Mark 15:33-39 NLT
At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. Then at three o’clock Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. “Wait!” he said. “Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down!” Then Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!”
Let’s remember these questions as we dig into this Scripture:IS THERE A SIN TO CONFESS? IS THERE A PROMISE TO CLAIM? IS THERE AN ATTITUDE TO CHANGE? IS THERE A COMMAND TO OBEY? IS THERE AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW? IS THERE A PRAYER TO PRAY? IS THERE AN ERROR TO AVOID? IS THERE A TRUTH TO BELIEVE? IS THERE SOMETHING TO PRAISE GOD FOR?
There are many things I could pull out of this passage but the one thing that personally stands out for me is the last line. The Roman officer’s recognition of who Jesus really was. His statement, “This man truly was the Son of God!” What does that mean? How does that affect me?
This one line changes everything. If Jesus was just a good man, I can live however I want. I can do whatever I want. I can live as if there are no consequences, but if his statement is true, then how I conduct my life really matters.
Based on this Roman officers statement the questions above must be answered for Freda. They must be asked based upon the Truth he had just encountered, not his opinion, but based upon the same Truth that I have encountered. Jesus is the Saviour of the world.
Because He is Saviour, because He is the Son of God, this lost life has been found. This sinful heart has been changed.
Because He is Truth, I can stand upon the promises found in His Word and proclaim those promises over my life.
Because He is Perfect, I must bow my attitudes and imperfections before Him and allow him to reshape this messed up life.
Because He is The Way, I must lay down my plans and all other perceived “ways” and follow His commands. They are truly what will bring life and health to this life.
Because He is the Giver of Life and the Giver of all that is good, I can follow His example. Not only can I, but I need to.
Because He is Truth, all else that claim to be Truth is false. In order to keep my heart from being led into deception, I must follow Truth. I must follow Him.
I Praise God for being who He says He is. Because He is who he claims to be I am a new creation in Christ Jesus.
In summary, because He is the Son of God, Freda needs to adjust her life and heart to live with that understanding. If she really does, it will change how she lives. She will not live for the moment, but will willingly follow the One who leads the way, the One who is Truth, and in doing so she will live for a Kingdom that cannot be shaken. She will live like she believes Him.
Pat McRae says:January 24, 2014 at 3:10 pm
I am so thankful that in my darkest hour I will never have to cry out, “My God, why have you forsaken me?” Oh I may not be able to recognize Jesus and what He is doing for me in that hour but I know that I know He will be there. Why? Because He has promised never to leave me nor to forsake me. I know the enemy will come along and point out the darkness and all the little things that can make one take their eyes off Jesus too make the darkness seem even darker. But when our eyes are on Jesus we will be just like the centurion we will recognize Him and declare God is with us and for us so who or what can be against us.
I refuse to any longer make the error judgement that just because it is dark God is not present. Another error judgement I have made in the past when it has been a dark place is that I am not worth as much as others. After all I haven’t lead thousands to the foot of the cross, nor lived in a hut in a leopard colony. I haven’t even been obedient but have been very rebellious at times. So how could i be worth anything?
Oh how I love Jesus! He paid a huge price for me, the same price for everyone who receives Him as Saviour!!! This is one truth that puts a smile on my face, joy in my heart and gives me peace to wait out the darkness because I know the light is going to shine soon. So just like Jesus when I am in another one of those dark hours I am only going to be focused on one thing, “I know You are here God, help me Holy Spirit to hear my Daddy’s voice.”
Thank You Holy Spirit for revealing new things to me through this passage of scripture today. May God’s Word never become just another familiar story to me. Help me to always find todays meaning from the examples of long ago.
I also want to thank everyone who comments each day. I find it so wonderful how we each read the same scripture but the Holy Spirit shows us different things. And sometimes the same thing with just a slightly different twist to it. Just goes to show me that everyone has a place in the body that no one else can fill. You see your thoughts help me to see another side of God that I might never of noticed before. So thank you brothers and sisters for your thoughts thy are a blessing to me everyday.
