Nehemiah 3:15-32

And Shallum the son of Colhozeh, ruler of the district of Mizpah, repaired the Fountain Gate. He rebuilt it and covered it and set its doors, its bolts, and its bars. And he built the wall of the Pool of Shelah of the king’s garden, as far as the stairs that go down from the city of David….After him the Levites repaired: Rehum the son of Bani. Next to him Hashabiah, ruler of half the district of Keilah, repaired for his district. (v.15,17)

Next to him Ezer the son of Jeshua, ruler of Mizpah, repaired another section opposite the ascent of the armory at the buttress. After him Baruch the son of Zabbai repaired another section from the buttress to the door of the house of Eliashib the high priest. After him Meremoth the son of Uriah, son of Hakkoz repaired another section from the door of the house of Eliashib to the end of the house of Eliashib. After him the priests, the men of the surrounding area, repaired. (v.19-22)

And the temple servants living in Ophel repaired to a point opposite the Water Gate on the east and the projecting tower. After him the Tekoites repaired another section opposite the great projecting tower as far as the wall of Ophel. (v.26-27)

Above the Horse Gate the priests repaired, each one opposite his own house. After them Zadok the son of Immer repaired opposite his own house. After him Shemaiah the son of Shecaniah, the keeper of the East Gate repaired. After him Hananiah the son of Shelemiah and Hanun the sixth son of Zalaph repaired another section. After him Meshullam the son of Berechiah repaired opposite his chamber. After him Malchijah, one of the goldsmiths, repaired as far as the house of the temple servants and of the merchants, opposite the Muster Gate, and to the upper chamber of the corner. (v.28-31)

And between the upper chamber of the corner and the Sheep Gate the goldsmiths and the merchants repaired. (v.32)

Summary points

– You cannot be Christlike and be indifferent to the church, to “one another”.

– Pray & imagine how your family/future family will deployed in kingdom work.

– The work of the Lord involves the people of the Lord, not the world.

– This record and these names are here to remind us that our lives are intimately recorded in God’s library. And the day of accounting is near!

Kingdom Building / Disciple Building

God is always building, and so are His people. God builds His people and significant structures that serve to build HIS people. Here @ Midtown church we are in the disciple building business. We believe Kingdom Building [Jesus Christ’s Kingdom] is basically ‘Disciple Building’.

God’s pattern throughout Scripture is HE builds through individuals and community. Then: Israel / The Hebrews. Now: Jesus’ Body / The Church. In Scripture we see both: individual responsibility & communal responsibility: OWNERSHIP.

Building a wall is a process, a sequential process. So is disciple building. Building something begins with Vision then it requires Planing regarding Materials and Labor… THEN: Construction. The planning and people and building materials are all in place, let the building begin! But no matter how many people collaborate or work together, each person must do their individual part for the building project to be successful.

The Kingdom Building Principals we will see:

United Purpose FROM GOD through His Called Leader! The Building Plan: What needed to be repaired or rebuilt? God Given Priorities. Preparation & uniting the people was done before construction began: sequence. Individual Response AND Communal Response / Everyone Pitched in [non-laborers]. Spiritual Leaders [Priests] Led by EXAMPLE & Personally Initiated Action [Labored]. Real People who worked where they lived & where they didn’t live. There are always some who don’t participate, don’t let that stop You! V.5

We will also look at the significance of particular Gates, their history & use.

LAST WEEK: Nehemiah 2: 17-18 [ESV]

Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.” And I told the of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work.


NEHEMIAH 3:1-14 [NASB1995]

1 Then Eliashib the high priest arose with his brothers the priests and built the Sheep Gate; they consecrated it and hung its doors. They consecrated the wall to the Tower of Meah [100] and the Tower of Hananeel. 2 Next to him [The High Priest] the men of Jericho built, and next to them Zaccur the son of Imri built.

  • Spiritual Leaders lead through and with PEOPLE
  • Leadership is active in the work
  • They worked where they lived / worked [Temple Area]
  • THEY CONSECRATED GATES! [things that serve God]

3 Now the sons of Hassenaah built the Fish Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and bars. 4 Next to them Meremoth the son of Uriah the son of Hakkoz made repairs. And next to him Meshullam the son of Berechiah the son of Meshezabel made repairs.

