area, indicates that they were in similar circumstance - they were not yet ready for eternity indicating that they also awaited the work of the cross in some manner. This would be that eternality of nature that the work of Christ did on the cross.
Chafer once said something along the line that Christ did everything to make us as if Adam had not fallen. I believe that this is correct. This work of the cross gave all of mankind the same possibility of benefit, though some would accept the completion of that work via salvation and others would reject it.
It would be my contention that the cross work gave all mankind eternal existence, though the quality of that existence would be based upon their belief or non-belief in God. We see in theRevelation that all areas will be emptied into the Lake of Fire that final resting-place of the Devil and his own. This is in the context of the Great White Throne Judgment. Revelation 20:14 "And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. 15 And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."
Another reference to this is found in the same book a tad later and lists some of the types of people involved clearly showing lost souls. Revelation 21:8 "But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death."
Since the saint does not have a part in this second death we must assume that is one of the items covered in the work of the cross. Since this second death is to the spirit of the lost person and the saint has no part in that death, then one of the benefits of the cross and our belief in Christ is to avoid the second death.
Now let us move on to the point of the sin nature. This would seem to be that which would keep one from eternal existence. Since the lost were retained in a holding pattern with the saints would indicate a purpose. If they were to be lost/annihilated they would have been gone in a flash at the time of their death. Instead they were retained in Abraham’s bosom for some purpose. They are still retained there awaiting the Great White Throne Judgment.
Thus post cross the lost today when they pass into death automatically have eternal existence though that existence will be most miserable.
The question is do they have the lost nature in this life? It would seem quite so, though they can shed it with simple belief and acceptance of God and His Word as do the saints which claim the work of the cross. Another way of looking at this is that they are by nature lost.
The loss of the old nature or sin nature at the point of salvation seems quite clear when Paul mentions 2 Corinthians 5:17 "Therefore if any man [be] in Christ, [he is] a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new." "New creature" seems quite definite. It mentions new creature, not a mixture of an old creature and a new creature into a new/old creature, but a NEW CREATURE. Romans 6:6 also mentions "Knowing this, that our old man is crucified with [him], that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should not serve sin." Either we are crucified with Him or we are not. We are free to serve Him totally, though none will choose this path of operation due to our self-centered bent to please our own desires rather than His.
We are free of that old nature. Take a simple illustration. Nature means that which makes up the item. If you take a glass of milk it has a nature that makes it milk. If you stir in some poison you no longer have an item that has the nature of milk, you have an item that has the nature of poisoned milk. You do not have a container partially filled with milk and partially filled with poison. In man how can we understand that before salvation we have a fallen nature totally corrupt, then we are made new by salvation - how can you logically or Biblically understand this to mean that God added a new nature to your being while leaving the old. We are not a containerwith an old nature and a new nature; we are a "new creation." We as to nature are new, not a mixture of new and old. The work of the cross either changed us completely or it did not.
Either we are made just as Adam was before he fell or we are not. A mixture that wars between its natures is totally illogical and in my mind unbiblical. If you would like further study on this read my work on regeneration and if you reject my thinking then offer a better answer to the questions that my thinking answers so fully.
There is the death physical that was part of the curse upon Adam. Now this one is not so clear. Adam fell and part of the curse was physical death. If Chafer is correct then are we not free from this "first death" that he gained due to his sin? Are we to understand that he would have lived forever had he not fallen? No, there was located in the garden the tree of life. If he would have lived forever why would there be a tree of life to eat from? He was facing physical death over time, but his physical death that was part of the curse seems to have been a quicker much more eminent and guaranteed death. Had he failed to eat of the tree of life he would have died it would seem.
Now we have mentioned that Chafer said that we were made to be as Adam before he fell. Notice in the book of Revelation when is says in Revelation 22:2 "In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, [was there] the tree of life," and in 22.14 "Blessed [are] they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life , and may enter in through the gates into the city." It seems that we will have the same access as Adam did before he fell.
THERE IS SPIRITUAL DEATH. Spiritual death is that final "second death" that the lost must enter into. It is the eternal state of the lost. It is the horrible state of the dead that Michelangelo depicted in the Sistine Chapel. If you have time go onto the Internet and search for the work and take some time to just study it and consider the ramifications of what the man portrayed. It depicts the horror of the lost spirits being ferried to hell in boats. It is not a pretty picture and might even help you to realize just what it was that Christ did for you on the cross.