Susan Craig says:January 24, 2014 at 10:56 pm
Thank you Pat-I so agree with you. I also have really appreciated everyone’s input in this study-I can’t believe we are halfway thru it already!! Everyday I check the posting first thing after I get up so I can see what I will be thinking about for the rest of my day. Sometimes I write sooner than other times but it has to purcolate in my brain and in my heart for awhile before I feel the Spirit’s leading for my own response. I am very grateful to be a part of this study-I feel like I have grown so much since we started this 20 days ago. Especially thankful to Freda for setting us up with her thoughts first because I see great wisdom in her remarks. The Word of God is alive and active and even tho most of these passages are very familiar to me,I am drawing new wisdom/fresh perspective from them.
I also focused on the “My God,why have you forsaken me?” comment of Jesus when He was on the cross. I feel that Jesus was most human in this moment of his life. He experienced total separation from His Father so that he could bear our sins on himself at that precise moment and no matter how abandoned we feel at times in our lives,we will never feel what Jesus did at that moment on the cross. God is Holy and when Jesus was carrying our sin on himself,God had to turn away from HIm. He truely was abandoned at that moment. He did this so that we would never have to be eternally seperated from God. The ultimate sacrifice by the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!! My mind can’t even fathom the sacrificial love He demonstrated for us at that moment in time-bearing the punishment for our sin so He could bring us to God. A job that no one else could do but Him-the purpose for HIs birth and life.
I have had moments of darkness in this life that had me literally flat on my back and knocked unto the floor-cowering in a corner-bruised and battered with Satan whispering his lies in my ear-“where is your God now-He has left you alone to suffer-what kind of love is that to abandon you in your time of need”?? It was so hard to believe that God loved me when I felt like I was being punished for some wrong I committed years ago that led to that moment. It was a very dark hopeless place and I felt like I was in the pit of hell. I am being honest here about my feelings at that time. Slowly the Lord brought precious promises from scripture to my mind and they embedded themselves deep in my heart and He gave me the strength to fight off the attack of the enemy of my soul. But I took a long time to recover and at times when I go back there in my memory, I feel like I am still on shaky ground. But standing on the promises of Christ was the key to getting through that experience and I learned firsthand that Jesus keeps His Word-He said He will never leave us or forsake us and He won’t. No matter what we may feel, we must cling to the promises of God found in scripture and use them to fight off our enemy. Jesus did for us what no one else could do and all the praise and glory belongs to Him because He is the only one who deserves it! What a wonderful Savior He is!! Truely He is the Son of God!! When I feel like I am heading back down to that dark place,He reminds me again of how much He loves me and He stays with me til I can rest in His promises again and emerge from that place victorious once more. He saves,He keeps,He is reliable and trustworthy. Others may let us down but He will never ever leave us in our darkest hour. Praying that I never ever forget what a wonderful Savior I have!
Sue says:January 24, 2014 at 11:15 pm
“My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”
As much as I could try I cannot imagine how that must have felt. This stood out to me because it underlines the extent that Jesus went to on my behalf. I wonder what degree of darkness one must be experiencing when they are abandoned by God. The coldness … the isolation … the void …
My mind can’t go that far and thank God that it never has to. As Pat mentioned, He has promised never to leave us, never to forsake us. That is the promise that I cling to during those times when the enemy tries to convince me that there is no hope, that I am alone, that the darkness is overpowering. I am reminded that our enemy is a liar also because of a truth that is stated in another of the Gospels (John 1:5), “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” No matter how dark our situation might seem … it cannot overcome the Light of the world.
“This man truly was the Son of God!” … this is the other statement that stood out in this passage. This is a truth that could not be denied. Jesus’ divinity was clear to those who were open to see it … even as He hung bleeding and dying on the cross, barely recognizable.
And I have to ask myself why I find it so easy to overlook that one certain fact … that my Saviour is the Son of God? In the everyday living out of my Christian walk I find so often that I forget exactly Who He is in my life. When loaded down with ‘busy-ness’ I need to remember that He is my Rest. When bowed under the effects of sickness I need to recognize the fact that He is my Healer. When the craziness of this world closes in I need to remember the One who said “Be still and know that I am God”.
Too high a price was paid for me to take it lightly. I think of the soldiers at the foot of the cross … jeering, joking, sneering … and I wonder how one soldier could see it so clearly while the rest treated His sacrifice as a joke.
