Mark 15

1 And as soon as it was morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him to Pilate.
2 And Pilate asked him, "Are you the King of the Jews?" And he answered him, "You have said so."
3 And the chief priests accused him of many things.
4 And Pilate again asked him, "Have you no answer to make? See how many charges they bring against you."
5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate wondered.
6 Now at the feast he used to release for them one prisoner for whom they asked.
7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man called Barab'bas.
8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he was wont to do for them.
9 And he answered them, "Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?"
10 For he perceived that it was out of envy that the chief priests had delivered him up.
11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have him release for them Barab'bas instead.
12 And Pilate again said to them, "Then what shall I do with the man whom you call the King of the Jews?"
13 And they cried out again, "Crucify him."
14 And Pilate said to them, "Why, what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him."
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the crowd, released for them Barab'bas; and having scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
16 And the soldiers led him away inside the palace (that is, the praetorium); and they called together the whole battalion.
17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and plaiting a crown of thorns they put it on him.
18 And they began to salute him, "Hail, King of the Jews!"
19 And they struck his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and they knelt down in homage to him.
20 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the purple cloak, and put his own clothes on him. And they led him out to crucify him.
21 And they compelled a passer-by, Simon of Cyre'ne, who was coming in from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to carry his cross.
22 And they brought him to the place called Gol'gotha (which means the place of a skull).
23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not take it.
24 And they crucified him, and divided his garments among them, casting lots for them, to decide what each should take.
25 And it was the third hour, when they crucified him.
26 And the inscription of the charge against him read, "The King of the Jews."
27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.
28 * [No text]
29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging 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 So also the chief priests mocked him to one another with the scribes, saying, "He saved others; he cannot save himself.
32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those who were crucified with him also reviled him.
33 And when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, "E'lo-i, E'lo-i, la'ma sabach-tha'ni?" which means, "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?"
35 And some of the bystanders hearing it said, "Behold, he is calling Eli'jah."
36 And one ran and, filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink, saying, "Wait, let us see whether Eli'jah will come to take him down."
37 And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.
38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw that he thus breathed his last, he said, "Truly this man was the Son of God!"
40 There were also women looking on from afar, among whom were Mary Mag'dalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salo'me,
41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered to him; and also many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem.
42 And when evening had come, since it was the day of Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
43 Joseph of Arimathe'a, a respected member of the council, who was also himself looking for the kingdom of God, took courage and went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus.
44 And Pilate wondered if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he was already dead.
45 And when he learned from the centurion that he was dead, he granted the body to Joseph.
46 And he bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb.
47 Mary Mag'dalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw 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.

Mark 15 Commentaries