The Journey to the Cross and Beyond
With Easter just days away, we want to take a few moments to bring you back to the cross to recount what happened leading up to the crucifixion, death, burial, and Resurrection of Jesus. But we don't want the journey to end there. We want to examine how these events in history not only impacted the people in Jesus' time but how it continues to change lives today. Join us over the next four days as we unpack the journey to the cross and beyond.
Read: Mark 15:1-41
When we read Mark 15, we read about Jesus being delivered to Pilot, the people's decision to crucify an innocent man (Jesus), the crucifixion, death of Jesus, and his burial. We read of the mockery, torture, and pain of a perfect and innocent man. The son of God was treated as though He was a criminal. This is not how He deserved to be treated. The people should have been honoring Him as king and falling on their knees in worship. If we look back at Isaiah 11:1-9, we see that Jesus was promised as a Savior. He was going to set all things right again. Jesus was the promised king from the line of David that rules over creation. Yet, men spit in his face, mocked Him, brutally beat Him, and nailed Him to a tree in the presence of two criminals.
How does the way that Jesus, our risen savior and king, was brutally treated affect the way you view Him?
As Jesus silently hung between heaven and earth, the religious leaders, scribes, people of the community, and even those crucified with him mocked and declared, "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." v 31+32
Jesus very easily could have stopped all of the pain, all of the affliction that He was facing. He could have showed them that He was capable of this, but He knew that this would not fulfill the wrath of God. He knew that in order to redeem us, He had to endure not only the physical suffering of this brutal death but also the separation from God the Father. When Jesus cried out at the ninth hour, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” v 34
This is not simply a cry of loneliness. Jesus was forsaken by God. Forsaken means abandoned or deserted. He was abandoned by God because Jesus Christ had taken all of our sin, guilt, filth, and shame upon himself. Jesus was being judged and punished for all of our sin. He was paying our ransom. Jesus was sacrificing His perfect life in unity with God so that we could be brought near to God. He sacrificed himself so that we could have access to God the Father. He sacrificed himself so that we could be cleansed of ALL impurities. Jesus sacrificed himself so that we could experience what it was like to walk with God.
Jesus did not just endure physical suffering on the cross. Jesus endured spiritual suffering as well. How do you reflect your thankfulness for this sacrifice? How can your time with God, spending time in His presence, show gratefulness to your access to God the Father?
Take a moment to listen to this song and pray that you would be able to see the amazing display of love that was shown on the wonderful cross. Pray that you would be able to see the great cost that brings you access to the Father. May it draw you to a point where you realize that it demands you soul, your life, your all.
The story doesn't end there. The prophecy would not have been fulfilled if the story ended there. Tune back in tomorrow as we explore the next part of this story.