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BIBLE STUDY on the Gospel of Mark
Theme: The trial of Jesus; the crucifixion of Jesus; His burial.
Now we come to the study of the crucifixion of Christ. I believe that all Scripture is given by inspiration of God and it is profitable for us (2 Tim.3:16), but this particular portion that tells us of the death and resurrection of Christ has a particular and important meaning for us today. My friend, without the death and resurrection of our precious Redeemer, religion is NOTHING! Chapter 14 closed with Jesus in the hands of His enemies, and His own are scattered. One has betrayed Him, and another has denied Him.
This chapter continues to bring us events surrounding the crucifixion of Jesus; the Sanhedrin delivers Jesus to Pilate; repentance of Judas; trial before Pilate; release of Barabbas; the crucifixion, the death and burial of Jesus; the tomb sealed and a watch set.
This brings us to the central FACT of the Gospel message: the Crucifixion of Christ. When Paul explained the Gospel to the Corinthians, he said. 1 Cor. 15:3 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; (KJV) . . . We have now come to Mark’s record of this remarkable event.
Mark does not give a record of the actual crucifixion. In fact, no Gospel writer does. They only tell us what went on around the cross. Some portray in graphic terms how the nails were driven into the quivering Flesh of the battered Jesus, and how His Blood spurted out . . . but NONE of that is in the Bible. That is only man’s opinion of what happened. In the holy and inspired record, it is as if God placed a huge blanket of darkness over the last three hours of the life of the suffering Jesus on the cross and tells us, "This is something I do not want you to see, because there is NO way any human could understand. The suffering of Jesus CANNOT be measured or understood." This was a transaction completely between the Father in Heaven and His Son on the cross. That horrific cross became an altar upon which the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world, was offered.
The very simple statement of all the Gospel writers is, "And they crucified Him," nothing more. They crucified Him: (Mat.27:22; Mk.15:25; Lk.23:33; Jn.19:18)
This chapter begins on the morning after Jesus had been arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, after He had been brought before Caiaphas and the Sanhedrim, after false witnesses had testified against Him, after He had been severely beaten and ridiculed, and after Peter had denied Him.
As Mark is the Gospel of action, and this 15th chapter sets forth the supreme nature of the action. The Crucifixion is the climax and crowning event of this action, for He was the "Lamb slain from the foundation of the world." Here the Gospel is transformed into action! 1 Cor.15:3-4 For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; 4 And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: (KJV)
We must understand that the Gospel is what Jesus DID. It is NOT what God asks you to do. It is His action, NOT your action or mine. NO one could do anything that would be acceptable to God. NOT one solitary thing! Your righteousness and my righteousness are NOT acceptable for salvation, for eternal life in Heaven. It is God Who must and does, provide that righteousness in Christ for us!
1 Cor. 1:30 But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption: (KJV)
Galatians 2:21 I do not frustrate the grace of God: for if righteousness come by the law, then Christ is dead in vain. (KJV)
Galatians 3:6 Even as Abraham believed God, and it was accounted to him for righteousness. (KJV)
Titus 3:5 Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration, and renewing of the Holy Ghost; (KJV)
Here is an outline for this 15th chapter of Mark:
#1. Jesus carried before Pilate, His Trial (Mark 15:1-5)
#2. Barabbas Preferred, Jesus Rejected (Mark 15:6-15)
#3. Jesus Mocked and Led away by the Soldiers (Mark 15:17-21)
#4. The Crucifixion of Jesus (Mark 15:22-28)
#5. The King of The Jews (Mark 15:27-41)
#6. The Burial (Mark 15:42-47)
The sufferings of Christ, in the previous chapter, was just the tip of the iceberg. In this chapter, we have the horrible completion of those sufferings. We left Him condemned by the chief priests. Here we have Him: #1 Arraigned and accused before Pilate the Roman governor (verses 1-5). #2. The common people turn against Him at the instigation of the priests (verses 6-14). #4. Barabbas Preferred, and Jesus Rejected (verses 6-14). Condemned, to be crucified immediately (verse 15). #5. Mocked and abused by the Roman soldiers (verses 16-19). #6. Led to the place of execution with great humiliation and disgrace (verses 20-24). #7. Nailed to the cross between two thieves (verses 25-28). #8. Reviled and abused by all that passed by (verses 29-32). #9. Forsaken for a time by His Father (verses 33-36). #10. His death and rending the veil (verses 37-38). #11. Verified and witnessed to by the centurion and others (verses 39-41). #12. Buried in the sepulcher of Joseph of Arimathea (verses 42-47).
The Trial of Jesus (15:1-5)
(Mat.27:1-14; Lk.22:66-71; Jn.18:28-37)
Mark 15:1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. (KJV)
And straightway in the morning . . . as soon as it was day, Luke says (Lk.22:66). The Sanhedrim had been up all night. After eating the Passover, they spent their time in capturing, trying and examining Jesus, and bringing witnesses against Him; and had come to an unanimous vote, that He was guilty of death. The advice now taken was different from that described in the previous chapter. There they had then pronounced Him worthy of death; now they say "put him to death." It was not lawful for the Sanhedrim to put any one to death (Jn.18:31), that power having been taken away by the Romans and placed with the Roman governor.
The chief priests held a consultation with the elders and Scribes . . . who were the principal men in the Sanhedrim; the question now discussed was the best way to obtain Pilate's consent to execute Jesus.
