< What I Learned Teaching Sunday School: Surely This Man was the Son of God!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Surely This Man was the Son of God!

Mark 15: 33-39 33 At noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon. 34 And at three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

35 When some of those standing near heard this, they said, “Listen, he’s calling Elijah.” 36 Someone ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to take him down,” he said.

37 With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

38 The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, saw how he died,[c] he said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”
Darkness, like night, covered the whole land. At noon! When the sun was at its highest point in the sky. The veil in the temple was ripped in half. The Matthew version tells us a massive earthquake occurred and the dead were raised from their graves.
What was going on? A prophecy in the book of Nahum gives us a hint;
Nahum 1:1-8 A prophecy concerning Nineveh. The book of the vision of Nahum the Elkoshite.
2 The Lord is a jealous and avenging God; the Lord takes vengeance and is filled with wrath. The Lord takes vengeance on his foes and vents his wrath against his enemies.
3 The Lord is slow to anger but great in power; the Lord will not leave the guilty unpunished. His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. 4 He rebukes the sea and dries it up; he makes all the rivers run dry. Bashan and Carmel wither and the blossoms of Lebanon fade.

5 The mountains quake before him and the hills melt away. The earth trembles at his presence, the world and all who live in it. 6 Who can withstand his indignation?
Who can endure his fierce anger? His wrath is poured out like fire; the rocks are shattered before him.
7 The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him,
8 but with an overwhelming flood he will make an end of Nineveh; he will pursue his foes into the realm of darkness.
Darkness and judgment are linked with each other in scripture. Judgment follows sin.
Ezekiel 18:4 For everyone belongs to me, the parent as well as the child—both alike belong to me. The one who sins is the one who will die.
For 3 hours an extraordinary judgment was taking place. Jesus took the judgment for everyone who trusts in Him. For 3 hours Jesus was paying the debt for everyone who ever lived or will live, who believes in Him. And the earth was trembling!
At the end of the 3 hours Jesus cried out “My God, My God. Why have You forsaken me?”
A theologian wrote that this was the scream of the damned. For the first time during His earthly ministry Jesus didn’t refer to God as Abba. Father. But God, My God.
And Jesus was suffocating at this point. That’s how the cross really kills a person. It pushes against their lungs and they can’t breathe unless they can raise themselves up. But with their hands and feet nailed that’s really hard and eventually they can’t lift themselves anymore. It’s really hard to even get a breath to talk. But Jesus cried out in a loud voice!
This was spiritual pain now! He really was forsaken during that time. For us!
The people didn’t get it. They thought He was calling for Elijah. They gave Him the sour wine because they wanted it to go on. They wanted to see if Elijah would show up.
In verse 37 Jesus cries out again. And John 19:30 tells us what He said. “It is finished!’
It is finished was used in the market place in Jesus’ time. When someone bought something, they owed the vendor. When they paid, the vendor would stamp “it is finished’ on the bill showing the debt had been paid!
Jesus also said at this point. “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” He was back with God.
In verse 39 a Roman centurion (who would have been a Roman officer in charge of 100 men) saw all of this. In his job he had probably witnessed hundreds of crucifixions, but this one was very different. When Jesus breathed His last the centurion said, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

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