When the centurion standing there in front of Jesus saw how He had breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
e.g. a curse had accompanied man's spiritual fall. Promises of temporal good were associated with moral worth. Images drawn from the "desert" and the "trees" and "rivers" by the prophets found their justification in the truth uttered afterwards by St. Paul, "The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now," etc. The darkening of the sun was the testimony of Nature to her dying Lord; a hint that creation is dependent on him, that Nature is supported by unseen spiritual powers, and that the fate of the earth is involved in the kingdom of God. It is no meaningless portent described here, but an event which had its teaching both immediate and remote. Consider -
I. THE EFFECTS OF THIS DARKNESS ON THOSE AROUND THE CROSS.
1. This supernatural gloom would increase the solemnity of the event. As the darkness grew denser, silence would fall on the gibing tongues and every noisy laugh would be stilled; and as the gloom deepened into unearthly night over the busy streets, the open fields, and the sacred temple, many would ask themselves, "What meaneth this?" Carelessness and flippant scepticism are always out of place in view of the cross. If the narrative be mythical, it should at least be rejected intelligently and seriously; for, if it be true, it involves stupendous issues to us all.
2. It hid his agony from the onlookers. Faithful friends and, above all, the loving mother stood there till they could bear no more; and God would not suffer them to be tried above bearing, so darkness shrouded the Sufferer. And the foes of our Lord were shut out from a scene too sacred for them to witness. Beyond what was necessary, the well-beloved Son should not be exposed to their brutal jeers.
3. It was an admonition to our Lord's foes. They were readers of Old Testament Scriptures, and knew well how their fathers had been dealt with. They remembered that in the day of their national deliverance darkness had fallen on Jehovah's foes, and had proved the precursor of heavier plagues, and therefore we do not wonder that some went home "beating their breasts," and saying, "What next?" Would that they had turned even then!
II. THE SUGGESTIONS OF THIS DARKNESS TO THE WORLD.
1. It indicated the going out of the world's Light. Jesus had plainly declared, "I am the Light of the world;" "Walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you." To some, at least, such words would come back with new meaning and power. To reject Christ is to shut off light from the soul, and become ready for the outer darkness. A Christless world was set forth when the sun was darkened.
2. It suggested the ignorance of the Gentiles and the malignity of the Jews. The soldiers were brutal, yet knew not what they did. Pilate, in political scheming, had lost all sense of righteousness and truth, and so in ignorance delivered Jesus to be crucified. "Darkness covered the earth, and gross darkness the people." On the other hand, the Jews had in themselves the fulfillment of the words, "The god of this world hath blinded the minds of them that believe not."
3. It reminded the Church of the mystery of the Atonement. The death of the Lord Jesus had a Godward as well as a worldward aspect. It was to attract human love, but at the same time to reveal Divine love. When the darkness passed away, and the sun shone upon the cross, the returning light was like the bow of promise after the Flood - a sign of peace between man and God, and a pledge of "the rainbow round about the throne," in the land where all give thanks to God and to the Lamb that was slain. - A.R.
Truly this Man was the Son of God.
1. The treason of Judas. Jesus had been delivered up to His enemies by one who had been admitted to His friendship and close intercourse with Him.
2. Christ's utter abandonment by His disciples. Not a voice had been uttered in Ills defence, or to comfort Him; not one was found to come forward courageously and acknowledge Him.
3. The injustice of His sentence. Even His judge was convinced of His innocence; yet He was condemned to the most cruel death ever devised.
4. The ignominy accompanying His punishment. The death of Jesus, "expiring in the midst of tortures, abused, insulted, cursed by a whole nation, is the most horrible that could be feared."
5. His knowledge of all that was to come upon Him. His passion and death commenced in Gethsemane. There He resigned Himself unreservedly to all the anguish He afterwards underwent. Nor did He for one moment draw back from the awful sufferings that followed. Was not the centurion justified in the conclusion forced upon him by such a spectacle as this — that He who could thus die must be of a truth not Man only, but the very Son of God?
(L. H. Horne, B. D.)
(E. S. Atwood.)
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)Thou say? That Thou camest from above! How terribly Thou eyest me! Oh, Thou art dreadful! But Thou art only a Man, after all!" Then he would again rush away, but soon return with faltering step, crying out, "What! Art Thou in reality the Son of God?" The same scenes were daily renewed, till the unhappy man, struck by paralysis, dropped down dead; and then really stood before his Judge, who, even in His picture, had so strikingly and overpoweringly judged him.I. That the religion of the gospel is the only one which has ever yet appeared among mankind which is adequate to all the instinctive desires and expectations of the human mind.
II. There is a second view of it which arises from its relation to the welfare of society, or the prosperity of the world. III, That the religion of the gospel is the only one which has ever appeared among mankind which is commensurate to the future hopes or expectations of the human soul.
(A. Alison, LL. B.)
(J. J. Davies.)
LinksMark 15:39 NIV
Mark 15:39 NLT
Mark 15:39 ESV
Mark 15:39 NASB
Mark 15:39 KJV
Mark 15:39 Bible Apps
Mark 15:39 Parallel
Mark 15:39 Biblia Paralela
Mark 15:39 Chinese Bible
Mark 15:39 French Bible
Mark 15:39 German Bible
Mark 15:39 Commentaries