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The Son dies for us and we become sons with him

When Mark records the historical events of Jesus death we see events occuring in darkness, in the middle of the day. This is unexpected on any other day and at any other crucifixion. But this is not any other day, this is the day that all history has been leading up to, the day that all of Mark's gospel has been leading to. Witness the departure of the bridegroom. Witness the promised day when he would be handed over and crucified. In Biblical terms the darkness is easy to interpret - the world begins in darkness until God brings light, and the return of darkness is repeatedly the presence of divine wrath against sin...

What happens at the cross is a function of God's love for us. The bridegroom loves us. The bridegroom is jealous for us. And so is wrathful. But the Father, sharing the same love, sends him to die in our place. And if it is love that motivates the cross, then to speak of wrath-averted is good and true but only half of the story of Good Friday.

At the moment Jesus dies Mark doesn't linger, but shifts his camera into the city to the temple where the curtain is torn down. Jesus death means no more distance from God. It means no more exile. It means no more angels barring the way to God's presence. It means relationship, and inclusion in the loving family of God the Father.

Implicit here is a signal that the death of Jesus isn't the end of the story - relationship occurs with those who live, and so though Mark wont show us the risen Christ in chapter 16 we know that he rises. It's also been explicit throughout - Jesus will die, and then on the third day rise - and so with his death documented, the clock is ticking.

J.I.Packer says you can summarise the cross as being about as "propitiation for adoption". Jesus takes our place under the wrath of the Triune God, and is raised to life on the third day so that we can be welcomed into the loving family of the Triune God, sons with/in the resurrected Son. Loved because the son is loved.


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