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The Cruxifiction

Mark 15:21-39, Stephen Clarke, April 8, 2018

Sermon Notes:


  • Focusing on v33-34, v38-39
  • The media shows us so much of the worlds horrors
  • The gospel writers are remarkably restrained 
    • Crucifixion was a horrific thing
    • v20, 24-25: little detail provided
    • The writers focus on other matters which take us to the heart of the events
  • Three central matters of the cross and the Christian Gospel
    • Two outcomes:
    • You will know what the Christian message is
      • We need spiritual understanding
    • To be reminded of the cross
  • Overview:
    • The Darkness (v33)
    • The Cry of Desolation (v34)
    • The Destruction (v38)

The Darkness (v33)

  • Darkness over the land at 12-3pm
    • Darkness at the brightest time of day
    • Darkness over the whole land of Israel
    • Darkness at a time of year you would not get an eclipse
  • What does the darkness mean?
    • Amos 8:9
      • An act of judgment upon the people for their sin
      • A picture of final judgment
        • Not a lost eternity but an eternal blackness of outer darkness
        • Conscious of the eternal fact that God is displeased and angry with them
        • A plight too dreadful to contemplate
      • Are we out of step with our Christian forebears?
        • Have we become immunised to the plight of those around us?
    • Exodus
      • Darkness of the penultimate plague
      • A darkness that could be felt
      • A darkness that fell upon all people (including Jesus)
      • A darkness fell upon Jesus (v34)
        • A real darkness
        • No deliverance

The Cry of Desolation (v34)

  • This cry reveals what Jesus has been experiencing internally
  • Psalm 22:1
    • Example - David felt forsaken by God, but he was not, Job hit such a point
    • The Lords people can feel abandoned
    • However, God never forsakes His people
      • Examples - Daniel
  • Jesus is absolutely alone
    • He feels utterly forsaken
    • It is not a cry of despair and unbelief
    • It is a cry of faith, "My God, My God"
    • Not a rhetorical question or question for information - a lament
    • Poem by Elizabeth Browning
    • Quote of Hymn
  • The gospel writers have not given us the gory details since they are communicating the severity of the spiritual situation
    • Explanation
    • The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses from all sin
    • The assurance of sins forgiven

The Destruction (v38)

  • The veil of the temple was torn in two after Jesus breathed His last
    • Explanation of the Most Holy Place
      • Keep out!
      • It was dangerous for sinners to come into contact with God
    • The way is now open to go into the Most Holy Place
    • The way is now open to God
      • God says, "Come"
      • Christ's blood and righteousness clothes us
      • 2 Cor 5:21
      • Ps 22:30-31
    • Our access to God is based on the finished work of Christ
  • The beginning of the end of the temple (v29-30)
    • He was previously talking about His body
    • Because He is the temple, the temple is coming to an end
  • We meet God through Jesus Christ - He has opened the way
    • There are no longer any sacred places
    • There is no longer any sacred land
    • There are no longer special people in terms of access to God
    • All Christians are saints and priests (though there are difference offices)

Sermon Passage:
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