Jesus died on the cross
[John 19:30; Mark 15:42-46]
Last Sunday was observed as Palm Sunday. Palm Sunday is said to be Palm Sunday based on the word of welcoming Jesus with palm branches. Jesus would enter Jerusalem ahead of the feast. That feast was the Passover. In other words, Passover is the Feast of Unleavened Bread. Then, 50 days later, there is the Feast of Pentecost or Weeks or Harvest. Then there is the Feast of Tabernacles (Jn. 7:2). The Feast of Tabernacles was called the Feast of Ingathering in the Old Testament (Exod. 23:16; 34:22). The Israelites, wherever they were, went up to Jerusalem to observe these three great feasts. There were only a few people living in the city of Jerusalem, but at many times, about 2 million people gathered in the city of Jerusalem to celebrate the festival. So, when Jesus entered Jerusalem during the Passover feast, many people came out to greet Him and entered the city, waving palm branches and shouting “Hosanna” (Mt. 21:9, 15; Mk. 11:9-10; Jn. 12:13). That's what happened on Palm Sunday, and today, on Friday of Passion Week, I want to think about what Jesus did.
What Jesus did on Friday appears in all four Gospels, so today I'm going to think about it centering on the words of Mark 15. Look at Mark 15:1 – “Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.” Here, “Early in the morning” would be around 6:00 in the morning. At that time, the chief priests were in a hurry, so “immediately” they consulted about Jesus with the elders and scribes, the most powerful Sanhedrin. And they bound Jesus and took him away and handed him over to Pilate, the Roman governor. Look at Mark 15:2 – “Pilate questioned Him, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ And He answered him, ‘It is as you say.’” Pilate interrogated Jesus and asked, “Are you the King of the Jews?” The reason is because when the Jewish chief priests accused Jesus that He was a self-proclaimed king. Jesus' answer was, "It is as you say." Because Jesus is the King of kings, He answered like this. Look at Mark 15:3 – “The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.” So the chief priests made several accusations, but somehow they accused Jesus of claiming to be a king and accusing Him of various crimes. Look at Mark 15:4-5: “Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, ‘Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!’ Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.” Pilate asked Jesus again, ‘Why do you not have a word of excuse when people accuse you of so many different things?’ (v. 4), but Jesus was silent (v. 5)
One thing we need to think about here is that on Palm Sunday, so many people welcomed Jesus who entered Jerusalem with palm branches, but here in Mark 15, the question is why do they accuse Jesus and even try to kill Him? The reason is because the Jews' view of the Messiah was wrong. The Old Testament prophesies that the Messiah (Christ), the Son of God, will come, and when the Messiah (Christ) comes, these Jews expected Him to become their King, liberate them from the Roman Empire, and make peace and live a prosperous life. However, Jesus, the King, did not come to liberate them from the Roman kingdom and make them live in peace and prosperity, as they expected. As the King of kings, He came to save us from the kingdom of Satan so that we can enter the kingdom of God and live forever. So these people thought that Jesus would deliver them from the Roman kingdom, but they did not expect such a Christ who was captured and tried by the Roman governor, so they turned around and called out to crucify Jesus. Look at Mark 15:13-14: “They shouted back, ‘Crucify Him!’ But Pilate said to them, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they shouted all the more, ‘Crucify Him!’” As a result, Pilate whipped Jesus and handed Him over to be crucified in order to satisfy the crowd (v. 15). The Roman soldiers mocked Jesus, insulted Him, and dragged Him out to crucify Him (vv. 16-20).
Mark 15:22-25 says, “Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. It was the third hour when they crucified Him.” The Roman soldiers brought Jesus to Golgotha (the place of the Skull) and crucified Him. It was "the third hour", and Jesus was crucified at 9:00 am on Friday in our time. Look at Mark 15:33-34: “At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’--which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?’” Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9:00 am, but until “the sixth hour,” that is, 12:00 pm, Jesus suffered only in the scorching sun. And from 12:00 pm, darkness came over the whole land, and at 3:00 pm, Jesus, who had been silent until then, cried out, “Eli, Eli, lama, sabachthani” (meaning: “My God, the God of Gods, why have you forsaken me?”). In this way, Jesus was forsaken by Heavenly Father. Jesus gave a loud cry and died (v. 37). If we look at Luke 23:46, we can see what Jesus cried out: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When he had said this, he breathed his last.” Look at Mark 15:38 – “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” When Jesus died after saying with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit” (Mk. 15:37; Lk. 23:46), the veil of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom (Mk. 15:38). There were two veils in the sanctuary. If we look inside the sanctuary, there are the sanctuary and the most holy place, and there was a veil at the entrance from the sanctuary to the most holy place. Another veil was the veil between the holy place and the holy of holies. The veil here was woven with the finest yarn. The veil was woven with blue, purple, and scarlet yarn and fine twined linen. So it was as thick as the back of my hand (2 cm). No one could tear this veil. They embroidered the front of the veil, and three cherubim (angels) were embroidered. The meaning is that no one can enter the holy of holies without permission because the angels are guarding it. The reason is because the holy of holies was a place that symbolized God's presence. So, the reason why the holy of holies was blocked with a veil was because it was the place where the holy God dwells, and anyone who enters