Lesson 163 - MARK 15:33 MARK 15:33 And when the sixth hour (noon) was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour (3 PM). Lk 23:45 And the sun was darkened... In the darkness and for three more hours Jesus hanged on the cross in agony. What happened during that time? Jesus became sin for us. The penalty for every sin, every ugliness, every wickedness, every perversion that had ever been committed or ever would be, came upon Him, as if He had committed those sins. His innocence remained for He had no sin, but the LORD laid on Him the iniquity of us all. (1 Peter 2:22,1 John 3:5,1:5, 2 Cor 5:21, Heb 4:15, Isaiah 53:6) He bore our transgressions, everyone's iniquities. He was wounded for our transgressions; He was bruised for our iniquities. . . for the transgression of my people was He stricken. . . He shall bear their iniquities. *(Isaiah 53:5,8,11) He took the sin of all mankind upon Himself, so that He come become the Lord and Savior of anyone and everyone who would accept what He had done for them, the payment of His life for theirs. He took our sin, so that we could have His righteousness. He took our hell, so that we could have His heaven. He gave up all He had, even His fellowship with God, so that any who believe could be brought into the fellowship and family of God. Whosoever will may come. *Iniquity is inner root of sin that which resides in the heart, and transgression/sin is the deed produced by the iniquity. (Matthew 15:19, 12:34, contra Rom 10:10, Eph 6:6) Both the root and the fruit were addressed at the cross. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" Jesus had never been alone. There had always been sweet fellowship between His Father and Him. This was the cry of our Savior Who experienced total aloneness for our sake, so that we would never have to be alone. Jesus, becoming sin for us and taking our place on the cross, experienced this heart-wrenching forsaking, but knew His Father had promised that, when the work of redemption was finished, Jesus would be resurrected to glory and honor. "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?" This question is answered in Psalm 22:3: " But You are holy..." These words spoken by Jesus were a fulfillment of prophecy written by David in Psalm 22. In fact, this psalm is a graphic picture of death by crucifixion: bones out of joint, profuse sweating, intense suffering, strength exhausted, extreme thirst from the loss of blood, the hurting heart. Even though God may have turned His back in this moment, the Father never gave up loving His Son for carrying out the plan and purpose of redemption, which the Son had volunteered to do before the foundation of the world. (Isa 6:8, 1 Peter 1:18-20) The analogy that comes to mind is the unconditional love that a judge, whose son has been convicted in his court, would feel; the judge must carry out the sentence, but the father never stops loving his son. What were Jesus' thoughts? Psalm 22:2,8 may give light to this question: O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent...Be not far from Me, For trouble is near; For there is none to help. Jesus prayed. That is verified by His later response prophetically given in the same psalm's verse 21: You have answered Me. Toward the end of Psalm 22, (and you should read the whole chapter), in verse 28, there is a passage similar to the Lord's prayer in Matthew 6: For the kingdom is the LORD'S and He is the Governor among the nations. This sounds like: Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven...For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory . . .In this crucial time, Jesus sustained Himself with prayer and praise, so that He was able to triumphantly declare at three o'clock: It is finished. Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit. (John 19:30, Luke 23:46) The end of His suffering came at three o'clock, the time of the evening sacrifice when the Passover lamb was killed. Jesus was our Passover Lamb. (For indeed Christ, our Passover, was sacrificed for us. 1 Cor 5:7), but He was more than that. John the Baptist declared it from the beginning: "Behold the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world." (John 1:29) The prophet Isaiah under the leadership of God the Holy Spirit described it this way: But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, ...all we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, ...He was taken from prison and from judgment,...for He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken. Take time to praise our wonderful Savior. Lesson 164 - MARK 15:34-36 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? 
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge 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. 
