/ crucifixion / Bryan Schneider

The Moment the World Stood Still

Imagine, if you will, the sun at its zenith, suddenly cloaked in an inexplicable darkness. This wasn't an eclipse or a storm but a cosmic sign marking a pivotal moment in history. At the heart of this darkness was Jesus, hanging on the cross, enduring not just physical agony but the weight of humanity's sin. His cry, "My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?" pierces through time as a haunting echo of divine direlection.

The Veil is Torn

As Jesus breathed his last, an extraordinary event unfolded in the temple: the veil separating the Holy of Holies from the world was torn in two, from top to bottom. This wasn't a random tear but a divine act. It was as if the Father had reached down from heaven and with his own hands tore the veil from top to bottom. God was signaling the end of the old covenant and the ushering in of a new way to approach Him. No longer would it be with the blood of animal sacrifices but through the ultimate sacrifice of Jesus. The Father had demonstrated the depths of His own love.

Witnesses to History

In a time when the disciples had scattered, it was the women, steadfast and faithful, who witnessed these events. Their testimony, detailed and precise, underscores the historical accuracy of this narrative. These women observed not just a tragic end to their Lord’s life but the fulfillment of ancient prophecies and the dawn of a new covenant.

A Bold Request by Joseph of Arimathea

Joseph of Arimathea's request to bury Jesus was bold and fraught with risk. He was asking for the body of a condemned resurrectionsit. Yet, Joseph’s courage underscores a profound declaration of faith. His reputation, place in the council, and financial well being all paled in comparison to the love he had for Jesus. By giving Jesus a dignified burial, Joseph fulfilled the ancient prophecy of the suffering servant in Isaiah:

And they made His grave with the wicked, But with the rich at His death, Because He had done no violence, Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

The Question That Echoes

This historical event commands us to respond. The darkness, the torn veil, the bold actions of a few - they're not just elements of a story but markers of a truth that demands a personal response. Do we see in Jesus's death as just an historical footnote. Or, do we believe Jeus is the Son of God, who bore our sins and bridged the gap between us and God?

Reflecting on the Cross

We must do more than just reflect on a moment in history. This was the demonstration of God’s love for us. Jesus’s death bids us to come and be saved. Jesus’s death calls us to be reconciled to God through His blood. Through Jesus alone, we have access to the Father, forgiveness of sins, and the hope of eternal life.

An Invitation to Believe

This historical narrative isn't just for us to admire from afar. No! We are to be drawn into a deeper relationship with God. Not only do we believe this to be a true historical narrative. We are called to see in Jesus's sacrifice a personal call to come to the foot of the cross and receive the profound love and grace offered to us.

As we stand in the shadow of the cross, let us remember Jesus's love. Let us be comforted that he paid the cost of our freedom. Let us come with empty hands to receive Jesus. May the light He shines in our hearts cause us to live in the light of His grace. May God’s Spirit move us not only to admiration but to transformation. May we embrace the hope and life God had purchased for us at the price of His beloved Son.

Worthy is the Lamb.

For more resources on Mark 15:33-47 including: sermon, daily devotions, suggested bible study, and sermons, go to https://sharonrpc.org/mark-153347

Bryan Schneider

Bryan Schneider

Husband to Olivia. Father of Nathan, Deborah, Daniel, & Ellie. Blessed to serve Sharon RP Church (sharonrpc.org). Loving Rural life.

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