And the whole council . . . God's Holy Son Jesus, His Anointed, and the Messiah. They were actually taking counsel against the Lord Himself; and so the prophecy in (Ps.2:2), had its fulfillment. What they consulted about was NOT what punishment to inflict upon Him, whether scourging or death; that was already decided; they had already condemned Him to death. Now they consulted WHAT death to put Him to, and in what manner. (Mat.27:1).
The Sanhedrin could condemn Jesus to die, but they could NOT carry out the execution. Only Rome could do that. Therefore, this group had to appeal to the Roman court for the execution of the death penalty that they had decided upon. The charge which they had brought against Him in the Sanhedrim would never stand up before Pilate, so they met early the next morning to figure out what charges would stand up before the Roman court. They would make legal the illegal action of the night before.
Pilate is the Roman governor who is in Jerusalem at this time. His headquarters was down at Caesarea because he liked the seacoast and delightful climate. He did not like Jerusalem. He came up there only at feast times to keep down any riots. The Roman government did not stand for riots and protest marches of any kind, which is one reason Rome stood as long as she stood as a great world empire. Maybe present-day nations should take note of this fact.
Pilate was a politician. Convenience rather than Roman justice was the motivating force in his life. He really did try to release Jesus when he discovered He was innocent, but . . . he also wanted to please the religious rulers. But, do you see that he really could not get any help from Jesus that he was hoping for? He thought that if Jesus would cooperate, he could please the religious rulers, too. Pilate is a typical and symbolic example of a rotten politician who has absolutely any honesty, integrity or morality. He speaks out of both sides of his mouth, wanting to compromise and please all sides.
Mark 15:2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. (KJV)
And Pilate asked him, art thou the king of the Jews? . . .which either he had heard before that it was said by Him, and His followers; or was what the Jews suggested to him as His crime, which they desired sentence of death might pass upon Him,
And he answering, said unto him, Thou sayest it . . .
which is the same as if He had said, I am; (Mat.26:25); for so He was in a sense, in which He explained Himself to Pilate's satisfaction. (Jn.18:28, 33-37; Mat.27:11).
This history of our Saviour's examination before and condemnation by Pilate, together with the humiliations poured on Him after His condemnation, is recorded in some degree by all the four Gospel writers. By comparing that which Mark leaves out, with the others, we get a fuller picture. Many things can be compared:
#1. How much more favor Christ found from a Gentile heathen than from the Jewish high priest, and not only favor, but justice too.
#2. How close our Saviour kept up His guard, not accusing Himself.
#3. The horrible wickedness of these priests, that they would prefer a murderer and seditious person, above a totally innocent Person.
#4. The weakness of a corrupt heart to resist an ordinary temptation. Pilate was convinced the prosecution was cruel and malicious, and that Christ Jesus was innocent, yet he wanted to content the people, for he was afraid they might misrepresent Him to the Roman emperor.
#5. How Christ was reviled, imprisoned, mocked, scourged, spit upon and then killed.
There is no humiliation, shame or contempt, no disgrace and no kind of suffering, for His sake, in which we should not boast and glory. Only through His suffering and death could God the Father look on us! Any time we suffer for Him, we need to remember that one day we shall be glorified together with Him (Rom.8:17). Thank You Jesus!
Mark 15:3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. (KJV)
And the chief priests accused him of many things . . .made ridiculous false charges against Him, and our Lord did not bother to answer them. They said that He perverted the people, stirred up sedition, discord and rebellion among them; and set Himself up as a King. All of which, they said He had done not in one place only, but throughout all the land of Judea, from Galilee to Jerusalem (Lk.23:2,5).
But he answered nothing . . . since the things that they accused Him of were false, and known to be so by all the people; Jesus therefore thought it unnecessary, and not worth the time to answer them. (Mat.27:12).
Mark 15:4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. (KJV)
And Pilate asked him again, saying, answerest thou nothing behold how many things they witness against thee? . . . this means that they accused Him. They were NOT witnesses, they were accusers. These accusations were repeated and pressed, and was done in the presence of the chief priests, who had laid so many things to His charge; for the former question (verse 2) was put, when Jesus and he were alone in the judgment hall, where the Jews would not enter for fear of being defiled (Jn.18:28). http://www.godcannotlie.org/john_commentary_ch18.html
The charges laid upon Christ Jesus were many, and very heinous, and Pilate thought that they called for His self-defense. (Mat.27:13).
TEN REASONS WHY THE JEWS KILLED JESUS
#1. Kingship (Mat.2:2-3; Jn.18:33-40; 19:12-22).
#2. Speaking the Truth (Lk.4:21-29; Jn.8:40).
#3. Healing on the Sabbath (Mat.12:9-14; Mk.3:1-6; Jn.5:16; 9:16).
#4. Jealousy (Mat.26:3-4; 27:18; Mk.14:1; 15:10; Lk.22:2; Jn.11:48).
#5. Ignorance (Mat.26:64-66; Mk.14:62-64; Jn.12:40; Acts 3:17).
#6. It fulfilled prophecy (Lk.13:33-35; Jn.12:38-40; 18:31-32; 19:11,28,36-37; Acts 2:22;36; 3:18).
#7. Claiming Sonship (Jn.5:18; 10:24-39; 19:7).
#8. Unbelief (Jn.5:38-47; 6:36; 9:40-41; 12:36-38).
#9. Claiming to be God (Jn.8:53-59; 10:33) HE WAS/IS GOD!!! (Jn.1:1-2; Heb.1:5-14).
