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The Messiah

Written By Demian Farnworth Designed By Cameron Morgan

Eleven Meditations from the Book of Mark

FallenandFlawed.com

Introduction Something You Will See and Won’t See

[Mark 2:1-12]

How the Conquered Storm Points to Christ
[Mark 4:35-41]

The Demoniac Proclamation of Christ
[Mark 5:1-20]

The Scandal of Jesus in Nazareth
[Mark 6:1-6]

The Messiah: Peter’s Confession of Christ
[Mark 8:27-30]

Discipleship: The Law of the Cross Prevails
[Mark 8:34-38]

Transfiguration: An Otherworldly Peek at the Messiah
[Mark 9:2-13]

Anointed: A Reckless but Beautiful Act of Worship
[Mark 14:3-9]

Failure: Peter’s Denial of Jesus Christ
[Mark 14:66-77]

Crucifixion: The Messiah Mocked on the Cross
[Mark 15:31-32]

Death: The Messiah Commits His Soul to God
[Mark 15:33-39]

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Contents

Table of

Introduction
Something happens when you systematically read through a gospel narrative like the book of Mark: You are confronted with the real Jesus. Gone are the pretty pictures of a gentle man lugging a lamb around on his shoulders. Instead, you meet a man who is vast in wisdom, terrifying in strength and exceptional in humility. So vast, terrifying and exceptional you begin to wonder if he is God. Systematically read through a gospel narrative like Mark and you ask yourself, “Who is this man?” In fact, that’s the question just about every person who ran into Jesus asked. Sometimes it was spoken in consternation. Other times it was uttered in derision. Still others sang it in adoration. Jesus is our friend. No doubt about that. But what you must quickly realize is how intimidating that relationship can be. He will ultimately confront us. He will stick a proverbial finger in our chests and demand we account for who he is. Our answer will determine our eternity. But that answer won’t come easy. Listen: Jesus’ biography creates all kinds of problems, not the least that it suggests we need redemption—a concept some people find offensive. Yet Jesus’ actions were intended to make it clear who he was—God as a man come to redeem the world. That picture of Jesus creates a scandal unlike the liberal version of Christianity that strips away the parts of the gospel we find repulsive. You can’t find anything scandalous about a moral teacher or failed doomsday prophet, two 

modern views of Jesus. But that’s not the picture we get from a systematic study of a gospel narrative like Mark. So many problems emerge when we look upon a sinless man who came to forgive our sins and die in our place to save us from the wrath of God. See, there’s a price you must pay to follow Jesus: Submission. Obedience. Self-denial. So it shouldn’t surprise us when people reject him. And it shouldn’t surprise us if we out-right cower before Jesus. This initial apprehension of Christ, however, doesn’t last long. We eventually get a peek of our glorified Lord—and our hearts explode with joy. You will see a full, clear, satisfying view of Jesus when you systematically read through a gospel narrative like Mark. It’s an experience worth investing your time in. Read the following book and see if your own experience doesn’t follow the same path from fear to exaltation. 

Something You Will & Something You Won’t See
[Mark 2:1-12]
Which is easier to prove: that some one’s sins have been forgiven or that an ex-cripple can now walk? You can’t say “forgiveness of sins” since it’s invisible. So you must vote for the healed cripple. Or do you? That’s the question Jesus answers when we find him in Capernaum, circa Mark 2:1-12.

Who Is the Cripple?
Seated on a mat inside a crowded house Jesus paused during his sermon to watch a dead man on a bier get lowered to the floor through a hole in the ceiling. This is what people came to see—a miracle. And indeed, that’s what they got. But in a way none imagined. The man was not dead. Just lame from the neck down. Four men who peered through the roof possibly said as much. Jesus told the man, “Your sins are forgiven. ” The Pharisees flinched, murmured. Jesus asked why they flinched and murmured. He asked “Why do you think I blaspheme? Would it be easier for me to heal the man? Would that satisfy you?” 

