Old Testament: Numbers 15:17-16:40
Numbers 15:17-31 Give Your Dough To The Lord
No, like literal dough, like in making bread. When they first got to the Promised Land, the first of the threshed grain was to be offered to the Lord in the form of dough made into a cake.
It was, again, the concept of first fruits. Later, Paul would describe Jesus as the first fruits of the Resurrection (1Cor. 15: 20-24).
Rules for “unintentional” sinning were given once again (Num. 15: 22 – 26). An “unintentional” sin was a “oopser” as opposed to “high-handed” (ESV), “defiantly” (NASB), outright rebellious sinning (Num. 15: 30, 31). “Unintentional” sins were not premeditated or could have been committed through lack of knowledge. The prescriptions in this passage covered offerings for the individual. The offering for the nation sinning unintentionally were given in Numbers 14: 13 – 21. A person who sinned defiantly was excommunicated. This would correspond to outright rejection of Christ in our day. There is no sacrifice for that kind of sin (cf. Heb. 10: 26).
Numbers 15: 32 -41 Giving A Man A Permanent Rest
A man was caught gathering wood out in the desert on a Saturday. He was brought to Moses. Moses asked Yahweh what to do. Yahweh said to have the people stone him. They did.
This was an example of “defiantly” breaking the law. The people brought the man to Moses for judgment because it was not clear what were the man’s motives. But Yahweh knew and rendered the verdict.
The people were to wear tassels on the hems of their clothes to remind them to keep the Lord’s commands. They were to be fastened with blue cords.
Numbers 16: 1 -40 An Apple, Rotten To The Korah
Israel is rebelling . . . again! Every wonder why Israel would continue to “kick at the goads” and rebel against their God? They are at it again. Perhaps it’s man’s sin nature. Don’t forget all of the Old Testament is teaching of example for us, positive and negative (1Cor. 10: 11).
Yahweh had done all kinds of miracles amongst the people but they continued to rebel against Him. Already in Numbers, we’ve seen them complain about life in the desert (Numb. 11: 1 -3), their food supply (Numb. 11: 4-35), had their visas to the Promised Land revoked (Numb. 14: 1-35), and attacked the neighboring countries without the Lord’s blessing. Now we come to what is commonly known as “Korah’s Rebellion.” It’s named after the chief protagonist, Korah. He was a Levite and along with Dathan, Abiram and On, who were of the tribe of Reuben, they attacked Moses’ leadership. They brought 250 other leaders with them. They said the whole congregation was holy, implying Moses and Aaron shouldn’t have any special authority.
Moses fell on his face, no doubt in supplication once again (cf. Numbers 14: 5). Moses told Korah to bring censers the next day with fire and incense to the Tent of Meeting and they would see who was holy! Moses was hot. He told the rebels they had gone too far. He knew Korah wasn’t content with just being a Levite, that he wanted to also be a priest.
Moses summoned Dathan and Abiram but they wouldn’t go to Moses. Moses asked Yahweh not to accept their offerings. Aaron and Korah, as well as 250 other rebellious appeared before the Tent of Meeting with their censers filled with coals and incense. The entire congregation was assembled by Korah. The glory of the Lord appeared to all of them.
Yahweh told Moses and Aaron to back away from them all. He wanted to burn the congregation to a crisp. Moses and Aaron fell on their faces again in intercession and asked Yahweh to just single out Korah. So Yahweh told Moses to tell the congregation to back away from Korah’s, Dathan’s, and Abiram’s houses.
Moses told the people that if these three lived to a ripe old age, then he wasn’t sent by the Lord but if the earth opened and they went down whole to Sheol, then he must be legit. (Sheol was like a holding tank till people were sorted out for Heaven and Hell after Christ ascended).
Whatdaya know? The earth opened like a trap door and took in Korah, Dathan, and Abiram whole, along their families and houses. (Korah’s family apparently were innocent and were not taken cf. Num. 26: 11). A fire also consumed the other 250 rebellious leaders.
Moses had Eleazar, Aaron’s son the priest, retrieve all the bronze censers. He had Eleazar turn the censers into plating for the altar. The censers despite being owned by the rebels were still holy to the Lord though they were going to be used for an unholy purpose. It was a reminder that no one outside the line of Aaron and no one who wasn’t a priest could burn incense to the Lord in the Tabernacle.
