The Way - Day 106 (Mark 15)

Daily Reading:
Mark 15
Don't forget to journal in your Foundations Book!
Daily Reading Audio Commentary:
Today's Question or Action Step:
In Mark 15:38 it says the curtain was torn from top to bottom.  By whom was it torn?  Was does this mean to us as believers regarding our access to God?
Weekly Memory Verse(s):
OPTION 1: Psalm 37:4-5
OPTION 2: Proverbs 15:16-17
OPTION 3: Matthew 5:45-46
Further Study Resources:
Study Guide for Mark 15 (Enduring Word - David Guzik)
Pastor Tom's Journal on Today's Reading:
Mark 15:1-23
The morning following Jesus being taken captive, Pilate (governor of Judea) questioned Him as a favor to the accusing council (15:1). Pilate inquired whether He was the King of the Jews to which Jesus responded "it is as you say" (15:2). "The chief priests accused Him of many things, but He answered nothing. Then Pilate asked Him again, saying, 'Do you answer nothing? See how many things they testify against You!' But Jesus still answered nothing so that Pilate marveled" (15:3-5). Luke reveals that Pilate found no wrongdoing in Jesus, but ultimately gave into the pressure of the crowd (Luke 23:13-25). In a last effort, Pilate attempted to release Jesus on a customary act during the Passover. Luke writes, "Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested" (15:6). Thinking they would cry for the release of Jesus, Pilate set forth a murderer and thief named Barabbas against Jesus (15:7); however, the crowd cried louder to crucify the King of the Jews (15:8-14). Pilate gave in to the demands of the crowds, who had been incited by the chief priests (15:11), and freed Barabbas while sending Jesus to be crucified (15:15). In this scenario, it is amazing how a person of leadership can be swayed by the opinion of the crowd. Even though Pilate knew Jesus was innocent of the charges brought against Him, he still could not resist the pressure of the mob which had gathered in Jerusalem. The soldiers led Jesus off to be crucified. Luke writes that they "clothed Him with purple; and they twisted a crown of thorns, put it on His head...then they struck Him on the head with a reed and spat on Him" (15:16-23). Why did Jesus endure all of this? He suffered punishment and eventually death for you and for me. His one mission was to die for the sins of mankind and offer forgiveness to all those who by faith accept His sacrifice. We should never forget the sacrifice Jesus Christ made for us so that we could be free from sin and eternal destruction.

Mark 15:24-47
Jesus was led off to be crucified, hung to die on a cross, between two thieves. Above His cross they placed a sign which read "THE KING OF THE JEWS" and those who passed by mocked Him saying, "save Yourself, and come down from the cross!" The religious people also talked amongst themselves saying, "He saved others; Himself He cannot save. Let the Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe" (15:31-32). Mark writes that even the two thieves on either side of Jesus mocked Him (15:32b). Jesus suffered tremendous ridicule while He hung dying on the cross. At any time, God the Father could have decided to stop everything which was happening to His Son but because he loved mankind so much, he allowed His only Son to be killed so sinners could be freed.

At noon, darkness came over Palestine and at 3:00pm Jesus cried out, "My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?" Luke writes that Jesus followed this cry with His last words, "into Your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46). Jesus takes His last breath and dies there on that cruel cross. He willingly laid down His life and shed His blood to become the perfect sacrifice for sin. Death was the only thing which could satisfy the wrath of God upon sin. Paul writes this in 2 Corinthians 5:21, "For He [God the Father] made Him [Jesus Christ] who knew no sin to be sin for us [mankind], that we might become the righteousness of God in Him." John MacArthur makes this observation about this verse, "As Christ was not a sinner, but was treated as if He were, so believers who have not yet been made righteous are treated as if they were righteous. He bore their sins so that they could bear His righteousness. God treated Him as if He committed believers' sins, and treats believers as if they did only the righteous deeds of the sinless Son of God" (MacArthur Study Bible, p.1772).

At the time of Jesus' death, the veil of the temple was miraculously torn from top to bottom (15:38) signifying that the way now into God's presence was no longer through a priest, but through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross. When the evening came Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus (15:42-44). When Pilate was certain that Jesus was dead, he released His body to Joseph and "he laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the door of the tomb" (15:46). Jesus had been crucified and now buried. What was next?

Dear God, thank You for Your Son, Jesus, who willingly offered up His life for me on the cross.