Why the Pharisees Think Jesus Blasphemed
The forgiveness of sins belongs to the realm of God alone. That was why the Pharisees balked at Jesus’ statement. Jesus was claiming he could work as God worked. Knowing that the act of forgiveness was an intangible one, Jesus shifted gears. He would demonstrate that he had the power to forgive sins because he possessed other God-like powers. Namely the gift of life. He ordered the legs and arms of the cripple to warm with life. He spoke, and the cripple stood. By the word of God. The Son of God. The creator. The Word who was from the beginning.

What You Do and Don’t See
As the events unfold, all you see is a rabbi tell a lifetime cripple to pick up his pallet and walk home. All you see is a cripple climb to his feet, grab the pallet and walk out of the crowded house. All you see is a mob of people hollering, clapping and singing. What you don’t see is the storehouse of sins emptied in an instant. Nor the dark clouds of war with God evaporate. Nor peace descend on the soul of a man once crippled by guilt and fear and worry. All you see is an ex-cripple climb out of a house of people and walk—for the first time in his life—down a dusty street.

Where You Feel This
For you, like the ex-cripple, you simply believe what Jesus told you: That through his death your sins are forgiven. That through his death your entrance into heaven is cleared. That through his death you are now at peace with God. You believe you are healed from the wages of sin. And you feel this in your spirit. And in that moment you commit to his will for your life. Forever. 

How the Conquered Storm Points to Christ
[Mark 4:35-41]
Every so often I hear a story about someone drowning in the ocean. A child dragged to her death by the undertow. That’s why my wife and I give ample, rigid warning to our own children when we visit the ocean: “Hold our hands tight. ” Our last two visits to the ocean—the Atlantic and the Gulf—occurred just days after hurricanes bull rushed the coast. So winds remained fierce. Waves, relentless. We barely even set foot into the sea.

The Storm Descending on the Boat
Similar circumstances—gale-like winds, wall-like waves—were common on another sea. The Sea of Galilee. Long ago Jesus and his disciples were on the western shore of this sea. Jesus wanted to escape the crush of the crowd. So he and his disciples climbed into a boat. They sailed to the eastern shore where there was no large city, thus fewer people. But at some point during their trip a severe storm pushed its way across the sea. Jesus’ disciples—aware of what could happen if trapped in such a storm—feared they would drown. Jesus, on the other hand, slept. 

The Storm Subdued by a Man
Eventually his disciples woke him up. They pointed to the storm and screamed, “We’re going to die!” What happened next demonstrates Jesus’ unlimited power over the natural world. Storms don’t die quickly. Nor on cue from a human command. Yet, on that day, Jesus immediately muzzled the storm with the words, “Hush, be still. ” And when the storm ceased, the disciples’ hearts sank. Not in sadness nor relief. But terror. Terror that something more powerful than a boat-crushing, human-drowning force was in the boat with them. And it was this terror that precipitated the question, “Who is this that the wind and the sea obey him?”

The Conquered Storm Points to Christ
This story of the sea being stilled occurred well before Peter’s confession that Jesus was Christ. In Mark, it occurs after Jesus heals many people of illness, deformities and demon possession. Thus, this story of the sea being stilled rises in the Markian narrative above all supernatural events before it and culminates with the question, “Who is this?” It’s like a primer for the ultimate question: “Who do you say that I am?” At that point in Mark 8:29 is there any question who Jesus is? Any resistance? Any doubt to his authority over sin and death? Jesus cast out demons. Restored mangled limbs. Cured lingering diseases. Lifted children from the dead. And subdued the sea.

The Storm Submitted–Will You?
Of course, doubters existed. Judas was more than likely in the boat. So was Thomas. And doubters exist today. Why did Judas and Thomas doubt? Why do people doubt today? Here’s a clue: “For everyone

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who does evil hates the Light, and does not come to the Light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. ” This is what breaks my heart: In the face of mounting evidence to the authority of Christ, people who reject Jesus needlessly incite God’s wrath and judgment against themselves. In the end, Jesus offers two ways: Submit to his power. Or suffer under it. There is no middle ground.

