The Bystanders (4 of 8) by Jim Henry

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Jim Henry, Pastor
First Baptist Church
3700 L. B. McLeod Road
Orlando, Florida 32805-6691
Reprinted from Radio Program, "WE BELIEVE"
Program #187, CT 503242

"The Bystanders"
(Mark 15:33-37)

At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land
until the ninth hour.
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud
voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which
means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
When some of those standing near heard this, they
said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."
one man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put
it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink.
"Leave him alone now. Let's see if Elijah comes to
take him down," he said.
With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.
Today, we look at some anonymous people. Strangely enough, we find
their contemporaries in the world today. A pastor-friend told me about
a football game in which one of the team was outweighed by its
opponent by about 30 pounds to the man. Not only were they outweighed,
they were outcoached. The other team had better equipment, and it
wasn't very long until they found themselves battered, bruised, broken,
considerably behind in touchdowns and just seeking to survive to the
end of the game.
About midway of the fourth quarter, the team was getting beaten so
badly and as the quarterback looked around, he noticed that one player
too many was on the field. He had twelve men, and knowing they were
already embarrassed enough, he quickly got the team in a huddle and
said, "We're going to run a play on a quick hike, and when we get to
the sidelines, one of you drop out so the referees won't see us and
penalize us."
So they ran up to the line of scrimmage, he called a quick hike, and
ran a running play to the sidelines. But when he got back out in the
middle for the next huddle, five guys showed up! Some folks would
rather be bystanders, particularly when the game isn't going too well.
So ...

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