Summary: To show the various responses to Christ’s crucifixion and, thereby, to challenge us to review our response to Him.

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The View from the Cross*

Mark 15:21-47

Sermon Objective: To show the various responses to Christ’s crucifixion and, thereby, to challenge us to review our response to Him.

Supporting Scripture: Isaiah 53:1-12; Galatians 6:14, Ephesians 3:17b-19;

read the text: Mark 15:21-41


The actual description of Jesus’ actions and words on the cross that Mark records are limited to four very short passages in this account.

[1] They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). {Mark 15:22}

[2] Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. {Mark 15:23}

[3] At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?”—which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” {Mark 15:33-34}

[4] With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last. The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. {Mark 15:37-38}

The rest of the account in the gospel of Mark focuses on the people gathered around the cross. Mark’s view is not the view of the crowd looking at Jesus, but rather the view from the cross itself, looking at the crowd.

Jesus saw the one who was FORCED INTO HIS PRESENCE (v. 21)

The first of these character descriptions is found in Verse 21, A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross.

Something happened to Simon even though he was “forced” to be in Jesus’ presence; something substantive happened.

It is not by coincidence that Mark mention’s Simon’s sons in a way that would suggest the original readers (the church in Rome) would know who he was talking about. This gains dimension when we recall the words found in another book (the Epistle) written to the same Roman Church. Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord, and his mother, who has been a mother to me, too. (Romans 16:13)

There is reason to think that something powerful happened to this Simon as he carried the cross and was so close to Jesus. He was a probably a Jewish worshipper there for the Passover anyhow and God the Holy Spirit convinced his heart that he was indeed in the presence of the Messiah.

Simon, as any good Christian or Jew would do, passed his faith on to his family. And, even though he is apparently off the world scene now, his kids kept the faith into adulthood.

Yes, even unwelcome encounters with Christ can have power impact on a human life. God will take any opportunity given to Him to show the world his love and grace.

When I was a young teen I *HATED* church.

My parent’s made me go. They literally forced me.

They did not buy into this philosophy that says “If I make him go to church he will turn from it forever.” They worked from the adage that says “As long as you are in my home you will do what we do” and hoped / prayed (literally) that God the Holy Spirit would seize upon me during the final few years that I lived at home.

I was “forced” to go to church. And, now, I am glad I was!

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