  • Moving west [area of threat / need for protection]
  • Primary use of Gate: Where fish came from the Mediterranean Sea

And next to him Zadok the son of Baan also made repairs. 5 Moreover, next to him the Tekoites made repairs, but their nobles did not support the work of their masters.

  • The Tekoite common folk worked, but not ‘The Nobels’
  • Since the fall, there is no perfect unity

6 Joiada the son of Paseah and Meshullam the son of Besodeiah repaired the Old Gate; they laid its beams and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars. 7 Next to them Melatiah the Gibeonite and Jadon the Meronothite, the men of Gibeon and of Mizpah, also made repairs for the official seat of the governor of the province beyond the River.

  • Old Gate near Governor’s Seat
  • No specific use for the Old Gate
  • People from other places joined their family in building
  • Only construction that was not part of the wall or a gate was Governor’s House

8 Next to him Uzziel the son of Harhaiah of the goldsmiths made repairs. And next to him Hananiah, one of the perfumers, made repairs, and they restored Jerusalem as far as the Broad Wall. 9 Next to them Rephaiah the son of Hur, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs. 10 Next to them Jedaiah the son of Harumaph made repairs opposite his house. And next to him Hattush the son of Hashabneiah made repairs.

  • People who were not used to working in construction pitching in
  • High city officials doing manual labor along side nobodies
  • Individuals taking personal responsibility for their part
  • While individuals do their part, they also act in unity and cooperative community

11 Malchijah the son of Harim and Hasshub the son of Pahath-moab repaired another section and the Tower of Furnaces. 12 Next to him Shallum the son of Hallohesh, the official of half the district of Jerusalem, made repairs, he and his daughters.

  • Not just city officials themselves, but they are bringing family…FEMALE family
  • There was a lot of wall between the Old Gate and The Vally Gate
  • They needed all the help they could get!

13 Hanun and the inhabitants of Zanoah repaired the Valley Gate. They built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars, and a thousand cubits of the wall to the Dung Gate. 14 Malchijah the son of Rechab, the official of the district of Beth-haccherem repaired the Dung Gate. He built it and hung its doors with its bolts and its bars.

  • People from out of town
  • Valley Gate led to Valley south West of the city [no specific use]
  • Nehemiah used this gate to get out so it was passable…
  • Dung Gate: removal of refuse.
  • These two gates were close to each other [different uses]


The High Priest ‘Arose’ and with his Brother Priests and began to build [Sheep Gate]


When kingdom building is from God, leadership takes part in the actual work


Individuals are named and their parents identified


When God moves in a group it is also about individual, real people


Even in such a God ordained building project there was no perfect unity


Nehemiah didn’t let possible division slow him down, neither should we


Time was taken to repair a fitting home for their God appointed leader


They valued the leadership God had given them and acted accordingly


God’s people who didn’t work with their hands join in the manual labor


When it’s God’s work, you don’t only do what you do well, you do what’s needed


Do You have a vision for what You should be involved in building for the kingdom?

Why is this Memoir included in both Judaism and Christian Scriptures?

What place should ‘Building’ and ‘Rebuilding’ play in the Body of Christ?

What about Nehemiah Typifies the coming Messiah? [450 yrs later]

So where is Jesus in the Book of Nehemiah?

Nehemiah 2:10-20

Nehemiah is a man who has a problem put on his heart. God gives Nehemiah a desire to see his people restored in Jerusalem and protected. 

In the passage today we’ll read Nehemiah doing several things: 
– he surveys Jerusalem and the damage
– makes a plan
– invites others to join 
– holds fast to his convictions and the truth in the face of opposition.

10 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

•       Satan would love for this to be a social club. A box for you to check.

11 So I went to Jerusalem and was there three days. 12 Then I arose in the night, I and a few men with me. And I told no one what my God had put into my heart to do for Jerusalem. There was no animal with me but the one on which I rode. 

13 I went out by night by the Valley Gate to the Dragon Spring and to the Dung Gate, and I inspected the walls of Jerusalem that were broken down and its gates that had been destroyed by fire. 

