"They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. . . . And they crucified him. . . . Some women were watching from a distance" (Mark 15:22, 24, 40). At the climax of Mark’s Gospel, Jesus of Nazareth is put to death on a Roman cross. The text tells us, in that lonely hour, that a group of women were watching the crucifixion “from a distance.” In a sense, they are given a stance toward the cross that we can share.
Peter G. Bolt explores why the cross is so prominent in Mark’s Gospel. He asks what contribution Mark’s teaching can make to our understanding of the atonement. He shows how this teaching can inform, correct, and enrich our own preaching of the gospel in the contemporary world. He helps us to stand in wonder before God who has come close to us in the cross of Jesus Christ and to live in hope for the better things to come.
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“‘the faith question’: ‘Why are you afraid? Do you not have faith yet?’41” (Page 32)
“Jesus calls them to reject all the things that bring security and identity to normal human life, so that they may find their security and identity in following him wherever he may lead.48 In so far as they have heeded this call,49 they demonstrate the life of faith.” (Page 35)
“To hand someone over to the nations (Gentiles) is equivalent to handing someone over to God’s wrath” (Page 56)
“What is it that provokes such conflict? There is an integral link between this conflict with religion and the coming of the bridegroom. He brings something entirely new; something that cannot be squeezed into the old wineskins; something that cannot patch up the old, failed system. And when the bridegroom is taken away, the time for ‘religion’ will come to an end.” (Page 27)
In this study of the Gospel of Mark, Dr. Peter Bolt is an enormously engaging and informed guide. Section after section of the Gospel comes into sharper focus, as more and more of Mark is read in the light of the movement and direction of its thought. Interwoven with the exegesis is a great deal of useful interaction with a wide range of well-chosen literature, and incisive meditation on what this cross-saturated text says to us today. Dr. Bolt combines careful reading and profound theological synthesis. . . . The result is a book that will stimulate and edify any serious Christian reader.
—D.A. Carson, research professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
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