Mark 15

1 And the first thing in the morning the chief priests, with those in authority and the scribes and all the Sanhedrin, had a meeting, and put cords round Jesus, and took him away, and gave him up to Pilate.
2 And Pilate put a question to him, Are you the King of the Jews? And he, answering, said to him, You say so.
3 And the chief priests said a number of things against him.
4 And Pilate again put a question, Do you say nothing in answer? see how much evil they say you have done.
5 But Jesus gave no more answers, so that Pilate was full of wonder.
6 Now at the feast every year he let one prisoner go free at their request.
7 And there was one named Barabbas, in prison with those who had gone against the government and in the fight had taken life.
8 And the people went up, requesting him to do as he had done for them in other years.
9 And Pilate said in answer to them, Is it your desire that I let the King of the Jews go free?
10 For he saw that the chief priests had given him up through envy.
11 But the people were moved by the chief priests to make him let Barabbas go free.
12 And Pilate again said in answer to them, What then am I to do to him to whom you give the name of the King of the Jews?
13 And they said again loudly, To the cross with him!
14 And Pilate said to them, Why, what evil has he done? But their cry was the louder, To the cross!
15 And Pilate, desiring to do what was pleasing to the people, let Barabbas go free, and gave up Jesus, when he had been whipped, to be put to death on the cross.
16 And the men of the army took him away into the square in front of the building which is the Praetorium, and they got together all the band.
17 And they put a purple robe on him, and twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on him;
18 And, as if honouring him, they said, Long life to the King of the Jews!
19 And they gave him blows on the head with a stick and put shame on him and, going down on their knees, gave him worship.
20 And when they had made sport of him, they took the purple robe off him and put his clothing on him. And they took him out to put him to death on the cross.
21 And they made one, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was going by, coming from the country, go with them, so that he might take his cross.
22 And they took him to the place named Golgotha, which is, Dead Man's Head.
23 And they gave him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
24 And he was nailed to the cross; and they made a division of his clothing among them, putting to the decision of chance what everyone was to take.
25 And it was the third hour when they put him on the cross.
26 And the statement of his crime was put in writing on the cross, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 And they put two thieves on crosses with him, one on his right side, and one on his left.
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29 And those who went by made sport of him, shaking their heads, and saying, Ha! you who give the Temple to destruction, and put it up again in three days,
30 Keep yourself from death, and come down from the cross.
31 In the same way the chief priests, laughing at him among themselves with the scribes, said, A saviour of others, he has no salvation for himself.
32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and have belief. And those who were put on crosses with him said evil things against him.
33 And when the sixth hour had come, it was dark over all the land till the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus said in a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, My God, my God, why are you turned away from me?
35 And some of those who were near, hearing it, said, See, he is crying to Elijah.
36 And one of them went quickly and, getting a sponge full of bitter wine, put it on a rod, and gave it to him for drink, saying, Let be; let us see if Elijah will come to take him down.
37 And Jesus gave a loud cry, and gave up his spirit.
38 And the curtain of the Temple was parted in two from end to end.
39 And when the captain, who was near, saw how he gave up his spirit, he said, Truly this man was a son of God.
40 And there were women watching from a distance: among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary, the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome,
41 Who went with him when he was in Galilee and took care of him; and a number of other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
42 And when it was evening, because it was the time of getting ready, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
43 There came Joseph of Arimathaea, a responsible man in high honour, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God; and he went in to Pilate without fear, and made a request for the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate was surprised that he was dead; and, sending for the captain, he put a question to see if he had been dead for long.
45 And when he had news of it from the captain, he let Joseph have the body.
46 And he got a linen cloth and, taking him down, put the linen cloth round him, and put him in a place for the dead which had been cut out of a rock; and a stone was rolled against the door.
47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was put.

Mark 15 Commentary

Chapter 15

Christ before Pilate. (1-14) Christ led to be crucified. (15-21) The crucifixion. (22-32) The death of Christ. (33-41) His body buried. (42-47)

Verses 1-14 They bound Christ. It is good for us often to remember the bonds of the Lord Jesus, as bound with him who was bound for us. By delivering up the King, they, in effect, delivered up the kingdom of God, which was, therefore, as by their own consent, taken from them, and given to another nation. Christ gave Pilate a direct answer, but would not answer the witnesses, because the things they alleged were known to be false, even Pilate himself was convinced they were so. Pilate thought that he might appeal from the priests to the people, and that they would deliver Jesus out of the priests' hands. But they were more and more urged by the priests, and cried, Crucify him! Crucify him! Let us judge of persons and things by their merits, and the standard of God's word, and not by common report. The thought that no one ever was so shamefully treated, as the only perfectly wise, holy, and excellent Person that ever appeared on earth, leads the serious mind to strong views of man's wickedness and enmity to God. Let us more and more abhor the evil dispositions which marked the conduct of these persecutors.

Verses 15-21 Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the death of the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are put together. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christ made satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace human nature could be loaded with. It was a cursed death; thus it was branded by the Jewish law, ( Deuteronomy 21:23 ) . The Roman soldiers mocked our Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest's hall the servants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown of thorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glory which he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame and contempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame and contempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, though he did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, are ever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in his best hours, he cannot be weary. Did Jesus thus suffer, and shall I, a vile sinner, fret or repine? Shall I indulge anger, or utter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries?

Verses 22-32 The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was called the place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; for he was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was written over his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieves with him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him great dishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even those who passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from the cross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, though he gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from the grave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believes the truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek for salvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hope of forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godly sorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord of glory!

Verses 33-41 There was a thick darkness over the land, from noon until three in the afternoon. The Jews were doing their utmost to extinguish the Sun of Righteousness. The darkness signified the cloud which the human soul of Christ was under, when he was making it an offering for sin. He did not complain that his disciples forsook him, but that his Father forsook him. In this especially he was made sin for us. When Paul was to be offered as a sacrifice for the service saints, he could joy and rejoice, ( Philippians 2:17 ) ; but it is another thing to be offered as a sacrifice for the sin of sinners. At the same instant that Jesus died, the veil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. This spake terror to the unbelieving Jews, and was a sign of the destruction of their church and nation. It speaks comfort to all believing Christians, for it signified the laying open a new and living way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. The confidence with which Christ had openly addressed God as his Father, and committed his soul into his hands, seems greatly to have affected the centurion. Right views of Christ crucified will reconcile the believer to the thought of death; he longs to behold, love, and praise, as he ought, that Saviour who was wounded and pierced to save him from the wrath to come.

Verses 42-47 We are here attending the burial of our Lord Jesus. Oh that we may by grace be planted in the likeness of it! Joseph of Arimathea was one who waited for the kingdom of God. Those who hope for a share in its privileges, must own Christ's cause, when it seems to be crushed. This man God raised up for his service. There was a special providence, that Pilate should be so strict in his inquiry, that there might be no pretence to say Jesus was alive. Pilate gave Joseph leave to take down the body, and do what he pleased with it. Some of the women beheld where Jesus was laid, that they might come after the sabbath to anoint the dead body, because they had not time to do it before. Special notice was taken of Christ's sepulchre, because he was to rise again. And he will not forsake those who trust in him, and call upon him. Death, deprived of its sting, will soon end the believer's sorrows, as it ended those of the Saviour.

Mark 15 Commentaries