March 25, 2018
Mark 15:25-39…“‘Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe.’ Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.” vs. 32
According to Mark’s account, as Jesus’ crucifixion wore on to its sorry end, there was also no end to the mockery and insults. The entire crowd, even the two thieves alongside him, were united in their taunting and scorn. Jesus was utterly alone, feeling forsaken even by God. Yet, among those bystanders, there were still some who hoped that there might be a miracle–that by some divine power the nails would be pulled out and Jesus would hop down from the cross. If that happened– they said to one another–then they would become believers. That’s a common feeling for those who stand by as death draws near. Particularly when the one dying is a dear loved one. We hope against hope for a miraculous deliverance. In our prayers we make the offer, “O God, let there be a miracle now so that we might see and believe.” We’ve heard that such things can happen, but most of the time death is not delayed. As with Jesus there is no miracle; a last breath is taken, and all we can do is prepare the body for burial. For some, that’s reason enough to discard faith and to conclude there is no God. But for others, there is no loss of faith. They understand death as the gateway to new life. For them death can never be the end of the story!
Thought for the Day: What is my prayer when death draws near?