The Crucifixion — Part 2 — Mark 15:33-41



A.  (:33) Suffering Associated with the Darkness of Divine Judgment

And when the sixth hour had come, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth        hour.

Not caused by any storm or natural cause

Not an eclipse – since this is Passover (full moon) and darkness lasted for 3 hours, not just a matter of minutes

God turned out the lights in the middle of the day

Very eerie ; very scary

OT precedent

Well might the sun in darkness hide and shut its glories in

when God the mighty maker died for man the creature’s sin

Isaac Watts hymn – it makes sense that the sun would be hidden and darkness would be pervasive

Amos 8:4-9

Ex. 10: 21-22

MacArthur: The Lord by this time had already spoken three times. He had already said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do,” which informed thief on the cross that forgiveness was available if he asked for it, which he did and received it. And then He said to John, the Apostle, “Behold your mother,” indicating that John was going to have to care for Mary since He no longer could do that and since His brothers were unbelievers in Him. John was given the responsibility to care for Mary and then from the cross He said to His mother, “Behold your son,” meaning John. He put them in the care of each other. The third thing He said was to the penitent thief when He said, “Today you will be with Me in paradise.” And then it was midday. . .

any reader of the Old Testament also knows that there were times when God is spoken of as darkness…as darkness. And it goes all the way back to Genesis 15 verses 12 to 15, and Exodus 10, verses 21 and 22, and Exodus 19 at Mount Sinai, verses 16 to 18 when God appears in darkness and Exodus 20 verses 18 to 21, and Isaiah 5, and Isaiah 8, and other places, God also was associated with darkness. The presence of God could be manifest light and the presence of God could be manifest darkness.  [in conjunction with divine wrath associated with the day of the Lord]

Darkness symbolizes divine fury. Darkness symbolizes righteous wrath, final fury being unleashed. Darkness then is the ultimate form of God’s presence in judgment. That is why hell, which is everlasting subjection to divine judgment, is a place that Jesus said in Matthew three times, is outer darkness, where there’s weeping and wailing, and gnashing of teeth in eternal unrelieved blackness. And it is the darkness of God’s presence. He is the one who is present in judgment in hell from noon to three o’clock.

Constable: sign of God’s judgment on Jesus (cf. Isaiah 5:25-30Isaiah 59:9-10Joel 2:31Joel 3:14-15Amos 8:9-10Micah 3:5-7Zephaniah 1:14-15).

Jim Bomkamp: This supernatural darkness reminds me of the three days of darkness that preceded the final Egyptian plague in the book of Exodus when the Lord was delivering the Israelites from bondage and slavery.  The firstborn of all of the Egyptians was killed at the end of this time by the Angel of Death who passed over the land.  It was also at this time that the original Passover was enacted when the Passover Lamb was slain and its blood placed on the lintels of the homes of the Israelite’s, and protected their firstborn from being slain by the Angel of Death.  It is only appropriate that darkness should likewise precede the death of the Jesus, the Lamb of God sacrificed for the sins of mankind, the One whose blood is the atonement for our sins, if we trust in Jesus alone for salvation.

B.  (:34) Suffering Associated with Abandonment (Alienation) by the Holy God

 “And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?’ which is translated, ‘My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me?’

Borgman – 14:32 – Cry of Golgotha only makes sense against backdrop of prayer of Gethsemane

Had prayed that the hour might pass Him by

His hour was the climax of His earthly ministry that would end in suffering on Calvary;

Had prayed for removal of the cup;

MacArthur: When Jesus said, “My God, My God,” this is the only time in the New Testament that He ever referred to God in any other way than Father. Every other time He spoke to God, He called Him Father.

Constable:  an acknowledgment that the Father had abandoned Him. God abandoned Jesus in the judicial sense that He focused His wrath on the Son (cf. Mark 14:36). Jesus bore God’s curse and His judgment for sin (cf. Deuteronomy 21:22-232 Corinthians 5:21Galatians 3:13). God, who cannot look on sin (Habakkuk 1:13), turned His back, so to speak, on Jesus who bore that sin in His own body on the cross. Jesus experienced separation from God when He took the place of sinners ( Mark 10:45Romans 5:81 Peter 2:241 Peter 3:18).