#10. Fear of losing their authority (Jn.11:46-53; 12:10-11,19).
Jesus IS God! http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god.htm
Mark 15:5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. (KJV)
But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marveled . . . He said nothing. Silence really is a way of speaking, and it was remarkable. It is an emphatic way of saying that He answered nothing. There was no need of His replying. He was innocent, and they offered no proof of guilt. His appearance was full evidence in His favor. He was poor, unarmed, without powerful friends, and alone. Pilate marvelled . . . he was probably more surprised that Jesus bore this so meekly, and did not return railing for railing (1 Pet.3:9), and did not set up a defense. This was unusual. The governor was not accustomed to see it, and was therefore greatly amazed. He marveled at the patience of Jesus, that He could hear such notorious untruths, which affected His character, and His life, and say nothing. (Mat.27:14).
Barabbas Preferred, and Jesus Rejected (Mark 15:6-15)
(Mat.27:15-26; Lk.23:13-25; Jn.18:39-40)
Mark 15:6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. (KJV)
Now at that feast . . . the feast of the Passover, which was happening at that instant (Jn.18:39),
He released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired . . . nothing is really known about the origin or reason of this custom. Commentators have speculated on this point, but came up with nothing. The custom: (Mat.23:15; Lk.23:17). It was not a law of God or man, but a custom; and was not originally observed at the feast of the Passover, but maybe the Roman governors, by the order of Caesar, or of their own pleasure, introduced to gather favor with the affections of the people, and being repeated again and again, was now looked for. How the custom of releasing a prisoner at the Passover arose is unknown, but such customs are common under oppressive rule. (Mat.27:15).
Pilate was amazed and shocked at a prisoner who would stand before him and not defend himself. I imagine that any other prisoner went to great lengths to defend themselves, but this Prisoner was different. He did NOT defend Himself and Pilate wanted to know why. When we compare Mark’s Gospel to that of John, we see there was much interaction between Pilate and the religious rulers as Pilate really tried to find some way to deliver Christ Jesus. He took Him inside to talk to Him, where the Jews would not follow. Then he came back out and then took Him in again, hoping to get His cooperation. But Pilate finally saw that he had to stand on his own two feet and make his own decision about Christ Jesus. My friend, that is exactly what every one of us must do.
Pilate then thought he could get off the hook by releasing a prisoner. He really thought that he had found a solution for the tight spot in which he found himself. He did not think that anyone would ask for the treacherous Barabbas to be released and for Jesus to be crucified.
Mark 15:7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. (KJV)
And there was one named Barabbas . . . a prisoner of that name in Jerusalem,
Which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him . . . Barabbas was at the head of a rebellious mob, and he and his accomplices were taken and put in prison.
Who had committed murder in the insurrection . . . Matthew says: And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas . . . the word notable means one that is distinguished in any way, either for great virtues, or great crimes. Here it means for crimes. He was probably a leader of a band who had been guilty of incitement to rebellion, and had committed murder in an insurrection (Lk.23:19). Pilate had a problem on his hands. He wanted to please the religious leaders in order to maintain peace in Jerusalem, but he felt that he could not randomly sentence the Lord Jesus to death. He thought he had the solution to the problem. Since it was usual for him to release a Jewish prisoner during the Passover celebration, he would offer the crowd a choice: Jesus . . . or a very notorious prisoner called Barabbas, who was guilty of murder, robbery, treason. (Mat.27:16).
Matthew says of Barabbas no more than that he was "a notable prisoner." Mark gives us the cause of his notoriety. He had been engaged in an insurrection, during the progress of which he had committed murder, and he now "lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him." Luke states the insurrection to be within the city (Lk.23:19), and John states that Barabbas was a robber (Jn.18:40). Why the people sympathized with him is not explained. It was probably because his insurrection had been a blow at the Roman government, causing the people to forget his crimes for the sake of his hostility to the common enemy.
Mark 15:8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. (KJV)
And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done to them . . . that is, release a prisoner to them, as he had done at every Passover, ever since he had been a governor over them. Matthew says: But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude . . . it was the choice of the people, who should be released. This the chief priests and elders did not do this by lecturing them, or making a public speech to them; but by sending their servants among them, telling them that Jesus had been examined before the Sanhedrim that morning, and was found to be a blasphemer; and that the entire court had unanimously condemned Him to death, and therefore they should act according to their decree. So the people raised up and demanded that Barabbas should be released to them, and Jesus should be put to death, for nothing short of that would satisfy these enemies of Jesus. They thirsted after His Blood, and were bound and determined that He should die. Just to release Barabbas, if Jesus were not destroyed, would not make them happy. They wanted Barabbas's liberty for NO other reason, except for the sake of Jesus’ death. BEWARE!!! Satan has so many deceitful ways to try to get us to go along with what he wants! Do NOT fall for his tricks! James 4:7 Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (KJV) . . . Keep telling yourself: Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee!
Mark 15:9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? (KJV)
But Pilate answered them; saying . . . a second time, after some time had been allowed for them to consider the matter, and after the chief priests and elders worsened the situation among the people against Jesus. Being satisfied of the innocence of Jesus, and being willing to dismiss Him,
Will ye that I release unto you the king of the Jews . . . Matthew says: Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? . . . since these two were suggested by him, one of them must be released. It lay in the hands of the people to choose. Matthew says: They said, Barabbas . . . so that Christ was NOT only numbered among, and reckoned with transgressors, but He was accounted worse than the worst of them; for a seditious person, a robber, and a murderer was preferred before Him. See: Isa.53:12; Acts 3:14.