•       We’ve got a picture of the city and the wall that ran around it. We have a decent idea of where these places are that Nehemiah is taking about, and it says that he inspected the areas that had been broken down and destroyed by fire.
•       Indeed it has been destroyed, Daniel attests to this:
•       “You [God] have fulfilled the words spoken against us and against our rulers by bringing on us great disaster. Under the whole heaven nothing has ever been done like what has been done to Jerusalem.” -Daniel 9:12  

14 Then I went on to the Fountain Gate and to the King’s Pool, but there was no room for the animal that was under me to pass. 15 Then I went up in the night by the valley and inspected the wall, and I turned back and entered by the Valley Gate, and so returned. 

•       Nehemiah tells us the animal, probably a donkey or something similar could not pass through the gates. I think what he’s saying is the structure is so ruined, he had to dismount and climb under the rubble.
•       vs 15, he inspects the wall, looking at it with his own eyes, and throughout it he’s making a plan. Assessing the situation. Reminds me of Jesus telling those who wanted to follow him to count the cost.
o       For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it? 29 Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him, 30 saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish. – Luke 14:28
•       He knows what God put on his heart, and he is preparing to do it, but he’s making sure he understands the assignment.

16 And the officials did not know where I had gone or what I was doing, and I had not yet told the Jews, the priests, the nobles, the officials, and the rest who were to do the work.
17 Then I said to them, “You see the trouble we are in, how Jerusalem lies in ruins with its gates burned. Come, let us build the wall of Jerusalem, that we may no longer suffer derision.”

•       He then approaches the people with an invitation, a call to action.
•       They are in some serious trouble. A city without a wall is not a city. 
•       It is an important thing he is calling them to do. It might seem strange today, there is no wall around your house or the city of Atlanta, but it was important then.
•       God gives an invitation to join, but doesn’t need them. He is going to get this job done, but they get a chance to participate. A chance to be obedient.

 18 And I told them of the hand of my God that had been upon me for good, and also of the words that the king had spoken to me. And they said, “Let us rise up and build.” So they strengthened their hands for the good work. 

•       He tells them it isn’t of himself but a calling and plan from God. He isn’t asking them to follow his idea. He wants to do what God is asking him, and is asking them to join in.
•       The response of the people is encouraging, they are in to it! And more than that, it says they prepared. They didn’t just run out there and say “god will give me the strength”.
•       They made sure they were ready.

19 But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant and Geshem the Arab heard of it, they jeered at us and despised us and said, “What is this thing that you are doing? Are you rebelling against the king?” 

•       They clearly care quite deeply about what is going on, the work that Nehemiah is proposing to do.
•       They try to snip the idea in the bud by bringing an accusation. “You are going against the king”
•       This is a very serious accusation, something that would bring about death, disloyalty could be seen as treason or insurrection.  

20 Then I replied to them, “The God of heaven will make us prosper, and we his servants will arise and build, but you have no portion or right or claim in Jerusalem.”

•       They are coming with lies and deception. Satan is the father of lies. Nehemiah doesn’t engage or dignify them with a retort. He knows it’s a lie, they probably know it’s a lie. He doesn’t cast pearls before swine, does not get distracted. 
•       There is no rebutting the claim, even though he knows it’s not true, he has permission. only the truth boldly proclaimed. The lord “will make us prosper.”
•       Nehemiah also makes it clear that they will not have any portion of the work they are doing. They don’t get anything to do with it. No middle ground. There are the people who are for it, and those against it.

key principles:
–       God’s people are invited in to participate. 
–       God’s people accept the responsibility
–       God’s people prepare for the work there is to do. 
–       God’s people have confidence. 
–       God’s people expect opposition

So how do we apply this? This is not a parable. It’s a narrative. 
God first calls Nehemiah to participate and now the people get the chance to join in as well.

