Sermon #70 Mark Sermons
A Picture Of Substitution
Text: Mark 15:1-15
Subject: Christ Substituted For Barabbas
Date: Sunday Morning - January 3, 1999
Tape # V-3b
Reading: 1 Peter 2:1-25
Mark 15 describes the slaying of “the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.” Whenever we think about the death of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the cross, we ought to always remember three things.
1. The death of Christ upon the cursed tree was a substitutionary sacrifice.
The Lord Jesus Christ did not suffer for any crimes of his own. He did not die because of his own sins. He was not cut off from the land of the living for his own transgressions. The Lord of Glory died upon the cross for our sins, for the transgressions of his people, for the iniquities of God’s elect which were imputed to him, when he was made to be sin for us.
2. The substitutionary sacrifice and death of Christ is the focal point, the essence, and the message of all the Word of God.
The law was given at Sinai to show us our need of a substitute. All the sacrifices, rites, rituals, and ceremonies of the Old Testament Scripture, - all the priests, priestly garments, and priestly functions, - all the deliverances of Israel from the hands of their enemies, - all the services of the tabernacle and the temple, - all the psalms, all the prophets, and all the historical narratives, - the manna, the rock, the brazen serpent, the pillars of fire and cloud, everything in the Old Testament and in the New was written by inspiration of God the Holy Spirit to reveal Christ, to show us our great, glorious, almighty Substitute (Luke 24:27, 44-45; 1 Pet. 1:23-25; John 20:30-31).
3. The cross of Christ, the doctrine of substitution, is both the revelation of the glory of God and the glory of the gospel.
I glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ (Not The Historic Fact Of It - Not The Wood Upon Which Christ Died - Not The Symbol Of The Cross - Not The Sign Of The Cross - But The Doctrine Of It) because the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ is…
· A Covenant Respected.
· A Compassion Revealed.
· A Curse Removed.
· A Conquest Realized.
· A Comfortable Rule.
Proposition: The death of Christ upon the cross, the sacrifice of God’s Lamb as our sin-atonement, is the life of our souls.
Had the Lord Jesus Christ not died in our stead, the justice of God could never have been satisfied and we would all have perished in our sins forever. When the apostle Paul thought on this fact, he said, “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!” May God the Holy Spirit so graciously flood our hearts souls with the knowledge of our crucified Substitute that we may leave here rejoicing in the knowledge of him, with these words reverberating in our souls - “Thanks be unto God for his unspeakable gift!”
The title of my message is BARABBAS - A PICTURE OF SUBSTITUTION. Let’s read the first fifteen verse of Mark 15 together.
Divisions: There are five things in these verses to which I will direct your attention.
1. A Fulfillment Of Prophecy (v. 1).
2. An Example Of Patience (vv. 2-5).
3. An Abuse Of Power (v. 15).
4. A Portrait Of Depravity (vv. 11, 13, 14).
5. A Picture Of Substitution (vv. 6-15).
I. A FULFILLMENT Of Prophecy (v. 1)
Why did these Chief priests, scribes and elders carry the Lord Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea? Why did they not just stone him to death themselves?
The reason is obvious. They had no legal, civil authority to do so. They should have known that the times of the Messiah were upon them, because Jacob’s prophecy in Genesis 49:10 had been fulfilled.
Moreover, they must themselves also fulfil the scriptures in their deeds; and the scriptures required that our Redeemer be crucified in a publicly shameful way, not merely stoned to death, as Jewish law would have required. His body, according to the Old Testament scriptures had to be pierced and not a bone of it broken.
Though they were so blinded by their unbelief that they could not see it, the Lord’s enemies were themselves simply fulfilling the purpose of God, to the very letter of Holy Scripture, even in their rage against his dear Son.
Remember this, my brethren. Wicked men are never out of God’s control. They only do what God’s hand and purpose have from eternity determined must be done for the salvation of our souls. When Satan roars, when scoffers scoff, when mockers mock, when deceivers deceive, they only perform that which was long ago written in the scriptures (2 Pet. 2:3).
Man, in the folly of his rebellion and unbelief, and Satan himself, even the demons of hell, all are but the unwitting vassals of the Almighty, our heavenly Father, to serve his purpose of grace toward us.
II. An Example Of Patience (vv. 2-5)
When the holy Son of God stood before Pilate’s bar, he was falsely accused of many evils. The trumped up charges against him were all false. Yet, when he was accused, “he answered nothing.” What an example he set before us of humility, bowing to the providence and purpose of God patiently.
We can do nothing which is more dishonoring to our God and contrary to our faith than grumble and murmur against him when he sends trouble our way. And we never more glorify our God and exemplify the character of Christ than when we bear afflictions, false accusations, and injustices patiently.
III. AN ABUSE OF POWER (v. 15)
Pilate knew that the chief priests had delivered the Lord Jesus to him because they envied him (v. 10). He made some feeble attempts to release him and soothe his own conscience; but, in the shameful behavior typical of politicians and political appointees, Pilate was “willing to content the people,” even if he had to knowingly sacrifice his own conscience and the life of an innocent man to do it!
I mention this here and now, not to stir up more anger and greater disgust toward our president, congressmen, and senators. They are managing that very well on their own.
I mention it here and now, so that we may take a higher road than the rest of the world. Men in high places, without the knowledge of Christ, without even a hint of moral integrity are to be pitied. They have nothing to restrain them from yielding to every temptation to great evil, except the prayers of God’s saints. Let us, therefore, pray for them, as the Word of God tells us.
IV. A PORTRAIT OF DEPRAVITY (vv. 11, 13, 14)
In these days of universal compromise and ecumenical religion, everyone is trying to remove every possible point of offense, take away all guilt and blame, and fix things up so that everybody is saved and all their works, no matter how vile, if not saintly, are at least excusable. Historians are rewriting history everyday to suit the trends of modern thinking. Theologians are rewriting the Bible to mold it to the opinions of men. But all the rearranging of things by men will never alter facts.
Here is a fact. While Pilate and his soldiers (pagan Gentiles) were the ones who executed the Lord Jesus Christ, the Jews (the religious people, the people who claimed to be God’s servants) were them who cried, “Crucify him! Crucify him! Let his blood be upon us and our children!”
We marvel at their act. They acted against evidence plainly presented. When they had opportunity given them in the eleventh hour to back away from their rash demands, they stayed their course to the everlasting ruin of their souls, the souls of their children, and of their children’s children.
Even when it meant the release of a known, notorious murderer among their wives and children, they stayed with their decision. They could not be persuaded to change course or alter their decision for good by any moral pressure or sane reasoning. Blindness was never more blind! Folly was never more foolish! Madness was never more mad! How can this be explained?
The only thing on this earth that can explain such behavior is the fact that all men are totally depraved. The heart of man is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. The carnal mind is enmity against God. It is not possible for any man to do anything good, or even to make a good, or even reasonable, decision apart from divine intervention.
Let us not be found following the example of these lost, religious rebels. Let us not choose Barabbas over Christ. Let us not choose wickedness and despise righteousness. Let us not chose the world and reject Christ. Yet, that is exactly what we will do, unless God intervenes and stops us from fulfilling the madness of our own hearts’ lusts.