This brings me to the last thing that caught my attention : “When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” “. Jesus was recognized by the way He died. We are called to die … to die to self … to die to our flesh … to die daily. Would anyone recognize Christ in me through the way that I live out this death?
This is a tremendous piece of scripture. It denies the enemy’s claim on my life if I embrace it. I agree with Pastor Freda … that one line changes everything! Even the hardened heart of the Roman soldier could not deny the deity of Jesus. I wonder how his life changed from that moment on. We aren’t told much about him, but I cannot think but that his life had to be changed in a dramatic way if he embraced the discovery he made. But if he turned his back on the revelation he had been given, then he would have known the darkness felt by those who turned from God.
IS THERE A SIN TO CONFESS? Every sin needs to be confessed and laid at the foot of the cross.
IS THERE A PROMISE TO CLAIM? If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins. 1 John 1:9
IS THERE AN ATTITUDE TO CHANGE? Anything that causes me to take Jesus’ sacrifice lightly needs to change.
IS THERE A COMMAND TO OBEY? I must take up my cross daily … for me it isn’t enough to just look upon Him on His cross. Luke 9:23
IS THERE AN EXAMPLE TO FOLLOW? Jesus is always the ultimate example to follow.
IS THERE A PRAYER TO PRAY? A prayer of contrition & repentance.
IS THERE AN ERROR TO AVOID? … making light of the Gospel. “I will not offer burnt offerings to the Lord my God of that which costs me nothing.” 2 Sam 24:24
IS THERE A TRUTH TO BELIEVE? Because of Christ’s sacrifice on the cross I can have confidence that I will never be forsaken if I embrace that Truth.
IS THERE SOMETHING TO PRAISE GOD FOR? Grace … Forgiveness … Mercy … Love … Salvation … (there is actually no end to this list) 🙂
Jim Holmes says:January 24, 2014 at 11:44 pm
The scripture tells us that it was dark 3 hours, before Jesus died. Just prior to His death, Jesus cries “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” which tells us that He took our sins upon Himself and that He through His own body dealt with our sin nailing it to the tree (the cross) and was about to die. The Father could not look upon the sins of the world, and separated Himself from His Son…death is separation from God, and is the penalty of sin. He was thirsty, having lost blood, weakened through the ordeal of being wiped, ridiculed, disfigured, crucified… After He drank, the scriptures say He cried with a loud voice. The gospel of Luke says He cried loud “Father, into your hands I commend by spirit.”…and then gave up the ghost. The veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom indicating that the wall of separation between man and God was opened through Christ Jesus…the way made open into the Holy of Holies…that through Jesus we have access to God, His Father. The veil that separated us had been taken away and opened the way for us to have relationship with God through His Son.
Jesus went through a horrifying ordeal for us…yet He did not sin. There is no greater love than this…to lay His life down for us. The ridicule and mocking of many of the bystanders, the weeping of those that loved Him, the spiritual darkness of the hour as the spiritual battle was carried out…is so beyond my comprehension. Jesus did not abandon us, or His mission. He remained faithful to His Father.
Now, the crunch is this…You are looking at you on the Cross, you crucified with Christ. Jesus doing the work in you, through you…putting you to death some 2000 years ago. You were in Christ Jesus then…by faith, in the finished work of Jesus, the very Son of the Living God. The question is this…will you and I suffer with Him…will you and I take the ridicule…the beating…whatever comes your or my way as we choose to walk, to live out our new Life in Jesus, in this flesh? Jesus in our flesh? Are we “living letters” that the world might see “the Way, the Truth, and the Life? This Life never grows old…it is Eternal life in God’s Son. Can we walk through the valley of the shadow of death? or survive in the desert places? What excuse do we have not to follow through…when we have the same Holy Spirit who is our Teacher and Comforter? God is our fortress…our stronghold…our strength. In whom shall I fear? He promised never to leave nor forsake us. Will we get to know Him in our suffering as well as in our mountain top experiences? Let us be careful never to ridicule, to hurt on another…we are a family, through whom God seeks to build His church…loving and caring for one another, for “He (Jesus) cares for you”.