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Truly This Man Was the Son of God
Tony Chute, Lead Pastor
Overview: The conspiracy to end the ministry of Jesus finds its fulfillment with His death on the cross. The chief priests, elders, and scribes hand Him over to be executed by Pilate, who is led to believe that Jesus is a political revolutionary. Despite his suspicions that Jesus is innocent of these charges, and in spite of his attempt to allow the crowd to decide Jesus’ fate, Pilate acquiesces. Jesus is beaten and humiliated by the soldiers to the point where He loses the physical strength to carry His cross to the place of execution. As Jesus hangs upon the cross, He experiences continued rejection by the world and bears the full wrath of God. And yet, even as He takes His final breath, it is clear to those who have eyes to see that Jesus is indeed the Son of God.
- The historical event of the crucifixion of Jesus is the result of human sinfulness and divine providence coming together. What the world meant for evil, God meant for good.
- The human response to the crucifixion of Jesus is the result of hearts hardened by sin or hearts regenerated by God. What is impossible with man is possible with God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION & DISCOVERY
- What can we learn about the character of a man like Pontius Pilate from this text? Did he provide a fair hearing for Jesus? Why did he dismiss his suspicions against the chief priests and scribes? What does the phrase “wishing to satisfy the crowd” (verse 15) suggest about decisions made by conviction or convenience?
- Note the ways in which the soldiers mocked Jesus (verse 16-20). What do their actions suggest about the disregard for the dignity of every human, including condemned prisoners? How do their actions point to the mockery of Jesus by the world today?
- What acts of mercy are evident in this text (see verses 21, 23, 36)? What do you think led the Roman centurion to conclude that Jesus was indeed the Son of God (verse 39)? How can we point others to Jesus in our life and in our death?
- Read Psalm 22 and note the multiple prophecies that are fulfilled in Mark 15. What does this connection suggest about human sin and divine providence coming together in the crucifixion of Jesus?
- How does the cry of dereliction (verse 34; also Psalm 22:1) inform us about the true suffering of Jesus on the cross? How does the ending of Psalm 22 point us to Jesus’ victory over the grave? What was the significance of the curtain of the temple being torn in two, from top to bottom (verse 38)?
For Further Reading: Leon Morris, The Cross of Jesus (Eerdmans, 1988)