February 28th, 2019
By J.T. Overby
Read Mark 15
Jesus is taken from his own people and handed over to the Romans for them to do the dirty work. They knew how to inflict pain and how to bring death. Jesus, knowing full well what is coming for him does nothing to stop it. He doesn’t offer up any lofty arguments to talk his way out of the suffering. He is drinking the cup of the Father’s wrath so that we can know his love. The Jews plead for a murderer to be released over Jesus, and it is there we see the glorious exchange take place for us as well. We, the guilty party, get to walk free while Jesus goes to the cross, taking out sentence of guilty with him.
Jesus is mocked, beaten, tortured, and finally stripped of his garments and put on the cross. The world then stands around and mocks him. From the soldier standing around, the Jew passing by, or the religious leader, they all mock and scorn him. “He saved others, why doesn’t he save himself!” But Jesus came for this.
Finally, after three hours on the cross the world goes dark. All of evil has summoned their best punch and given it to Jesus. Not only that, but Jesus now feels forsakenness from the Father on the cross as he cries out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” After three hours in darkness he cries out and breathes his last.
The supposed Christ, the bringer of the Kingdom of God, the one who healed the sick, gave sight to the blind, and brought the dead back to life is now dead. Now what?
Spend a few moments silently reflecting over the events of this chapter, the weight of what we see our Savior going through here. Yes, we know how the story ends, but let the weight of what happens in this chapter hit you. Know that even in the darkest moments, when all hope seems lost, when God is nowhere to be seen, we know our Savior went through infinitely more suffering—for our sake.
God, give me eyes to see even the most familiar parts of Mark 15 in new and life-giving ways. Give me grace to feel the weight of darkness better. Give me grace to appreciate your love and light all the more! Amen.