Mark 15:39 has often been mined for its contribution to our understanding of Mark's Christology. Additionally, however, it offers us a compact expression of Mark's soteriology as well; that is, Mark 15:39 demonstrates what salvation means for Mark. Specifically, it shows that for Mark the cross offers eschatological sight, rapprochement between the hostile spheres of humanity and divinity, and the extension of Israel's blessings to the Gentiles. What it means for Jesus' death to be salvific is thus summarized (although not exhausted) by these categories. Mark assumes an anthropology in which humanity is characterized by blindness concerning its understanding of itself and God. Correspondingly, eschatological sight is offered to the centurion who "sees" at the moment of Jesus' death, declaring him to be God's Son. Likewise, God and humanity are presented as estranged throughout the Gospel but at the moment of Jesus' death "this man" is declared to be "God's Son," demonstrating that at the cross God and humanity are no longer hostile spheres but brought together in the same realm. Finally, the fact that this crucial moment is offered to a centurion "who stands opposite" Jesus is significant, for he is an outsider to Israel's heritage and an enemy to God's people. His presence indicates that Israel's blessings are now extended to the Gentiles. In traditional categories, we can say that Mark 15:39 shows that the death of Jesus is salvific because it offers revelation to the blind, reconciliation to the estranged, and redemption to the outsider. In this way it reveals Mark's underlying understanding of the saving significance of the cross.

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