Look closely at the image. Are the wheels spinning? Now use your hand to cover part of either circle and you will discover that nothing is moving. You’ve been tricked.
In Mark 15:32, the religious leaders mocked Jesus, challenging him to come off the cross if he, indeed, is the Christ. Just like in the picture above, these religious leaders have convinced themselves of their own illusion. Their indictment was to see if Jesus was the Christ, yet they were blind.
Several times in this short passage, we have references to seeing. The religious leaders wanted to see, darkness fell on the land illustrating the lack of vision by all, the man dipping the sponge wanted to see, but only one person saw—the centurion.
As Jesus expired, the centurion understood, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” This statement bookends the entire gospel of Mark. The centurion’s statement is the capstone of the whole Gospel that opens in verse 1 with “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.” Peter’s great confession of Jesus as the Christ (Mark 8:29), has now been amplified. Not only is Jesus the Christ, but the Christ is the Son of God.
Instead of the Christ tearing the banner of Rome and establishing a worldwide empire, with the seat of power in Jerusalem, the Christ, instead, came to tear the veil in the temple. Before conquering the world, Jesus had to conquer sin. And when the veil was torn, humanity then gained access to the very presence of God.
The question becomes, how should a true disciple respond? This example we see with Joseph of Arimathea. Verse 43 says he took courage, and that must be an understatement. Jesus was condemned by Rome as a rebel convicted of high treason against Cesar—not someone you’d want to be associated with. Thus, in his example we witness that a true disciple is one who takes courage, unashamed of being identified with Christ no matter the cost.
Just like the darkness falling over the world as Jesus hung on the cross, this world is spiritually blinded in sin. This failure to see Christ for who he really is means that his followers, those seen identifying with him, will be misunderstood at best or maybe condemned to torture and death as Jesus was.
How do you see Jesus? How does your vision of him change the way you live: your work, your family, your recreation, your finances, etc.? Tell us in the comments, encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ, what is one thing about your life that is different after your vision of Christ changed by coming into a relationship with Him?
By: Tyler Short — Connections Ministry Associate