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The Death of Christ

Gospel of Mark  •  Sermon  •  Submitted
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The Death of Christ

Mark 15:33–41 NKJV
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Some of those who stood by, when they heard that, said, “Look, He is calling for Elijah!” Then someone ran and filled a sponge full of sour wine, put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink, saying, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down.” And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!” There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the Less and of Joses, and Salome, who also followed Him and ministered to Him when He was in Galilee, and many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Context

Darkness comes over the land (v. 33)

Mark 15:33 NKJV
Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
Amos 8:9–10 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight; I will turn your feasts into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, And baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son, And its end like a bitter day.
Amos 8:9–10 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight; I will turn your feasts into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, And baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son, And its end like a bitter day.

The sign

The Greek text is not clear as to whether the darkness was over the whole earth or that region of the land, but either way it was pervasive, disturbing, and terrifying.
This was a supernatural event clearly recognized as such by those who observed. A solar eclipse would have been possible at that time scientifically because of the full moon at passover, however God has complete knowledge of and authority over His creation (including sun, moon, clouds and stars) and this was a clear sign from the creator, irrespective of the means.
Amos 8:9–10 NKJV
“And it shall come to pass in that day,” says the Lord God, “That I will make the sun go down at noon, And I will darken the earth in broad daylight; I will turn your feasts into mourning, And all your songs into lamentation; I will bring sackcloth on every waist, And baldness on every head; I will make it like mourning for an only son, And its end like a bitter day.

The meaning

Darkness is frequently associated with death in the Old Testament (cf. , , , ) It was fitting, then, for the One who made the sun stand still to cause it to cease from shining when Life Himself yielded to death by the guilty hands of His creation.
Psalm 88:5–12 NKJV
Adrift among the dead, Like the slain who lie in the grave, Whom You remember no more, And who are cut off from Your hand. You have laid me in the lowest pit, In darkness, in the depths. Your wrath lies heavy upon me, And You have afflicted me with all Your waves. Selah You have put away my acquaintances far from me; You have made me an abomination to them; I am shut up, and I cannot get out; My eye wastes away because of affliction. Lord, I have called daily upon You; I have stretched out my hands to You. Will You work wonders for the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise You? Selah Shall Your lovingkindness be declared in the grave? Or Your faithfulness in the place of destruction? Shall Your wonders be known in the dark? And Your righteousness in the land of forgetfulness?

Cry of Dereliction (v. 24-37)

The veil torn and the centurion’s confession (v.38-39)

Witness of the women who remained (v. 40-41)

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