Delivery Plan • Roman Soldiers
Donna Fox | Assistant to the Growth Pastor
Mark 15:16-20 says, “And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the governor’s headquarters) and they called together the whole battalion. And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on him. And they began to salute him, ‘Hail, King of the Jews!’ And they were striking his head with a reed and spitting on him and kneeling down in homage to him. And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.”
The Roman Soldiers delivered Jesus to His death. Pilate gave Jesus over to the crowd for crucifixion in place of Barabbas. The soldiers had their orders, “Crucify Him!”
They beat Him and tortured Him. They placed a crown of thorns on His head, mocked Him, nailed Him to the cross, and killed Him. Read Matthew 27:27-31. It describes the torture even further. He was stripped, thorns placed on His head, and reeds in His hand. He was mocked, spit on, and led away to be crucified. The Roman Soldiers were wicked men, enjoying their job a little too much, casting lots to see who would get His garments.
How would you like to have a job like that? After given the order to crucify, they carried out these horrific acts to the point of death. How could they do that to any man, much less the Son of God?
This was their job, to obey the orders and to crucify people. There was no emotional stake. The ones they crucified meant nothing to them. They did not realize who He was until after His death. Mark 15:39 says, “And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’” Here we see the Centurion, the head of the Roman Soldiers who realized the truth and was changed by Jesus.
Why crucifixion? Crucifixion was a Roman death, not the Jewish custom which was stoning. Pontius Pilate gave the order. The Roman Soldiers simply carried it out.
The Roman Soldiers delivered Jesus to His death. They prepared Him by stripping Him and beating Him. They forced Him to carry His cross. They nailed Him to the boards. They tortured Him until He took His last breath. God had a plan when He sent Jesus to earth as a man. The crucifixion (and resurrection) was a fulfillment of that plan. Unknowingly, the Roman Soldiers had a part in that plan. They realized afterward what had just happened.
We are like the soldiers; our sin caused Jesus to be led to the cross to cover our sins.