Mark 15

1 Immediately in the morning the chief priests, with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered, “So you say.” 3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 Pilate again asked him, “Have you no answer? See how many things they testify against you!” 5 But Jesus made no further answer, so that Pilate marveled. 6 Now at the feast he used to release to them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7 There was one called Barabbas, bound with his fellow insurgents, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8 The multitude, crying aloud, began to ask him to do as he always did for them. 9 Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release to you the King of the Jews?” 10 For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should release Barabbas to them instead. 12 Pilate again asked them, “What then should I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13 They cried out again, “Crucify him!” 14 Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has he done?” But they cried out exceedingly, “Crucify him!” 15 Pilate, wishing to please the multitude, released Barabbas to them, and handed over Jesus, when he had flogged him, to be crucified. 16 The soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they called together the whole cohort. 17 They clothed him with purple, and weaving a crown of thorns, they put it on him. 18 They began to salute him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 They struck his head with a reed, and spat on him, and bowing their knees, did homage to him. 20 When they had mocked him, they took the purple off of him, and put his own garments on him. They led him out to crucify him. 21 They compelled one passing by, coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 22 They brought him to the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, “The place of a skull.” 23 They offered him wine mixed with myrrh to drink, but he didn’t take it. 24 Crucifying him, they parted his garments amongst them, casting lots on them, what each should take. 25 It was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26 The superscription of his accusation was written over him, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 27 With him they crucified two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28 The Scripture was fulfilled, which says, “He was numbered with transgressors.” 29 Those who passed by blasphemed him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who destroy the temple, and build it in three days, 30 save yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31 Likewise, also the chief priests mocking amongst themselves with the scribes said, “He saved others. He can’t save himself. 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe him.” Those who were crucified with him also insulted him. 33 When the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 At the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is, being interpreted, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” 35 Some of those who stood by, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is calling Elijah.” 36 One ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Let him be. Let’s see whether Elijah comes to take him down.” 37 Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and gave up the spirit. 38 The veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom. 39 When the centurion, who stood by opposite him, saw that he cried out like this and breathed his last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!” 40 There were also women watching from afar, amongst whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and served him; and many other women who came up with him to Jerusalem. 42 When evening had now come, because it was the Preparation Day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a prominent council member who also himself was looking for God’s Kingdom, came. He boldly went in to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body. 44 Pilate marveled if he were already dead; and summoning the centurion, he asked him whether he had been dead long. 45 When he found out from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46 He bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been cut out of a rock. He rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47 Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of Joses, saw where he was laid.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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, De 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, Php 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.

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