His Suffering for Our Salvation - Mark 15:21-32

Back to Message Archive


Even among those who have been Christians the longest and who know the Scriptures the best, there is this temptation: The temptation to underestimate the fullness of God’s forgiveness and the extent to which He can offer freedom from the power of sin.

Now, these may not be things we would admit out loud, and perhaps we would never even think it in such direct ways. But as we live with guilt and shame and as we find ourselves ceasing our fight against sin, this is the lie that resides under the surface: Maybe I’ve sinned beyond what God will forgive, or maybe His power isn’t sufficient to help me overcome this sin.

These are in fact lies. And the way we can fight these lies is by returning to the cross and considering all that Jesus did to secure our forgiveness and freedom from sin.

An Overview and Summary of the Text 

As we come to Mark 15:21-32 we have a Mark walking us through the events of Christ’s crucifixion. This text is a clear reminder of the shame, humiliation and pain that Christ endured – it’s about what was done to Jesus.

But what we don’t find in this text is a response from Christ. That’s because Jesus didn’t respond. He had submitted Himself to the will of the Father and to the work of the cross. And it’s because He did, that we can be sure that we can be forgiven and set free from sin.

While Mark provides the events of the cross and shows us Christ’s obedience, 1 Peter 2:22-25 provides a commentary and explanation of what Christ did that should strengthen our confidence and equip us to silence the lies of unforgiveness and our seeming unending slavery to sin.

A Day of Mockery and Shame (Mark 15:21-32)

  • Reviled and Caused to Suffer – These verses detail the shame, humiliation and pain that Jesus endured. From beginning to end, each part of this passage details an aspect of the shame and suffering that was inflicted on Jesus.
  • The trip to Golgotha – A walk of pain and shame (vv. 21)
  • The place of a Skull – A place for criminals to die (vs. 22)
  • The offer of wine and myrrh – His surrender to suffering without aid (vs. 23) (Proverbs 31:6)
  • The act of crucifixion itself – A ghastly form of execution (vs. 24a)
  • Casting lots for His clothes – The loss of everything (vs. 24b) (Psalm 22:17-18) 
  • The ‘King of the Jews’ – A mocking charge (vs. 26)
  • The criminals on either side – Counted among sinners (vs. 27) (Isaiah 53:12)
  • Mocked by passersby (vs. 29-30) (Psalm 109:25; Psalm 22:6-8)
  • Mocked by Jewish leaders (vs. 31-32a)
  • Mocked by the others being crucified (vs. 32b)
  • Sinless and without Deceit – While every crucifixion was brutal and humiliating, the crucifixion of Christ was all the more so because of who Jesus is and because of His perfect nature and life (1 Peter 2:22).

A Day of Obedience and Submission (1 Peter 2:23)

  • In spite of the pain and the shame, Jesus endured the crucifixion in full submission to God. It’s because of His obedience to God’s will that we can know that we can be forgiven and set free from the power of sin.

A Day of Salvation and Assurance (1 Peter 2:24-25)

  • Our Wrath-bearer and Substitute (Our hope of forgiveness) (vv. 24-25)
  • Our Answer for Sin and Hope for Righteousness (vs. 24b)
  • Jesus submitted to the will of God, He fulfilled the Scriptures and He did what was necessary for our salvation. Because He became our wrath-bearing substitute we can know for sure that we are forgiven and that we can die to sin and live to righteousness.

Conclusion – Preach the Gospel to Yourself – The way we can fight the temptations to live in guilt and shame or to underestimate our God-given ability to live in obedience is to preach the Gospel to ourselves every day. That’s to say, we need to take time each day to remember the work of Christ (His death and resurrection) and to recognize that it’s because of Him that we can be confident of our forgiveness and freedom from sin.