Verse of the Week

“And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. 38 Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” [Mark 15: 37-38]

Big Picture

Mark 15 moves us from the scene in the garden of Gethsemane to the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus has been forsaken by His disciples, rejected by the Chief Priests and Jewish leaders, and now condemned to the cross by Pontius Pilate. He quietly suffers as He is mocked, scourged, and spat on by Roman soldiers. He is then led outside the city to be nailed to the cross, giving his life as a perfect sacrifice for the very people who put Him there. Jesus was put on the cross not just by the Jewish and Roman leaders, but by you and I as well. Through His sufferings on the cross, Jesus made a way for us to be in perfect relationship with God the Father through his one and only Son.

Main Points

  1. Jesus Suffered for Us
    During the trial with Pilate, Jesus kept quiet during his interrogation, only admitting that he was indeed King of the Jews. He suffered through the false accusations and physical beatings, knowing that the cross was what the Father had called him to endure. Jesus suffered for us because of his great love for us. “In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10. Love for us is why God sent His only Son. Love for us is why Jesus suffered on the cross.

  2. Jesus is the Perfect Sacrifice
    According to the law of the time, the guilty party had to carry his cross to the place of execution. It symbolized their guilt and resulting consequences. But we see in this story that the cross was carried for Jesus by a man named Simon. This is because Jesus was not a guilty party, but a willing sacrifice. Simon carried the cross on behalf of humanity, as WE are the guilty party. Jesus bore the wrath of God and of our sins as He was nailed to the cross, having lived a life we couldn’t live and dying a death that was meant for us.

  3. Jesus Removes the Barrier
    Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we now have direct access to God. The veil in the temple was torn in two from top to bottom as he breathed his last. Previously, God could not be approached by man because of our sinfulness and His holiness. The veil in the temple separated the people from God and could only be accessed by the High Priest, who would enter behind the veil once a year into God’s presence as a mediator between God and His people. But because of the cross, we have a perfect High Priest in Jesus who now gives us access to God through his death, burial, and resurrection. We can now “come boldly to the throne of grace” (Hebrews 4:16). There is no longer a barrier between us and God, just an opportunity to believe on his Son and enter into a relationship with him.

Question Bank

  1. How has your week been spiritually?

  2. What is God teaching you in this passage?

  3. What are your thoughts as you see Jesus’ love for us play out in this scripture?

  4. What does the cross represent to you?

  5. What are the barriers we place on ourselves today that separate us from a relationship with God?

  6. What does it look like to “come boldly to the throne of grace”?