This is wrapped up in the tree of life and the death that was pronounced upon Adam and Eve. They were removed from the tree of life so were bared from further physical life and the change in their nature guaranteed their part in the spiritual/second death to come.
THERE IS THE SECOND DEATH. This is covered in the section just prior.
THERE IS SUFFERING IN HELL. This is the result of the spiritual/second death. It is described as darkness, fire, loneliness and not pleasant conditions. The Lord pictures it when He referred to the Jerusalem City dump, which was constantly ablaze. His listeners knew when He spoke of hell that it was going to be worse than being cast onto the city dump and suffering for eternity.
Some suggest that this is not eternal, that it is only a temporary place of purification or that it only pictures the final annihilation of the being. These are great theories, which might bring comfort to some, but they are not Biblically based.THERE IS ATONEMENT. Some suggest that this is "at one ment" or that it is an act on the part of one that brings two back together. Man and God were going different directions, but with the work of the cross man could once again face God face to face - based on belief. The cross brought the possibility of man and God facing one another to a reality if only the man would accept the work of Christ.
In Exodus 29:35 the term is used of purifying the alter. There is a part of atonemenet that makes one pure and ready to face God and it also allows God to turn to that which is pure. Exodus 30:15 speaks of the people bringing money to atone for their souls. Exodus 32:30 ff speaks of atonement in relation to sin and Moses asks God to blot him out of His book if the Lord will not forgive the people.
Moses suggests the idea of substition in relation to the people’s sin and consequence. He is willing to be lost for their safety. Christ actually did this for all mankind on the cross.
Romans 5:10 ff speaks to the New Testament concept of atonement. "11 And not only [so], but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. 12 Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned:"
The passage is clear that Adam sinned, death came due to that sin, and that death was passed upon all men.
Reconciliation or satisfaction is also the idea of atonement. It is making man right with God though it is based and is conditional upon man’s belief.
THERE IS CHRIST’S DEATH.
A good question to begin with is this; did Christ’s death itself accomplish anything for man?
Was it the death, the shedding, or the blood that was the item which brought benefit to man. This, from my understanding, was part of the problem some years ago with one of the popular pastors in our country that submitted that it was the shedding, not the blood itself that was beneficial. In my mind it is semantics, as long as that which was needed was done. Whether the liquid was beneficial or not will take a deeper discussion than we will take on here. Besides, that discussion was done some years ago and probably in a better manner than I could do it.
The requirement of the Old Testament set in the garden was death and shedding of blood. When the first couple sinned they discovered their nakedness and covered themselves. God shortly gave them coverings of skin that was the first shedding of blood to cover the sin of man. The requirement did not change. During the Law the requirement was the same; an animal of perfect condition was to be offered.
We know from the book of Hebrews that this was a temporary remedy for it was not adequate to the requirement, but it allowed the Old Testament believer to have some standing with God even though his salvation was not complete until the cross. Many dispute this concept but to do someans that God had to deficit spend until the cross so that the Old Testament saint could be saved. He had to save them on the basis of what was not yet done.
Some suggest that in God’s mind the cross had happened and that the Old Testament saint was as saved as we are. If you can jump through those illogical entanglements feel free to accept their theories. The Old Testament saint was not complete in their salvation, only made acceptable so that they could enter Abraham’s bosom rather than the nearby place of torments. When the work of the cross was finished the Lord went to Abraham’s bosom and took those saints to be with the Father where we will go when we pass from this life. This is also why the Lord had to "go" before He could send the Spirit. The Spirit could not indwell the souls of men who were not complete before the Father.
Some suggest that Christ must die in our place. Is it the death or the shedding of blood? It would seem death was the requirement in that this was the requirement in of the Old Testament sacrifice. Does the death have some purpose in providing for the saint? It must or it would not have been the requirement.
One point of note is that Adam’s curse, which in part was death, is not immediately related to the death of the sacrifice though linked. Physical death is part of that overall consequence of sin and thus related, but does not make the two equals. The death of the cross was death for all that relates to Adam’s sin and Adam’s physical death is a part of the consequence of his action.
In a sense Christ did overcome the physical death aspect in that He made provision for our resurrection. We still must go through that transition from this life to the next but it is immediate and assured.
