What Jesus Did! 'Will Elijah Come?' — Mark 15:35-36

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Some of the people standing there heard this. The people said, "Listen! He is calling Elijah." One man there ran and got a sponge. The man filled the sponge with vinegar and tied the sponge to a stick. Then he used the stick to give the sponge to Jesus to drink from it. The man said, "We should wait now and see if Elijah will come to take him down from the cross."
— Mark 15:35-36
Illustration of Mark 15:35-36 — "Listen! He is calling Elijah."   ——   "We should wait now and see if Elijah will come to take him down from the cross."

Key Thought

From the vantage points of Jesus the Messiah and of the Gospel of Mark, Elijah had already come. John the Baptist was the Elijah who was to precede the Messiah. Those in power had John murdered; now they were doing the same with Jesus. Those who are at the Cross to mock the Lord Jesus misunderstand what he said. They simply turn Jesus' words into another way to mock, belittle, and humiliate him more. Little do these mockers know that what Jesus endures on the Cross ends up defeating Satan and bringing life to those who will call upon him as Lord. Elijah didn't come and take Jesus down from the Cross. However, God the Father did come and raise him from death in his tomb. Yet even in this moment of horror and humiliation with his crucifixion, the Cross touches the heart of a hardened soldier and opens his heart to the truth about Jesus—he is the Son of God. (See verse 39.)

Today's Prayer

O Father, I am saddened that it took the humiliation of the Cross to break through to our hardened hearts. Yet, dear Father, thank you for paying that price. I pray that the story of Jesus will reach hearts that no other story can. Please help me to never be ashamed of the message of that Cross. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

Pilate's soldiers brought Jesus into the governor's palace (called the Praetorium). They called all the other soldiers together. The soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. Then they used thorny weeds to make a crown. They put the crown of thorns on Jesus' head. Then they called to Jesus. They said, "Hello, king of the Jews!" The soldiers hit Jesus on the head many times with a stick. They also spit on him. Then {they teased Jesus by} bowing on their knees and worshiping him. After they finished teasing Jesus, the soldiers took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led Jesus out of the palace to be killed on a cross. There was a man from Cyrene walking into the city. The man was Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was walking into the city from the fields. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. They led Jesus to the place called Golgotha. (Golgotha means "The Place of the Skull.") At Golgotha the soldiers tried to give Jesus wine to drink. This wine was mixed with myrrh. But Jesus refused to drink it. The soldiers nailed Jesus to a cross. Then the soldiers divided Jesus' clothes among themselves. They gambled with dice to decide which clothes each soldier would get. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they nailed Jesus to the cross. There was a sign with the charge against Jesus written on it. The sign said: "THE KING OF THE JEWS." They also put two robbers on crosses beside Jesus. They put one robber beside Jesus on the right, and they put the other robber beside Jesus on the left. People walked by and said bad things to Jesus. They shook their heads and said, "You said you could destroy the temple and build it again in three days. So save yourself! Come down from that cross!" The leading priests and the teachers of the law were also there. They teased Jesus the same as the other people did. They said to themselves, "He saved other people. But he can't save himself. If he is really the Christ, the king of Israel (the Jews), then he should {save himself by} coming down from the cross now. We will see this, and then we will believe in him." The robbers that were being killed on the crosses beside Jesus also said bad things to him.

Mark 15:33-41

Related Scripture Readings

In Christ you had a different kind of circumcision. That circumcision was not done by the hands of any person. I mean you were made free from the power of your sinful self. That is the kind of circumcision Christ does. When you were baptized, {your old self died and} you were buried with Christ. And in that baptism you were raised up with Christ because of your faith in God's power. God's power was shown when he raised Christ from death. You were spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were not free from the power of your sinful self. But God made you alive with Christ. And God forgave all our sins. We owed a debt because we broke God's laws. That debt listed all the rules we failed to follow. But God forgave us of that debt. God took away that debt and nailed it to the cross. God defeated the spiritual rulers and powers. With the cross God won the victory and defeated those rulers and powers. God showed the world that they were powerless.

Colossians 2:11-15

Those children are people with physical bodies. So Jesus himself became like those people and had the same experiences people have. Jesus did this so that, by dying, he could destroy the one who has the power of death. That one is the devil. Jesus became like those people and died so that he could free them. They were like slaves all their lives because of their fear of death.

Hebrews 2:14-15

I hope I will never boast about things like that. The cross (death) of our Lord Jesus Christ is my only reason for boasting. Through Jesus' death on the cross the world is dead to me; and I am dead to the world.

Galatians 6:14

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.