What time of the day was the ninth hour? Three o'clock pm (the Jewish day started at 6 am)...the time set for the evening sacrifice; the time when the Passover Lamb was killed. At the same time, that lamb was being given in remembrance of God's redemption of the Hebrew people from their enslavement and oppression by Pharaoh in Egypt, the Messiah 's life was being given for the redemption of all mankind. Jesus paid the price to redeem man and He was the Way for all who would believe on Him to be translated from the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of the Light. ( Isa. 9:6, 1 Peter 1:18-21, John 14:6, Col 1:13) Verse 34 was discussed in the previous lesson, so we will look at the next verses: And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a sponge 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. Jesus cried out with a loud voice. You'd think there would be no mistaking what He said. Notice the response to Jesus' words: some stand there and analyze--He must be calling for Elijah to rescue Him--and analyze incorrectly what He said. The world is filled with people who still do that. They take what God has said clearly and twist it into something He has not said. Notice these vultures speak immediately, indicating they think their thoughts superior to anyone else's. They knew Elijah the prophet was to come before the Messiah, but they did not realize he had come-- in the person of John the Baptist. (Matt 11:10-14) The Word is given correctly and clearly, but they do not process it correctly. Therefore, they interpret it totally wrong and then speak it aloud, influencing others in their conclusions. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished that the Scripture might be fulfilled, Jesus then said, "I thirst." (John 19:28:) In that crowd of hardened souls, there is one with some compassion. This man goes to some trouble to help Jesus: runs to get a sponge, fills it with vinegar, puts it on a hyssop reed long enough to reach to Jesus' mouth to quench some of the thirst produced by His blood loss from the seven places on His body that bled (head--bloody sweat in garden-capillaries hemorrhaging, crown of thorns; back-- stripes; hands; feet; side). This man had a somewhat tender heart, but was influenced in his thinking by the others, yet he did not let that constrain him. He offered what he could to lend comfort to this dying Man and told the others, "Let alone." In doing this kindness, the man unknowingly supplied the necessary part for the Scripture given in Psalm 69:21 to be fulfilled: "...In My thirst, they gave Me vinegar to drink." (By the way, that verse indicates the two times Jesus was given drink while on the cross: the first mixed with an opiate, He refused (Matt 27:34); later, the second, pure vinegar, He accepted.) Thus Jesus fulfilled this prophecy concerning the Messiah. In Matthew 27:49, we see the response of the vultures to this one giving aid and comfort to Jesus: "Let be, let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him." Jesus didn't need saving. He was the Savior. He was doing and finishing the work He had been sent to do. They were the ones needing saving. The very ones who put Him on the cross were the ones He had come to save, if they would believe. Jesus finished His work; Paul finished his work; we must finish our work, so that we can say with Paul, "I have fought a good fight; I have finished the course; I have kept the faith." (2 Tim. 4:8) We accomplish this by letting Jesus be Lord each day, each moment of our lives. Lesson 165 - MARK 15:37-41 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 
 Before Jesus dismissed His Spirit, He declared, "It is finished," (John 19:30), completing what He had proclaimed throughout His life here. (Lk 2:49: And He said to them, "Why did you seek Me? Did you not know that I must be about My Father’s business?". . . John 4:34 Jesus said to them, "My food is to do the will of Him Who sent Me, and to finish His work . . . John 17:4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.) By the way, "It is finished," is what the high priest would say at the end of the evening sacrifice, which happened at three o'clock. So, as the priest was slaying the Passover lamb at the temple area, the Lamb of God was slain on the cross, and just as the priest was saying, "It is finished" in the temple area, Jesus cried out, "It is finished!" at Golgotha. The covenant the Word of God had made with the Father, the promises He had made to Him before the world began, were completed at the cross. (Rev 13:8,1 Peter 1:19-20) Jesus' faithfulness, His steadfastness, His loyalty, His humility, His obedience, His patience, His meekness and more, brought Him to this moment and He was victorious in finishing the work and mission He had come to do. These are the qualities we, as His followers, will learn and exhibit, as the Holy Spirit transforms our souls. (Matt. 11:29) Notice the Scripture states "He cried with a loud voice." At the end of this ordeal, being dehydrated, exhausted from the beatings, scourging, and having spent nine hours of greater agony on the cross, Jesus still is given the strength to shout with a loud voice a victory declaration, "It is finished!" Whatever you are going through, you will be given the strength to get through it. . . I can do all things through Christ Who strengthens me." (Phil 4:13) Jesus' triumphant cry can be translated, ‘paid in full’ from the original Greek text. This is the picture of a victorious overcomer, a conqueror who has not been defeated, but knew He had won redemption's prize, paid in full by His own life's blood. (Heb 12:1-2) Jesus paid the full price to redeem us. He gave His life to purchase us out of the slave market of sin, to redeem us. (Gal. 1:4) We are redeemed: from the curse of the law (Gal. 3:13), from the law of condemnation (Gal. 4:5, 2 Cor. 3:9, Rom 8:1), from all iniquity (Titus 2:14), without money (Isaiah 52:3), by the precious blood of Christ ( 1 Peter 1:18), to God (Rev 5:9), to be His people (2 Sam. 7:23). " ...with the LORD there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption. "(Ps 130:7) O give thanks unto the LORD, for He is good: for His mercy endures for ever. Let the redeemed of the LORD say so, whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy. . .(Ps 107:2) After His declaration that redemption's plan was finished, Jesus then prayed aloud, "Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit," and having done thus, He gave up the ghost (Old English word for spirit-soul). This was both a prayer of dismissal for His spirit-soul and of trust in His Father's choices for His future. What a Savior! Praise Him! Lesson 166 - MARK 15: 39-41 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. 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; (who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. " the centurion" Matthew's account in Mt 27:51,54 reveals the centurion was not the only one who recognized the difference in this crucified Man....and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; . . . 
Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, 'Truly this was the Son of God.' The soldiers' reaction was quite different from their previous scorn: (Luke 23:36-37) The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, and saying, "If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself." Perhaps they, like one of the crucified thieves, came to his same realization: But the other (thief), answering, rebuked (the second thief), saying, "Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong." (Lk 23:40-41) These hardened Roman soldiers had been struck by the Light of Truth. No doubt, they had much to consider as they finished their duties on that hill. (John 19:31-37) "There were also women looking on afar off" I assume Mary the mother of Jesus is not mentioned here because, when Jesus died, John the apostle immediately took her to his home as Jesus had instructed. (John 19:25-27) "many other women" His closest disciples were not with Him at the end; the women, many of whose names are not listed, remained to the end. It is a credit to their courage and love that they stayed with Him, even though their sorrow was great and they knew death was coming. It is a credit to those loving spouses, sons and daughters, other family, and friends who remain steadfast to their loved ones who go through difficult, even horrendous times. Among those today who profess Christ as Savior, some will fade away, returning to their self-centered and soulish lives. Only those who are truly committed to Jesus Christ as their Lord will be steadfast to the end, will finish their course, and keep the faith, to the honor and glory of God. Lesson 167 - MARK 15:42-46 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, Joseph of Arimathaea, an honorable counselor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. And Pilate marveled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 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. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where He was laid. "Joseph of Arimathaea" Matt. 27:57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. Luke 23:50-51 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. John 19:38 After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. From these verses and others, we find this information about Joseph: he was from Arimathea (known also as Rama, a town in the Judean hills northwest of Jerusalem; he was honorable, a member of the Sanhedrin, the ruling government and supreme court of the Jews; he was wealthy; he had at some point become a disciple of Jesus, perhaps after conversations with Nicodemus, a fellow council member (John 3); he was characterized by the Holy Spirit as "a good and just man," who waited "for the kingdom of God;" and he had not been party to the vote against Jesus or the move to crucify Jesus (Matt 26:59-66, Lk 23:51). At a time when most of Jesus' disciples were afraid, Joseph of Arimathea boldly requested an audience with Pilate to secure the body of Jesus for burial, perhaps so that none of the Jews could insist the Lord's body be treated with dishonor, either being burned or buried in a location designated for executed criminals. The request for the body of Jesus surprised Pilate, for he knew that crucifixion deaths usually took many hours, not the six that had passed since he had sentenced Jesus. Shortly before this, he had ordered the legs of the men on the crosses to be broken to hurry up their deaths, so that the Jews could keep the sabbath, but Jesus had already died before the soldiers had begun to carry out this command, so Jesus' legs were not broken, thus fulfilling two things: a requirement for the passover lamb, and a prophecy made hundreds of years previously. (Ex 12:46, Deut 21:22-23, Ps 34:20, John 19:31-37,1 Cor 5:7) Joseph's request for Jesus' corpse caused Pilate to seek a confirming death certificate of sorts from the centurion overseeing the crucifixion. And Pilate marveled if He were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether He had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. (Mark 15) On the way from Pilate's palace to Golgotha, Joseph purchased fine linen, and with the help of soldiers and servants, no doubt, removed the body of Jesus from the cross, carrying it to his own garden burial tomb nearby. Nicodemus, a high-ranking ruler of the Jews, helped Joseph wrap the body of Jesus in the linen, adding burial spices that he had purchased. [These may have been as much as 75 pounds of spices in today's measures, costing several thousand dollars. (John 19:39-40)] John's gospel is the only one to mention Nicodemus in reference to Jesus' burial, as well as to record his discussion with Jesus, and his defense of Jesus before the chief priests, officers of the Sanhedrin, and the Pharisees. (John 3, 7:40-53) These two men endangered themselves and their standing with the Jews by this move, had it been discovered, but they had come to understand the Truth and wanted to walk in it. (I wonder if they were in the group of 120 that waited for the coming of the Holy Spirit in power in the upper room at Pentecost. Acts 1:12-15) "and laid Him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock" The other gospels reveal that the sepulchre where Jesus' body was taken was a new tomb, where no person had laid, located in a garden. (Mt 27:60, Lk 23:53) In fact, it was Joseph's own tomb, which he had intended for his future use. By giving this to Jesus, Joseph unknowingly fulfilled prophecy in the Book of Isaiah concerning the death and burial of the Messiah. For He was cut off from the land of the living; For the transgressions of My people He was stricken. And He made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death...(Isa. 53:8-9) "and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre" Joseph and his helpers hurriedly put a large hewn stone in place, which was employed to keep animals and grave robbers from getting to the body of the deceased. They had to finish before the start of the sabbath which precluded all work of any kind. (Mt 27:60, John 19:42, 31) Two women, Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James and Joses took note of the sepulchre's location and sat there in their grief for awhile. They would return after the sabbath, expecting to anoint the body for burial. (Mk 16:1) Matthew 27:62-66 records that the chief priests and Pharisees approached Pilate to seal the tomb of Jesus until the third day, lest His disciples steal His body and then claim He was risen. Jesus had prophesied many times of His resurrection, a promise made to the Son of God by His Father when They made the covenant of redemption before the foundation of the world. (1 Peter 1:19-20) Pilate told them to provide their own guards, which they did. They also sealed the stone to prevent any break-in.

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