Mark 15

1 At earliest dawn, after the High Priests had held a consultation with the Elders and Scribes, they and the entire Sanhedrin bound Jesus and took Him away and handed Him over to Pilate.
2 So Pilate questioned Him. "Are *you* the King of the Jews?" he asked. "I am," replied Jesus.
3 Then, as the High Priests went on heaping accusations on Him,
4 Pilate again and again asked Him, "Do you make no reply? Listen to the many charges they are bringing against you."
5 But Jesus made no further answer: so that Pilate wondered.
6 Now at the Festival it was customary for Pilate to release to the Jews any one prisoner whom they might beg off from punishment;
7 and at this time a man named Barabbas was in prison among the insurgents--persons who in the insurrection had committed murder.
8 So the people came crowding up, asking Pilate to grant them the usual favour.
9 "Shall I release for you the King of the Jews?" answered Pilate.
10 For he could see that it was out of sheer spite that the High Priests had handed Him over.
11 But the High Priests urged on the crowd to obtain Barabbas's release in preference;
12 and when Pilate again asked them, "What then shall I do to the man you call King of the Jews?"
13 they once more shouted out, "Crucify Him!"
14 "Why, what crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they vehemently shouted, "Crucify Him!"
15 So Pilate, wishing to satisfy the mob, released Barabbas for them, and after scourging Jesus handed Him over for crucifixion.
16 Then the soldiers led Him away into the court of the Palace (the Praetorium), and calling together the whole battalion
17 they arrayed Him in crimson, placed on His head a wreath of thorny twigs which they had twisted,
18 and went on to salute Him with shouts of "Long live the King of the Jews."
19 Then they began to beat Him on the head with a cane, to spit on Him, and to do Him homage on bended knees.
20 At last, having finished their sport, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him out to crucify Him.
21 One Simon, a Cyrenaean, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing along, coming from the country: him they compelled to carry His cross.
22 So they brought Him to the place called Golgotha, which, being translated, means `Skull-ground.'
23 Here they offered Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He refused it.
24 Then they crucified Him. This done, they divided His garments among them, drawing lots to decide what each should take.
25 It was nine o'clock in the morning when they crucified Him.
26 Over His head was the notice in writing of the charge against Him: THE KING OF THE JEWS.
27 And together with Jesus they crucified two robbers, one at His right hand and one at His left.
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29 And all the passers-by reviled Him. They shook their heads at Him and said, "Ah! you who were for destroying the Sanctuary and building a new one in three days,
30 come down from the cross and save yourself."
31 In the same way the High Priests also, as well as the Scribes, kept on scoffing at Him, saying to one another, "He has saved others: himself he cannot save!
32 This Christ, the King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Even the men who were being crucified with Him heaped insults on Him.
33 At noon there came a darkness over the whole land, lasting till three o'clock in the afternoon.
34 But at three o'clock Jesus cried out with a loud voice, "Elohi, Elohi, lama sabachthani?" which means, "My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken me?"
35 Some of the bystanders, hearing Him, said, "Listen, he is calling for Elijah!"
36 Then a man ran to fill a sponge with sour wine, and he put it on the end of a cane and placed it to His lips, saying at the same time, "Wait! let us see whether Elijah will come and take him down."
37 But Jesus uttered a loud cry and yielded up His spirit.
38 And the curtain in the Sanctuary was torn in two, from top to bottom.
39 And when the Centurion who stood in front of the cross saw that He was dead, he exclaimed, "This man was indeed God's Son."
40 There were also a party of women looking on from a distance; among them being both Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of James the Little and of Joses, and Salome--
41 all of whom in the Galilaean days had habitually been with Him and cared for Him, as well as many other women who had come up to Jerusalem with Him.
42 Towards sunset, as it was the Preparation--that is, the day preceding the Sabbath--
43 Joseph of Arimathaea came, a highly respected member of the Council, who himself also was living in expectation of the Kingdom of God. He summoned up courage to go in to see Pilate and beg for the body of Jesus.
44 But Pilate could hardly believe that He was already dead. He called, however, for the Centurion and inquired whether He had been long dead;
45 and having ascertained the fact he granted the body to Joseph.
46 He, having bought a sheet of linen, took Him down, wrapped Him in the sheet and laid Him in a tomb hewn in the rock; after which he rolled a stone against the entrance to the tomb.
47 Mary of Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see 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.

Mark 15 Commentaries