Nehemiah 2:1-10 (ESV)

In the month of Nisan, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes, when wine was before him, I took up the wine and gave it to the king. Now I had not been sad in his presence. And the king said to me, “Why is your face sad, seeing you are not sick? This is nothing but sadness of the heart.” Then I was very much afraid. I said to the king, “Let the king live forever! Why should not my face be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers’ graves, lies in ruins, and its gates have been destroyed by fire?” Then the king said to me, “What are you requesting?” So I prayed to the God of heaven. And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, and if your servant has found favor in your sight, that you send me to Judah, to the city of my fathers’ graves, that I may rebuild it.” And the king said to me (the queen sitting beside him), “How long will you be gone, and when will you return?” So it pleased the king to send me when I had given him a time.” And I said to the king, “If it pleases the king, let letters be given me to the governors of the province beyond the river, that they may let me pass through until I come to Judah, and a letter to Asaph, the keeper of the king’s forest, that he may give me timber to make beams for the gates of the fortress of the temple, and for the wall of the city, and for the house I shall occupy.” And the king granted me what I asked, for the good hand of my God was upon me. Then I came to the governors of the province beyond the river and gave them the king’s letters. Now the king had sent me with officers of the army and horsemen. But when Sanballat the Horonite and Tobiah the Ammonite servant heard this, it displeased them greatly that someone had come to seek the welfare of the people of Israel.

Summary Points:

-As you are praying, don’t overlook that you may be the answer to the need. “Why not me?”

-Don’t underestimate God’s power to accomplish His purposes through others, whether you like them or not.

-Don’t fear the enemy. Don’t ignore him either. Remember the resources we have been given to spoil his schemes. (The armor of Ephesians 6)


As Christ’s followers we need the Hebrew Scriptures…The OT. 1st & 2nd Chronicles, Ezra & Nehemiah all one work. Historical context: Post exile Israel 458 BC. Exile is ending…Jews have been returning to Jerusalem. Two Governors, Sheshbazzar & Zerubbabel had rebuilt the temple with help from the Prophets Haggai & Zechariah over 20 years.

Now Ezra & Nehemiah arrive. They were two of the most influential shapers of post exilic Judaism. This is the part of the story that be believe is Nehemiah’s account of events [God inspired].

Where we are in the story of God and His people? This is an important book of history about humanity. How does this book echo themes we find in the book of Acts? You can also see echoes of Numbers & Deuteronomy [God forming His people into a Nation]. Here HE is Re-forming His people… and Nehemiah is His Leader.

Kingdom Leadership is what we will see from Nehemiah…Christ Like Leadership. As a leader Jesus was: Intentional / Relational / Cooperative. Our Vision here @ Midtown of Disciple Building flows from Scripture like this. Intentional / Relational / Cooperative

Our journey begins with a person who has a heart like God’s…

Nehemiah 1 NLT

1 These are the memoirs of Nehemiah son of Hacaliah.

  • This part of the work is 1st person, Nehemiah speaking

In late autumn, in the month of Kislev, in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes’ reign, I was at the fortress of Susa. 2 Hanani, one of my brothers, came to visit me with some other men who had just arrived from Judah.

  • This scripture is an important part of the history of God & His chosen people
  • We are given historical markers and know exactly when these events occurred
  • The Babylonians invaded but they have been overthrown by the Persians
  • Susa is also the location of the book of Ester

I asked them about the Jews who had returned there from captivity and about how things were going in Jerusalem. 3 They said to me, “Things are not going well for those who returned to the province of Judah. They are in great trouble and disgrace. The wall of Jerusalem has been torn down, and the gates have been destroyed by fire.”

  • He is focused on the welfare of his people…God’s people
  • The wall is the key issue… Nehemiah recognizes that the problem is the wall
  • There was hope for the exiles to return to the city…but a city with no walls…

4 When I heard this, I sat down and wept. In fact, for days I mourned, fasted, and prayed to the God of heaven.

  • The magnitude of this news moved Nehemiah to ‘Action’ / Actions
  • He stopped his entire life [have you ever done this?] I did when my Father died!
  • He actively mourned…for days…He wept!
  • He fasted
  • He prayed to ‘The God of Heaven’ [Right God = Right Prayer]

What drove him to such radical action? It was his concern for others [NOT himself]

Kingdom Building starts with People! Nehemiah had great concern, compassion and care for people. Specifically the people of who were now back in Jerusalem.