William Barclay: Jesus had taken this life of ours upon him. He had done our work and faced our temptations and borne our trials. He had suffered all that life could bring. He had known the failure of friends, the hatred of foes, the malice of enemies. He had known the most searing pain that life could offer. Up to this moment Jesus had gone through every experience of life except one–he had never known the consequence of sin. Now if there is one thing sin does, it separates us from God. It puts between us and God a barrier like an unscalable wall. That was the one human experience through which Jesus had never passed, because he was without sin.

C.  (:35-36) Suffering Associated with Misunderstanding on the Part of the Bystanders

[others think this is continuation of the mocking on more of a malevolent motivation … but I see misunderstanding with a hint of compassion]

  1. (:35)  Superstition Over Faith

And when some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying,

‘Behold, He is calling for Elijah.’

  1. (:36)  Religious Expectations Over Spiritual Discernment

And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, ‘Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.’

Fulfills Ps. 69:21They also gave me gall for my food and for my thirst they gave me vinegar ot drink.

D.  (:37) Suffering Transcended by Victorious Accomplishment of His Mission of Redemption

  1. Cry of Triumph

And Jesus uttered a loud cry,

Not a cry of anguish and suffering and torment

1 Cor. 15:55-57

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *


  1. Expiation

Expiation means the removal of our sin and guilt. Christ’s death removes — expiates — our sin and guilt. The guilt of our sin was taken away from us and placed on Christ, who discharged it by his death.

Thus, in John 1:29, John the Baptist calls Jesus “the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” Jesus takes away, that is, expiates, our sins. Likewise, Isaiah 53:6 says, “The Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him,” and Hebrews 9:26 says “He has been manifested to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.

[so that we can experience the forgiveness of sins]

  1. Propitiation

Whereas expiation refers to the removal of our sins, propitiation refers to the removal of God’s wrath.

By dying in our place for our sins, Christ removed the wrath of God that we justly deserved. In fact, it goes even further: a propitiation is not simply a sacrifice that removes wrath, but a sacrifice that removes wrath and turns it into favor. (Note: a propitiation does not turn wrath into love — God already loved us fully, which is the reason he sent Christ to die; it turns his wrath into favor so that his love may realize its purpose of doing good to us every day, in all things, forever, without sacrificing his justice and holiness.)

Several passages speak of Christ’s death as a propitiation for our sins. Romans 3:25-26 says that God “displayed [Christ] publicly as a propitiation in his blood through faith. This was to demonstrate his righteousness, because in the forbearance of God he passed over the sins previously committed; for the demonstration of his righteousness at the present time, that he might be just and the justifier of him who has faith in Jesus.”

Likewise, Hebrews 2:17 says that Christ made “propitiation for the sins of the people” and 1 John 4:10 says “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.”

[so that God justified sinners so that we will never suffer the wrath of God]

  1. Reconciliation

Whereas expiation refers to the removal of our sins, and propitiation refers to the removal of God’s wrath, reconciliation refers to the removal of our alienation from God.

Because of our sins, we were alienated — separated — from God. Christ’s death removed this alienation and thus reconciled us to God. We see this, for example, in Romans 5:10-11: “For if while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of his Son, much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.

[so that we have peace with God]

  1. Redemption

Our sins had put us in captivity from which we need to be delivered. The price that is paid to deliver someone from captivity is called a “ransom.” To say that Christ’s death accomplished redemption for us means that it accomplished deliverance from our captivity through the payment of a price.

There are three things we had to be released from: the curse of the law, the guilt of sin, and the power of sin. Christ redeemed us from each of these.

Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law: “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13-14).

Christ redeemed us from the guilt of our sin. We are “justified as a gift by his grace, through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 3:24).

Christ redeemed us from the power of sin: “knowing that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your fathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ” (1 Peter 1:18-19).

Note that we are not simply redeemed from the guilt of sin; to be redeemed from the power of sin means that our slavery to sin is broken. We are now free to live to righteousness. Our redemption from the power of sin is thus the basis of our ability to live holy lives: “You have been bought with a price; therefore glorify God in your bodies” (1 Corinthians 6:20).

[so that we experience deliverance from sins]

  1. Defeat of the Powers of Darkness

Christ’s death was a defeat of the power of Satan. “He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him” (Colossians 3:15). Satan’s only weapon that can ultimately hurt people is unforgiven sin. Christ took this weapon away from him for all who would believe, defeating him and all the powers of darkness in his death by, as the verse right before this says, “having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” (Colossians 2:13-14).

[so that we are victorious in Christ]

And he Did All of This By Dying As Our Substitute

The reality of substitution is at the heart of the atonement. Christ accomplished all of the above benefits for us by dying in our place — that is, by dying instead of us. We deserved to die, and he took our sin upon him and paid the penalty himself.