without permission will die. So, they were guarding the sanctuary so that the angels could not enter. However, only once a year, when it was atonement, only the high priest could enter the holy of holies after performing the purification ceremony for himself and the Israelites. When Jesus died on the cross, the veil was torn in two from top to bottom. Then, the place where Jesus was crucified and died is the hill of Golgotha, but how did he know that the veil was torn in the sanctuary inside the city? At that time, it was 3:00 pm, and it was the time when the priests came out and were offering sacrifices. So, in Acts 3:1-8, one day at three o’clock in the afternoon, during prayer (v. 1), Peter went up to the temple and said, “Walk in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth,” and grabbed the right hand of the cripple man and the crippled man jumped up and began to walk. So, at that time, the priests were in the temple at 3:00 pm, so it was possible to know that the veil was torn. Then the question is who tore the veil? It was God. God spoke, God commanded, and the veil to be torn (commentators). Then the question is, what does the tearing of the veil mean? Look at Hebrews 10:19-20: “Therefore, brothers, since we have confidence to enter the Most Holy Place by the blood of Jesus, y a new and living way opened for us through the curtain, that is, his body.” The writer of Hebrews says that the veil is the body of Jesus Christ. The body of Jesus Christ was nailed to the cross and died. So, the veil of the sanctuary was torn. Just as the veil of this temple was torn so that people could enter and leave the holy of holies, Jesus died on the cross so that we could go to the holy of holies where God is and God could come to us. Now, even when the holy God comes to us, the reason we do not die is because we have become God's children. Therefore, thanks to the blood of Jesus, we have gained the courage to enter the holy of holies and to come before the holy God. When we think of having lived for a week, our conscience has a lot of remorse, we are so ashamed of our lives, and we dare not approach God. But thanks to the blood of Jesus Christ, we can boldly move forward. Look at Hebrews 4:16 – “Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.” This ultimately refers to coming before the throne of God in the heavenly kingdom where God exists. But not only that, but it also says that we are now moving before God. Today on Sunday we worship God in the chapel, but we must go before God and worship. In order to do so, our souls must boldly go before God and meet God thanks to the blood of Jesus. We can go to God at all times in prayer to obtain grace to help in time of need. The reason is because the veil was torn because Jesus shed his blood and died on the cross. Our prayers come before God and pray to God, so God answers our prayers.
Mark 15:42-45 says, “It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph.” Here, “Preparation Day” refers to the day of preparation for the Passover. This day refers to Friday as the day before the Sabbath. Here, “Joseph of Arimathea” was a member of the Sanhedrin and was a man of high rank and authority. Here, Pilate saw many people crucified and died, so he knew that those who were crucified did not die within 6 hours, but usually stayed alive for 2-3 days before dying. However, when Jesus died at 6 hours and Joseph of Arimathea asked for the body of Jesus, Pilate couldn't help but wonder if Jesus had already died (v. 44). So, Pilate called the centurion and asked if he had been dead for a long time (v. 44). After Pilate found out from the centurion, he gave the body of Jesus to Joseph (v. 45). But when Jesus died, the robbers crucified on either side were still alive. The reason is because the crucified man was alive for at least two days. So, the soldiers went and broke the legs of the two men who had been crucified with Jesus (Jn. 19:32) and killed them and gave the bodies. To check, he pierced His side with a spear, and blood and water came out (vv. 33-34). That is why the body of Jesus was given. And Nicodemus, who had visited Jesus at night, also brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about 33 kg, and Joseph and Nicodemus took the body of Jesus, smeared it with spices according to the Jewish burial custom, wrapped it in linen cloth, and laid it in Joseph's tomb. (vv. 39-40). In this way, on Friday, Jesus was finally buried in the new tomb of rich Joseph. And on the Lord's Day, Jesus overcame the power of death and was resurrected.
In the end, Jesus fulfilled everything according to the prophecy. In other words, Jesus fulfilled all the prophecies. The first prophecy about Jesus is Genesis 3:15 – “And I will put enmity Between you and the woman, And between your seed and her seed; He shall bruise you on the head, And you shall bruise him on the heel.” Here, the seed of the woman refers to Jesus Christ and the serpent refers to Satan. In other words, it is a prophecy that Jesus Christ will crush Satan. Beginning with this prophecy, the Bible prophesied many times about the death of Jesus. Everything has been fulfilled according to the prophecy. As an example, Isaiah 53:9 says: “His grave was assigned with wicked men, Yet He was with a rich man in His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was there any deceit in His mouth.” Here, “a rich man” refers to Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus obeyed the will of God according to the prophecy. If we live according to God's will, we can do everything (if it is God's will, we can be beaten, if it is not, if it is God's will, then it will be fine), then God will be very pleased. Therefore, if we pray for whether it is God's will or God's will, and live with "Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven" as the standard (guideline) of our lives, we will be honored and blessed whether we live or die and this is what God pleases. Jesus, who is the way, the truth, and the life, suffered and died on the cross just as he prophesied for us, so that He opened the way to God. We should follow that path with thanksgiving and praise. Then we will meet God and enjoy blessings.