Mark 15:33-41

Mark 15:33-41 … Scripture spares us the awful details of crucifixion. Historians and medical science supply what we commonly hear of the inhumane Roman practice of criminal crucifixion, so awful to contemplate that it was prohibited for Romans to be executed that way – it was only used for foreign criminals. Mark gives the time of all this – Christ was crucified at the third hour (9 a.m., v.25). At noon (v.33) darkness supernaturally fell over the entire region until 3 p.m. (v.34) when Christ cries out from the cross with the opening words from Psalm 22: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?” What occurred that caused Christ to proclaim that God had forsaken Him? Most believe it was at this point that all the sins of the world were poured out upon Christ as our sin-bearer. God will not co-exist with sin and so at this point, there is spiritual separation from God. The pain of this separation is said to be more than all the physical suffering and even that is beyond our comprehension.

When Jesus gave up His spirit in physical death, supernatural signs immediately signified this was no ordinary person. The thick woven veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. This was the heavy curtain that separated the Holy Place commonly visited by priests, from the Holy of Holies, the room where the Ark of the Covenant with its Mercy Seat was kept, the room where only the High Priest was permitted to go, and then only once per year on the Day of Atonement (Yom Kippur). This tearing of the veil represented (according to Hebrews 10:20) a new and living way into the presence of God through the Savior Jesus Christ. And at the site of the crucifixion, the centurion proclaimed in awe: “Truly this was the Son of God!”

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