A CLOSER WALK
by Pastor Bill Meadows
“Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour” (Mark 15:32-33). You can read the whole chapter of Mark 15.
I want to ask you a question. What was Jesus to the soldier? Was he just another man condemned to death. These soldiers put many people to death. Here is an opportunity to have fun at the expense of someone who seemed to be powerless. They were thinking that a man who says He is God; let us see if He really is God. “And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross” (Mark 15:29-30).
The punishment was horrible. Crucifixion is one of the most gastly forms of execution that man has ever invented. But much more than that, when Jesus was on the cross He was bearing the punishment from all the sins of all His people plus the gentiles. Think about it: He bore all the pain and suffering that we deserved and all the punishment of an eternity in hell for thousands and millions of people who will not pay for their sin debt.
The Act of God: Mark records the acts of God, two miracles took place while Jesus was on the cross. The first is darkness. Passover took place in the spring in Israel, when there is little or no rain. The sky would have been very clear. When Jesus was on the cross, it was 9 AM then at the sixth hour something happened suddenly; darkness covered the land maybe like a coal mine where there is no light inside of any mine. Note that all the mocking and ridicule of Jesus all stopped there on Golgotha. Something is going on there, and everyone who was there knew something was happening at that cross.. Now, with the end of Jesus life at is hand, God underscores that statement. The light is departing: and without Him we are in utter darkness!. “I want you to pay attention here!”
The second miracle is recorded in verse, “And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Mark 15:37-38). This is clearly a miracle, how can the veil in the temple get torn, beginning from the top? But why did God do this?
If you would read in the Bible about the temple you would recall that the veil separated the Holy of Holies, the place that signifies the dwelling place of God, from the rest of the temple. No one could enter this sacred place except the High Priest and he could only enter in once a year after following strict instruction for His purification. But now the veil is torn in two, opening the way to God’s very presence! We all have a direct access to God because of this veil being torn!
Remember my opening question: Was the crucifixion of Jesus the greatest injustice the world has ever seen? Yes, but it is also the greatest display of justice the world has ever seen, but it was justice for you and for me. For all those things were said previously were not true about Jesus but are true about each of us: outward sin. inward sins. failing to honor God. greed, and self- righteousness. The death of Jesus pays the penalty for all those sins. So God is “just and the justifier of anyone who has faith in Jesus“ Romans 3:26, “To declare, I say, at this time his righteousness;: that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Jesus.“ God still hates sin, He ensures that every sin receives its just punishment, but He also has for Himself a people for His own possession by the death of Jesus on the cross. That is the reason Jesus came to save us from hell and then we become a child of God. Like I have said, no one but Jesus the only begotten Son of God came for me and for you. He came to die a horrible death and He went through that death for us. That is what Easter is all about. Go to church and give your life to Jesus; instead ask Jesus right now to come into your heart and save you!
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