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Mark 15:33-39

Mark 15:33-39


Sermon: The Completion of the “cup”
Bible Passage: Mark 15:33-39

I. Verses 33

1. NIV reads “at noon,” but it actually reads “when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour”—sixth hour is 12 noon
2. Darkness came upon the land from “12 noon to 3 pm”

a. No event is recorded during these three hours
b. Jesus was lonely and abandonment (abandoned by His disciples and Father)
c. Jesus abandoned himself to the will of God

3. Darkness is associated with God’s judgement (cf. Zeph 1:15; Mic 3:6; Joel 2:2; Deut 28:29; Amos 8:9, Jer 15:9)
4. Darkness in this passage carries great theological significance
5. It symbolized Jesus bearing the weight of the wrath of God— six-hour ordeal cf. 15:25

II. Verses 34-37

1. Jesus’ death at the 9th hour carries theological significance
2. It is at the 9th hour the animal was sacrificed at the Temple
3. Jesus died at the ninth hour signifying the sacrifice of atonement
4. Jesus’ death fulfilled Mark 8:31, 9:31, & 10:33-34
5. Jesus’ death was a violent and painful one—Father executed His judgement righteously
6. At His death, “the cup” is completed

III. Verse 38

1. Jerusalem Temple had two curtains: (1) one before the Court of Israel and (2) one before the Holy of Holies
2. Here Mark refers to the one before the Holy of Holies (cf. Heb 6:19; 9:3; 10:20)
3. Is it torn as a sign of something being destroyed or something being revealed?
4. At the death of Jesus, the veil between God and humanity is removed
5. It may symbolize the rending of the barrier between humanity and God (cf. Lev 16)
6. The death of Jesus has made possible access to God for all humanity (not through the mediatorial work of Jewish High Priest)
7. It brought to an end the ritualistic worship service of the Temple
8. The will of God is fulfilled in the death of Jesus on the cross

IV. Verse 39 It is the climax of the Gospel of Mark

1. The centurion (the captain of the execution squad) “sees and believes

a. When other Roman soldiers were mocking at Jesus, the centurion stood in front of Jesus and was observing Jesus dying (seeing with insight)
b. Jesus’ suffering and death evoked faith in him
c. The title “the Son of God” is a significant Christological title in the Gospel of Mark

i. Mark 1:1 “The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, the Son of God”
ii. Mark 1:11 At His baptism, Father declares “You are my one dear Son; in you I take great delight”
iii. Mark 9:7 Then a cloud overshadowed them, and a voice came from the cloud, “This is my one dear Son
iv. Mark 3:11 And whenever the unclean spirits saw him, they fell down before him and cried out, “You are the Son of God.”

d. This is the first time, a person identified Jesus with this title
e. This confession was not the result of any miraculous sing, but by Jesus’ passion and death—
f. Centurion’s confession is a saving confession that Jesus is the Son of God and the cross is the birthplace of faith

Take Away: 

Just like the centurion, take time to see Jesus on the cross and ask God for an insight into His death

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at