Failing Forward

April 10, 2022

Jesus’ Journey to Resurrection – Part 5
Failing Forward
Pastor Terry Wilcox

Mark 15:1-39

Let’s begin by noting the characters and their responses to Jesus:

  1. The – Mark 15:1
  2. – Mark 15:2-5, Mark 15:15
  3. The  – Mark 15:8-14
  4. The  – Mark 15:16-25
  5. The – Mark 15:29-32
  6. The – Mark 15:27, Mark 15:32b
  7. The – Mark 15:39

If this story was standing alone, it would be a testimony to the worst of human actions: greed, deception, betrayal, brutality, injustice, etc.

He received the spittle of revilers, who, a short time before, with his spittle had cured the eyes of a blind man…He was stripped of his earthly garment, who clothes others in the vestment of immortality…He was given vinegar to drink, who offered the cup of salvation. He, the innocent and just–indeed, innocence and justice itself–is counted among transgressors, and truth concealed by false witnesses. He who is judge is judged, and the Word of God is silently led to the slaughter.
   – Cyprian, Early Church Father

Mark wrote in the context of the Roman Empire, understanding the Roman victory parades, and reveals details we might miss:

Roman Victory Parade

Crucifixion of Jesus

The march began at the Praetorium.

“The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium)

The whole cohort was called together and formed up.

and called together the whole company of soldiers.

The general was clothed in purple, a royal color illegal for those of lower ranks to wear.

They put a purple robe on him,

The general received a victor’s crown.

then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him.

Soldiers announced their allegiance, while placards or signs were carried proclaiming the general’s victory.

And they began to call out to him, ‘Hail, king of the Jews!’ 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…

An official in the parade would carry a double-bladed ax, followed by a sacrificial bull.

Then they led him out to crucify him. A certain man from Cyrene, Simon…was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

They marched through the streets until reaching the Capitoline Hill, or literally, “the place of the head,” at the temple of Jupiter.

They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means ‘the place of the skull’).

The general was offered wine to drink, but he would refuse and pour it onto the altar or the bull.

Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.

The bull was then sacrificed.

And they crucified him.”

“Preacher, this is interesting, but so what?”

  1. The crucifixion reveals the  of sin.
  2. God’s righteous  is satisfied.
  3. God’s love for humanity is verified.
  4. Jesus broke sin’s vicious cycle of  and .
    One Bible scholar calls the crucifixion of Jesus “God’s  failure.”

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