Sermons

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

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

INTRO

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!

In fact, the very night I came back to Christ (a Thursday night during a revival week) I was there only after a volatile “disagreement” at home about whether or not I was going to church. I did not know until years later that sister churches were specifically praying for me that week! But God’s Holy Spirit gripped my heart and convinced me of sin and I repented … never looking back!

I, like Simon from Cyrene, was forced into the presence of Jesus.

Some of you won’t like my parenting advice but it needs to be considered anyhow. A sure-fire way to “lose” your kids is to let them set their own path and lifestyle during the years when it YOUR RESPONSIBILITY to do so. When you follow the path of least resistance as a parent you almost assure failure in parenting.

It is your responsibility to make certain your children are under the sound of the Gospel. Only then does the Holy Spirit have the opportunity to speak. As the Bible says How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher? (Romans 10:14)

As I said, I was “forced” into the presence of Jesus. And, now, I am glad I was!

But there were other people and personalities visible from Jesus’ point of view.

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