“The Servant’s Sacrifice” 
Mark 15:33-47

And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. – Mark 15:37-38

We know from Scripture that Jesus is fully God and fully Man. This is a fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith that sets mainline Christianity from the cults. It may sound closed-minded to separate the two in such an emphatic way, but the basic rule of logic compels that separation. Jesus is either fully God and fully Man or He is not. The two views cannot coexist under the same faith. They are in fact different faiths because they pivot upon a different Jesus.

The religious leaders wanted to stone Jesus because he “a mere man claimed to be God” [Jn 10:33]. “What further need do we have of witnesses?” Caiaphas asked, “You have heard the blasphemy” [Mk 15:63-64].

Make no mistake about it, the blasphemy was that Jesus claimed to be God. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” [John 1:1] That “Word” is Jesus Who was [and is] God. But then John went on to write, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us...” [Jn 1:14], that is, He became a Man.

Philippians 2:5-8 is another definitive passage describing Jesus’ deity and humanity. The Scriptures are clear: Jesus is God and He became a Man to pay the price for sin upon the Cross of Calvary.

The final act of His earthly life was His death described in our passage this morning. Jesus, fully Man, died for the sins of the world. But He, never ceasing to be God, remains eternal and is now at the right hand of the Father. Admittedly, this is a challenging doctrine to wrap one’s mind around, but nevertheless described in the Bible, for which we must receive by faith.

This morning we are going to focus on the Human side of our Lord when He “breathed His last.” What happened at that moment? What was the significance of the veil of the temple torn in two [cf. Mk 15:38]? What happened when Joseph of Arimathea [and Nicodemus] placed Jesus’ body in the tomb? And what happened during those three days in the tomb?

Much prophecy is fulfilled in Jesus’ death [this Sunday’s study], and in His Resurrection [next Sunday’s study], as all Scripture must be fulfilled.

It is all fulfilled at the Cross and the Resurrection, for which the Christian faith rests upon. These will be the all-important topics over the next two Sundays as we conclude our study of the Gospel of Mark.