Past Issues

Jesus -- the Messiah #32

The great events of the battle between Jesus and Satan now take place.


Read Mark 15:33-47.


The Death of Jesus

33 At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.”

36 One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. 41 In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

The Burial of Jesus

42 It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. 46 So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.



Notes:



v. 34 – Jesus cries out the first verse of Psalm 22:     “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?”



There are several dimensions to this great cry of anguish of soul.




  • One is that Jesus fulfills one of the prophetic visions of the suffering of the Messiah.

  • Another is that He identifies with all those who have felt abandoned by God.

  • Thirdly, we also see the close relationship that Jesus had with the Father, as He open-heartedly prays to Him.




Most significant, however, is that this cry reveals to us what Jesus was undergoing during the three hours of darkness. (v. 33) He had been undergoing hell, for that is what abandonment by God is. He had been confronting Satan in his own territory.



v. 37 – With Jesus’ death, it would seem that Satan had won the battle.     It would seem that Jesus’ enemies had gotten rid of them as they’d hoped. However, there is a striking detail that Mark provides. Jesus died “with a loud cry.” Was that a cry of despair, or was it a cry of victory? People don’t shout with their last breath. Was Jesus giving His life with a shout of victory?



v. 38 – At that moment, the curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the sight of the people was torn in two. What did that mean? Was something new happening in the relationship between God and man?


v. 39 – The Roman centurion was the most objective observer at the events.     He realized that this was no ordinary death when he “heard His cry and saw how He died.”  This Gentile became the first of many Gentiles to conclude: “Surely this man was the Son of God!”



v. 44 – The governor Pilate also recognized that this was no ordinary death.  Jesus had
completed His purpose.  The battle for righteousness was won.  Satan was defeated.  Jesus gave up His life Himself.



What difference does it make if Jesus died because of the crucifixion or if He gave up His life Himself?  God’s way of love was triumphant in Jesus’ selfless death.  Do you have a sense of the victory He won?  

If Jesus was the Messiah and the true Presence of God on earth, then we know that God is all love.  Then we know that He loves and accepts us.  He forgives and welcomes us.  He is all love!


Looking forward to your email,


Abraham


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