The Moment They’ve Been Waiting For!

Mark 15:24-32

Parallel Texts: Matthew 27:31-44; Luke 23:26-43; John 19:17-27

All those sleepless nights, the opportunities missed, the embarrassments in public, the plots, the cabals, the treachery… all of it had come to fruition for the loving and righteous men of Israel, for today, at this time, at this hour… RIGHT NOW! Jesus of Nazareth is being executed! Finally they had gotten what they wanted…

Mark’s account of the crucifixion is of course brief. Yet, even in his pithiness, Mark includes one little detail that should jolt us out of the  haze we might feel at reading a text that is so familiar to us. ‘Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, come down from the cross and save yourself!”’ (vv. 29-30)

Such impatience! Jesus was destroying the temple by being on the cross, if you want to see it raised again, you need to wait a couple of days!  Of course, they were clueless about these words.

Even the other two being crucified hurl insults at Him, and of course the Jewish leaders have some choice comments to make, showing just how classy they really are. The powers and authorities of this world were having a field-day, thoroughly enjoying their triumph over God.

Then, something wonderful happens…

Mark 15:33-41

Parallel Texts: Matthew 27:45-56; Luke 23:44-49; John 19:28-30

Jesus suddenly cries out, quoting Psalm 22:1, people get excited, maybe Elijah will come… wouldn’t that be something to see? Elijah does not come, and shortly thereafter Jesus dies.

Had God forsaken Him at that moment? Theologians argue about that, but I think that He did, for Jesus had become sin on that cross. No, Jesus didn’t sin, but He became sin for us. Isn’t it something… Jesus had become the sin of those who had placed Him on that cross, and for their very insults they were hurling at that moment.

Then Jesus died.

The curtain in the temple was torn in two; the Old Covenant had seen its final sacrifice and passed into history as the temple of Jesus’ body died; history itself had reached its climax.

Matthew tells us about an earthquake and clouds that darkened the sun, things that usually signify God’s judgment. A Roman centurion has a surprising remark, and the opponents of Jesus head for their homes feeling… what? Relief probably. Sorrow was the dominant emotion of those women who remained there, His last followers. They would see to the arraignments.

The story, however, had only just begun.

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About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
This entry was posted in Bible and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

11 Responses to The Moment They’ve Been Waiting For!

  1. TangentSpace says:

    In one of the meditations on the passion, I have read that – Jesus died because God abandoned Him. The physical torture was too great and killed Him eventually, but the sorrow from the abandonment by God was greater.

    Isn’t it because of a parallel reason why dying in mortal sin will lead to eternal death?

  2. pipermac5 says:

    I can imagine that the religious leaders were strutting around like Banty-roosters and partying like rock-stars while Satan and his minions were dancing a jig. They had prevailed, or so they thought.

    As horrible a death as the crucifixion was, physical death is only part of the penalty for sin. Yes, God the Father HAD to turn out the lights. He HAD to turn His back on His only Son. Jesus, who had never been separated from His Father’s presence for even one pico-second in all of eternity, was abandoned on that cross. While we mumble “He descended into hell” when we recite the Apostle’s Creed, I’m not sure we really understand what they meant to Jesus.

  3. Eventide says:

    I think he turned his back on him too and I think that was the ultimate punishment. Something Jesus will know always and that we never have to face because of him. We don’t even fully realize what he has done for us yet.

  4. Matt Brumage says:

    I think the Trinity, as hard as it is to imagine, takes a shocking turn when we it fractured at the cross. I believe Jesus finished, and was substituted for our sin before He breathed His last. Our sin caused a separation between us and our God. Yet He took all that on Himself. Gives me chills just thinking about it.

  5. paulfg says:

    How sad that at the very end we choose to believe Jesus to have been deserted by His own Father who could not come near His own dying Son because of “sin”. I choose to believe Love is stronger than sin and death. I choose to believe the Father cradled His Son even His Son’s frail human body expired of life. Or else Love without condition “fears” sin. Why else would we choose to believe God must desert Jesus – become separated – become distant – by even a smidgeon?

    When those I love have been at death’s door, we have all drawn together, surrounded them with love – even our frail imperfect human love.

    That is why I cannot comprehend our wonderful infinite God would do any less. I cannot comprehend “sin” winning – not even for a second. Not in Jesus or God.

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