“And when they had mocked Him, they took the purple off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.”
We have come to the most solemn and most important of all Biblical events. The entire life and ministry of Jesus, as well as the whole of human history, has been leading up to these events. Jesus declared, no one could take His life, but that He would lay it down (John 10:18). That day has finally arrived. Without a fight, Jesus, the creator and sustainer of heaven and earth, was taken by the mob, condemned by the the courts, beaten by the soldiers, and nailed to the cross. There on a cross of wood, amidst the clamor of the mob, He would bear the penalty for the sins of all humanity. Louder than all the jeering of the mockers, the laughing of the soldiers, the accusations of the pharisees and the weeping of the disciples, rang out the cry “My God, My God why have You forsaken Me?”
The answer to His question is one so great, it is beyond the human experience to understand. The Son of God, the One who always did the will of the Father and heard the Father declare, “This is My Beloved Son in whom I am well pleased”, now experienced the greatest horror anyone could ever experience. The penalty of sin, separation from God, was placed upon Christ. When Isaiah wrote, “surely He bore our iniquity”, he was referring to the cross. He was speaking of the weight, the guilt and the penalty of sin being placed on Christ, so we would never have to bear it ourselves. Oh, what amazing grace, that Jesus would bear my sin and yours.
It has always amazed me to observe the reaction of the people around the cross, as Jesus is being crucified. I notice the soldiers at the foot of the cross. Failing to understand the severity of the moment, or the brevity of life, they are playing games for Jesus clothes. How sad that many still treat Jesus in the same way. Instead of seeing Him as Savior, and surrendering to Him as Lord, they look to Him for what they can get out of Him. Their relationship with Jesus is reduced to simply seeing Him as the one who will give them what they want.
I notice the crowd, made up of people from all walks of life. While He is bearing their iniquity, they are asking Him to prove Himself. It is not enough that He lived a sinless life, fulfilled hundreds of prophecies, and transformed the lives of all who received Him; these men wanted further proof. Isn’t it interesting, by ignoring their request to come down from the cross, Jesus is, in fact, proving He is the Savior. What horror would await us had Jesus acquiesced to their request and come down from the cross. Instead of the penalty of sin being placed upon Him, it would still be awaiting us.
I also notice the centurion who stood by watching these events. He had a front row seat as the Son of God breathed His last. Rather than accepting the popular opinions about Jesus, he cried out,
“Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
If we will look to Him, as the centurion did, believing He is the Son of God and Savior of Humanity, then we will see Him transform our lives and find that instead of horror, heaven awaits us.
Questions for Mark 15
- Jesus is taken from the Jewish authorities to the Roman authorities because the Jews did not have the right of capital punishment. If they wanted Jesus to be publically shamed the religious leaders must convince Rome that Jesus has committed crimes worthy of death.
- How does Jesus respond to the accusation of being “King of the Jews?”
- Who does the crowd choose to have releases?
- What strikes you about their choice?
- Take some time to carefully examine the suffering that Jesus endured. Make a list of all the physical beatings He endured.
- Look up crucifixion to understand more what Jesus endured for us.
- Think about the statement, “save yourself, and come down from the cross” Why are you glad Jesus did not do as they asked?
- What happened after Jesus breathed His last?
- What do you think gave Joseph the courage to openly be known as a follower of Jesus?