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The Demonaic Proclamation of Christ
[Mark 5:1-20]
Demon possession fascinates me. Perhaps that’s the reason I’m drawn to the story of the Gerasene demoniac. It’s not a healthy fascination. More likely it’s a weakness. A bad sift in the broken human mind. Forever drawn to the smoking wreckage alongside the road. Yet there’s something more potent in this story that drives the heart of a Christian to it.

The Demon-Possessed Man
You have a man. In broken chains. Who lives among the tombs. Who roams about the mountains. He shrieks, barks, growls. And gashes himself with stones. Strips saplings of bark. Sleeps under sycamores in pouring rain. Women toting water jars steer clear. Children heading for the sea taunt and run. And young men tease, fists clenched tightly around driftwood. All fear him. But Christ.

The Confrontation with Christ
When Jesus and his disciples climb onto the shore, the demon-possessed man rushes them. He falls to the ground and rivets his eyes on Jesus and asks:

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“What business do we have with each other, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I implore you by God, do not torment me!” The man confesses he’s possessed by a legion of demons: “We are many. ” Perhaps 4,000. Maybe even 6,000. A legion of Roman soldiers were known to be that large. But maybe as low as 2,000, since that’s the number of pigs they eventually possess. What can’t be missed, however, is the immeasurable power of the man—the demons. Perhaps it rivals the cyclone Jesus just conquered. But in a supernatural sense.

The Real Fascination
Which brings us to the point of the narrative: Who is this that natural storms obey? That vast, supernatural armies cower beneath? An unregenerate mind fixates on the demon. The suffering. The horror. The regenerate mind, on the other hand, sees through to the real fascination: Jesus, the Son of God. The one to who all thrones, dominions, authorities and powers—whether natural or supernatural—bow down to. He is supreme. And a Savior with teeth. One worthy of worship. Veneration. And adoration. So, the question for you is…who do you obey: Your mind? The market? Or the Messiah?

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The Scandal of Jesus in Nazareth
[Mark 6:1-6]
In a small, isolated village perched on the limestone hills of the southern Lebanon mountain range, Jesus taught. He taught in the synagogue. On a Sabbath day. Everything as it should be. Except for the way Jesus taught The people of Nazareth knew Jesus as a craftsman, a carpenter. A man who knew stone, brick and wood. Who framed houses, windows and roofs. They knew him as the son of Mary, brother of James, Joses, Judas, Simon and a handful of sisters—all long-time residents of Nazareth. And they knew him as a rumored illegitimate child. That’s why, in spite of his wisdom and performance of miracles, they could not swallow the fact that this ordinary, blue-collar man from Nazareth postured as God. How dare he teach with such wisdom. How dare he exalt himself above them. And how dare he proclaim he was the Messiah. Jesus’ response to this ferocious skepticism—his refusal to do miracles in Nazareth—is reminiscent of his teaching on “The Rich Man and Lazarus”: “He said to him, ‘If they do not listen to Moses and the Prophets, they will not be convinced even if someone rises from the dead.’” In other words, in the face of flagrant doubt, it’s pointless to perform miracles. We see this again in Mark 8:11-13 when a group of Pharisees seek an astronomical sign, and Jesus refuses. What astonished Jesus about the unbelief he encountered in Nazareth was not his inability to

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do miracles. It was that for people who claimed to know him so well, they knew him so little. And missing from this encounter in Nazareth is the astonishment over a conquered storm. The drop-dead serious confession of Jesus as Christ. Abundant is the familiarity that creates contempt. That snubs authority. That rejects reality and in the end breeds the judgment of God.

