Hebrews 11

Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted   •  Presented   •  2:11:26
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Verses 16-20

Soldiers = Pilate’s bodyguards
Governor’s headquarters = Praetorium - Pilate was the chief magistrate and this is his courthouse.
Battalion/Garrison - 600 soldiers
Clothed Him in a purple cloak...
They are doing this to humiliate Jesus who had already been mocked for being the Messiah by the Jews that blindfolded Him and hit Him in the face and told Him to prophesy as the Christ as to which one hit Him. Don’t forget that by this point Jesus has been fully mistreated. He has been beaten up and mocked by the Jews, beaten and scourged by the Romans and now mocked by them for being the King as they put on Him a purple cloak or robe. The cloak itself was probably the old rags of a soldier who’s uniform cloak had become too faded and holy to be used any longer.
crown of thorns - In those days a king like Caesar would wear a deep purple robe and have a crown of gold that looked like a wreath of leaves.
began to salute Him “Hail King of the Jews” - This was another mockery. In those days a person would great Caesar by saying “Hail Caesar!”
“Oh, that we were half as inventive in devising honor for our King as these soldiers were in planning his dishonor! Let us offer to Christ the real homage that these men pretended to offer him.” (Spurgeon)
they were striking His head with a reed - In Matthew’s account we learn that they first gave the reed to Jesus to hold as if it were a king’s scepter to add more humiliation...
Matthew 27:29 ESV
29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
spitting on Him - kept spitting on Him
kneeling down in homage to Him - The Romans were masters at causing humiliation and suffering. Perhaps with all of the tension between the Jews and the Romans during Passover and the events of the morning they were taking their frustrations out on Jesus more so than usual and trying to entertain themselves by being extra abusive to Him since He was a Jew.
By this point Jesus has lost massive amounts of blood, He is no doubt dehydrated, His skin is sensitive to even the wind blowing on it, and the purple cloak they put on Him that will stick to His skin as the blood begins to dry, yet they will rip that off of His body, not to mention He has been spit upon, yelled at, has now had a crown of thorns beaten into His head. Jesus has up to this point been tortured and traumatized in almost every way possible. It really brings understanding to what Isaiah the Prophet wrote about Jesus some 600 years earlier.
Isaiah 52:13–14 ESV
13 Behold, my servant shall act wisely; he shall be high and lifted up, and shall be exalted. 14 As many were astonished at you— his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
Isaiah 52:14 (CSB)
14 Just as many were appalled at you— his appearance was so disfigured that he did not look like a man, and his form did not resemble a human being—
Isaiah 50:6 ESV
6 I gave my back to those who strike, and my cheeks to those who pull out the beard; I hid not my face from disgrace and spitting.
led Him out to crucify Him - This was very much about making a public spectacle of whoever was being crucified. The Romans would make the man about to be crucified march through the streets as if in a parade. They would be forced to follow a centurion who rode on a horse in front of them who would shout out their crime against Rome. This caused the people to fear Rome even more and acted as an advertisement or invite to come and watch the crucifixion that was about to take place.
It was a a way that Rome made a statement that they were in charge and that there would be a tortuous price to pay for anyone who crossed the Roman authorities.
It really gives deeper meaning to what Jesus said back in chapter 8...
Mark 8:34 ESV
34 And calling the crowd to him with his disciples, he said to them, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.
You see those sentenced to crucifixion would be forced to carry the cross member of the cross that they were to die on. The victim would typically have their hands tied to the cross so as not to escape the weight of it (yet another humiliation and terrorizing aspect of the Romans). The entire cross is estimated to be around 30LBS, while the shorter horizontal cross member the victim carried was estimated anywhere between 75 - 125 LBS. To add insult and humiliation to this the victim was usually stripped naked so that they would be fully exposed to those watching the mini parade on the way to the place of crucifixion.
The vertical beam of the cross it is said was usually placed in a permanent location next to a major travel road or on a high place in or near a city so as to be a constant reminder that Rome was in charge and would crucify any who defied Caesar.
So even though this may be a new idea in the text for us, those vertical cross beams have been standing on Golgotha/Calvary this whole time waiting for this moment and many times before this moment Jesus had seen and passed by them knowing what was awaiting Him.
But certainly you know what was on Jesus mind and heart as all this was happening to Him? -
You and I were.
This is love in action!

Verses 21-23

Simon of Cyrene (North Africa 800 miles away) who was probably there for Passover, was ordered to carry Jesus cross. No doubt because of shear exhaustion from the last few days and hours.
A Roman soldier had authority to force any Jew to carry the cross member or to carry anything else really...
Matthew 5:41 ESV
41 And if anyone forces you to go one mile, go with him two miles.
Simon of Cyrene -
Mark 2. Jesus Is Led to Golgotha (in Latin, Calvary) (21–23)

“His name was Simon: and where was that other Simon? What a silent, but strong rebuke this would he to him. Simon Peter, Simon son of Jonas, where wast thou? Another Simon has taken thy place. Sometimes the Lord’s servants are backward where they are expected to be forward, and he finds other servitors for the time. If this has ever happened to us it ought gently to rebuke us as long as we live. Brothers and sisters, keep your places, and let not another Simon occupy your room.” (Spurgeon)

