This evening at 7.30pm in the church – Maundy Thursday Communion. The church is also open today between 10.30am and 12.30pm, and again between 6pm and 7.30pm for prayer stations for Holy Week.
With very few words, Mark describes the crucifixion scene with stark simplicity.
We are told how Simon of Cyrene carries Jesus cross because he was so weakened by the beatings and flogging he had received. The reference to Simon’s two sons suggests that early readers of this gospel would know who they were. There are also the details of Jesus being offered drugged wine and the gambling over the sharing out of his clothes.
But there is no grisly or gruesome description of the actual crucifixion, one of the most painful ways the ancient world had of killing someone slowly and painfully.
But the most striking of the details Mark gives us is the fact that the passers-by derided Jesus. They mocked him and hurled insults at him. However, there is real irony in what they say – “He saved others, … but he can’t save himself!” It is precisely because he is dying in order to save others, that he cannot and must not save himself!
This is the first time Mark uses the title King for Jesus – the people then did not recognise their Messiah and King – many still do not do so today.
Let us take a few moments to meditate on the fact that Jesus did not come down from the cross precisely because he loved us enough to pay the price for our sin.
Today’s Thought for the Day for Lent is from Derek