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The Messiah: Peter’s Confession of Christ
[Mark 8:27-30]
Shortly after Jesus heals a blind man, he walks toward the villages of Caesarea Philippi with his disciples. Along the way he questions them about who people think he is. They tell him John the Baptist. Or Elijah. Or one of the prophets. He asks them, “Who do you think I am?” Peter confesses: “You are the Christ. ”

An Objection to This Confession
Some scholars see this episode as a post-Easter confession of the church read back onto Peter’s lips. Yet this theory can’t plausibly account for the rebuke in verse 33, since that is not a detail the church is likely to invent. And so it’s best to conclude that Peter’s confession was historical and that Jesus accepted it, although on his own terms, as you’ll see in a minute.

The Suffering, Crucified Liberator?
Peter replied to Jesus’ question on behalf of the twelve. And he clearly and unequivocally affirmed that he—along with the twelve—believed Jesus to be the Messiah. However, the disciples expected the Messiah to come as a conquering general, a political liberator.

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Not a sacrificial lamb. Jesus knew this. That’s why his follow-up statement to Peter’s confession was a prediction of his own suffering and death. Yet Peter rejected such a notion. He could handle Jesus being Messiah. But he could not handle Jesus being crucified. The only problem was Jesus’ messianic mission could not be understood apart from the cross.

The Messiah and the Cross
First century Palestinian Jews understood that the Messiah would be one like Moses. That’s why parallels between Moses and Jesus were abundant throughout the gospels. But, like Luther said, “Jesus was no Moses. In the end, Moses is but a household servant. ” Christ, on the other hand, the maker and master of the house. For an ex-Pharisee and former church persecutor named Paul, this message penetrated every inch of his preaching: Nothing was worthy compared to the glory of the crucified Christ. All paled in comparison. And it was Paul’s all-consuming passion for others to know the fullness of God in the person of Jesus. That’s my passion, too. So I have to ask, “Who do you say Jesus is?” The answer to this question will determine your eternal destiny.

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Discipleship: The Law of the Cross Prevails
[Mark 8:34-38]
What does it mean to follow Christ? In Mark 8:34-38, Jesus answers that question. But it’s a tough answer. Challenging. Demanding. Unapologetic. Unflinching. It’s NOT user-friendly. Nor seeker sensitive. It won’t make you famous. Rich. Or powerful. In fact, following Christ demands a willingness to make any sacrifice Jesus asks. Even the ultimate sacrifice. And how you respond to Jesus will determine your place in the kingdom of God—in the fellowship of believers.

Discipleship: The High Cost
Just moments after Christ rebuked Peter, he summoned the crowd to gather around him and he began to teach. He said, “If anyone wishes to come after me, he must deny himself, take up your cross and follow me. ” He taught self-denial. Desperation. Hopelessness in self. Hopelessness so deep that a person would hold nothing back. Even his life. No wonder Peter rejected Jesus’ statement that the Messiah must suffer and die. He rebuffed the notion because he didn’t want to die. Peter said “no thanks” to that brand of discipleship.

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Jesus’ response? He told Peter that anyone who wishes to follow him must embrace the suffering that marked his own life. As disciples of Christ, we are called to embrace that same suffering. That same death. That’s the law of the cross. And it prevails.

Discipleship: What Is It?
A disciple is someone who follows a teacher and submits to his instruction or training. Where ever there is a teacher and student…you have discipleship. John the Baptist taught. Pharisees taught. I teach my children. Those we teach, train and instruct are our disciples. And believers who confess Christ as Savior are disciples of Jesus. And because we are his disciples, we are called to embrace the same suffering and death Christ embraced. The law of the cross prevails.

