Take Up Your Cross

How to prepare for Crucifixtion- take up your cross daily Mark 15:16-20

What does it say

It says that these soldiers utterly mocked Jesus. Who he was. What he stood for. What he was meant to do. They tore him down to nothing, and then led him out to be crucified.

How to prepare for Crucifixion

What does it mean

  1. expect opposition
  • and they called together the whole garrison. Opposition- resistance or dissent, expressed in action or argument.
  • You will notice, that when the attacks came upon Jesus- they never came singularly, it often came in a group.
  • Group of chief priests, crowds, they all wanted a piece of Jesus- and in this instance- they can’t come after Jesus on their own- they have to bring the whole garrision
  • A Roman structure- 10 cohorts with about 80 men each,, contubernium 80+ x 10, Centuria x 6, makes up about 4500 in a Legion
  • The Bible doesn’t say how many in that garrision- but they had to control Jerusalem, The populace and that takes men. Approx 600,000 people lived in Jerusalem. I don’t think two legions could fit in the praetorium, but I would guess there were thousands.
  • This is what Jesus prophesied- John 16:2 They will put you out of the synagogues; yes, the time is coming that whoever kills you will think that he offers God service.
  • SO Jesus is there- with these guys- picture it, thousands and thousands of soldiers surrounding him, afraid of him, worried about what he was going to do
  • Its quite funny- people have always been afraid of Jesus- what he was going to do- the Jesus people
  • Psalm 37:12-13 The wicked plots against the just, And gnashes at him with his teeth. 13 The Lord laughs at him, For He sees that his day is coming.
  • I don’t think Jesus was afraid. I don’t think he was worried. Surrounded but victorious
  • No amount of opposition is going to stop Jesus from accomplishing what he came to accomplish. He is going to save the world from their sin.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • If you’re going to prepare yourself for crucifixion you must be prepared to face large opposition
  • More and more what we believe as Christians is not acceptable to the world. They want to tell us what to believe and how to believe it and what to do.
  • There will be less and less people who believe what you believe. You must expect it
  • In my short 28 years of serving Jesus I have seen a demonstrative deviation from the mainline acceptance of Christianity
  • Stores open on C and E, Sports events on Sundays, mockery of beliefs in schools, movies, music
  • Very anti- God. We’re not as important as we think. Warren, Stanley, Etc. No one knows them.
  • 2 thes 2: 3 Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not comeunless the falling away comes first, and the man of [sin is revealed, the son of perdition,
  • Let me explain something to you- The Christian life is not “your best life now” it is “die to self now”. Christians are supposed to suffer. We are supposed to experience opposition
  • Too many Christians are afraid of what the world thinks about them. I’m not saying to go out picking fights- I’m just saying- opposition is a natural byproduct of being a Christian- people are not going to agree with you. Don’t expect it
  • Phil 1:28 and not in any way terrified by your adversaries, which is to them a proof of perdition, but [to you of salvation, and that from God.
  • You’re called to suffer! Think about it what way you have suffered for Jesus? Anything? Have you lost a relationship, a job, been ridiculed? Do you experience ANY opposition?
  • I’ve been ridiculed my whole life. High School, Christian College, Army, corporate, and now from my fellow Christians who refuse to preach the Gospel of repentance and forgiveness of sins
  • You must be willing to experience separation from the world to take up your cross daily. The only way you can bring people to the cross with you is for them to die as well
  • So many people who say they are Christians, do what the world does, listen to what the world listens to, They fill their life with mostly Godless things. Books, movies, TV etc.
  • I don’t need to tell you not to fill yourself with that, you need to ask why you desire it?
  • I have lost many relationships throughout my life. I even cut off pastors- You don’t want Jesus? You don’t want to reach the lost? See ya! Go find a new friend.
  • 1 Peter 3:13-14  And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good? 14 But even if you should suffer for righteousness’ sake, you are blessed. “And do not be afraid of their threats, nor be troubled.”
  • Don’t be afraid of large opposition! Don’t even worry about it.
  • The God of this universe is watching and he will fight for you!
  1. Expect persecution
  • To prepare for crucifixion, You should expect to not have everyone like you and for them to be hostile towards you. Opposition is deviation from ideas, persecution is outright hostility
  • Persecution- hostility and ill-treatment, especially because of race or political or religious beliefs.
  • Remember- the end result of Jesus ministry was death on a Cross. That’s what they gave him
  • 17 And they clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head, 18 and began to salute Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 Then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him; and bowing the knee, they worshiped Him. 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.
  • Let me explain- Purple, crowns, titles, are means that the world uses to try to understand kingship. But Jesus is so much the King- that he doesn’t even need this stuff. He is King of Kings and Lord of Lord
