SCRIPTURAL TEXT: St. Mark 15:25
SERMONIC THOUGH: Canvassing the scene of the cross
We are allowed to see IMITATORS, INSTIGATORS, DICTATORS, WANNA-BE TRANSLATORS, SPECTATORS, and the LIBERATOR
Verse 19 highlights the IMITATORS. The message bible says the soldiers “knelt down in mock worship.” Their worship wasn’t real. They had the outward form but they didn’t have the inner power. And just as there is imitation leather, imitation fur, imitation jewelry, imitation crabmeat, and imitation vanilla favor, there are many who try to disguise themselves as true worshippers, but their worship is just as phony as the soldiers in verse 19 who knelt down in mock worship. They have the external but not the internal. They are professors, not possessors.
Verses 29 and 30 highlights the INSTIGATORS. An instigator is one who tries to urge or provoke others to action. The scripture identify the instigators as passerbys. As they walked pass the cross, they were trying to provoke Jesus to come down from the cross. Two things were revealed about these instigators:
1. They didn’t have the facts. As a result, they were running with a lie. As the instigators passed by the cross, scripture says they shouted to Jesus saying, “You bragged you could tear down the Temple and then rebuild it in three days.” The truth of the matter is Jesus never said that. That was a false accusation presented at His trial. So because somebody else said it, the instigators assumed it was truth. Therefore, they didn’t have the facts. And as a result, they were running with a lie.
2. The INSTIGATORS were urging Christ to do something that was not in keeping with the plan of God for His life. The ultimate fulfillment of God’s purpose in the life of Christ REQUIRED that He stay on the cross and die. The instigators were urging Him to do on the contrary. Many members in the body of Christ have suffered emotional scars because of instigators. Many ministries are stagnant because of instigators. Many churches have split because of instigators.
Verses 31 and 32 highlights the DICTATORS. The bible says in a very commanding voice, they ordered Jesus to come down from the cross. Notice that Mark didn’t identify the dictators by name. But he identified them by their position of leadership. We got to be careful who we place in leadership. Some people think that a position of leadership authorizes them to look down upon and to be a dictator to others.
Verse 34 points out the WANNA-BE-TRANSLATORS. These are the ones who tried to interpret what Jesus said from using their own intellect. We will never have the intellectual capacity to interpret God’s word without the illumination of the Holy Spirit. It makes no difference how educated we are or how many seminaries we’ve attended.
Verse 40 shows us the SPECTATORS. A spectator is defined as an onlooker; an observer. We’re told that the women were watching from a distance. They were not doing anything. They were just watching. These are your spectators. Sometimes people show places, including but not limited to church, just to spectate; just to see:
See who came to church and who didn’t
See who said what during the testimonial service
See if Sister Collard Green purse matches her dress
See if Bro Hamhock tie coordinates with his suit
God isn’t looking for spectators. He is looking for participatory….those who have a mind to work.
And finally, the most important person that Mark allows us to see at the scene of the cross was not the IMITATOR, INSTIGATOR, DICTATOR, WANNA-BE-TRANSLATOR, or the SPECTATOR. But the most important person at that scene was the LIBERATOR. Because of what the Liberator did for me on the cross, I am free.
I am free from the grip and guilt of sin
I am free from the condemnation of the law
I am free from eternal damnation and separation from God
I am free from seeking the validation of others because I’ve already been confirmed by God
I am free from the opinions of others because I know what God has said about me.
Yes, I saw the imitators, instigators, dictators, wanna-be-translators, and spectators. But thank God I saw the LIBERATOR who died to set me free.