Mark 15

1 As soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. They bound Jesus, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
2 Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" He answered him, "You say so."
3 Then the chief priests accused him of many things.
4 Pilate asked him again, "Have you no answer? See how many charges they bring against you."
5 But Jesus made no further reply, so that Pilate was amazed.
6 Now at the festival he used to release a prisoner for them, anyone for whom they asked.
7 Now a man called Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had committed murder during the insurrection.
8 So the crowd came and began to ask Pilate to do for them according to his custom.
9 Then he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
10 For he realized that it was out of jealousy that the chief priests had handed him over.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release Barabbas for them instead.
12 Pilate spoke to them again, "Then what do you wish me to do with the man you call the King of the Jews?"
13 They shouted back, "Crucify him!"
14 Pilate asked them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him!"
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released Barabbas for them; and after flogging Jesus, he handed him over to be crucified.
16 Then the soldiers led him into the courtyard of the palace (that is, the governor's headquarters ); and they called together the whole cohort.
17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak; and after twisting some thorns into a crown, they put it on him.
18 And they began saluting him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
19 They struck his head with a reed, spat upon him, and knelt down in homage to him.
20 After mocking him, they stripped him of the purple cloak and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.
21 They compelled a passer-by, who was coming in from the country, to carry his cross; it was Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
22 Then they brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means the place of a skull).
23 And they offered him wine mixed with myrrh; but he did not take it.
24 And they crucified him, and divided his clothes among them, casting lots to decide what each should take.
25 It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified him.
26 The inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews."
27 And with him they crucified two bandits, one on his right and one on his left.
29 Those who passed by derided him, shaking their heads and saying, "Aha! You who would destroy the temple and build it in three days,
30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!"
31 In the same way the chief priests, along with the scribes, were also mocking him among themselves and saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.
32 Let the Messiah, the King of Israel, come down from the cross now, so that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also taunted him.
33 When it was noon, darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon.
34 At three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?" which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
35 When some of the bystanders heard it, they said, "Listen, he is calling for Elijah."
36 And someone ran, filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a stick, and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to take him down."
37 Then Jesus gave a loud cry and breathed his last.
38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 Now when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that in this way he breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was God's Son!"
40 There were also women looking on from a distance; among them were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome.
41 These used to follow him and provided for him when he was in Galilee; and there were many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem.
42 When evening had come, and since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council, who was also himself waiting expectantly for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
44 Then Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead for some time.
45 When he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.
46 Then Joseph bought a linen cloth, and taking down the body, wrapped it in the linen cloth, and laid it in a tomb that had been hewn out of the rock. He then rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
47 Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where the body 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.

Footnotes 15

  • [a]. Other ancient authorities read [what should I do]
  • [b]. Other ancient authorities lack [the man you call]
  • [c]. Gk [the praetorium]
  • [d]. Gk [him]
  • [e]. Other ancient authorities add verse 28, [And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "And he was counted among the lawless."]
  • [f]. ther ancient authorities add [And the scripture was fulfilled that says, "And he was counted among the lawless."]
  • [g]. Or [blasphemed]
  • [h]. Or [the Christ]
  • [i]. Or [earth]
  • [j]. Other ancient authorities read [made me a reproach]
  • [k]. Other ancient authorities add [cried out and]
  • [l]. Or [a son of God]
  • [m]. Gk [he]
  • [n]. Gk [it]
  • [o]. Gk [it]

Mark 15 Commentaries