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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - October 22, 2007
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October 22, 2007

Mark 15-16
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Mark
Chapter 15
  1. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
  2. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
  3. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.
  4. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
  5. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
  6. Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
  7. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.
  8. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
  9. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
  10. For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.
  11. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
  12. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
  13. And they cried out again, Crucify him.
  14. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
  15. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
  16. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.
  17. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,
  18. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
  19. And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.
  20. And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him.
  21. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
  22. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
  23. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.
  24. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
  25. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
  26. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
  27. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.
  28. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.
  29. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,
  30. Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
  31. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
  32. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.
  33. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
  34. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
  35. And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
  36. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
  37. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
  38. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
  39. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
  40. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
  41. (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
  42. And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
  43. Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
  44. And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
  45. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
  46. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre.
  47. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.


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Mark
Chapter 16
  1. And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him.
  2. And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
  3. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
  4. And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
  5. And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted.
  6. And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him.
  7. But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
  8. And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid.
  9. Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils.
  10. And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept.
  11. And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
  12. After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country.
  13. And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
  14. Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
  15. And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.
  16. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
  17. And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;
  18. They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
  19. So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.
  20. And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.


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Thought for the day:
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 The details of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ are familiar to most Christians. Yet I believe it is always beneficial to be reminded of what transpired when the Lord allowed Himself to be sacrificed for the sins of mankind. After Christ's arrest in Gethsemane He was dealt with by the religious leaders and then taken to Pilate, the Roman governor. Though the Jewish leadership had determined that Jesus was to be executed, they were unable to carry out the sentence because they lacked the authority to do so. Only the Romans could authorize this, so Jesus was taken to the Roman authority in Jerusalem. Under the questioning of Pilate the Lord gave very few answers, most of which are recorded for us in John 18. Pilate could not find any fault in Jesus and offered to release Him, but the Jews refused. Pilate understood that they were motivated by envy (10), and so he attempted to get Jesus released by giving the people a choice between releasing Him and releasing the murderous criminal Barabbas. In one of the most stunning choices of all time, the Jews, including the religious leaders, called for the release of Barabbas. This reveals to us the wicked heart of an unregenerate man, and the foolish depths to which an individual will sink in order to "escape" his responsibilities before a holy God. It was obvious even to the Roman official that the Priests, Scribes, and Pharisees were motivated not by a pursuit of doctrinal purity but rather by a hatred caused by the fact that they were about to lose their following among the citizens. They were so self-centered that they refused to see the truth and they needed to execute the One Who was revealing truth both to them and to their countrymen. The idea that they would prefer Barabbas is almost unbelievable. He was a murderer and a thief and a revolutionary. His lifestyle opposed everything that the Old Testament Law demanded and that the Jewish religion supposedly stood for. Jesus, on the other hand, not only kept the Law, but fulfilled it and spent His life doing only good to those He came in contact with. Yet these leaders would rather have a man like Barabbas let loose in the community than "risk" having their own religious failures and heresies revealed. Since the Devil hasn't changed his mode of operation, I imagine that we who preach and practice the Word of God can expect to receive similar opposition. Don't be surprised when it comes!

 Pilate allowed Jesus to be scourged, hoping that the sight of His blood would pacify the Jews. However, they continued to call for His crucifixion, so Pilate moved out of the way and granted them permission to carry out their evil desire. They mocked the Lord and injured Him on the way to the cross, and then once they reached Golgotha they nailed Him to a cross and crucified Him. They took His clothing away from Him, so that He was executed with the additional shame of nakedness. He was forced to tolerate the mockings of the two trespassers that were executed on either side of Him, as well as the cruel taunts of those on the ground whom He came to save.

 Verse 34 tells of the agony which I believe was the greatest that the Lord suffered that day. After hours of torment, He cried out,

"My God, My God, Why hast Thou forsaken Me?"
Please understand that Jesus was not confused when He made that statement. He was still the perfect Son of God, and even as He took the sins of the world upon Him He still maintained absolute sinlessness in Himself. If He said that God had forsaken Him, then that is what happened. It is amazing to me to think that Jesus was willing to have the eternal relationship that He had with His Father severed, even for a brief period of time, so that He could bear my sin. It is amazing that the Father would be willing to forsake His Son so that the world might be able to receive salvation. I was once asked, "How could God forsake Jesus when the Bible tells us that He will never leave us or forsake us?" (Heb. 13:5). My only answer was this: God forsook His Son on the cross so that He could say to us that he would never forsake us. What marvelous love the Father has that He would turn His back on His own Son so that a sinner like could have eternal life. What great love Jesus has that He would be willing to suffer that abandonment, the greatest that has ever occurred, so that those who crucified Him, as well as all the world, might have a home in Heaven through faith.

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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