The crucifixion of Jesus
Jesus uttered another loud cry and breathed his last. And the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw how he had died, he exclaimed, “This man truly was the Son of God!” Mark 15:37-39
One of the reasons I love the Bible is that it is always bubbling with life and continually has new things to say to us. I know these verses extremely well but only today have I been struck by the fact that, just before Jesus breathed his last, he let out a loud cry.
This is the last thing that you would have expected of a man dying on the cross. It would have been hard for Jesus to breathe at all, and so a whimper would have been the most that you would have expected. But the fact that he let out a loud cry gives the impression of it being a shout of triumph. His work of salvation was finished. He had won the final victory over sin and death.
The tearing of the curtain of the Temple confirmed that a new era had opened up. In the past, only the High Priest could enter into the Holy of Holies but now, through the death of Christ on the cross, a new way had been opened up for anyone who would turn to him. The old barriers and restrictions had been torn down as Jesus opened his arms wide to the whole world.
The fact that the first person to comment on the death of Jesus was not a Jew is hugely significant. Who would have thought that the Roman soldier, responsible for overseeing his death, would identify exactly who Jesus was? It was as if he was speaking on behalf of the world. Jesus himself was indeed a Jew but he came to bring life to all who would accept him, then and now.
What is your reaction to the crucifixion of Jesus?
Lord Jesus Christ, I praise you for dying for me, so that my sins can be forgiven. Thank you for loving me completely and offering me the gift of eternal life. Amen