Mark 15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. (KJV)
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy . . . he had not only seen their faces, and knew by their charges against Him, and by their ridiculous conduct, that it was NOT out of any regard to Caesar, or to the peace and tranquility of the civil government, but because they were jealous of His popularity, His fame, the honor, glory and praise He had among the common people, and because of His doctrine and miracles. Pilate had hoped to succeed in this plan of his to release Him, by offering Him with such a notorious a person as Barabbas to the public. (Mat.27:18).
Mark 15:11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. (KJV)
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them . . . these evil chief priests persuaded the people, both in person, and by their officers they dispersed among them, to use any argument they could to win them over.
Mark 15:12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? (KJV)
And Pilate answered and said again unto them . . . he was astonished that they should ask the release of such an disreputable person. He really wanted to save Jesus.
What will ye then that I shall do unto him, whom ye call the king of the Jews? . . . it seems Pilate was confused at their choice. He did not think that they would ask for the life of such a revolting a criminal as Barabbas, that was guilty of capital crimes, crimes that were hated by all men.
Can you picture a Roman judge asking a crowd what he should do with a prisoner? Pilate was the judge, and he should make the decision. The Gospel of John tells us that Pilate repeatedly called Jesus inside the judgment hall and questioned Him privately. But the Lord Jesus would NOT defend Himself. When we analyze this mock trial, we come to the conclusion that Pilate was the one on trial and, actually, that Jesus was the Judge. Pilate had to make a decision, so he asked the crowd, "What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?" (Mat.27)20). Surely you do not want me put Him to death, for no other reason than He is called either by Himself or others, Christ, or the Messiah, or the King of the Jews! Crucifixion was a Roman punishment, inflicted on the meanest and worst of men, such as wicked servants, thieves, robbers and cut-throats. Not only was it an extremely torturing and painful death, but a very shameful and humiliating one as well.
Mark 15:13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. (KJV)
And they cried out again, crucify him . . . they had cried so once before, although Matthew and Mark do not relate it, Luke does (Lk.23:21).
Something remarkable and unheard of is taking place here. It was clear to Pilate that the charges brought against Jesus were false. Pilate had on one side, a prisoner who was an extremely hardened criminal, and on the other, an innocent Man. He makes the correct comparison between Jesus and Barabbas. He was shocked when they asked for Barabbas to be released that he, the judge, was in shock, asked the people what he should do with Jesus.
Mark 15:14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. (KJV)
Then Pilate said unto them . . . the third time (Lk.23:22).
Why, what evil hath he done? . . . that is worthy of death. They had charged Him with so many things, but proved nothing against Him. Pilate could find no fault in Him, and judged Him an innocent person, and therefore was unwilling to condemn Him.
And they cried out the more exceedingly . . . with voices louder and louder, and greater forcefulness, the more they understood that he was persuaded to save Him.
Crucify him . . . nothing short of death would satisfy them, and no other death but that of the cross. (Mat.27:22-23).
I simply cannot understand how these people, could follow Him and love and praise Him one time (Mk.11:9-10), and turn around completely here and demand His death!
Mark 15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. (KJV)
And so Pilate, willing to content the people . . . to satisfy and make them calm down, for they had become very noisy and riotous, and he feared the consequence of their resentment, should he not comply. Therefore to humor them, and keep in their favor, after he had washed his hands (Mat.27:24), to testify his innocence in the matter,
Released Barabbas unto them . . . the rebellious and wicked person, a robber and murderer, for which crimes he was in prison.
And delivered Jesus when he had scourged him . . . among the Romans, it was customary to scourge or whip a criminal before he was crucified. This was done to inflict a greater suffering than crucifixion would be alone; and to add to the horrors of the punishment. Our Lord, about to be put to death, in the manner of a criminal, was also treated as a slave; as one of the lowest and most despised of mankind. Scourged Jesus: (Isa.53:5; Mat.10:17; Lk.18:33).
It seems this scourging was done some time before His examination, trial and condemnation were over. As appears from John 19:1, this was done by Pilate, to move the pity and compassion of the Jews; hoping they would have been satisfied with that alone, and not demanded His death. He wanted to move them, hoping they would be satisfied with the chastisement, and allow him to let Him go (Lk.23:32), but nothing would do but crucifixion. IF He was scourged twice, John may be thought to tell of the one, and Matthew the other; but it is certain, the Romans used rods or whips, just before crucifixion. Persons of birth and blood, and freemen of Rome, were beaten with rods; but such as were servants, which form Christ had taken, were scourged with whips; to which, sometimes were fastened, the hip bones of beasts. This kind of whipping, was very severe and cruel. The Jews themselves admit this scourging of Jesus, only they ascribe it to the elders of Jerusalem. Thus, the prophecy in Isaiah 1:5-6, and our Lord's prediction in Mat.20:19, had their fulfillment. This scourging of Christ, was a symbol of the scourges and strokes of divine justice, which He endured in His soul, for the security of His people. He was smitten of God (Isa.53:4), by the sword of justice, He took their place, and was stricken for their transgressions (Isa.53:8).
To be crucified . . . as they desired; in which he acted contrary to law and justice, to the violation of his own conscience, and merely to please the people. (Mat.27:26).