Father of Alexander and Rufus - Simon and his sons had become well known enough that they are all mentioned in such a way that the reader is implied to know them. Interestingly there is if you remember in the closing greeting of the book of Romans mention of a man named Rufus...
Romans 16:13 ESV
13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well.
That doesn’t mean it’s the same Rufus, just something to point out.
It is interesting and intense that in verse 20 it says “they led Him out to crucify Him.” but in verse 22 it now says “they brought Him”.
Some have noted that it seems by the wording that Jesus was so injured and tired that He could no longer walk on His own and had to be “brought”.
The word in the Greek used for brought is phero and means “to cause to move to a place, with a possible implication of assistance or firm control”
Golgotha - which means the place of the skull also know as Calvary in English from the similar Latin word.
There are 2 major geographic locations that have been thought to be this Golgotha. One is where the Church of the Holy Sepulcher is and the other is what is called Gordon’s Calvary named after Major-General Charles George Gordon of which we have a picture of on the wall.
Place of the skull - There’s a few ideas about the meaning
Is it the place where they staked skulls
The place that was smooth and round on top like a skull
The place that looked like a skull
Wine mixed with myrrh -
Mark 2. Jesus Is Led to Golgotha (in Latin, Calvary) (21–23)

“According to an old tradition, respected women of Jerusalem provided a narcotic drink to those condemned to death in order to decrease their sensitivity to the excruciating pain … This human practice was begun in response to the biblical injunction of Proverbs 31:6–7: ‘Give strong drink to him who is perishing, and wine to those in bitter distress; let them drink and forget their poverty, and remember their misery no more.’ ” (Lane)

He did not take it - Jesus was to fully drink the cup of God’s wrath for our sin without having any numbing effect of the cup of man’s pity of wine and myrrh.

Verses 24-26

They divided His garments - Although written many hundreds of years before the crucifixion, Psalm 22 gives some very specific details about this event. As Jesus is fully surrendered to the Father’s will we see Him perfectly fulfilling some of those prophetic words such as...
Psalm 22:18 ESV
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots.
They crucified Him: In 1968, scientists for the first time discovered the remains of a man crucified in Jesus' era. The victim was nailed to the cross in a sitting position, both legs over sideways, with the nail penetrating the sides of both feet just below the heel. The arms were stretched out, each stabbed by a nail in the forearm.
Dr. Nico Hass, Hebrew University anatomy professor says that this was "a compulsive position, a difficult and unnatural posture," evidently to increase the agony of the sufferer.
This corrects the traditional picture of the crucifixion, with both palms nailed to the cross, and the legs stretching straight down with a nail piercing the feet frontally.
What was it like to be crucified? In days the New Testament was first written, the practice needed no explanation. Centuries later, we do well to appreciate just what happened when someone was crucified.
In 1986, Dr. William Edwards wrote an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association titled “On the Physical Death of Jesus Christ.” Here are some quotes from his article
["Although the Romans did not invent crucifixion, they perfected it as a form of torture and capital punishment that was designed to produce a slow death with maximum pain and suffering." (Edwards)
The victim's back was first torn open by the scourging, then the clotting blood was ripped open again when the clothes were torn off the victim. When he was thrown to the ground to fix his hands to the crossbeam, the wounds were torn open again and contaminated with dirt. Then, as he hung on the cross each breath made the painful wounds on the back scrape against the rough wood of the upright beam.
When the nail was driven through the wrists, it severed the large median nerve going to the hand. This stimulated nerve produced excruciating bolts of fiery pain in both arms, and could result in a claw-like grip in the victim's hands.
Beyond the excruciating pain, crucifixion made it painful to simply breathe. The weight of the body pulling down on the arms and shoulders made it feel like you could breathe in but not out. The lack of oxygen led to severe muscle cramps, which made it even harder to breathe. To get a good breath, one had to push against the feet and flex the elbows, pulling from the shoulders. Putting the weight of the body on the nail-pierced feet produced searing pain, and flexing the elbows twisted the hands hanging on the nails. Lifting the body for a breath also scraped the open wounds on the back against the rough wooden post. Each effort to get a proper breath was agonizing, exhausting, and led to a quicker death.
"Not uncommonly, insects would light upon or burrow into the open wounds or the eyes, ears, and nose of the dying and helpless victim, and birds of prey would tear at these sites. Moreover, it was customary to leave the corpse on the cross to be devoured by predatory animals." (Edwards)]
Death from crucifixion could come many different ways:
- Acute shock from blood loss - Suffocation from being too exhausted to breathe - Dehydration - Heart attack, induced by stress - Heart rupture from congestive heart failure
However, if the victim did not die quickly enough, his legs were broken and he was soon unable to breathe.
How bad was crucifixion? We get our English word excruciating from the Roman word "out of the cross." "Consider how heinous sin must be in the sight of God, when it requires such a sacrifice!" (Clarke)
In Jesus' own day, crucifixion was known to be a horrible practice, yet the Romans used it as their main form of execution for non-Roman citizens. No Roman citizen could be crucified except by direct order of Caesar; it was reserved for the worst criminals and lowest classes.
The Roman statesman Cicero said: "It is a crime to bind a Roman citizen; to scourge him is an act of wickedness; to execute him is almost murder: What shall I say of crucifying him? An act so abominable it is impossible to find any word adequately to express."
The Roman historian Tacitus described crucifixion as "a torture fit only for slaves."
The King of the Jews -
John tells us that Pilate had this written and it upset the Jews even more…
John 19:19–22 ESV
19 Pilate also wrote an inscription and put it on the cross. It read, “Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.” 20 Many of the Jews read this inscription, for the place where Jesus was crucified was near the city, and it was written in Aramaic, in Latin, and in Greek. 21 So the chief priests of the Jews said to Pilate, “Do not write, ‘The King of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘This man said, I am King of the Jews.’ ” 22 Pilate answered, “What I have written I have written.”
"Hebrew was the theological language; Greek the intellectual language; and Latin the political language. Let those who view things theologically; let those who view things intellectually; let those who view things politically know this: Jesus is King." (Courson)

Verses 27-32

Two robbers...
Luke 23:32–43 ESV
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
Derided - as in they mocked Him like children do
Even the lowest of the low mocked Jesus and yet because of His great love for mankind, He endured the cross despising the shame.
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