First Mennonite Morton



  • Apr10Fri

    The Declaration

    April 10, 2020 Aaron Yoder
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    Journey To The Cross - Day 15

    Mark 15:20, 33-39 (ESV) 20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.

    33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”


    Before dawn, Jesus had already been bound, interrogated and led to the high priest.  There, witnesses accused him, men mocked him, and fists beat him.  An hour or so later, the evidence lay before the governor of Judea.  Although unconvinced of Jesus’ guilt, Pontius Pilate had the rabbi stripped of his dignity and beaten while crown of thorns adorned his brow.  Eventually, Pilate washed his hands of this religious interruption and handed Jesus over the crowd. They demanded crucifixion. 

    Very few stood in the way as the authorities paraded Jesus to Golgotha.  It was a journey to the cross full of humiliation and mockery.  Then, at the third hour, or 9am, Jesus, was pierced, lifted up and left to suffocate on a tree (so to speak) as a cursed man.

    An ominous darkness covered Jerusalem beginning at noon (the sixth hour).  If those who had celebrated the Passover Feast had not yet heard what had happened to the Nazarene, creation itself drew their attention to the ‘place of the skull.’  It was here that Jesus felt the condemnation for the sins of humankind.  It was here that he quoted Psalm 22 for prayer.  Those who watched considered him stricken by God, desperately calling out for help.  But he was not abandoned.  Upon loudly committing his spirit to the Father, he breathed his last and completed the atonement for sin.

    Although Jesus’ physical body was silent, three declarations of his divinity erupted as the darkness began to fade.  First, the temple curtain was torn in two – hereby granting access into the Holy of Holies by God himself.  Second, the earth shook and rocks were split open (Matthew 27:51).  Third, a Gentile solider, taking in all that had transpired, declared aloud, “Truly, this man was the Son of God.”  He was right.  The Son of God had come and completed His redemptive work.  It was finished. 

    May our declarations of our crucified Lord be just as sincere and just as bold. Amen

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