  • We cannot pray properly without God teaching & empowering us
  • This Scripture points us to the fact we need to prepare to pray [God Led]
  • Serious business requires serious preparation
  • In order to build Kingdom Life we need to prepare with Prayer!


5 Then I said, “O Lord, God of heaven, the great and awesome God who keeps His covenant of unfailing love with those who love Him and obey His commands, 6 listen to my prayer! Look down and see me praying night and day for Your people Israel.

  • He begins by clarifying who he believes God is and How HE relates to His peps
  • He asks [begs] that God would see His persistence and listen to his prayer

I confess that we have sinned against You. Yes, even my own family and I have sinned! 7 We have sinned terribly by not obeying the commands, decrees, and regulations that You gave us through Your servant Moses.

  • Next is confession of sin: Individual / Family / Nation
  • Owning up to the specifics [Using the standard of God’s Law]

8 Please remember what you told your servant Moses: ‘If you are unfaithful to me, I will scatter you among the nations. 9 But if you return to Me and obey My commands and live by them, then even if you are exiled to the ends of the earth, I will bring you back to the place I have chosen for My name to be honored.’

  • Next He asks God to do what He has said He will do
  • This is basically asking God to enact His will
  • You can never go wrong with the prayer: ‘Thy will be done!’
  • God was true to His word about the scattering [Exile]
  • Nehemiah is asking God to now bring His people back to Jerusalem

10 The people You rescued by Your great power and strong hand are Your servants. 11 O Lord, please hear my prayer! Listen to the prayers of those of us who delight in honoring You. Please grant me success today by making the king favorable to me. Put it into his heart to be kind to me.”

  • He then reminds God that His previous rescue of His people made them HIS
  • Nehemiah claims that status: SERVANT and as such asks that God hear him
  • What HE asks specifically is for the King to be kind and show him favor

In those days I was the king’s cup-bearer.

  • He was in a place that he could get access to the King [like Ester]

Prayer is how WE begin to build Kingdom Life!

Preparation For Prayer:

Developed a heart for people that reflects God’s heart for HIS people!

Mourns, weep, fast, and listen for DAYS!

Put yourself in a position to hear from and speak to God.

A Pattern Of Prayer:

Recognition of who God is

Remembrance of God’s promises to care for HIS people

Confession of sin at all levels

Specifically focusing on the situation and God’s known will

Asking God to hear and act in accordance with HIS known will

Application Questions:

How are you going to change the way you approach God based on this Scripture?

How do you make prayer a bigger part of building your Kingdom Life?

Have you ever undertaken a study of ‘Biblical Prayer’? If not, why?

Mark 16:12-20 (NASB)

Why The Resurrection Matters


12 Now after that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. 13 And they went away and reported it to the rest, but they did not believe them, either.

•       We jump right back in to the account of what happened after the resurrection. The gospel here confirms the story that we see in Luke 24:13, the road to Emmaus. I’ve got three snippets from the text we can look at. 
•       In Mark’s cliff notes version, verse 13 says “but they did not believe.” That is what he wanted to highlight from the interaction. The miraculous nature of Jesus altering his appearance, teleporting away from them before their very eyes, that’s not the focus.
•       Instead, we center in on the unbelief of the disciples. This is a refrain we see many times throughout chapter 16. Starting with verse 8, again in verse 11 and now for a third time “they do not believe”. 

14 Later He appeared to the eleven disciples themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reprimanded them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen from the dead. 

•       In verse 8 the angel told the women that Jesus would appear to his disciples. And now we get that part of the story. In Mark’s account it’s not an entirely joyous reunion. Jesus is hard on his disciples, chastising their unbelief. Again, we see a different focus from Mark. The gospel of John tells us how happy the disciples are to see Jesus. But Mark is all business, there is no time for details like that!

15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

•       He tells them to go. What are they to do? Preach. Where? Into all the world. To who? all creation.
•       Jesus tells them what he expects them to do next. He commissions them.
•       He has told them to go out and preach the good news. But how are they to do that? They just experienced firsthand their own disbelief. How can they possibly be effective at preaching the gospel themselves? 