He delivered him to be crucified . . . into the hands of the Jews, to their will and at their request; or into the hands of his soldiers, to execute the sentence he passed upon Him; which was done in a judicial way, and according to the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God (Acts 2:23). He delivered him . . . he not only gave Him up to them to crucify Him, as if they only were answerable, but he gave Him up as a judge when he should have saved His life, which he could have done. Crucifixion was a Roman punishment; performed by Roman soldiers. Pilate pronounced the sentence from the court, and Pilate attached the title to the cross. Therefore Pilate, as well as the Jews, was answerable to God for the death of the Saviour of the world.
Mark 15:16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. (KJV)
And the soldiers led him away into the hall . . . from the place called the pavement, where the judge's bench was, from which Pilate passed sentence on Christ, to a large room,
Called the praetorium . . . or judgment hall; being the hall, or room, where the praetor, or Roman magistrate, kept his court of judicature; and is the same place where the Jews would not go into, lest they should be defiled, and become unfit to eat the Chagigah that day; and into which Pilate had Jesus more than just once, (Jn.18:28,33, 19:1), but now he had a large company with him. Entering the praetorium for the Jews would have been a far less sin than what they did to their Messiah!
And they call together the whole band . . . those that were around, the same soldiers that Judas had with him to take Jesus, which consisted of five hundred or more. These soldiers, to whom Jesus was committed, got together "against him", to make themselves entertainment and sport with Him. Can you imagine in what hands our dear Lord now was? He was encompassed with dogs, and enclosed with the assembly of the wicked (Ps.22:16). Some versions renders it, "multitudes of knaves being gathered together to him". (Mat.27:27).
When any criminal was to be crucified, he was turned over to these soldiers. They were a brutal lot, and they could do as they pleased with the prisoner. They, of course, humiliated their prisoners, tortured them, and made them a plaything for their sadistic pleasures. This is what they do now with the Lord Jesus. Some say that they played a Roman game called "hot hand." Each would stick up a fist in the face of Jesus; then they would blindfold Him and all but one would hit Him. They beat His face into a pulp until He did not even look like a man. When they would take the blindfold off, He had to pick out the fist that had not hit Him. The prisoner never could pick out the right one. Even if He did, they would not admit it was the right one because they were going to play that game over and over again. It was a vicious beating, which is probably the reason we are told that they had to get this man Simon of Cyrene to carry the Cross. The Lord Jesus was thirty three years old, and still had the strength of youth. I am sure that He was in great physical condition, for He walked everywhere He went. This mob had beaten Him unmercifully. He fulfilled the following prophecies:
Psalm 22:6-7 But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.
7 All they that see me laugh me to scorn: they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, (KJV)
Psalm 22:17 I may tell all my bones: they look and stare upon me. (KJV)
Isaiah 50:6 I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. (KJV)
Isaiah 52:14 As many were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men: (KJV)
Isaiah 53:2-4 For he shall grow up before him as a tender plant, and as a root out of a dry ground: he hath no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see him, there is no beauty that we should desire him. 3 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not.
4 Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. (KJV)
The Bible makes it quite clear that Pilate was sure that Christ Jesus was an innocent man.
#1. "He knew that for envy they had delivered him" (Mat.27:18).
#2. "...I am innocent of the blood of this just person..." (Mat.27:24).
#3. "For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy" (Mk.15:10).
#4. "Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them" (Lk.23:20).
#5. "...I have found no cause of death in him..." (Lk.23:22).
#6. "...I find in him no fault at all" (Lk.23:4; Jn.18:38).
#7. "...From thenceforth Pilate sought to release him..." (Jn.19:12).
#8. "...Pilate, when he was determined to let him go" (Acts 3:13).
In spite of all that he felt, Pilate did NOT have the courage to release Jesus.
Jesus Mocked and Led away by the Soldiers (Mark 15:17-21)
(Mat.27:27-32; Lk.26-32; Jn.19:1-3, 16-17)
Mark 15:17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, (KJV)
And they clothed him with purple . . . Matthew calls it a "scarlet" robe; and one version renders it a "red garment". It was a color resembling purple; which is what kings were used to wear; and so in mockery of Him, as a King, clothed Him with this mock purple robe; and which was most likely one of the soldiers' old coats. They stripped His clothes from Him; at least of His upper garment. For one man to spit on another, as these soldiers did afterwards did to Christ, or to strip Him of His garment, according to the Jewish canons, was punishable with a fine; but the soldiers were in no danger of being prosecuted. This is just one part of the low estate Christ submitted to. Mark and John say the robe was "purple" (Mk.15:17; Jn.19:2). Whether there were two garments put on Him, a purple vest, and the other a scarlet robe over it; or whether scarlet was used instead of purple, is not certain. This they put on Jesus, simply to mock Him, reproaching Him with the character He bore, as King of the Jews. This was a symbol of His being clothed, as it were with our sins, which are as scarlet (Isa.1:18), and of His Bloody sufferings in His human nature.
And platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head . . . we lived in Arizona years ago. There was a thorn bush there that was called “Corpus Christi”. It had huge thorns, and even its thorns had thorns. Really horrible looking thing. We were told that this was the kind of thorns that was used for this crown of thorns mentioned in this Passage. If this was so, it would have been excruciating. Of thorns . . . what the precise species of shrub denoted here is not known. But, it was certain, it was a species that has sharp points of very hard wood. They could therefore be easily pressed into the skin, and cause considerable pain. Probably they grabbed the first thing they saw that could be made into a crown, which happened to be a thorn bush . . . thus increasing the agonizing sufferings of the meek Redeemer.
