The Road to the Cross-Mark 15:21-32

Mark 15:21-32 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get. 25 It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!” 31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe. “Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.”
Marco 15:21-32 “Costrinsero a portare la croce di lui un certo Simone di Cirene, padre di Alessandro e di Rufo, che passava di là tornando dai campi. 22 E condussero Gesù al luogo detto Golgota che, tradotto, vuol dire «luogo del teschio». 23 Gli diedero da bere del vino mescolato con mirra, ma non ne prese. 24 Poi lo crocifissero e si divisero le sue vesti, tirandole a sorte per sapere quello che ciascuno dovesse prendere. 25 Era l’ora terza quando lo crocifissero. 26 L’iscrizione indicante il motivo della condanna diceva: «Il re dei Giudei». 27 Con lui crocifissero due ladroni, uno alla sua destra e l’altro alla sua sinistra. 28 [E si adempì la Scrittura che dice:«Egli è stato contato fra i malfattori» 29 Quelli che passavano di là lo insultavano, scuotendo il capo e dicendo: «Eh, tu che distruggi il tempio e lo ricostruisci in tre giorni, 30 salva te stesso e scendi giù dalla croce!» 31 Allo stesso modo anche i capi dei sacerdoti con gli scribi, beffandosi, dicevano l’uno all’altro: «Ha salvato altri e non può salvare se stesso. 32 Il Cristo, il re d’Israele, scenda ora dalla croce, affinché vediamo e crediamo! » Anche quelli che erano stati crocifissi con lui lo insultavano.”
     The road to the crucifixion of Jesus points out some important aspects of the price Jesus paid for our sins. A simple reading of the text is disturbing as we witness the social, political and religious groups all working toward the same cause. It’s possible that this may be the only time in history where these factions worked together.
     First, in the social context of the crucifixion, women would bring a drink that was a sedative to reduce the pain and suffering but notice that Jesus refused it (v. 23). Jesus chose rather to suffer the agonizing death on Calvary while being in full control of His faculties. Politically, the Romans wrote the name of the condemned man and his crime on the cross where he was crucified. The words “King of the Jews” was written in three languages and equated to the charge of treason. In reality, it was a true statement but was intended to ridicule and insult anyone who dared to challenge the authority of the Roman king, “Caesar”. And to make this example even more menacing, two robbers were also crucified. Third, the religious community (teachers and people) joined in by supporting the Roman government in mocking Jesus by hurling verbal insults and taunting Him to save Himself. They goaded Him to perform a miracle though their vengeance would never be satisfied. All this was in fulfillment to the prophecies found in Isaiah 53:12 and Jesus’ own words in Mark 8:31. As you meditate on this account, think of Christ’s great love for you and the price He paid by taking your sins upon His own body. Let it challenge your heart once again.

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