16 The one who has believed and has been baptized will be saved; but the one who has not believed will be condemned. 17 These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not harm them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

•       Vs 17 He tells them they will be accompanied by signs, that they will be filled with power!
•        Jesus explains that it will be miraculous, but from the Gospel of John we know it isn’t surprising.
•       John 14:12 “Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father.”
•       Jesus says we will do more than he did in his ministry.

19 So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20 And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.

•       Mark starts out pretty sudden. There is no birth, no genealogy, just right in to it. 
•       And similarly, the book ends. He’s gone and off they go!
•       the point Mark makes is that they listen, and the Lord worked with them. The gospel message was confirmed by the miraculous signs. That is the encouragement he wanted to leave his readers with.
•       It was the beginning of a new day; the Sabbath is over. Jesus is telling them they can do it, and they do. After a terrible track record of failing at every turn, verse 20 is almost unexpected.
•       Between verse 14 and 20 we see radically different men.
•       Jesus is now sitting at the right hand of God and we as his followers have a job to do.

What’s it all about?

His disciples had a job to do here, they were to continue his ministry. And I’ll tell you it continues with us. They didn’t finish the job, neither did the early church. You and I have a role to play. Jesus left us with some homework. So let’s check in, how are we doing with it?

How are we doing with the homework? 
We are to “go… and preach… the gospel”!
Am I going?
how is your life lived in service of spreading the good news? 

We all are to build up the body, to grow the kingdom.

2 Corinthians 5:14
14 For the love of Christ controls us, because we are convinced that one has died for all; therefore all have died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live might live no longer for themselves but for him who for their sake died and was raised.


Mark 16:1-11 (ESV)

When the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint him. And very early on the first day of the week, when the sun had risen, they went to the tomb. And they were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” And looking up, they saw that the stone had been rolled back — it was very large. And entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, dressed in a white robe, and they were alarmed. And he said to them, “Do not be alarmed. You seek Jesus of Nazareth, who was crucified. He has risen; he is not here. See the place where they laid him.” But go, tell his disciples and Peter that he is going before you to Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you. And they went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had seized them, and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid. Now when he rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, from whom he had cast out seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him, as they mourned and wept. But when they heard that he was alive and had been seen by her, they would not believe it.

Why does Jesus’ resurrection matter today? (I Cor 15)

-Preaching would be useless

-Faith would be futile

-We would forever remain broken, slaves of sin

-Those already dead perished with no hope

-We are the most pitiful people in the world, if He is not alive

But Christ is alive!

-He is the first fruits of the resurrection

-In Him, we are alive

-In Him, we will be resurrected

-In Him, our sin and mortality will be vanquished

-In Him, we will become like Him…deathless

-In Him, He will raise our actual bodies from death, but we will be changed, fitted with an indestructible, glorified body, just like His

We celebrate today as ‘Palm Sunday’…He enters Jerusalem…headed for the Cross The Biblical Vision of Christianity has to include the Cross. Our text is not a complete recounting of Christ’s Crucifixion, yet enough for us today. We read the story knowing the end, but let us pause today and do our best to fully understand all of the theology and we find at the Cross.

Let us pause and fully discover what we can about God and how HE thinks of us. Let us pause and consider what it cost & what was bought with that cost. It bought MY salvation, Your Salvation…eternal communion with the creator of all. Today when we see what it cost, might it inspire us to live worthy of that cost.

In this passage there is no words from Jesus to His disciples…Only one short [famous] quote and a loud cry [no words given it here] from Jesus’ lips in this whole passage. And yet for His people there is much said and much to contemplate..


Mark Pt. 40 [15:21-47] NASB

21 They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.

  • Step #1 in being crucified is to drag the instrument of your death out of the city
  • They leave The Praetorium [Roman Fortress / Stronghold]
  • Going thru the city… ‘Via Dolorosa’ = Way of Pain / Path of Suffering
  • This encounter takes place near the gate [entering the city from the country]
  • This particular city gate was and is known as the Sheep Gate [Sacrificial Lamb]
  • The encounter is a prophetic enactment of what EVERY follower of Christ does
  • Because Christ’s Crucifixion cost SO much all HIS share in the burden
  • When Christ makes you His you share in what He is all about: Saving Souls!