THERE IS CHRIST’S SHEDDING OF BLOOD. This was the finished "once for all" sacrifice of God on the cross for mankind. All that will believe will be saved from their lost condition which includes their fallen nature, their past sin, their future sin, their well deserved eternity in hell, and their physical death/resurrection from the grave.
Hebrews 10:10 declares "By the which will we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once [for all]. 11 And every priest standeth daily ministering and offering oftentimes the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins: 12 But this man, after he had offered one sacrifice for sins for ever, sat down on the right hand of God;"
This passage gives us information on two fronts. It was the offering of His body that was efficacious and it was definitely once for all. Be sure to note one time as well as for "ALL."
"The Calvinist brethren, and I do believe them to be brothers in the Lord even though they would not admit to the reverse of that, can begin to jump through their illogical hoops to get wrapped around the clear word of God. :-)
It would seem from the context of this passage that it was not only the offering of His body, but later was also the offering of His blood on the heavenly alter that completed this work. There is also clarity that sins, plural were taken care of at the cross. The removal of sin is part of that great doctrine of reconciliation. There is the removal of the sin nature as well as the removal of sins which allows God to turn to man in the giving of salvation.
There is, whether measurable or not, a sequence to the whole of salvation. My theology online deals with the sequence of events. Now, this is not a sequence as the reformed doctrine tells it. They would have us believe that regeneration occurs then sometime in the future the rest of salvation will happen, whenever the person believes. This is partially why many reformers baptize infants. Others suggest that when John the Baptist squirmed in his mother’s womb was the occasion of his regenerated then much later he believed.
Salvation in my mind is in an instant - all of it, yet within that instant there is actually a sequence. Some parts of salvation must occur before others can.
THERE IS FORGIVENESS OF SINS. This occurs when you believe. It is part of the work of the cross - the death and offering of the blood on the heavenly alter. This gains our past forgiveness and assures future forgiveness as we confess our sins according to 1 John 1:9 "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us [our] sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."
The lost on the other hand will answer for their sins, past, present and future as well as pay for their lack of caring for their sin nature by belief. This is indicated when Revelation speaks of them being judged by their works at the resurrection. Their activities will be their judge as to how they will suffer in the Lake of Fire. All are lost, but there seems to be some manner of "according to their works" as well. Much like the believer whose works will be tried by fire to see which are good and which are bad.
BENEFITS/COSTS OF THE CROSS/SALVATION:
FREEDOM FROM THE SECOND DEATH for the saint. ASSURANCE OF THE SECOND DEATH for the lost.
LOSS OF THE OLD NATURE through salvation for the saints. RETENTION OF THE SIN NATURE through rejection of Christ for the lost.
GAIN OF A NEW NATURE FOR THE SAINT. LOSS OF A NEW NATURE FOR THE LOST.
ACCESS TO THE TREE OF LIFE FOR THE SAINT. LOSS OF ACCESS TO THE TREE OF LIFE FOR THE LOST.
EXCUSE FROM THE SECOND DEATH FOR BELIEVERS. ACQUISITION OF THE SECOND DEATH FOR THE LOST.
PROVISION OF SALVATION FOR THE SAINT.CONVIRMATION OF ETERNAL PUNISHMENT FOR THE LOST.
FORGIVENESS OF PERSONAL SIN FOR THE BELIEVER. LACK OF PROVISION FOR THE PERSONAL SIN OF THE LOST.
There were three hours of darkness. This was not a normal occurrence or Mark would not have mentioned it. Matthew, Mark and Luke all record this event and all mention that the darkness was over the land. It might be assumed that all three writers were indicating the land that was involved - Israel, not the surrounding countries however we will see in a moment that this may not be correct.
It would seem that this darkness was somewhat symbolic of the spiritual darkness of the land that had rejected their Messiah. He had come to take them unto Himself in His kingdom but they had rejected His teaching as well as His person. Darkness is the result spiritually and physically. The Jews had sought a sign and now that He had given them one, they still did not catch the implication of this man and His life or death.
Matthew Henry relates this occurrence to Old Testament prophecy. "Now the scripture was fulfilled (Amos 8:9), I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and I will darken the earth in the clear day; and Jeremiah 15:9, Her sun is gone down while it is yet day."
Gill mentions that he had been on the cross since nine in the morning and that the darkness started at noon and ended at three in the afternoon. He also suggests that this was an extended eclipse of the sun. A total eclipse would do the trick but a normal one would not last three hours. This was a supernatural occurrence whether an eclipse or not.