[so that we are united forever with Christ – pictured in baptism]

This is what it means that Christ died for us (Romans 5:8) and gave himself for us (Galatians 2:20). As Isaiah says, “he was pierced through for our transgressions, he was crushed for our iniquities . . . the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on him” (Isaiah 53:5-6).

You see the reality of substitution underlying all of the benefits discussed above, as the means by which Christ accomplished them. For example, substitution is the means by which we were ransomed: “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many” (Matthew 20:28). Christ’s death was a ransom for us — that is, instead of us. Likewise, Paul writes that “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us” (Galatians 3:13).

Substitution is the means by which we were reconciled: “For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, in order that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). It is the means of expiation: “He made him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, that we might become the righteousness of God in him” (2 Corinthians 5:21) and “He himself bore our sins in his body on the cross, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness” (1 Peter 2:24). And by dying in our place, taking the penalty for our sins upon himself, Christ’s death is also the means of propitiation.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

  1. Commitment of Spirit to God the Father

and breathed His last.

Cessation of breathing

Constable: Normally it took as long as two or three days for crucified people to die. [Note: Grassmick, p190.] Jesus’ relatively short period of suffering on the cross amazed Pilate (Mark 15:44).

Certainly it amazed the Roman soldier who was presiding over the crucifixion


A.  (:38) The Supernatural Vindicating Sign of the Tearing of the Veil of the Temple –

Sign to the Jews

And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.

Not some flimsy curtain; Veil of temple is 4” thick; 60’ tall

Happens at 3 pm just as the priests are sacrificing the Passover lambs

Hebrews 9:3-12

Hebrews 10:19-23

Parunak: The veil separates the holy place from the holy of holies, the inner sanctum where God’s glory dwells and where only one person (the HP) can go, only one day a year (the day of atonement). Represents the inaccessibility of God under the old covenant.

Jim Bomkamp:  The veil symbolized that access to God was blocked under the old covenant.  A person could not come directly before the Lord, directly into His presence.  Prayers could be offered but to come directly into the Shekinah glory and presence of God and fellowship with God was blocked.

The veil was very thick and made of twisted blue, purple, and scarlet material.  It was very strong and durable.  Yet the minute Christ died the veil was miraculously torn completely in two, and this was evidenced because it was torn beginning from the top down to the bottom.  The implication was that now direct access and fellowship with God and the Shekinah glory of His presence, is available through Christ.

MacArthur: And officially at three o’clock in the afternoon on that Friday in April in the year A.D. 30, the Old Covenant was abolished. The temple was nullified. The priesthood was voided. And all sacrifices became pointless because the only true and saving sacrifice had been offered.

B.  (:39) The Supernatural Vindicating Sign of the Testimony of the Attending Centurion –

Sign to the Gentiles

And when the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, ‘Truly this man was the Son of God!’

First believer in Christ not a religious scholar but a tough, pagan Roman soldier

Death reached out to Gentiles

What happened to that Roman soldier – hooked up with Joseph of Arithmithea – tradition says he travelled and had testimony

Parunak: How many men has he seen die, or even himself put to death? Yet the Lord’s patience in suffering, the supernatural sign of the darkened sun, his words from the tree, and the rapidity and deliberateness of his death (cf. v.44) persuade even this hardened man that this is God’s son.


A.  (:40a) The Interest of the Women Onlookers

And there were also some women looking on from a distance,

William Barclay: There were the women in the distance. They were bewildered, heart-broken, drenched in sorrow–but they were there. They loved so much that they could not leave him. Love clings to Christ even when the intellect cannot understand. It is only love which can give us a hold on Christ that even the most bewildering experiences cannot break.

B.  (:40b-41a) The Identity of Those Closest to Jesus

  1. Familiar Women

among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome.

Luke 8:2 delivered from severe case of demon possession

  1. Faithful Women

And when He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him;

C.  (:41b) The Inclusion of Many Others

and there were many other women who had come up with Him to Jerusalem.

Where are the faithful men????


Parunak: What does the death of Jesus of Nazareth mean to you? Is it just another execution (as it was for the soldiers)? Is it a subject for mockery and blasphemy (as for the passersby, the priests, and the robbers)? Or do you recognize it as the most important transaction in the history of the world, your only hope for forgiveness of sin and fellowship with your creator?