22 Then they brought Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23 They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. 24 And they crucified Him, and divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. Psalm 22:18

  • The place of a skull was the busiest intersection on the exterior of the city
  • It cost all the possible pain; Christ knew He could not cut a single corner
  • It cost all the possible humiliation; gambling for His stuff [memorabilia]
  • The vilest people [Like YOU & ME] take the stuff of the most Holy

25 It was the third hour [9am] when they crucified Him. 26 The inscription 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. 28 [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.”] Isaiah 53:12d

  • Timeline of last 12 hours: They left the city before 9pm [gates closed]
  • ‘They crucified Him’ What does that entail?
  • The mocking sign and the ‘Bad Company’
  • Every bit of status & reputation He had was GONE
  • That is just how He came, the relate ability of Christ is amazing

29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

  • At the crossroads coming into the city so everyone would know His humiliation
  • Just five short days ago He was being treated like a King…
  • ‘If you are god’… They expected God to be selfish, they did not know God!
  • The people He is dying for don’t appreciate it…He could have said: I quit!
  • Indeed the cost was enormous!

31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. 32 Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.

  • The chief priests showed up to see the effect of their handiwork
  • They were joining in and leading the abuse
  • These are the leaders of the people that God had set apart as His Own
  • ‘If you do ______ we will believe’…Classic statement of unbelief
  • Even the guys getting killed along with Him got in on the act

33 When the sixth hour [noon] came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour [3pm] Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

  • 9am – 3pm: Six Hours On The Cross!
  • We heard verse 18 of Psalm 22 acted out by the Roman soldiers
  • We hear from Christ’s mouth verse 1 of that same Psalm [underrated Psalm]
  • HE quotes Scripture that was 1st seen as David [son of man] crying out to God
  • The ultimate cost was being separated from God by your sin, my sin, OUR SIN

35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” 36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.”

  • Who is a bystander at such a thing [curious, quasi-jewish, travelers]
  • They think he is saying Elijah! Rather than Eoi… [lack of scripture knowledge]
  • They want to keep Him alive so Elijah will come take Him down [ignorance]

37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.

  • Mark & Matthew don’t record what Jesus says when He cries out
  • John’s Gospel quotes Him as saying: ‘It is finished!’
  • To pay for all of mankind’s sin, past, present & future took the perfect sacrifice

38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

  • The Spiritual Gravity was so massive, miracles happened
  • A sign of outreach from God
  • A sign of recognition from Mankind
  • Dead saints were resurrected [Matthew 27]

40 There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. 41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

  • This is a unique statement in literature of the time and for centuries to come
  • The naming of a woman or women not attached to a man [lots of Marys]
  • The male disciples are nowhere to be found…
  • Christ was the 1st feminist!

42 When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.

  • Preparation Day for the Sabbath [Sabbath during Passover]
  • Joseph, similar to Nicodemus: part of the Religious Elite yet believing in Christ
  • Scattered through a totally corrupt Jewish nation, there were remnants of faith
  • Did Joseph believe Jesus would rise from the dead? Will he be in heaven?

44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45 And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.

  • How would the centurion know if Jesus was dead or not?
  • Joseph took Jesus down from the cross
  • Being well off He owned a tomb that was to be his resting place
  • They used gravity as the force to keep the stone in place

47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.

  • It seems as though the two Marys were watching Joseph, saw what he did
  • They had plans…we will see next week
  • We know how the story ends…they did not


Physical pain beyond our comprehension

Humiliation of unfathomable intensity

Complete and total Abandonment

Loss of all reputation and standing


God’s Love for humanity

God’s Willingness to reach out to His Children

God’s Accessibility to EVERYONE

God Patience with You to grow as His Child

What is Your response to what God did?

