The One Jesus Didn’t Save

April 14, 2019

Sermon Notes

As Jesus hung upon the sinner’s cross, people ridiculed His inability to perform one more miracle and escape His death. The greatest miracle of Jesus’ ministry was His commitment to forsake salvation from the cross so that we could experience salvation by the cross.

Mark 15:21-39

21 And they compelled a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross. 22 And they brought him to the place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull). 23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take. 25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, “The King of the Jews.”27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left. 29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!”31 So also the chief priests with the scribes mocked him to one another, saying, “He saved others; he cannot save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross that we may see and believe.” Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.

33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?”which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down.” 37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”

The Setting

  • Jesus balked at any notion of diluting the agony of the cross (15:23).
  • Every single detail of the crucifixion was going according to God’s plan.
  • Jesus was ruthlessly mocked for not saving Himself as He had saved others (15:29-32).
  • The ominous darkness revealed the depth of sin’s consequences (15:33).
  • For the first time in His life, Jesus felt the unbearable anguish of a moment’s separation from His Father (15:34).
  • At the moment of Jesus’ atoning death, the barricade separating Mankind from God’s presence was eliminated (15:38).
  • The centurion’s confession is the first time a person confesses the truth we have all been longing to hear: “Truly, this man was the Son of God!” (15:39).

The Significance

  • In Jesus’ sacrifice, He embodied the painful distance from God that sin seeks to accomplish.
  • It is not that Jesus was unable to save Himself, He was unwilling.
  • While our sin exiled us from God’s presence, Jesus’ death welcomed us back.
  • The only person Jesus refused to save was Himself.
  • Jesus was forsaken for your sins so that you could be forgiven by His sacrifice.