Thursday, October 13, 2021
31-32 The high priests, along with the religion scholars, were right there mixing it up with the rest of them, having a great time poking fun at him: “He saved others—but he can’t save himself! Messiah, is he? King of Israel? Then let him climb down from that cross. We’ll all become believers then!” Even the men crucified alongside him joined in the mockery.
33-34 At noon, the sky became extremely dark. The darkness lasted three hours. Finally, at three o’clock, Jesus groaned out of the depths, crying loudly, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
35-36 Some of the bystanders who heard him said, “Listen, he’s calling for Elijah.” So someone ran off, soaked a sponge in sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down.”
-Mark 15:31-36 The Message
Verse 31: In the same way, the chief priests and the scribes were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself!
Verse 31 study: We all know that Jesus could have saved himself. But he didn’t; he is selfless. He didn’t save himself because he loves all of us, so he endured the suffering. There were so many things Jesus could have done. For instance, killing those who mocked him. He could of spare himself the humiliation and pain. But he did it because he loves his enemies. We all play a part in the drama-filled afternoon because our sins were on the cross. Jesus died for us on the cross; the penalty for our sins was paid by his death. The response we should give to Jesus is to confess our sins and freely accept the fact Jesus paid for it, so we don’t have to pay for it. Insulting God with indifference towards the greatest act of genuine love in history is total disrespect.
Verse 32: Let this Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
Verse 32 study: James and John asked Jesus for the places of honor next to him in his kingdom. Jesus told them, you don’t know what you were asking (10:35-39). Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death. Two spots on the right and left of Jesus were taken by dying men, who were criminals. Jesus explained to the two disciples that a person who wants to be close to Jesus will have to prepare to suffer and die as he was doing. To get to the kingdom is the way to the cross. If you want the glory of the kingdom, be willing to be united with the crucified Christ.
Verse 33: When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour.
Verse 34: At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabaktanei?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Verse 35: And when some of the bystanders heard Him, they began saying, “Look! He is calling for Elijah!
Verse 36: And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see if Elijah comes to take Him down.”
Verse 34 study: Jesus quoted Psalm 22. The psalm is a prophecy expressed in the Messiah’s death deep agony for the world’s sins. Jesus knew he would be separated from God temporarily the moment he took upon himself the sins of the world. The separation was what he didn’t look forward to as he prayed in Gethsemane. The physical agony was horrible, but the spiritual alienation from God was the ultimate torture.
Father, we don’t think to love our enemies or stay close to them. Our goal is to stay as far away from them as we can. But you stay close because you still love everybody. So with our disagreements, toxic behaviors, let us learn to still love and understand that toxic behavior is not the right direction. In Jesus’ name. Amen!