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

Sunday, December 13, 2020

Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought [Jesus] was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. "Wait!" he said. "Let's see whether Elijah comes to take him down!"
— Mark 15:35-36 NLT

Key Thought

From the vantage points of Jesus, the Messiah, and of the Gospel of Mark, Elijah had already come. John the Baptizer was the Elijah who was to precede the Messiah. Those in power had John murdered; now they are doing the same to 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 Mark 15:39.)

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.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Colossians 2:11-15
  • Hebrews 2:14-15
  • Galatians 6:14


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Illustration of Mark 15:35-36 NLT — "Wait!"   ——   "Let's see whether Elijah comes to take him down!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.