If You have Biblically Surrendered Your Life to Christ

~ Live Everyday in light of the cost

~ Live with Unending Gratitude because of the cost

~ Live in Biblical Obedience because of the cost

~ Live with Kingdom Focus because of the cost

If You Have Not Biblically Surrendered Your Life to Christ

~ Ask God to reveal Himself to You

~ Become a student of Scripture

~ Give your life to God as best as you can right now

Mark 14:66 – 15:20 (ESV)

Today we see the suffering of Jesus in three ways, and each scene demonstrates Gods love for us. What he would endure for you and me. 

1 – he suffers betrayal by his closest friends and followers
2 – he suffers injustice and corruption from the earthly leaders and government
3 – he suffers physical mockery, pain and humiliation

Everything we will read today shows the demonstration of his love.
9 This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. 1 john 4:9

Mark 14
66 And as Peter was below in the courtyard, one of the servant girls of the high priest came, 67 and seeing Peter warming himself, she looked at him and said, “You also were with the Nazarene, Jesus.” 68 But he denied it, saying, “I neither know nor understand what you mean.” And he went out into the gateway and the rooster crowed. 

•If he’s hitched to him, Peter could be looking at the same fate. 

And after a little while the bystanders again said to Peter, “Certainly you are one of them, for you are a Galilean.” 71 But he began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, “I do not know this man of whom you speak.” 

•Jesus came to suffer the pain of rejection. From his own creation, from the people of Israel, and even from his own disciples and followers, who said they would be with him
•Move to Act 2. the longest section of our text. Jesus is before Pilate.

15 And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” And he answered him, “You have said so.” 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you.” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate was amazed.

•Jesus had every retort in the world. He could justify himself in every single way. We cannot justify ourselves, and yet we keep trying to. 

6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And he answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barabbas instead.

•The symbolism here deserves a sermon of its own. A sinful murder is given grace on the day of Passover. God’s judgement passes over this man displaying God’s justice in the face of injustice. 

12 And Pilate again said to them, “Then what shall I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?” 13 And they cried out again, “Crucify him.” 14 And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.” 15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

•Jesus came to suffer injustice. The complacency and corruption of the human authorities is manifested in the murder of a man who lived a perfect life, unlike anyone who had ever lived before. 
•So we move to our last section, Act 3, where after being sentenced to death Jesus is beaten and tortured. 

16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters), and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 

•In our last Act Jesus took the physical punishment for our sins. He suffers humiliation on our behalf.


What we read this morning describes the physical punishments that we should receive for our sins. But this is the physical debt we are owed for our sins and rebellion. 

God lowered himself, to death on a cross. Philippians 2:6

“who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

Even though he did nothing wrong, he came to bear our wrongs.

Application Questions I hope you can answer after this: If you are interested in discussing the answers to these questions, maybe join a life group.

Why did Jesus suffer? How is this fair?
Why did Peter, one of his most intimate followers, completely reject him three times?
How do we know that God was in control the whole time?
Did your life need to be redeemed like this? To this extreme?

He first loved us. Because of our flesh we could not love him first, but I encourage you this morning to look at what he endured for you, and for me. That is love, reciprocate it. 

Mark 14:53-65 (ESV)

And they led Jesus to the high priest. And all the chief priests and the elders and the scribes came together. And Peter had followed him at a distance, right into the courtyard of the high priest. And he was sitting with the guards and warming himself at the fire.  Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking testimony against Jesus to put him to death, but they found none. For many bore false witness against him, but their testimony did not agree.  And some stood up and bore false witness against him, saying, “We heard him say, ‘I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and in three days I will build another, not made with hands.'” Yet even about this their testimony did not agree.  And the high priest stood up in the midst and asked Jesus, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But he remained silent and made no answer. Again the high priest asked him, “Are you the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?”  And Jesus said, “I am, and you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.”  And the high priest tore his garments and said, “What further witnesses do we need? You have heard his blasphemy. What is your decision?” And they all condemned him as deserving death. And some began to spit on him and to cover his face and to strike him, saying to him, “Prophesy!” And the guards received him with blows.

Summary Points:

– He was/is the spotless Lamb of God, our Passover sacrifice.

– Salvation is of the Lord. He is the Way, the only Way of redemption.

– He laid down His life. He was no victim.

– He is deity. Son of God. God the Son.