Put it about his head. . . a crown was worn by kings, commonly made of gold, and precious stones. This crown was to ridicule the Lord Jesus, that He was a King. They probably removed pieces of a thorn bush growing nearby, fashioned it into something resembling a royal crown, so it would correspond with the scarlet or purple robe.
Matthew adds: And a reed in his right hand . . . a reed is a straight slender herb that grows in marshy places, and was abundant on the banks of the Jordan River. It was often used for making staves for walking; and it could have been that such a staff was in the possession of someone present. The word is several times used in this manner (2 Ki.18:21; Isa.36:6; Eze.29:6). Kings usually carried a scepter, made of ivory or gold, as a sign of their office or rank (Esther 4:11; 8:4). This reed or staff that they put in His Hand was an imitation of a scepter, again, to mock and ridicule His pretensions of being a King.
Matthew also adds: And they bowed the knee . . . this was done in mockery and ridicule; an act of pretended respect and reverence. This too, was done to ridicule His saying that He was a King. The usual way of showing respect or homage for kings was by kneeling or prostration. All this shows amazing patience and self-control on the part of the Lord Jesus. No mere human being would have been able to bear it. NO one but Him, who loved us unto death (Eph.5:2), and who saw the striking results that would come from this scene of sufferings, could have endured such cruel mockery. (Mat.27:28-29)
Mark 15:18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! (KJV)
And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! . . . hail was a common way of greeting to a king, or even to a friend. It usually implies, the highest respect for office, as well as the person, and is a request of blessings upon the person. But, here it was used to carry on what they thought to be the pretense of His being a King. Mocked Him: (Ps.69:19-20). It seems that they did anything possible by way of contempt, disrespect and mocking His character, the King of the Jews, to afflict and cause Him misery. May we this day, be very careful not to call Him Lord, Lord (Lk.6:46), and then totally disregard His commands to us (Jn.15:14,17). Trust and obey! For there is no other way!
Mark 15:19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. (KJV)
And they smote him on the head with a reed . . . or cane, or walking stick which they had put into his hands for a scepter. This they now took from Him and struck Him on the Head with it, which drove the crown of sharp pointed thorns into His temples. How appallingly dreadful can people get?
And did spit upon him; . . . (Isa.50:6) some versions say, "upon his face", which He did not hide from spitting. With all that had happened to Him, His flogging, His sweat, and with Blood trickling down from His temples, scratched and torn with the thorns, and with the spit of these grimy soldiers, His visage was more marred than any man's, and his form than the sons of men (Isa.52:14).
And bowing their knees . . . this was done in mockery and ridicule; an act of pretended respect and reverence. This too, was done to ridicule His saying that He was a King. The usual way of showing respect or homage for kings was by kneeling or prostration.
Worshipped him . . . saying the above words, Hail, King of the Jews?
Mark 15:20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. (KJV)
And when they had mocked him . . . to their satisfaction, and had had enough of this sort of entertainment,
They took off the purple from him . . . this being their way, of removing Him from His kingship.
And put his own clothes on him . . . so that He might be known to be the same Person; and so that the four soldiers, who had charge of Him, might have the privileges of His clothes at His execution.
And led him out to crucify him . . . they led Him out of the "praetorium", or judgment hall, and through the city, without the gates of it (Heb.13:12), to the usual place of crucifixion; He bearing His own cross, when they first led Him out.
Mark 15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. (KJV)
And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian . . . Matthew says: They found a man of Cyrene . . . Cyrene was a place in Libya. Many Jews lived here, as appears from (Acts 2:10). As it seems, this man was a Jew, as his name shows, and too, there was a synagogue of the Cyrenian Jews at Jerusalem (Acts 6:9), so that although he was a native of Cyrene, he might now dwell there, and some of these were converted to the faith of Christ; for of those that were scattered abroad at the death of Stephen, some were men of Cyrene (Acts 11:19-20). Matthew says: Simon by name . . . Simon which name was one of the apostles (Mat.10:1-4), and a common name among the Jews, and means hearkening and obedient. We today must consider that none of us are fit to bear, or will bear the cross of Christ, but only those who hearken to His voice, and are obedient to Him, being made willing in the day of His power. And they compel one Simon, to bear his cross . . . which they did, NOT out of good will to Christ, but because they were fearful because He was so faint and weak, lest He should die before He got to the place of execution. They did not want to be disappointed of their end, His crucifixion.
He was weak and ready to faint under the burden of that cross, and not able to go the pace they would have Him go. When they came across Simon, they petition him to carry the cross for the Lord. Was he willing to do so? We do not know. Was he reluctant to do so? We do not know. He might have been, because it was disgraceful and shameful; and IF he was a follower of Jesus, he did not want to be in any way, an accessary to His death. BUT . . . it seems that he was forced to do it. Let us consider this: Taking up the cross and following Christ is disagreeable to the vast majority of people on Earth today. Although the spirit may be willing, the flesh pulls away. Very “few” (Mat.7:13-14) choose to bear the cross, unless forced into it.
Who passed by, coming out of the country . . . Simon may have been from some country village where he might have been in the field, about some rural business or gathering wood for the Passover.
The father of The father of Alexander and Rufus . . . It could be that this man was a disciple of Christ, which might be one reason why they laid hold on him, and forced him to bear the cross of Christ; since he was the father of Alexander and Rufus who were men noted among the first Christians, who were men well known when Mark wrote his Gospel, and very likely men of eminence among Christians: mention is made of Alexander in (Acts 19:33) and of Rufus (Rom.16:13).
