From the Pastor’s Pen

Final thoughts on Mark 15:29-30

And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”           NKJV

Have you ever considered how heartless the people were who callously passed by the Savior as He hung on the cross? But before we rush to judge them, let us remember that there are many still doing it today. Those who do fall into three groups.

First, there are those who want a cross without Christ. It is possible to worship a symbol without the Savior. Some may revere a cross made of wood or gold which hangs on a wall for which can be held in the hand, but that man-made emblem will never provide cleansing from even one sin. It is Jesus alone who redeems our souls with His precious blood.

Secondly, there are those who want a Christ without a cross. They want a conquering lion, but not a dying Lamb. They would cry, “Come down from the cross!” (verse 30). Many desire a good example, or a great teacher, or a triumphant king. They cling to hope of salvation by works. They despise the gospel that declares we are justified by grace through faith alone in the One who shed His blood for us on the cross.

Finally, there are those who want neither Christ nor His cross. They are untouched by His sorrow, unmoved by His suffering, and unrepentant of their sins that He bore in His own body on the cross. (I Pet. 2:24) Never have they exclaimed as did the songwriter Philip P. Bliss, “Bearing shame and scoffing rude, In my place condemned He stood—Sealed my pardon with His blood: Hallelujah, what a Savior!

Jesus took our place that we might have His peace.           Paul Van Gorder

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