Mark 15

1 As soon as it was morning, the head cohanim held a council meeting with the elders, the Torah-teachers and the whole Sanhedrin. Then they put Yeshua in chains, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
2 Pilate put this question to him: "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered him, "The words are yours."
3 The head cohanim too made accusations against him,
4 and Pilate again inquired of him, "Aren't you going to answer? Look how many charges they are making against you!"
5 But Yeshua made no further response, to Pilate's amazement.
6 Now during a festival, Pilate used to set free one prisoner, whomever the crowd requested.
7 There was in prison among the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection a man called Bar-Abba. When the crowd came up and began ask
8 ing Pilate to do for them what he usually did, h
9 e asked them, "Do you want me to set free for you the `King of the Jews'?"
10 For it was evident to him that it was out of jealousy that the head cohanim had handed him over.
11 But the head cohanim stirred up the crowd to have him release Bar-Abba for them instead.
12 Pilate again said to them, "Then what should I do with the man you call the King of the Jews?"
13 They shouted back, "Put him to death on the stake!"
14 He asked, "Why? What crime has he committed?" But they only shouted louder, "Put him to death on the stake!"
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the mob, set Bar-Abba free for them; but he had Yeshua whipped and then handed him over to be executed on the stake.
16 The soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the headquarters build ing) and called together the whole battalion.
17 They dressed him in purple and wove thorn branches into a crown, which they put on him.
18 Then they began to salute him, "Hail to the King of the Jews!"
19 They hit him on the head with a stick, spat on him and kneeled in mock worship of him.
20 When they had finished ridiculing him, they took off the purple robe, put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be nailed to the execution-stake.
21 A certain man from Cyrene, Shim`on, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country; and they forced him to carry the stake.
22 They brought Yeshua to a place called Gulgolta (which means "place of a skull"),
23 and they gave him wine spiced with myrrh, but he didn't take it.
24 Then they nailed him to the execution-stake; and they divided his clothes among themselves, throwing dice to determine what each man should get.
25 It was nine in the morning when they nailed him to the stake.
26 Over his head, the written notice of the charge against him read, THE KING OF THE JEWS
27 On execution-stakes with him they placed two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
28 Some manuscripts include verse 28: And the passage from the Tanakh was fulfilled which says,
29 People passing by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! So you can destroy the Temple, can you, and rebuild it in three days?
30 Save yourself and come down from the stake!"
31 Likewise, the head cohanim and the Torah-teachers made fun of him, saying to each other, "He saved others, but he can't save himself!"
32 and, "So he's the Messiah, is he? The King of Isra'el? Let him come down now from the stake! If we see that, then we'll believe him!" Even the men nailed up with him insulted him.
33 At noon, darkness covered the whole Land until three o'clock in the afternoon.
34 At three, he uttered a loud cry, "Elohi! Elohi! L'mah sh'vaktani?" (which means, "My God! My God! Why have you deserted me?")
35 On hear ing this, some of the bystanders said, "Look! He's calling for Eliyahu!"
36 One ran and soaked a sponge in vinegar, put it on a stick and gave it to him to drink. "Wait!" he said, "Let's see if Eliyahu will come and take him down."
37 But Yeshua let out a loud cry and gave up his spirit.
38 And the parokhet in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
39 When the Roman officer who stood facing him saw the way he gave up his spirit, he said, "This man really was a son of God!"
40 There were women looking on from a distance; among them were Miryam from Magdala, Miryam the mother of the younger Ya`akov and of Yosi, and Shlomit.
41 These women had followed him and helped him when he was in the Galil. And many other women were there who had come up with him to Yerushalayim.
42 Since it was Preparation Day (that is, the day before a Shabbat), as evening approached,
43 Yosef of Ramatayim, a prominent member of the Sanhedrin who himself was also looking forward to the Kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Yeshua's body.
44 Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead, so he summoned the officer and asked him if he had been dead awhile.
45 After he had gotten confirmation from the officer that Yeshua was dead, he granted Yosef the corpse.
46 Yosef purchased a linen sheet; and after taking Yeshua down, he wrapped him in the linen sheet, laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of the rock, and rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Miryam of Magdala and Miryam the mother of Yosi saw where he had been laid.

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