No executions were made, either in the court of judicature, or in the city, but some distance away from the city, be it stoning or crucifixion. (Mat.27:32).
The Crucifixion (Mark 15:22-28)
(Mat.27:33-38; Lk.3:33-34,38; Jn.19:14-24)
Mark 15:22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. (KJV)
And they bring him unto the place, Golgotha which is, being interpreted, the place of a skull . . .
a well-known, and much noted place for the many executions. Golgotha is the Hebrew word meaning the place of a skull, and in Luke is called Calvary (Lk.23:33). The word calvary is a Latin word meaning skull, or place of skulls. It is not known for sure why this name was given to this place. Some have supposed that it was because the mount resembled in shape a human skull. But, I think the most probable reason, is that it was a place of execution; that criminals were beheaded there, or otherwise put to death, and that their bones remained unburied or unburned. Jesus was put to death, without the city, because capital punishments were not allowed within the walls (Num.15:35-36; 1 Ki.21:13). This was a law among the Romans, as well as the Jews. Jesus also died there, because the bodies of the animals slain in sacrifice, looking forward to Him, were burned without the camp. Jesus also suffered without the gate (Heb.13:11-12).
Mark 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. (KJV)
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh . . . wine mingled with frankincense was what was usually given by the Jews to persons going to die. Matthew says: They gave him vinegar to drink vinegar mingled with gall. It was a custom of the Jews when a man went out to be executed, to give him to drink some frankincense in a cup of wine, that his understanding might be disturbed (Pro.31:5-6). "Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and wine to those that be of heavy hearts", and the tradition is, that the honorable women in Jerusalem gave this freely; but if they did not, it was provided at the charge of the congregation. The plan was to cheer their spirits, and intoxicate their heads, that they might not sense their pain and misery. BUT . . . such a cup was NOT allowed Christ at the public expense, nor were the honorable women so compassionate to Him. If it was sent to Him, the soldiers did not give it Him, but instead another concoction in place of it. Mark says, they gave him "wine mingled with myrrh" which was either something provided by His friends, and given to Him, different from what the soldiers gave Him here. By this offer fulfilled the prophecy in (Ps.69:21), which He did not altogether refuse.
And when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink . . . not because it was the vinegar of Gentiles, which was forbidden by the Jewish laws, lest it should have been offered to idols; but because He would use nothing which would either prolong His life, or discompose His mind. The mixture of vinegar (sour wine) and gall was intended to render Him less susceptible to pain; but Jesus, having resolved to suffer, declined any such relief. When the Lord Jesus was on the cross, just before His death, vinegar was offered to Him without the myrrh, the vinegar which the soldiers usually drank, and of this He received (Mat.27:49; Jn.19:28-30). Where Matthew and Mark say that He "would not drink," they refer to a different thing and a different time from John, and I cannot see any contradiction.
But he received it not . . . nor would he so much as taste of it, as he did of the other, to show that he needed no such outward means to support his spirits, nor desired anything to relieve Him of His sorrows. He was not afraid to meet death head on, in all its terrors; and besides, He had said He would drink no more of the fruit of the vine till he drank it new in his Father's kingdom (Mat.26:69). (Mat.27:34).
Mark 15:24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. (KJV)
And when they had crucified him . . . they, the soldiers, had nailed Him to the cross, and reared it up, and He was hanging upon it.
They parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take . . . they had stripped Him of His clothes before they nailed Him to the cross. They crucified Him naked, as was the custom of the Romans; as it was of the Jews to stone and hang persons naked. His garments they divided into four parts, with each of the four soldiers, taking a part.
And they crucified him . . . this death was not only painful and cruel, but exceedingly shameful and disgraceful, inflicted on the most cruel and callous criminals. Christ was now numbered with the worst of men, as murderers, cut-throats, thieves, and the vilest of men.
And parted his garments, casting lots . . . So our Lord was crucified; His clothes were a bonus of the four soldiers, as we learn from (Jn.19:23-24). They divided them into four parts, and then cast lots for each part. His vesture, or coat, being seamless, and woven from top to bottom, they did not tear into pieces, but cast lots for it, who should have it. That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet. . . by David, in (Ps.22:18).
Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. (KJV)
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him . . . the time of the daily sacrifice of the morning, at which the priests should have been; and the time when the Sanhedrim usually began to sit. The grand Sanhedrim sat from the daily sacrifice of the morning, to the daily sacrifice of the evening, BUT . . . this being an extraordinary case, and they in a hurry to put Jesus to death, had been sitting up all night; and early in the morning had obtained the sentence of death on Him, which they were going to execute by the time they used to sit, this was about nine o'clock in the morning, and takes in the time between that and twelve at noon. One version reads, "and it was the sixth hour", to make it agree with (Jn.19:14).
