Mark: According to
22 If a man has committed a sin deserving of death, and he is put to death, and you hang him on a tree, 23 his body shall not remain overnight on the tree, but you shall surely bury him that day, so that you do not defile the land which the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance; for he who is hanged is accursed of God. Deuteronomy 21:22, 23
When we look at this above text, we think of someone that has been hung by a rope from their neck. But this is not what the verse is referring to. The Israelites believed, and Levitical law taught that anyone blaspheming God was to be put to death by stoning. The Sanhedrin had determined that Jesus had indeed blasphemed God by claiming to be the Son of God or the Messiah. Yet the punishment they sought was not stoning, but crucifixion which would leave the person being crucified suspended in the air. The Jews were not only demanding that Jesus be put to death, but they were demanding that God’s curse be upon Him. To a Jew when one is hung on a tree they could not offer a prayer of forgiveness for all the sins they committed because they were forever separated from God. They were accursed. Thus, those who see a man hanging between heaven and earth, would conclude him abandoned of both, and unworthy of either. This is what the Jewish people wanted for Christ.
But we are getting ahead of ourselves just a little for there is a lot going on in our passages today.
20 And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him. 21 Then they compelled a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, the father of Alexander and Rufus, as he was coming out of the country and passing by, to bear His cross. 22 And they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated Place of a Skull. 23 They gave him wine mingled with Myrrh to drink, but He did not take it.
While before Herod and Pilate, Jesus had been beaten, had a crown of thorns driven into his head, whipped with 39 lashes, humiliated and made fun of. All this in an attempt by Satan to get Jesus to surrender, to give up on this plan of salvation so that Satan could continue to be the king of this world.
When Adam and Eve sinned, they no longer where subjects of the heavenly kingdom but became subjects of Satan’s kingdom. Satan accusation was that mankind could not live a sinless like. Christ had given of himself to prove that man could live a perfect life and to show us what that life would looked like. Jesus had made no secret of the fact that His source of power came from heaven and constantly Jesus remained in contact with his heavenly Father, who guided the life of Christ and gave Jesus wisdom and understanding to meet the trials and temptations that Satan placed in front of him. This is the same power as is available to you and I when we in Bible study and prayer keep in contact with our heavenly Father.
When Adam and Eve sinned they separated themselves from God, and God said they would surely die, and if not for the plan of salvation, they would have died and forever been separated from their heavenly Father.
Now as Jesus was being led to Calvary, he felt that the presence of His Father was being removed from Him. He was weakened by the whipping, beatings and the humiliation. For as inhumane as crucifixion was, each prisoner was offered a mixture of wine mingled with myrrh to help deaden for at least a little while the pain of crucifixion. This too was offered to Jesus but He refused wanting to keep his senses about Him. He knew that Satan would use this opportunity to tempt him, and Jesus determined to remain strong.
But before being hung upon the cross, Jesus weak from hunger, thirst, whipping and beatings, found himself unable to bear his cross and bring it to the place of execution.
Jesus was continually telling the people that they must take up their cross and follow him. Weakened by a night and early morning of torture and grief, Jesus was unable to carry his own cross and so another, Simon a Cyrenian was pressed into service to carry the cross of Christ. Anyone of Jesus disciples could and should have done it, but they were gripped with fear and so Simon was pressed into service. Roman law required that he who was to be crucified must carry their own cross to the place of crucifixion, but this was impossible because of Jesus weakened condition.
Here in lies another wonderful object lesson for us today. As Jesus was always telling His disciples to take up their cross and follow Him, the same invitation is given to us. Yet because of our weakened condition, the results of 6000 years of sin, you and I are unable to carry our own cross. Instead one must be found that is willing to carry that cross for us. This is Christ. He is willing to carry for each of us the burden of sin, our own selfish desires and everything else that is part of us. It is through His sinless life and atoning sacrifice that He became qualified to carry our cross for us. But to all those that do pick up their cross and follow Jesus, Jesus has asked the Father to send one that can dwell within us, which can give us the strength to lay self aside and place all our earthly burdens on. That is none other the Holy Spirit, which is a gift of God, given to each of us to help us resist temptation, and strengthen us when we are feeling weak.
25 Now it was the third hour, and they crucified Him. 26 And the inscription of His accusation was written above: “THE KING OF THE JEWS”
27 With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on his right and the other on His left. 28 So the scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with the transgressors.” 29 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, Wagging their heads and saying “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross. 31 Likewise the chief priests also mocking among themselves with the Scribes, said, “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. 32 Let the Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Even those who were crucified with Him reviled Him.
The cross that was made for Barabbas that Jesus now hung upon. Between the two, who along with Barabbas planned the insurrection against the Roman Government. All were deserving to die, but for Him who was in the middle. But upon Himself he took all humanities sins, that we would not have to endure total separation from their Heavenly Father.
Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?
2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.
3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.
4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.
5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.
6 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.
7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.
8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.
9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.
11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.