Mark 15

Jesus before Pilate

1 1Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole 2Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate.
2 3Pilate questioned Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" And He answered him, "It is as you say."
3 The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly.
4 Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, "Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!"
5 But Jesus 4made no * further answer; so Pilate was amazed.
6 5Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested.
7 The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection.
8 The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them.
9 Pilate answered them, saying, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
10 For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd 6to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead.
12 Answering again, Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?"
13 They shouted back, "Crucify Him!"
14 But Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has He done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify Him!"
15 Wishing to satisfy * the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus 7scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

16 8The soldiers took Him away into 9the palace (that is, the Praetorium ), and they called together the whole Roman 10cohort.
17 They dressed Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him;
18 and they began to acclaim Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
19 They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling * and bowing before Him.
20 After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led Him out to crucify Him.
21 11They pressed into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and 12Rufus ), to bear His cross.

The Crucifixion

22 13Then they brought Him to the place 14Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull.
23 They tried to give Him 15wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it.
24 And they crucified Him, and 16divided up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take.
25 It was the 17third hour when they crucified Him.
26 The inscription of the charge against Him read, "18THE KING OF THE JEWS."
27 They crucified two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left.
28 [And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, "And He was numbered with transgressors."]
29 Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, 19wagging their heads, and saying, "Ha! You who are going to 20destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days,
30 save Yourself, and come down from the cross!"
31 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, "21He saved others; He cannot * save Himself.
32 "Let this Christ, 22the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!" 23Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
33 24When the 25sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the 26ninth hour.
34 At the 27ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "28ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?" which is translated, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY * HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?"
35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, "Behold, He is calling for Elijah."
36 Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down."
37 29And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last.
38 30And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
39 31When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
40 32There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James 33the Less and Joses, and 34Salome.
41 When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and 35minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

42 36When evening had already come, because it was 37the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath,
43 Joseph of Arimathea came, a 38prominent member of the Council, who himself was 39waiting for the kingdom of God; and he 40gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
44 Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead.
45 And ascertaining this from 41the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph.
46 Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb.
47 42Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was 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.

Cross References 42

  • 1. Matthew 27:1
  • 2. Matthew 5:22
  • 3. Mark 15:2-5: {Matthew 27:11-14; Luke 23:2, 3; John 18:29-38}
  • 4. Matthew 27:12
  • 5. Mark 15:6-15: {Matthew 27:15-26; Luke 23:18-25; John 18:39-19:16}
  • 6. Acts 3:14
  • 7. Matthew 27:26
  • 8. Mark 15:16-20: {Matthew 27:27-31}
  • 9. Matthew 26:3; Matthew 27:27
  • 10. Acts 10:1
  • 11. Mark 15:21: {Matthew 27:32; Luke 23:26}
  • 12. Romans 16:13
  • 13. Mark 15:22-32: {Matthew 27:33-44; Luke 23:33-43; John 19:17-24}
  • 14. Luke 23:33; John 19:17
  • 15. Matthew 27:34
  • 16. Psalms 22:18; John 19:24
  • 17. Mark 15:33
  • 18. Matthew 27:37
  • 19. Psalms 22:7; Psalms 109:25; Matthew 27:39
  • 20. Mark 14:58; John 2:19
  • 21. Matthew 27:42; Luke 23:35
  • 22. Matthew 27:42; Mark 15:26
  • 23. Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:27; Luke 23:39-43
  • 24. Mark 15:33-41: {Matthew 27:45-56; Luke 23:44-49}
  • 25. Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:25; Luke 23:44
  • 26. Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:25; Luke 23:44
  • 27. Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:25; Luke 23:44
  • 28. Psalms 22:1; Matthew 27:46
  • 29. Matthew 27:50; Luke 23:46; John 19:30
  • 30. Exodus 26:31-33; Matthew 27:51; Luke 23:45
  • 31. Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:45; Luke 23:47
  • 32. Mark 15:40, 41: {Matthew 27:55;} Luke 23:49; John 19:25
  • 33. Luke 19:3
  • 34. Mark 16:1
  • 35. Matthew 27:55
  • 36. Mark 15:42-47: {Matthew 27:57-61; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42}
  • 37. Matthew 27:62
  • 38. Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:50, 51; Acts 13:50; Acts 17:12
  • 39. Matthew 27:57; Luke 2:25, 38; Luke 23:51; John 19:38
  • 40. John 19:38
  • 41. Mark 15:39
  • 42. Matthew 27:56; Mark 15:40; Mark 16:1

Footnotes 24

Mark 15 Commentaries