Discipleship: How Do We Endure?
God’s ultimate good never promises comfort or luxury. It promises hardship. Toil. Torture. Denial. Death. Death to self. To autonomy. But in return, we are offered a majestic hope. Christ set his sights on this hope. He set his sight beyond the pain. We’re called to do the same. To set our sights on that hope. See, discipleship in persecution depends on seeing circumstances from God’s perspective— rather than in terms of human cost. In the end, the hard truth of following Christ is that the cost is big. That is the law of the cross. But the rewards are infinite: abundant and eternal life that comes only from faithfully following Christ. My advice to you: Embrace that brand of discipleship. Christ calls:

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“Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy-laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. ”

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Transfiguration: An Otherworldly Peek at the Messiah
[Mark 9:2-13]
Long ago, on the slopes of the highest mountain in Israel, Jesus led a small group of followers to an isolated grove and then, in front of their eyes, transformed from a flesh and blood man into a being shining white as the sun. Then Moses appears…spokesperson for the redeemed who entered the kingdom through death—spokesperson for the Law. Then Elijah appears…spokesperson for the redeemed who entered the kingdom through translation—spokesperson for the Prophets. Moses and Elijah talk with Jesus. The subject: his coming death. An event that would conquer—not political oppression or military occupation—but sin and death. An event that would secure the redemption of mankind. An event that would anchor the gospel entrusted to you and I. The Transfiguration is the final, climactic earthly revelation of Jesus as Messiah before his crucifixion. Remember, the tension on his messianic revelation was building as he cast out demons, conquered storms and cured the paralytic… As his family rejected him. And rough, impetuous followers embraced him.

The Transfiguration and Our Wicked Hearts
Of course it’s an event our corrupt natures crave. In this scene, God overshadows these sinful, unglorified men and they naturally want to stay there. Forever.

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And so would we. The disciples response to this unusual appearance of God was typical of man since he sinned in the garden—they did a face plant in fear. I’m confident I would, too. But here’s what you need to know: For a moment Jesus is no longer the suffering servant. He is the king arrayed in his splendor. He’s given the disciples—and us—a peek at the otherworldly nature of his glorified state.

Where You Could Go Wrong
Yet we would be wrong to look for a heaven here upon a corrupt earth… To demand a repeat of this extraordinary event every month, week or day. Just like Peter and the disciples, we have important work to do: Bring Christ to the suffering and the sinful. Preach the gospel. In the very ordinary, very dirty business of life. Home. Church. Work. Subdivision. Mall. The people in these very ordinary, very dirty places all need the message we carry. That means WE’VE been redeemed for a point. Saved so we can fulfill a commission. We weren’t meant to hunker down in our redemption, hoard our salvation or map out our rapture in private. We were meant to crawl out of the trenches and engage—in mercy and grace—the enemies of our king with a message of hope and reconciliation with God.

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The Anointed—a Reckless but Beautiful Act of Worship
[Mark 14:3-9]
March 28, 33 AD. Jesus reclines on a thin mat around a low table in the home of a leper named Simon who lives in Bethany—a small village on the south side of the Mount of Olives. Jesus is with Simon and other guests, including Lazarus. The Lazarus who not too long ago lay dead three days in a tomb. The Lazarus who, but for the voice of Jesus, would still be in the tomb.

One Reckless, but Beautiful Act of Worship
Lazarus’ sister Martha is serving food. The men talk. Lazarus’ other sister, Mary, enters. She’s carrying a jar of expensive funeral perfume. Perfume she bought for her own burial. She breaks the jar and pours it on Jesus’ feet. She then pours it on Jesus’ head. She then lets her hair down in front of men she’s not married to and wipes Jesus’ feet with it. The fragrance overwhelms the aroma of food. Everyone quiets, except one man.

One Ugly Rebuke
Judas stands and scolds Mary for her reckless act. He says the perfume could’ve been sold and the money given to the poor. Jesus defends her, “Leave her alone…why are you bothering her? She has done a beautiful thing to me. ”

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And then Jesus promises that her one reckless act of worship will be remembered anytime the gospel is preached. Why? Her dramatic act demonstrated—beyond words—her love, devotion and loyalty to Jesus… A man who not only raised her brother from the dead, but a man who was willing to lose his own life for the sake of others. Like you.

