Mark 15

Jesus Is Brought to Pilate

1 It was very early in the morning. The chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law, and the whole Sanhedrin, made a decision. They tied Jesus up and led him away. Then they handed him over to Pilate.
2 "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate. "Yes. It is just as you say," Jesus replied.
3 The chief priests brought many charges against him.
4 So Pilate asked him again, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they charge you with."
5 But Jesus still did not reply. Pilate was amazed.
6 It was the usual practice at the Passover Feast to let one prisoner go free. The people could choose the one they wanted.
7 A man named Barabbas was in prison. He was there with some other people who had fought against the country's rulers. They had committed murder while they were fighting against the rulers.
8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.
9 "Do you want me to let the king of the Jews go free?" asked Pilate.
10 He knew that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him because they were jealous.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd. So the crowd asked Pilate to let Barabbas go free instead.
12 "Then what should I do with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.
13 "Crucify him!" the crowd shouted.
14 "Why? What wrong has he done?" asked Pilate. But they shouted even louder, "Crucify him!"
15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the crowd. So he let Barabbas go free. He ordered that Jesus be whipped. Then he handed him over to be nailed to a cross.

The Soldiers Make Fun of Jesus

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace. It was called the Praetorium. They called together the whole company of soldiers.
17 The soldiers put a purple robe on Jesus. Then they twisted thorns together to make a crown. They placed it on his head.
18 They began to call out to him, "We honor you, king of the Jews!"
19 Again and again they hit him on the head with a stick. They spit on him. They fell on their knees and pretended to honor him.
20 After they had made fun of him, they took off the purple robe. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they led him out to nail him to a cross.

Jesus Is Nailed to a Cross

21 A man named Simon from Cyrene was passing by. He was the father of Alexander and Rufus. Simon was on his way in from the country. The soldiers forced him to carry the cross.
22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha. The word Golgotha means The Place of the Skull.
23 Then they gave him wine mixed with spices. But he did not take it.
24 They nailed him to the cross. Then they divided up his clothes. They cast lots to see what each of them would get.
25 It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
26 They wrote out the charge against him. It read, the king of the jews.
27 They crucified two robbers with him. One was on his right and one was on his left.
29 Those who passed by shouted at Jesus and made fun of him. They shook their heads and said, "So you are going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days?
30 Then come down from the cross! Save yourself!"
31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law made fun of him among themselves. "He saved others," they said. "But he can't save himself!
32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross! When we see that, we will believe." Those who were being crucified with Jesus also made fun of him.

Jesus Dies

33 At noon, darkness covered the whole land. It lasted three hours.
34 At three o'clock Jesus cried out in a loud voice, ""Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? "" This means "My God, my God, why have you deserted me?"(Psalm 22:1)
35 Some of those standing nearby heard Jesus cry out. They said, "Listen! He's calling for Elijah."
36 One of them ran and filled a sponge with wine vinegar. He put it on a stick. He offered it to Jesus to drink. "Leave him alone," he said. "Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down."
37 With a loud cry, Jesus took his last breath.
38 The temple curtain was torn in two from top to bottom.
39 A Roman commander was standing there in front of Jesus. He heard his cry and saw how Jesus died. Then he said, "This man was surely the Son of God!"
40 Not very far away, some women were watching. Mary Magdalene was among them. Mary, the mother of the younger James and of Joses, was also there. So was Salome.
41 In Galilee those women had followed Jesus. They had taken care of his needs. Many other women were also there. They had come up with him to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried

42 It was the day before the Sabbath. That day was called Preparation Day. As evening approached,
43 Joseph went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Joseph was from the town of Arimathea. He was a leading member of the Jewish Council. He was waiting for God's kingdom.
44 Pilate was surprised to hear that Jesus was already dead. So he called for the Roman commander. He asked him if Jesus had already died.
45 The commander said it was true. So Pilate gave the body to Joseph.
46 Then Joseph bought some linen cloth. He took the body down and wrapped it in the linen. He put it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where Jesus' body had been placed.

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