Truly This Man Was The Son Of God (Mark16-39)
Truly This Man Was The Son Of God
Text: Mark 15:16-39
Place Preached - (Mississauga International Baptist Church)
Date Preached - (6/21/98)
Introduction: There never was another man like the Lord Jesus Christ. In all ways He was and is truly unique. His was a unique conception and birth, He was unique in His life and ministry, and He was unique in His death.
Certainly the Roman centurion would not have made the startling confession (startling for a Roman) found in our text, "Truly this man was the Son of God", if it were not for the unusual events surrounding the death of Jesus.
Among other happenings, there was a great earthquake, the rocks were rent, there was darkness at midday, graves of departed saints were opened, and the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom.
These events are not to be explained in naturalistic terms for they are a result of God's supernatural and miraculous power.
Not only were the events surrounding His death supernatural, but the very death of Jesus was itself supernatural.
I. The Suddeness of His Death. Mark 15:44
Normally the victim of crucifixion died a slow and excruciatingly painful death. No vital organ of the body was directly affected and the sufferer lingered on for two or three days.
It was not natural for Christ to be dead after only six hours on the cross.
In this instance the religious leaders called for the hastened death of the three by having their legs broken John 19:31, for they did not want the corpses to remain on the crosses into the sabbath day. (What hypocrisy! they werec oncerned about the tecnicalities of the law, but had just crucified their God.)
And Pilate, probably happy to rid himself of the whole embarassing affair, consented.
The soldiers first broke the legs of the two thieves, but when they came to brake Christ's legs they found Him dead already, so they did not break His legs.
John 19:33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
Mark 15:44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
This is further proof that Jesus actually died, for the soldiers would dare not disobey Pilate's command to break Jesus' legs unless they knew Him for certain to be dead.
This early death is indeed supernatural and confirms the earlier words of Jesus
John 10:17-18 Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. 18 No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of my Father.
John 19:10-11 Then saith Pilate unto him, Speakest thou not unto me? knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have power to release thee? 11 Jesus answered, Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above: therefore he that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin.
We read in vs.37 that He "gave up the ghost".
This sudden death was also necessary to fulfill the prophecy of the O.T.
John 19:36 For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken..
Typified by the passover lamb who was not to have a bone broken.
Exodus 12:46 In one house shall it be eaten; thou shalt not carry forth ought of the flesh abroad out of the house; neither shall ye break a bone thereof.
Numbers 9:12 They shall leave none of it unto the morning, nor break any bone of it: according to all the ordinances of the passover they shall keep it.
II. The Flow of Blood and Water. John 19:34
After realizing that Jesus was already dead, rather than break His legs the soldiers instead pierced His side with a spear and there flowed out blood and water.
Zech. 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
Now the question has been raised as to why blood and water poured from Jesus' side.
It has been suggested that Jesus died of a "ruptured" or "broken heart".
Those knowledgable in medical matters tell us that the flow of blood and water, separate from one another, is evidence that Jesus was already dead and would result from a piercing of the pericardial sac.
Jesus, of course, gave His own life and did not die of a broken heart, but with a broken heart ......
as Psalm 69:20 indicates. "Reproach hath broken my heart; and I am full of heaviness: and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none; and for comforters, but I found none."
It accompanied His death but did not cause it.
The Gospel writers were not so much concerned with the cause of Christ's death as they were the fact of His death, for there were numerous detractors who later tried to disprove it.
The Symbology of the Blood and Water.
There is great theological significance in the two fluids which poured from Christ's side.
Both the blood and the water represent our cleansing from sin.
In the words of hymnwriter Augustus M. Toplady....
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood, From Thy riven side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure, Save me from it's guilt and power.
This was evident in OT sacrifices.