Your Own Risky, but Calculated Acts of Worship
So, the question is, what are you willing to risk for Jesus that he might describe as beautiful? 1. Give away your life savings? 2. Neglect your own burial? 3. Appear ridiculous in public? 4. Offend your spouse? 5. Tarnish your reputation?

Mary’s act was an act of worship. A symbol of her deep loyalty to Jesus. And a costly way to show gratitude for raising her brother Lazarus from the dead. But Jesus described it as beautiful.

Something to Keep in Mind
She did what she could. She gave what she had. Not what she didn’t have. So you don’t have to mourn what you don’t have. Rejoice in what you do have. And give recklessly. Like the widow. The tangible and the intangible. Give it all. And when you’ve decided before the Lord what you can give to him as an act of worship, don’t wait.

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Do it now. Risk it all so that he may one day say, “What you did was beautiful. His is the only affirmation ” you should ever care about.

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Failure: Peter’s Denial of Jesus Christ
[Mark 14:66-77]
He saw Jesus conquer storms. Cast out demons. Cure the lame. And from his own lips, he confessed Jesus was the Messiah. But when cornered by a small servant girl in Caiaphas’ courtyard, Peter cowered. Not once. Not twice. But three times. Three times—in the face of accusations—he denied he knew Jesus. Each accusation surprised and confounded him. He couldn’t hide who he was: A disciple of Jesus. “He’s a Nazarene. A Galilean. A member of that sect. A spy, the little servant girl said. Alone ” and surrounded by hostile people, Peter felt in danger. Perhaps Peter recalled what Jesus said, “Satan wants to sift you. Perhaps he thought, “Satan ” is sifting me. ” Yet, aggravated by the circumstances, he cursed himself and God if he knew Jesus. That’s when the cock crowed for the second time. At that point it dawned on Peter what he’d done. He ran away, covered himself with his cloak like a mourner and wept bitterly.

Don’t Miss This
This event towers in my mind. It makes connections to the scandal in Nazareth. The betrayal of Judas. It’s a sloppy event, closely related to Peter’s impulsive mouth and Mary’s reckless sense of worship.

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Peter’s denial is not a polished event. Not heroic. Nor legend-making material for a man. All four gospels record Peter’s betrayal. The purpose is simple: To draw a vivid distinction between man’s frailty and God’s mercy. It is a grim but touching scene, the sincerity of Peter’s repentance. Darby said: The word of Christ shall be true, if that of Peter be false-His heart faithful and full of love, if that of Peter (alas! like all ours) is unfaithful and cowardly. He confesses the truth, and Peter denies it. Nevertheless the grace of our blessed Lord does not fail him; and, touched by it, he hides his face and weeps.

Walk Away With This
Peter’s sin was great: He denied Christ before men. He denied Christ before men at a time when he ought to have confessed and owned him. But his repentance was swift. And he did as the tax collector who smote his breast in sorrow for sin.

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The Crucifixion: The Messiah Mocked on the Cross
[Mark 15:31-32]
Near the end of the story of the gospel of Jesus Christ, we see Jesus nailed to a cross… A cross standing between two crucified robbers—a subtle insult by Pilate suggesting the king of the Jews was nothing more than a criminal.

The Mocked Messiah
Onlookers cursed Jesus. Spit his way. Even challenged him to crawl down from the cross. The two robbers hurled abuses at him. Some Jews cried, “He saved others, but he can’t even save himself!” This is a gruesome antithesis of Mary’s reckless act of worship. A far cry from an otherworldly transfiguration. Jesus on the cross is not a potent display of power. It doesn’t move anyone to declare, “You are the Christ. ” In fact, in the minds of Mary, John and Peter—in the minds of all his followers—it looks like nothing more than a scandal. A fraud. A huge, out-of-nowhere upset late in the quarter. This can’t be happening. Not to our Messiah. But it is.

