Mark 15

1 And immediately in the morning the chief priests, having taken counsel with the elders and scribes and the whole sanhedrim, bound Jesus and carried [him] away, and delivered [him] up to Pilate.
2 And Pilate asked him, Art *thou* the King of the Jews? And he answered and said to him, *Thou* sayest.
3 And the chief priests accused him urgently.
4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? See of how many things they bear witness against thee.
5 But Jesus still answered nothing, so that Pilate marvelled.
6 But at [the] feast he released to them one prisoner, whomsoever they begged [of him].
7 Now there was the [person] named Barabbas bound with those who had made insurrection with [him], [and] that had committed murder in the insurrection.
8 And the crowd crying out began to beg [that he would do] to them as he had always done.
9 But Pilate answered them saying, Will ye that I release to you the King of the Jews?
10 for he knew that the chief priests had delivered him up through envy.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd that he might rather release Barabbas to them.
12 And Pilate answering said to them again, What will ye then that I do [to him] whom ye call King of the Jews?
13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.
14 And Pilate said to them, What evil then has he done? But they cried out the more urgently, Crucify him.
15 And Pilate, desirous of contenting the crowd, released to them Barabbas, and delivered up Jesus, when he had scourged him, that he might be crucified.
16 And the soldiers led him away into the court which is [called the] praetorium, and they call together the whole band.
17 And they clothe him with purple, and bind round on him a crown of thorns which they had plaited.
18 And they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
19 And they struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and, bending the knee, did him homage.
20 And when they had mocked him, they took the purple off him, and put his own clothes on him; and they lead him out that they may crucify him.
21 And they compel to go [with them] a certain passer-by, Simon, a Cyrenian, coming from the field, the father of Alexander and Rufus, that he might carry his cross.
22 And they bring him to the place [called] Golgotha, which, being interpreted, is Place of a skull.
23 And they offered him wine [to drink] medicated with myrrh; but he did not take [it].
24 And having crucified him, they part his clothes amongst [themselves], casting lots on them, what each one should take.
25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
26 And the superscription of what he was accused of was written up: The King of the Jews.
27 And with him they crucify two robbers, one on his right hand, and one on his left.
28 [And the scripture was fulfilled which says, And he was reckoned with the lawless.]
29 And they that passed by reviled him, shaking their heads, and saying, Aha, thou that destroyest the temple and buildest it in three days,
30 save thyself, and descend from the cross.
31 In like manner the chief priests also, with the scribes, mocking with one another, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save.
32 Let the Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and may believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him.
33 And when [the] sixth hour was come, there came darkness over the whole land until [the] ninth hour;
34 and at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, [saying], Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
35 And some of those who stood by, when they heard [it], said, Behold, he calls for Elias.
36 And one, running and filling a sponge with vinegar, fixed it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone, let us see if Elias comes to take him down.
37 And Jesus, having uttered a loud cry, expired.
38 And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom.
39 And the centurion who stood by over against him, when he saw that he had expired having thus cried out, said, Truly this man was Son of God.
40 And there were women also looking on from afar off, among whom were both Mary of Magdala, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
41 who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him and ministered to him; and many others who came up with him to Jerusalem.
42 And when it was already evening, since it was [the] preparation, that is, [the day] before a sabbath,
43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable councillor, who also himself was awaiting the kingdom of God, coming, emboldened himself and went in to Pilate and begged the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and having called to [him] the centurion, he inquired of him if he had long died.
45 And when he knew from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
46 And having bought fine linen, [and] having taken him down, he swathed him in the fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was cut out of rock, and rolled a stone to the door of the sepulchre.
47 And Mary of Magdala 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.

Footnotes 6

  • [a]. 'Who were such as:' see Matt. 27.55.
  • [b]. See Note b, Matt. 27.27.
  • [c]. Many leave out this verse, though it is in Luke: see Isa. 53.12.
  • [d]. Naos; so ver. 38, and ch. 14.58: see Note, Matt. 4.5.
  • [e]. Or 'earth:' see Matt. 5.5.
  • [f]. Naos, as ver. 29.

Mark 15 Commentaries