Day 18

The Crucifixion

from the Mark reading plan


Mark 15:1-47, Psalm 38:20-22, Hebrews 5:7-10

BY Andrea Lucado

Text: Mark 15:1-47, Psalm 38:20-22, Hebrews 5:7-10

Here we are at Mark 15—the crucifixion of our Savior. Would you enter into this text with me?

At the start of this chapter, we find Jesus standing before a crowd of chief priests, elders, and scribes. These men, along with Pilate, do not believe Jesus is the Son of God, and they accuse Him of many things.  

From there, Jesus is taken in front of an even greater crowd, a “multitude.” They, too, refuse to believe He is the Son of God, and demand for Him to die a criminal’s death.

Then, the soldiers take Him away and clothe Him in a robe and a crown of thorns. “Hail, King of the Jews!” they yell (Mark 15:18). But they don’t actually believe Jesus is the Son of God, and so they mock Him, beat Him, and then lead Him away.

Now, as Jesus hangs on the cross, the bystanders and passersby do not believe He is the Son of God. They blaspheme Him and taunt Him.

It seems everyone—Pilate, the chief priests, the multitude, the soldiers—has denied who Christ is. Nobody believes. All are blind and darkness consumes them, both literally and metaphorically.

This is our Good Friday sermon, and we know it well. We know we have to wait until Sunday, resurrection day, before we can talk about hope and life. But if we look closely at this chapter, we see a glimmer of hope begin to slide its way in, right here, in the ninth hour as the darkness lifts and Jesus cries out His final words: “‘Eloi, Eloi, lemá sabachtháni?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’” (Mark 15:34).

Until this moment, all we have seen and heard is denial, skepticism, and accusation toward Christ. Now, in the midst of all these voices, rises one who believes: “When the centurion, who was standing opposite Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, ‘This man really was God’s Son!’” (Mark 15:39).

Finally, the truth is spoken about who Jesus really is.

After the centurion, Mark mentions the other believers who were present, like Mary Magdalene, “many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem,” and Joseph of Arimathea (v. 40-41). The story is still dark, Sunday is not yet here, but as these people are highlighted amongst the unbelievers, we begin to feel all is not lost.

When I read the centurion’s words, I am reminded that our disbelief can never be so strong that it will change the truth about who Christ is. In our darkest moments, when everyone around us—in our country, school, workplace, or home—seems to deny Him, Jesus will always be the Son of God. Nothing we say or do, no amount of denial, can change that. What God ordained from the beginning of time cannot be thwarted by a mob. That was true in Mark 15, and it’s true today.

I am really anxious for us to get to the next part of the story, the beautiful resurrection and the hopeful ascension. But as believers, we know there is hope smack dab in the middle of the darkness. All we have to do is look up at the cross and declare what that centurion did so many years ago. Only this time, let’s use present tense: This man really is God’s Son!

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Post Comments (26)

26 thoughts on "The Crucifixion"

  1. Nyaruach Chuol says:

    What God ordained from the beginning of time cannot be thwarted away. Wow!!! This one line gives me so much hope! And Jesus asking God why he’d forsaken him reminds me of all the times I’ve gone through things and I dare ask God why he’s left me. But in his perfect grace, timing, and everlasting love he shows up right on time! Thank you God!

  2. Maiya H says:

    Jesus learned obedience through His suffering. The fact that Jesus suffered for us, learned obedience, went through separation from the Trinity for us..that continues to truly bless me

  3. Gigi Wiggle says:

    I know I’m a few days behind and I’ve never commented before. But I just thought it was amazing that God heard all of Jesus’ pleas. He heard every prayer. But Jesus still had to go through with the brutal death. Something I needed to realize. That God hears my prayers, but sometimes I must go through hard times and tough moments because of the greater good. I must believe that God knows the bigger picture and He is good.

    1. susan says:

      Thanks for that insight.

  4. LoveLaughLyme says:

    Anen great message today

  5. Bev says:

    In today’s political climate, I needed to be reminded of this today: “when everyone around us—in our country, school, workplace, or home—seems to deny Him, Jesus will always be the Son of God… no amount of denial, can change that. What God ordained from the beginning of time cannot be thwarted by a mob. That was true in Mark 15, and it’s true today.” Thank you! So encouraging!

    1. Stephanie M says:

      Amen!! I thought the exact same thing. Praise God for His sovereignty.

  6. Maria says:

    Pilate played to the crowd. He sought to appease the crowd. The crowd was loud and wrong. Today we see politicians seeking to please the crowds. We see ministers editing their messages to satisfy the crowd. Churches have made drastic changes to please the crowd. My prayer today is for leadership to seek to please God. Also, I’m praying for the crowd to receive Christ as Savior and to walk in obedience. As for myself, I pray for God to make me aware when I am in a crowd that is wrong.

    1. Karie says:

      Good words!

    2. Stephanie M says:

      So well said!

    3. Becky says:

      Thank you for this, Maria. God please show me when the crowd I am in is wrong.

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