Cursing Christ
The mockery doesn’t stop. Someone cries, “Let Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!”

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A final demand for a miracle by the unbelieving Jewish authorities. A miracle they claim would convince them once and for all that Jesus is indeed who he says he is: The Messiah. Their claim is false. They would not believe. They refused to believe any miracle up to that point. And they would refuse to believe in the resurrection. In the end, they satisfied the desires of their heart at the expense of the suffering Christ. But, without knowing it, they established the glory and perfection of Jesus—He saved others but not himself.

What the Work of the Crucifixion Means
Just like when Jesus forgave the sins of the cripple, there is an invisible work going on with the crucifixion. This is what we don’t see, he work occurring out of every one’s sight between Jesus and God…the work that darkened Jesus’ soul, broke his body but displayed his absolute perfection. All the work between himself and God. And morally rejected by the world there was no longer any room in it for his mercy towards it. He drank in his soul the cup of death and the judgment of sin. His work was complete. Obedient to the end, he dies. But his death ushers in another world. A life where evil could never enter…and the new man will be perfectly at peace in the presence of God.

How Do You See the Suffering Messiah?
The man who sees the danger in mocking the suffering Messiah will with relentless intensity seek salvation. The man who sees the forgiveness for sin and the gift of eternal life purchased for him by the suffering and death of the Son of God will rejoice endlessly. And the man who sees the sins which crucified Christ will mourn with godly sorrow. How do you see the suffering Christ?

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Death: The Messiah Commits His Soul to God
[Mark 15:33-39]
Not long after a challenge to crawl down from the cross—and accusations that Christ was not who he said he was—a Roman centurion makes an unusual statement. It was noon when darkness covered the whole land. A sign that satisfied Amos 8:9. A sign that satisfied Jeremiah 15:9. A sign the Jews didn’t expect. Nor even noticed as such. But a sign that signaled their blindness. Their subjection to spiritual darkness. The darkness remained for three hours. And in that darkness Jesus cried, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Jesus didn’t complain of Peter’s betrayal. He didn’t complain that his followers fled from him. He complained that God had forsaken him. And made a sacrifice of sin for us, Jesus now suffered God’s fury and wrath. The wrath Jesus feared in the garden. This was the agony he suspected he’d endure. Wrath seen in the Old Testament consuming fire. Fire that consumed the sacrifice. Fire that should’ve consumed the sinner. It fell on Christ. A sacrifice that pacified God. A sacrifice that cried long and bitterly.

Comfort to All Christians
Startled by this sudden appearance of life in Jesus, someone soaked a sponge in sour wine, put

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it on the end of a long stick and raised it to Jesus’ lips. They intended to cool his mouth. Not to nurse him. But to mock him. As if to say, “He’s crying for the prophet Elijah to rescue him. What other crazy thing can we get him to say?” Then, Jesus died. And at that instant, the veil of the temple was torn from top to bottom, a signal that the nation of Jews would eventually be destroyed… Ichabod, the glory is departed from Israel. And it signaled comfort to Christians: Here is a new and living way into the holiest by the way of Jesus’ blood. And now we come to the centurion’s statement. Convicted and convinced, the centurion who oversaw the execution confessed: “Truly this man was the Son of God!” The unjust punishment of a sinless man. The honor that heaven declared to the suffering servant. Even in the depths of humiliation and persecution, Jesus was declared the Messiah. The Son of God. And he was declared to be so with power. From conquering storms and subduing demons to human worship and heavens that declare his death, Jesus is named the Messiah. The reigning King. Whom we adore and serve. Forevermore.

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About the Author
Demian Farnworth is the managing editor for an international humanitarian aid organization and blogger at Fallen and Flawed. He lives with his wife and two children in Illinois.

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About the Designer
Cameron Morgan is a visual designer in Orange County, California. He digs theology and spending time with his wife and daughter.

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