  • But you’ll notice- they clothe him with purple, and then take it away “you have value- you don’t have value” Mocking him! They Mock his kingship. They mock his status
  • They give him a Crown of Thorns “The crown for a King or Queen shows power, legitimacy, immortality, righteousness, victory, triumph, resurrection, honour and glory of life after death.”
  • But they give him one of THORNS. Again, mocking him- “you’re no real king”
  • Then they Salute him- “king of jews” – They already hated the Jews- To salute him, is to mock him. He’s being crucified for crimes against Rome, saying he was King, so the soldiers mock him
  • Mocking is teasing. Its contemptuous. Its degrading and mean. This is the worst. 1000s of men mocking Jesus and teasing him.
  • If you’ve ever been teased, you can appreciate how horrible this must have been.
  • I hate teasing. I hate it. I try to build people up. No one likes to be teased. Whats funny tho- is typically teasing is not on the weak kids, its tearing down the next guy up the ladder, it’s a means how kids get to that next place on the rung. Kids at the top get teased more.
  • Struck him on the head Spat on him- Disobedience Bowed the knee and worshiped him- Mockery took it all away to crucify him- Took away everything- You are not valuable, you are not king, we do no salute you, we spit on you and crucify you
  • Matthew 5:10-12 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
  • For theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake. 12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • 2 Corinthians 4:17 For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;
  • When you’re going through affliction- remind yourself that God is working something out in you. You grow through persecution
  • When you have to defend what you believe and why you believe it- it grows you
  • 1 Peter 3:15 But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear;
  • Many people cant do this because they never speak up and have to defend what they believe.
  • When I first Got saved I spend more time than necessary arguing with my dad about Noahs ark
  • It forced me to study! It forced me to research! He thought he could stump my new faith- nope
  • Philippians 1:29 For to you it has been granted on behalf of Christ, not only to believe in Him, but also to suffer for His sake,
  • You’re supposed to be suffering as a Christian- if you’re not- I wonder why- how cushy is your life?
  • 1 peter 4:12-16 READ
  • 15 But let none of you suffer as a murderer, a thief, an evildoer, or as a [c]busybody in other people’s matters.
  • There’s many people that THINK they are suffering persecution, but the reality is they are only suffering the outcomes of their horrible decisions!
  • Don’t say you’re suffering persecution if you’re just suffering because of YOU
  • Want a quick class on a good life? Fully submit to God in EVERY area of your life. Heart, relationships, finances, time, health, job, EVERYTHING.
  • THEN when you experience persecution, you can be surrounded by people who love you in church and its not the hard because you’ve set up your life to win in every other area
  • Trouble will come. But if you’re in debt, horrible health, mismanaged life, interpersonally exploitive, don’t expect that persecution will be easy.
  • Persecution comes from standing on your beliefs in Christ, not from being a jerk
  • Here’s where your biggest persecution will come- being for traditional marriage, against abortion, Jesus only way, tithing, setting limits with what you will do, and making your family rearrange their schedules based on your church attendance, belief in the Bible, raising kids
  • Expect it. Embrace it. Stand up for it. Remember what Jesus said-
  • Luke 21:16-19 You will be betrayed even b y parents and brothers, relatives and friends; and they will put some of you to death. 17 And you will be hated by all for My name’s sake. 18 But not a hair of your head shall be lost. 19 By your patience possess your souls.
  1. Trust God
  • We can handle anything the world brings at us if we’re fully trusting God
  • Jesus does have value to us. Jesus is our king. We worship Jesus.We don’t take from Jesus- we give to him.
  • You’ll notice through this part of mark, that Jesus doesn’t defend himself. He doesn’t raise a ruckus. He embraces the cross. He Trusts that God will take care of him.
  • Hebrews 12:2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Jesus willfully went to the cross for OUR sins. Because of obedience to the Father. He wanted to reconcile God to Man. He trusted God.
  • What does it mean to you?
  • Trust God! John 15:20 Remember the word that I said to you, ‘A servant is not greater than his master.’ If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you. If they kept My word, they will keep yours also.
  • Jesus said its coming- expect and and trust him through it. He will not forsake you. He will not
  • Psalm 20:7 Some trust in chariots, and some in horses; But we will remember the name of the Lord our God.
  • Remember his name! Remember his POWER.
  • Revelation 2:10 Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
  • Its very counter cultural to believe in something to DEATH today. Its very rare
  • But if we’re trusting GOD we can endure ANYTHING. Even DEATH.
  • Psalm 9:10 And those who know Your name will put their trust in You; For You, Lord, have not forsaken those who seek You.
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