It is questionable whether the drink offered to Jesus was out of kindness or part of their mockery. Nonetheless in Mark 15:34-36 we find the sixth time in which an unbeliever has spoken an eternal truth in the presence of the cross of Jesus. The significance is not in the gesture of providing a drink. It is how those witnesses were drawn up short wondering what God will do as they point to the cross and say, “behold.” Man’s plans will certainly change when God acts. On that day of the death of Christ there should be no surprise to anyone considering the darkness that hovered from the sky, the earthquake that shook ground, the resurrection of saints, and the tearing of the temple veil from top to bottom. All these indicate God’s response to the death of his son.
Two notations should be observed considering the veil. It was torn from top to bottom. This was not like a curtain hung in your living room. It was 4 inches thick made of woven material making it impossible for a human to tear. Since it was torn from the top to the bottom, it indicates that God did the tearing. The importance of the veil being torn is that access to the inner sanctum of the temple is now open to anyone. In the past only a priest could go there once a year. Now we all can go directly into the presence of God.
Christ was not on the cross for his own personal punishment because he never committed a sin. He was not on the cross as an example. And he was not on the cross as a confirmation of his teachings. He was on the cross by the act of God for the sake of man’s salvation. No wonder that those nearby would step back and stop to see what might happen next. Mistakenly they thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, but in fact he was declaring the acts of God in all times.
What are we to behold today?
What has God done? In Acts 2:22, which is part of the sermon Peter preached on the day of Pentecost, he reminded his listeners that they knew who Jesus was. He also said the reason why Jesus performed miracles, wonders, and signs. These were to confirm the identity and purpose of Jesus. These were done by God through Jesus in their midst. They were their own witnesses for Jesus. He said in verse 23 that God delivered Jesus into the hands of wicked men and knew ahead of time what they would do to him. By their hands they crucified and killed Jesus.
This being the end of holy week, we must point out verse 24. It says, “whom God has raised up, having loosed the pains of death: because it was not possible that he should be held by it.” In other words, Jesus fulfilled the mission given to him by the heavenly father, but death could not indefinitely hold on to him. In God’s plan in good time Jesus was resurrected! We cannot and should not take lightly that Jesus is resurrected! He is risen!!!
To answer the question what God has done in the past, he condemned wicked men through the great flood. He ministered to his own people by many miracles such as the parting of the Red Sea. He reached out by revelation to Abraham when the Angels told him that Sodom and Gomorrah were condemned. He allowed for Abraham’s intervention and agreed to save Sodom and Gomorrah if there be found 10 righteous men. Abraham was depending on Lot and his family to be the 10 righteous in the city that would save everyone else. Sadly, that was not the case. His son-in-law’s made fun of his warning and only Lot and his two daughters were saved. His wife looked back at the city and was turned to a pillar of salt.
And so, in the past there are strong examples of God’s judgment mixed with his mercy.
Let us ask ourselves what God is doing now. So that we might behold him and discover what the Almighty is currently accomplishing in our behalf we must read 2 Peter 3:1-4 and discover that God’s concern for mankind has been set aside by the mocking of those who should know better. These are guided by their own lusts and declare doubt that Jesus will ever come back. Even though there be doubters today, God is active in our world.
We say that God is Almighty and all-powerful; then, we must agree that in our world he is doing whatever he wants. That may mean he refrains from acting boldly.
Since God is perfect, he is obligated by his own character to do what he should. He displays his power and responds in miraculous ways to the pleadings of his believers. God is a miracle working God! He is a kind and loving God who will never forsake us. We can always rely on who he is because there are no limitations to whatever God would do. Never be discouraged or turn away from God because he does not perform in the way you think you should. He will respond to us and work out his plan through us since he is so wonderful.
God is a gentleman. There are some things he cannot do. He cannot overcome or challenge free will. Should that happen, we would be robots. Whoever chooses not to believe in him, God can do nothing about that. He cannot by his own character force us to love and serve him. Those who turn to believing in God and his son Jesus will find that there is so much to discover in the beautiful nature of God.
Since we have talked about the past and the present concerning God, we must behold what God is going to do. Keep in mind Philippians 2:9 – 11. The heavenly father exalted Jesus and declares that there will come a day in which every knee will bow, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord. This is not just believers who will bow and confess. There will come a day in which unbelievers as well as believers will be forced to recognize that Jesus is Lord of all. They will be forced to confess that the intercessory death of Jesus on the cross was for the forgiveness of sins to all that will ask. To those who do not ask, they have sealed her own fate for eternity.
Take comfort that whatever your situation or station in life, God will always love you. There will never be a time in which he turns his back on you. Even if you are an unbeliever, he still looks down on you with love. Take comfort about the evil you experience today. There will someday, as Revelations says, be no tears and no sorrow. When that day comes there will be a crowning of righteousness for all who have persevered above their earthly burdens. There will be a day in which the resurrected Christ will respond personally to every single believer. He will not allow death to permanently hold us as it could not hold him.
Look to the cross now in your mind and heart. See the suffering Jesus. Respond by saying “Behold.” There, look there, is the Jesus who died for us and was resurrected to the glory of God.