Leviticus 14:51-52 And he shall take the cedar wood, and the hyssop, and the scarlet, and the living bird, and dip them in the blood of the slain bird, and in the running water, and sprinkle the house seven times: 52 And he shall cleanse the house with the blood of the bird, and with the running water, and with the living bird, and with the cedar wood, and with the hyssop, and with the scarlet:
I John 5:6-8 This is he that came by water and blood, even Jesus Christ; not by water only, but by water and blood. And it is the Spirit that beareth witness, because the Spirit is truth. 7 For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness in earth, the Spirit, and the water, and the blood: and these three agree in one.
It is not the centurion's testimony, nor that of Pilate, nor his wife, but the testimony of God that is important. The water and the blood are God's witness of His Son.
The two elements are symbolic of separate aspects of our cleansing.
The precious blood of Christ is that element alone which can wash away our sin.
Heb. 9:22 And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.
I John 1:7 But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.
The blood is that which gives us judicial cleansing. Through it all past sins are forever gone and forgotten by God. We are justified
Rom. 5:9 Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him.
That is we stand before God as if we had never sinned.
Even the worst of sins are washed away by the cleansing blood.
Heb. 7:25 Wherefore he is able also to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.
I like the way A.W. Pink describes the piercing of Jesus on the cross.
"The water and the blood are God's witnesses to His Son, and to the life that sinners may find in Him. It was sin that pierced Him. The action of the soldiers was a sample of man's enmity. It was the sullen shot of the defeated foe after the battle; the more loudly telling out the deep-seated hatred that there is in man's heart to God and His Christ. But it only sets off the riches of that grace which met it, and abounded over it; for it was answered by the love of God. The point of the soldier's spear was touched by the blood! The crimson flow came forth to roll away the crimson sin."
While the blood secures our judicial cleansing, it is the other element, the water, which deals with our practical cleansing or sanctification.
No matter how loudly a man testifies that he is cleansed by the blood of Jesus, if his manner of life, his actions and character contradict his testimony, the world will never believe him.
We need not only to be delivered from the guilt and consequence of sin, we need to be delivered from it's power in this life. This is where the water comes in.
There are two cleansing agents represented by the water.
A. The Word of God.
Psalm 119:9 Wherewithal shall a young man cleanse his way? by taking heed thereto according to thy word.
Eph. 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word,
Jesus spoke to His disciples and said....
John 15:3 Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.
B. The Holy Spirit.
Isaiah 44:3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring:
John 7:38-39 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.
39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)
Conclusion: Those who have in the past witnessed the miraculous supernatural things of the Lord Jesus have given testimony to His true nature.
The Roman centurion exclaimed "Truly this man was the Son of God".
John wrote in I John 1:1-4 That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life;
2 (For the life was manifested, and we have seen it, and bear witness, and shew unto you that eternal life, which was with the Father, and was manifested unto us;)
3 That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.
4 And these things write we unto you, that your joy may be full.
I wonder, how will you respond to the person and work of Jesus Christ? We could spend hour after hour, demonstrating historically, logically, scientifically etc., that in every manner Jesus was exactly who He claimed to be, and yet, people would reject Him. It is not enough for us to hear the testimony of others. We must decide for ourselves. The verdict of your heart, the decision you alone can make will determine your eternal destiny.
One way; only!
The city of Sidney, Australia, has one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. The harbor has but one entrance. The only broad, deep channel lies between two high points of rock known as North Head and South Head. A short distance from South Head there is a depression in the coast line, "The Gulch." It has become known as the ship's graveyard because of the many shipwrecks caused by the pilots who believed the gulch was the entrance to the harbor.
Years ago a ship called "The Dunbar," carrying hundreds of passengers, approached Sidney, Australia, in the darkness of the night. The captain saw the gulch, and believed he was coming into the harbor mouth, before he discovered his error, he heard the terrifying roar of the great waves pounding the rocks. The ship was broken to pieces, and all passengers perished with the exception of one man who was thrown by the waves upon the rocks. The captain believed sincerely that he was following the right channel, but he was mistaken and all was lost. A similar fate awaits those who will not repent and yield to Jesus Christ who is the only way of salvation.