New Testament: Mark 15:1-47
Mark 15: 1 -21 An Exercise Of Pilate’s
The whole council of Jewish religious leaders convened on Thursday morning and decided to send Jesus to Pilate. As Roman subjects they could not pronounce a death penalty but had to rely on Rome’s representative, Pilate to do it.
Pilate, the Roman governor of Judea, was concerned that he could look weak to Rome if he could not handle this situation. Pilate asked Jesus if He was King of the Jews, a political question. If Jesus said He was King of the Jews, it could be a threat to the Jewish leaders and stability in the area. It was also a political crime against Rome which gave Pilate the right to pronounce the death penalty. Jesus answered that He was King of the Jews. A fuller answer by Jesus was recorded by John in John 18: 34-38. Though many charges were brought against Jesus by the chief priests, Jesus did not answer them. This frustrated Pilate.
Pilate thought he found a way out of his political dilemma. He didn’t want to prosecute Jesus. His wife had warned him against it (Mat. 27: 17) and he, himself, didn’t find anything wrong with Him (Luke 23: 4). He was allowed, as governor, to release a prisoner during the Passover feast. Pilate proposed the people choose Jesus to be released. This would solve Pilate’s problem. A murderer named Barabbas was a detestable human being whom Pilate was sure would never have be chosen. But the chief priests stirred up the people to choose him. Surprise. Surprise. Surprise. The crowd chose Barabbas. Pilate countered with, “but what do you want me to do with the King of the Jews?” They shouted over and again, “Crucify Him.” Pilate asked what evil Jesus had done but there was no response (cf. 2 Cor. 5: 21).
The soldiers took Jesus away into the palace and mocking dressed Him purple and a crown made out of thorns. They sarcastically acclaimed Him “the King of the Jews.” They beat Him with reeds, spit on Him (again), and mockingly knelt before Him. After having their fun, they took the robe off, put His own clothes back on Him and led Him to be crucified. They made Simon of Cyrene help Him with the cross.
Mark 15: 22 -41 The Crucifixion
Jesus was brought to Golgotha, a hill that looked like a skull and was known as Place of a Skull. They tried to give Jesus wine but He refused it to remain lucid through the pain.
They crucified Him. His clothes were divided up amongst the guards fulfilling prophecy (Ps. 22: 18). The inscription over the cross was “King of the Jews” though the religious leaders wanted it to read, “HE SAID He was King of the Jews.” Pilate wouldn’t permit it (John 19: 20 -22).
Mark 15: 25, “the third hour,” was 9 a.m. Mark quoted Is 53: 12, “And He was numbered with the transgressors” (Mk. 15: 28). The religious mocked Him, saying if He was really God, He could jump off the cross. The robbers being killed next to Him also mocked Him.
At noon, darkness fell over the area until 3 p.m. At that time, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama savachthani” which means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some bystanders thought He was calling out for Elijah to rescue Him. A bystander gave Him some wine to drink and He took it. He gave out a loud shout and took His last breath. Crying out twice with a “loud” voice indicated that He still had life. Why take the wine when He wouldn’t earlier? To wet his throat to be able to cry out loudly? No one took His life from Him. He gave up His life (cf. John 10: 18).
The veil we’ve studied in the Old Testament tore from the top to the bottom, from Heaven down to earth. This opened the Holy of Holies for believers today.
A centurion recognized at that point that Jesus was God (Mark 15: 39).
The boys were no where to be found but many of the women were at the cross, including Jesus’ mother (Mark 15: 40, 41).
Mark 15: 22 -41 The Burial
The day before the Sabbath which began on Friday night (Jewish Days began at sunset) could have been Thursday. It would have to have been on Thursday to squeeze in three days and three nights before the day of Resurrection on Sunday (fulfilling the type of Jonah in the fish, cf. Mat. 12: 39-41). Joseph of Arimathea, who was rich (Mat. 27: 57), asked Pilate for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to find out that Jesus had died already. When confirmed that Jesus had died, he allowed Joseph the body. Joseph wrapped Him in a linen cloth and laid Him in his own tomb (Mat. 27: 60) and rolled a rock in front of it. Mary Magdalene and Mary of Joses made note of where he took Jesus’ body.