Sometimes substitutes aren’t so good. I was one of those kids in grade school whose elbow was the thickest part of his arm. If I did make a sports team it would be to watch the man-boys who were enjoying their lives in the land of puberty while the rest of us hairless, puberty hopefuls sat on the bench, dreaming of the promised land of facial hair and body odor. Inevitably one of the Neanderthals would need a breather and the coach would look down the bench and see my knobby knees sticking out and send me on to the court to substitute for the knuckle-dragger. Everyone on the court (and in the stands) could tell: This isn’t going to go so well. There are other times, one in particular, when the Substitute is far better than the original. Listen in!
1. Recall a time when someone had to step in and take your place.
2. Read over Psalm 22 and find whatever connections there are with that Psalm and Mark 15. Does it mean anything to you that God prophesied this 1000 years in advance?
3. Pilate wanted to keep people happy, Barabbas’ response to Jesus is unknown, the Roman centurion declared Jesus to be “the Son of God” and Joseph was looking for a place to serve. Which of these 4 are you most like today?
4. “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” What did Jesus mean by this?
5. What is the impact of the curtain in the temple being torn from top to bottom at the very moment Jesus died?