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Mark 15:16-20 Jesus Mocked By The Soldiers

Posted by Ez1 Realty on November 2, 2013


Mark 15:16-20 NLTse The soldiers took Jesus into the courtyard of the governor’s headquarters (called the Praetorium) and called out the entire regiment. (17) They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head. (18) Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” (19) And they struck him on the head with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. (20) When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

 

Mocking Jesus by pretending He was a king. That’s how the Roman guard treated Him. Where did they get the idea from? What bearing does this have on Christianity today?

 

After sentence was pronounced by Pilate, it didn’t take long for the soldiers to stripe Jesus and chain Him to a post to be whipped. It seemed that while the priests were influencing the crowd outside Pilate’s gate, unseen forces were working on Pilate’s guards. God’s angels, commanded to stay back, watched every detail with their keen eyes, recording every cruel act committed against the Savior.

 

Two soldiers whipped Jesus time and time again until open wounds gushed rivers of blood down His back and legs, mingling in the dust. Blood was poured out at the altar of sacrifice mixing with dust on the ground to fulfill requirements of the law. The guards had no idea they were fulfilling prophecy, they were too busy enjoying their cruel job. Devils whipped up a frenzy like never experienced by the Roman guards as they called the entire regiment to join in the beating. Word spread about the mock trial between Caiaphas and Pilate. Guards took off on the title Pilate gave Jesus, “King of the Jews.” They dressed him in a purple robe, and they wove thorn branches into a crown and put it on his head, illustrating how people follow the example of leadership for good and bad. Then they saluted him and taunted, “Hail! King of the Jews!” As usual, people mimicked the actions of those in charge.

 

Taunting Jesus in the same manner Pilate provoked Caiaphas was not enough for the Roman guard. Years ago the Jews rejected God in favor of a king. The main reason they requested the change was to add distance between themselves and God. Before anointing a king, Samuel delivered a message.

 

Samuel passed on the LORD’s warning to the people who were asking him for a king. “This is how a king will reign over you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons and assign them to his chariots and his charioteers, making them run before his chariots. Some will be generals and captains in his army, some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, and some will make his weapons and chariot equipment. The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own officials. He will take a tenth of your grain and your grape harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will take your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but then the LORD will not help you.” But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. (1 Samuel 8:10-19 NLTse).

 

After hearing the warning Israel’s leaders still demanded a king. When they heard what the king would do to people they cried, “we still want a king.” They had plans of suppressing people much worse than God described. Israel’s leadership wanted to hide behind a suppressive government. Their plan was to place a king between them and God. Also between them and people they viewed as prey. Satan filled them with plans and promises. Wealth is always gained by a chosen few in a suppressive government. Those demanding a king depended on a self serving king with cruel plans they could work with and expand on. Now Israel lived under one of the world’s most vicious governments. Now they witnessed how far government subjects will expand on pain and suffering.

 

Although the two leading figures stood on opposite sides of the courtyard, illustrating how distant they thought their policies were, they were not very far apart at all. The religious leaders had much more in common with the Roman government than they cared to admit. For the leaders of my people– the LORD’s watchmen, his shepherds– are blind and ignorant. They are like silent watchdogs that give no warning when danger comes. They love to lie around, sleeping and dreaming. Like greedy dogs, they are never satisfied. They are ignorant shepherds, all following their own path and intent on personal gain. “Come,” they say, “let’s get some wine and have a party. Let’s all get drunk. Then tomorrow we’ll do it again and have an even bigger party!” (Isaiah 56:10-12 NLTse).

 

The Roman guard could not restrain themselves. It seemed their cruelty was a pledge of loyalty to their king. Each one tried to out do others as they struck him on thehead with a reed stick, spit on him, and dropped to their knees in mock worship. When they were finally tired of mocking him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to be crucified.

 

Through it all Jesus prayed. He knew details of His suffering, but wondered why He had to repeat the process. First a trial before Caiaphas, his priests, and the religious leaders, then Pilate. Jesus was also beaten by both. First the high priest’s guards, followed by Pilate’s guards who must of looked at the first beating as the work of amateurs. The answer is obvious. Jesus suffered through two trials and beatings so the lesson would not be missed. Throughout His ministry Jesus taught His disciples how to understand scripture, to see the deeper message. Being separated from His disciples did not keep Jesus from teaching another lesson. Jesus continued to live through a specific sequence of events. Not only was Jesus fulfilling all the prophecies about Himself, Jesus was adding to and living the fulfillment of the lessons He taught to His disciples.

 

We need to pray for those who cannot see the simple truths scripture brings us. No one can deny Peter and John competed against one another. At the Passover meal hours before Jesus’ arrest they argued who was the greatest. To make the point so clear we could not miss it, the Spirit repeated the lesson. At Jesus’ trail Caiaphas and Pilate also argued about who was greatest. Pilate did not call Jesus the King of the Jews to show respect, he did it to antagonize Caiaphas. Both were trying to gain favor with the crowd by making the other look bad. They had no way of making themselves look good while the Savior stood before them. The religious leaders put Jesus in chains to exhibit their control over Him. Pilate looked at this as a sign they also thought they could control him.

 

I see the same thing happening today, people preaching their own messages, trying to make themselves look better than others by condemning everyone for one reason or another. This is the same competition Peter and John, Caiaphas and Pilate fell for. Peter saw how he denied Jesus. Caiaphas and Pilate carried their self proclaimed righteousness to the grave.

 

Why do people convince themselves and try to convince others they are serving God by condemning others? They are acting like the religious leaders who condemned Jesus. They can never make themselves look good by making others look bad. It is a simple lesson which cannot be denied.

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