The Big Bible Adventure – Mark 15:33-37
Powerpoint Pictures: Substitution in Football; Twelfth Man in Cricket; Substitute Teacher; Food Delivery Van; Algebra Equation; Replacement Bus Service Sign
What is a substitute? Something or someone that replaces or goes in the place of another.
Where do we find substitutes? [Football; Cricket; School – supply teacher; Food Shopping – substitute items; Maths – substitute letters for numbers; Transport – when trains not working, have a replacement bus service]
We finished last time with a question. How could Jesus say to the thief on the cross, who had done lots of things wrong, you’re going to go to heaven when you die because you believe in me?
The answer is because Jesus was his substitute.
Jesus was taking God’s punishment for all that the man had done wrong (his sins) in his place.
How do we know this?
Because something strange happens as Jesus was dying on the cross. “At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.” (Mark 15:33)
The sixth hour is midday. The ninth hour is 3pm. So from midday to 3 o’clock in the afternoon it was dark. Pitch black at the time it was supposed to be light.
In the Bible darkness like this was a sign of God’s punishment (one of the plagues that came upon Egypt was darkness), and Jesus tells us that this is what God was doing.
“And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” – which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34)
God was rejecting His own Son so that those who believe in Him could go to heaven when they died. Jesus was dying as a substitute in the place of those who believe in Him.
But darkness in the middle of the day wasn’t the only strange thing that happened as Jesus died.
More talks from The Big Bible Adventure can be found HERE.