It was the first time the Southwestern Company based in Nashville tried to sell books out in the L.A. area. Most of you have had that college student show up on your front step selling educational books, Bibles, and children’s Bible story books. Out in California I learned fast that it was tough to gain access to a home. In neighborhoods where you could walk up to the front door and knock, I was rejected about 90% of the time. When it came to those high dollar homes with gated security, it was impossible to gain access. The more powerful and prestigious the person, the harder it was to get anywhere near an open door.
When it comes to the omnipotent All Mighty who did set up his residence among the Israelites, no one got access into the Holy of Holies except once a year on the Day of Atonement, and only the high priest. But a poor Galilean Jew executed on a Roman cross, who had been handed over because of the jealousy of the high priest serving in AD 33, tore down the curtain in the Temple the moment he died. His death provided open access not only for Jews, but also for Gentiles, even a Roman Centurion standing there facing the cross.
“And the curtain of the Temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. Now when the centurion who was standing opposite Jesus as he hung on the cross saw how he died, he said, ‘Certainly, this man was the Son of God.’
There were also women observing the crucifixion from a distance. Mary Magdalene, Mary, the mother of both James the younger and Joses, and Salome were there. These women began following Jesus in Galilee and cared for his needs. Many other women were there who had gone up to Jerusalem with Jesus.” Mark 15:38-41
By sharing with us about the Centurion Mark signals that soon the Gentiles too will be welcomed into God’s household through faith in Jesus. (Note Jesus’ prediction of Gentile mission (Mark 13:10 and Acts 10) and the story of Cornelius.)
And don’t miss that Mark is careful to recognize the women at the cross. They will have an important role as witnesses to the resurrection, and all of us men following Jesus need to take a careful look at these faithful women. They followed Jesus and served him during his earthly ministry. And unlike most of his male disciples, they were present even as he hung on the cross. We must give honor and recognition to all the faithful women continuing to express this deep love for our Savior today.
LORD, destroy the work of Satan as he tries to use the recent exposure of some evangelical leaders treating women shamefully and in some cases immorally to cause, especially younger women, to turn away from the church. Help them to see in St. Mark’s description that in the first century and down through time there have been and are godly men who cherish and honor their sisters in Christ.
For more from Dave Wyrtzen please visit TruthEncounter.com!