Intro: Mark; to be reminded who Jesus is, and what it means to follow Him. Last week, we saw Jesus on trial
before Pilate. Despite Pilate's protest that Jesus is innocent, the crowd called for Jesus' crucifixion. Pilate
sentenced Jesus to be crucified. Today, we will discuss what different people around Christ's cross saw.
The Soldiers! (Read Mark 15:22-24.) The soldiers bring Jesus to Golgotha. Jesus refused the wine mixed with
myrrh that He was offered, which may have helped relieve the pain. He was committed to fully experience God's
wrath over our sins! Mark doesn't spend any time on the details of the crucifixion; his audience knew only too
well what was involved. Affixing a person to a cross by ropes or nails, and watching their slow, agonizing death.
What do the soldiers see? Just another criminal being killed; just another day on the job. To pass time, they
gamble over Christ's clothing; it's one of the perks! What do the soldiers see? "What each would get!" They're
only seeing what they can gain.
Application : Even today, many people focus on making money to provide for their family. Don't see Christ
on the cross, suffering for sin, securing salvation.
The Surrounding Crowd! (Read Mark 15:25-32.)
Jesus is crucified at 9 am. The charge against Him? He's the King of the Jews, a treasonous offense in a Roman
territory. He is crucified between two robbers/terrorists. People "pass by" (on a nearby road,) and mock and
insult Him. The chief priests and the teachers of the Law also mock Him: What kind of Christ is helpless and
dying? How can He save anyone? "Come down now from the cross; then we'll see and believe!" Only willing to accept
a King they approve of, can understand, can control! What do the religious leaders see? Only see Jesus as a
helpless fraud unable to save.
Application: Even today, many religious people want a God they can understand, can control, can demand
wealth, health, victory from. They don't see their need for the Christ who suffered for sin, to secure salvation.
The Sympathetic Man! (Read Mark 15:33-36.)
Darkness covers the land from noon to 3 pm. After this, Jesus cries out in Aramaic, "My God, My God, why have You
forsaken Me?", (quoting Psalm 22:1.) Holy mystery, when Jesus, carrying the guilt of our sin, felt cut off from
His Father's presence/favor. Possibly due to either His dry mouth, or b/c of His accent, some nearby
misunderstand; think He's calling to Elijah for help. (Popular Jewish thought that Elijah might return from heaven
in times of great need.) From sympathy or mockery, one man fills a sponge w/wine vinegar and offers it to Jesus.
"Let's see if Elijah comes!" What does this man see? Only sees Jesus as someone who needs help!
Application: Even today, many people believe in spiritual things. May be new age mysticism or a shallow
"Christianity." But they don't see the Cross as central; don't see their need for the Christ who suffered for sin,
to secure salvation.
The Centurion! (Read Mark 15:37-39.) W/a loud cry, Jesus takes His last breath. The temple curtain is torn from
top to bottom; the barrier between God and humans has been torn down through Christ's death; a joyous, terrifying
thought. The Roman centurion doesn't see this. He just observes Jesus' super-natural death; a crucified person
died of suffocation, so where did the "great cry" come from? The centurion declares, "Surely this man was the Son
of God!" What does this Roman centurion see? He sees Jesus for who He truly is: the Christ, the Son of God! This
man provides the example of true faith.
Application: Even today, some see that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. They see the cross as central, as
crucial; they see their need for the Christ who suffered for their sin, to secure their salvation.