Gill further suggests that the darkness was over the whole of the Roman empire since there are several mentions of the unexplained darkness recorded by secular historians in the realm. These mentions would indicate that he is correct. He mentions "moreover, it was over all the land, or earth, as the word may be rendered; and the Ethiopic version renders it, "the whole world was dark"; at least it reached to the whole Roman empire, or the greatest part of it; though some think only the land of Judea, or Palestine, is intended: but it is evident, that it is taken notice of, and recorded by Heathen historians and chronologers, as by Phlegon, and others, referred to by Eusebius (d). The Roman archives are appealed unto for the truth of it by Tertullian (e); and it is asserted by Suidas, that Dionysius the Areopagite, then an Heathen, saw it in Egypt; and said "either the, divine being suffers, or suffers with him that suffers, or the frame of the world is dissolving."
If the darkness was over all the earth, the eclipse theory would not fit, but rather a supernatural darkening of the sun which was obvious over the entire "lighted" portion of the earth.
"And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost." This indicates that Christ gave His life on His terms not the terms of the Romans, Jews or the cross. He gave up the ghost.
"And gave up the ghost" is one Greek word. It is a verb and is in the active voice indicating thatit was Christ’s action of giving. The word relates to breathing out or breathing out your last breath.
Robertson quotes Augustine ""He gave up his life because he willed it, when he willed it, and as he willed it""
Robertson continues with a quote from Stroud relating to the physical cause of the death of Christ - that the loud cry was one of the proofs that Jesus died of a ruptured heart as a result of bearing the sin of the world. (As mentioned prior to this that whether He actually suffered the punishment for our sin or not is not clear.)
The phrase may just mean that He breathed His last. The synoptic Gospels follow the same active voice but all could mean either that He specified the occurrence, or that He simply died. Since throughout the trials and His actions it is clear that He chose the time of his end and there is no need to think that He did not also choose the exact instant of His death. Indeed, this was the hour for the killing of the Passover lamb, thus if he did choose His time - well what irony.
"And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom." Top to bottom would indicate that this was God doing the tearing, not man. At the least this was a picture of the putting away of the Old Covenant and the beginning of the New. Man did not have to access God through the priestly system any longer, but on the other hand had free access to God on His own.
Matthew records that other supernatural things were also going on. There was earthquake rending of rocks as well as the rending of the veil. This was not just the veil that a woman would wear, but was a heavy curtain. You can find more about it in the Old Testament description of the tabernacle.
"And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God." The Centurion must have noticed something remarkable in what is recorded otherwise he would not have made the declaration that he did about the Lord’s son ship.
Some might suggest that the man had no idea what he was saying, that he would have viewed Caesar as God. This might be true but there is no indication that anyone considered Christ a relation to Caesar, nor did Caesar have a "son" as god in the theological sense of Caesar worship.
Matthew records that there were other soldiers with him and it seems all were in agreement as to the son ship of the Lord. It should be assumed that these men had observed the "trials" and had seen the Lord’s actions through it all. This likely was part of their evaluation of the Lord and the truth of His claims.
It is also probable that the men had seen many people on the cross and their deaths. The whole scene may have brought them to the conclusion that the Lord was truly different.It is not of any small note that the Lord’s death had immediate results - the quake, the open graves and the tearing of the veil. We do not know how much of this the soldiers observed, but had they witnessed any of it the impression would be that this was not just another Jew hanging on the cross, but someone special.
Robertson observes that the text could easily be translated "a son of god" rather than "the son of god" indicating that the soldiers realized He was out of the ordinary even though they may not have known just who Christ was.
It is doubtful that they understood Christ to be the son of God as we do, but rather as someone super special, someone that carried Himself in an excellent manner and someone that died an honorable death even though seemingly innocent to them. It would be clear to them that after the fact when they heard of the temple veil and opening of graves that they would have really wondered at who this man really was. Some suggest that the hill of the crucifixion was surrounded by graves of those killed on the crosses of the past. It is quite possible that they observed some of these graves opening.
Just what we should make of the immediate results of the cross might be an interesting study. What else occurred at that moment? Was salvation’s provision beginning in mankind? We know that some items were probably not completed until the Lord offered His blood in the heavenly tabernacle. When this occurred is not known either. It is recorded that He did not want anyone touching Him until He had ascended unto the Father, but what relation that has to the offering in the tabernacle is not clear either.
