Mark 15:20-39 – To present-day Christians, the sign of the cross is beautiful and rich with meaning. Even non-Christian may use cross-shaped symbols decoratively or artistically (like a Celtic cross). It was not always this way.
The cross was a gruesome symbol of Roman torture; the worst that mankind could suffer. Those who were hung on a tree were considered cursed, outcast, hated – they were criminals, murderers and outlaws. Words have been invented: like excruciate, from the Latin root “crux” or cross.
Twenty-five years after Christ was crucified, the Apostle Paul wrote that the preaching of a crucified Messiah was “a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles (1 Cor. 1:23). In the second century, the Gnostics were so horrified at the idea of a crucified Messiah that they invented the tale that Simon the Cyrene – not Jesus – died on the cross. The extra-biblical, apocryphal Gospels try to distance Jesus from the horrors of crucifixion by claiming that Jesus felt no pain on the cross (The Gospel of Peter, 10).
Mark, however, admits the whole thing. Once again, without any hint of embellishment, sensationalism or emotionalism, Mark describes the death of the Messiah.
What’s his point? His point is to emphasize WHAT Jesus accomplished and HOW he accomplished it.
|Mar 29, 2015||All Access Pass||Listen||Download|