Key verse: Mark 15:35
Big idea: The Son of God laid down His life willingly.
Mark 15 is a painful chapter to read if we slow down enough to experience it frame by frame. Jesus handed over, His life traded for that of a murderer by corrupt leaders on an ego trip. A governor without scruples, willing to do the right thing until it was hard. The Son of God and Lord of Lords mocked, 'worshipped' in derision, and nailed to a cross to slowly suffer and die. Yet, not that slowly. In fact, Jesus died quickly enough that Pilate was surprised that he was already dead when His body was requested for burial. Jesus did not cling to life until the bitter end. He finished the work which He came for and then voluntarily gave up His life.
Jesus could have stopped the whole horrible affair at any moment. He could have called down an army of angels. At His word, the whole universe could have been dissolved. Each of those who mistreated Him could have been turned to salt like Lot's wife, consumed with fire like those who tried to capture Elijah, or swallowed up in the ground like the enemies of Moses. The same God who did all of those things was now the one bleeding and scorned. But He let it continue. When the final moment came, the eternal immortal God, who did not need to ever die by nature or justice, chose to give His life up. He laid it down willingly so that we could live.
I do not have any practical application, discussion idea or prayer focus for you today. Just a challenge to read through Mark 15 out loud, slowly, and to thank God for the cross.