In the Gospel of Mark 15 records the account of the event took place before the resurrection of Jesus Christ.
And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull).And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.And it was the third hour when they crucified him.
And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,save yourself, and come down from the cross!”
So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself.Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.”And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.”
And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” (Mark 15:22-39)
Darkness Overshadow the Savior of the World
Jesus going through the cross meant this. We find where Jesus went deliberately and willing to his death, to the cross, to the agony of pain and scrutiny.
In fact, Jesus came to be killed, and he knew it. Jesus even taught his follower that he must be killed! And he gives us the why of what he did for us.
“For the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Mark 10:45)
“At the sixth hour, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (v. 33).
This is pointing to the Jewish system, which means it is the middle of the day. This is an oxymoron cause at the very moment when the sun should have been at its brightest, darkness fell upon the land.
This was a festivity period called the Passover! Something supernatural is happening here. Time and time again, scripture speaks of imagery of light and darkness. Light symbolizes God’s favor, on the other hand darkness as God’s wrath.
As Jesus hang on that wooden tree, Jesus was dying on the cross, darkness came over the whole land. The anger and wrath of God in punishment of sin was on display to the whole world.
The Wrath of God Crushed the Only Begotten Son of God
“It was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt.” (Isaiah 53:10) Another translation says IT PLEASED TO CRUSH HIM! “Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God!” (Rom. 5:9)
“The cross is a symbol of how much God loved!” No, it is a sign of how much it cost to the point of His own Son’s death.
Somebody needed to pay the price! Somebody needed to take the punishment of the cup of wrath! The wrath of God against abominable wicked sinners, an anger of personal hostility against all wrongs.
Listen to what Jesus says in Mark 15:34; “At the night hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice ‘Eloi, Eloi lama sabachthani!’ which means, ‘My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
On the cross, Jesus was forsaken by God the Father; abandoned, looked away, as the punishment of sin was upon the pure Lamb of God.
Jesus the perfect spotless Lamb of God, completely sinless life. Not even Pilate could find a single fault in him. Why would God do this? Why would Jesus need to go such agony of pain? Why God allows this excruciating pain in suffering?
“To give his life as a ransom for many.” (v. 45).
Jesus gave himself for our punishment, Jesus took the punishment on our behalf. He bore the wrath and drank the cup that you and I deserved, so we can be rescued. Scripture says, “God was pleased to have all his fullness dwell in Jesus” He, Jesus, the Son of God, took the full penalty in order to fully rescue us from the slave market of sin.
The Ultimate Victory was Won through the Resurrection
Why would followers of Christ want to remind themselves of his death – especially a death that was so gruesome and agonizing?
This blessing we have? “An inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading.” (1 Pet. 1:4).
Jesus took our sin upon himself, the punishment of our sin, everything so no one ever needs to go through it again. It was done for once and for all! He died as my substitute. In my place. Taking the punishment, I deserved. The price that was paid by Jesus for our sin, this is amazing.
Because of the cross and the empty tomb, the way is now open for all to come. Sins have been fully paid and fully accessible!
This is the awestruck reality of the good news of Jesus Christ. who died for my sin. And in fact, for the whole world for those who place their trust in Him!
The gospel begins with God’s love, penetrates through the cross and the empty tomb, and results in eternal life for those who believe.
You and I clearly know, we need a rescuer. We need rescue from our bondage of sin and death. You and I are doomed in our sinful state and God has send a Savior. His name is Jesus Christ. This is only possible through that One Name that is greater than any other.
That is the reason we can confidently declare the words of the apostle Paul,
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to his great mercy, he has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead! (1 Pet. 1:3)