I would suggest the following sequence, but only as a suggestion for thought.
Death on the cross Quake Rending of the veil Opening of the graves Burial Going into Abraham’s bosom to preach Resurrection Going to the heavenly tabernacle and offering Salvation completed for the Old Testament saint and provided for all others Going to Abraham’s bosom to take the saints to heaven Ascension to sit with the Father
40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the daybefore the sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
Women had followed Him to Jerusalem and they were at the cross. One might wonder where they stayed during this time. It might be possible that they were involved in preparation and serving of the Last Supper. Verse forty-one might back this thought up in that they had followed and served Him in Galilee.
Matthew 27:55 mentions that there were "many women" not just a few. "And many women were there beholding from afar, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:" In verse forty-one Mark also mentions this.
This probably relates to the opposite that was not true, that there were many men. We know that Peter denied the Lord and it would seem that the apostles had been absent if not afar off. There evidently had been no men who had followed from Galilee either.
Now, you women’s libbers hold onto your dander here, there is nothing sexist in what I am going to say. Women have always been servers in the Lord’s service. They tend to take that humble position to do what they can for the Lord. Many churches would falter if not for the women who serve behind the scenes. Often they are the cleaners and the providers of the needs of the church. Often this is their choice, not their position.
This is not to say that serving is the only thing women can do in the church for they are also fine teachers of children and serve well on committees for preparing for the on-going’s of the church.
This is not to say that men cannot "serve" in those same capacities and often do within the church. I served with a man who had been president of a Bible Institute. His philosophy of service was "If you see something that needs doing, then it is your responsibility to do it." This philosophy caused students and faculty to see him picking up trash, mopping floors and cooking in the dinning hall. Anything that needed doing when he passed by was HIS job.
Oh that men and women in our current church would adopt that same philosophy.
Joseph of Arimathaea sought the body of the Lord. His going at this time is related to the fact that the Sabbath was coming and the body needed to be taken care of - probably because bodies on the cross on the Sabbath was not allowed.
Pilate was shocked that Christ was already dead. This is another strong indication that the Lord not only allowed Himself to be arrested, did not defend Himself and did indeed choose the exact time of His own death - a giving up of His spirit rather than it being taken from Him when He died a natural death.Joseph may have been a member of the Sanhedrim since the term "counselor" is used of members of that body of men. At any rate a man of noble character and high position in some body of men. A man who Pilate may have known or at least he respected the position of the petitioner.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Evidently the women were still a bit afar from the happenings with the Lord since it is mentioned that they observed where He was buried, but were evidently not a part of that burial.
Joseph surely had some respect for the Lord since he took the effort to see to His burial and used fine linen for the purpose.
Maybe a side note to burial. What we go through in our country is near barbaric in nature. To cause families to go through the viewing, the funeral and the burial, all drawn out processes that only prolong the reality of death. It is a natural course in our lives and nothing to be feared since it is rather automatic and we do not have to do a thing to be sure it occurs.
We have bought into the ritual put upon us by the funeral directors need to make a living. The casket, the vault, the never ending stream of costs and time to draw out a process that has already occurred. The person is dead, gone, and not coming back, face it and get on with life.
The world makes us feel that a full funeral is the only way to have a going away, when in reality a quick burial and it can be over. My father was crippled and doctors wanted his body for science to see if his spinal cancer might have been caused by his injuries. He used to joke with us, that way when they are done with me they will cremate me and send me back and you can go out with a posthole digger and bury me without all the cost.
That did not occur but that older generation had a better view of death and burial than this current generation. My wife and I have decided that we will be cremated and buried without a funeral that way we will not be embarrassed when no one comes to our funerals :-)
Maybe if the lost saw that believers did not fear death as they do there might be some stirring in their minds about the Christ that overcame the grave. At least believers in recent years have changed to memorial services where it is more of a celebration, though there is still a large emphasis on the dieing, rather than the resurrection to life with the Father in heaven.
Copyright 2008. Used by Permission. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopy, recording or otherwise without the prior permission of the author, except as provided by U.S.A. copyright laws. Do feel free to make copies for friends that might be interested as long as you do not make profit from the copies. This is God's work and I don't want anyone to profit from it in a material way.
Derickson, Stanley. "Commentary on Mark 15". "Derickson's Notes on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20