John says: And it was the preparation of the Passover, and about the sixth hour . . . John marks the exact time when this incredible judgment was delivered. The preparation to any feast means the day before it. Some doubt whether in this place the Passover means strictly the paschal supper, which it could not do if the Jews strictly this year kept to the law; for the fourteenth day of the month Nisan at evening was the time when Christ kept it (Jn.13:1-4), who ate it the night before. It could be that by the Passover here is meant their great festival, which was upon the fifteenth day. John tells us it was about the sixth hour, that is, in the latter part of the interval between nine o'clock in the morning and twelve at noon, because . . . the division of the day according to the Jews was in four parts: #1. the third hour, from sunrise to 9:00AM. #2. the next was from the third hour to the sixth hour, that is, from 9:00AM to 12:00 noon. #3. the third division was from their sixth hour to the ninth hour, that is, 3:00PM; #4. the fourth division was from the ninth hour to sunset, from 6:00PM to sunset. So, not only the time when any of these hours came was called either the third or sixth hour, but the time period of three hours allotted to each division was so called, until the next division began. So the time of our Saviour's crucifixion is recorded by Mark to be the third hour (Mk.15:25), and that could be any time within the period from nine to twelve o'clock, although it was near the end. And by what John says here, it was about the sixth hour, that is, near our twelve o'clock. There are many conflicting stories, but I think this makes the different thoughts reconciled.
http://orthodoxwiki.org/Hours . . . http://www.jewfaq.org/calendar.htm
Mark 15:26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. (KJV)
And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS . . . Mark calls it the "superscription of his accusation". Matthew says: And set up over his head his accusation written, John calls it a "title" (Jn.19:19-20), and Luke calls it a "superscription" (Lk.23:38). It contained the sum and substance of what Jesus was accused of, and for which He was condemned, suffered and died. This title, or inscription, setting forth the person's crime, was carried before him, or put upon him, as he was led to execution, but here it was set upon the cross, and perhaps nailed unto it; to which the apostle Paul seems to indicate in (Col.2:14). The substance of it was: This is Jesus the king of the Jews. This is what the chief priests accused Him of to Pilate, and about which he questioned Him, and for which they wanted Him crucified for. Pilate wrote the accusation in this form, not so much in contempt of Jesus; for by speaking with Him, he understood what kind of a King He was. He did it more so, to rebuke of the Jews for crucifying Him, who was their King; being the Person that was prophesied of in their books, as king of Zion, and whom they expected as such, although now they denied and rejected Him.
The King of The Jews (Mark 15:27-41)
(Mat.27:37-55; Lk.23:38-43; Jn.19:19-22)
Mark 15:27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. (KJV)
And with him they crucified two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left . . .
Pilate did not live in Jerusalem. Whenever he came there on the great feasts, or at other times, it was to hold courts for the trial of criminals. These thieves had probably been condemned at that time. And to show greater contempt for Jesus, He was crucified between these men of criminal character, and on a cross that should have been occupied by their apparent companion and leader, Barabbas. These two thieves were led out with Jesus (Lk.23:32), to be put to death with Him, and were crucified with Him at the same place. Their death was the same, but NOT their crime.
The one on his right hand, and the other on this left . . . with Jesus in the midst (Jn.19:18), and thus was fulfilled, as Mark observes (Mk.15:27-28), a prophecy in (Isa.52:12). It is not known if this was so ordered by Pilate, done in order to cover the sin, and remove the reproach of putting an innocent person to death. It seems instead to be done by the Jews, with the soldiers agreeing to it, for the greater condemnation of Jesus. So even though Christ Jesus was NOT a lawbreaker, He was accounted as one, and stood in the place of sinners, and was numbered with them, and as such was treated by divine justice, and accordingly died for them. Have you thanked Jesus for what He has done for you? If not, why not?
Mark 15:28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. (KJV)
And the Scripture was fulfilled, which saith, and he was numbered with the transgressors . . . Isaiah 53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors. (KJV)
The sinless Jesus was NO transgressor of the law of God Himself! He was perfectly obedient to the Law in His holy nature, harmless speech and complete obedience. He knew NO sin, ever, nor did He commit any in thought, word or deed, nor could any be found in Him by men or devils . . . yet He was viciously criticized as a sinner, and charged with many filthy things, none of which could be proven upon Him. But He stood in the place of and instead of sinners, and had all the sins of His people accredited to Him, and laid upon Him, with His own consent. He was treated by the justice of God just as if HE had been the transgressor (not us), and was counted as such, of which His being placed between the two thieves symbolize and represent. So He was stricken, wounded and died for the sins of those in whose place He stood. The 53rd chapter of Isaiah, where this Passage is, is a clear prophecy of the Messiah.
Mark 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, (KJV)
And they that passed by . . . Christ, as He hung on the cross; on the road, going by the cross.
Railed on him, wagging their heads . . . used contemptuous language, and indecent gestures, in mockery of Him, and as rejoicing in His misery. (Isa.37:22; Lam.2:15-16). This also was prophesied of Him (Ps.22:7).
And saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days . . . it seems that the crosses were placed by the wayside; so that those who passed by could not miss it. Matthew says: Reviled him (Mat.27:39) . . . blasphemed Him, ridiculed Him, spoke all manner of evil against Him (Mat.5:11), to which He answered not a word; and which should teach us patience under the revilings of men. This was foretold of Him (Ps.89:51). "They have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed".
Matthew 27:40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. (KJV) . . . These evil mockers are referring to the charge of the false witnesses against Jesus, who misunderstood His words in John 2:19, where He declared that He was able to destroy the Temple of Jerusalem, and rebuild it in three days. They rebuked Him with this, saying that these were vain and empty boasts . . . for IF He was able to do anything of that kind, He did not need to hang on the cross, but could easily save Himself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross . . . the Jews themselves admit that the following words were said to Jesus on the cross. The remark from which this came was made during His first visit to Jerusalem after His baptism (Jn.2:18-22), and now it is thrown at Him while He hangs on the cross, as though it were the most boastful speech that He had ever made. This accusation was used against Jesus in His trial by the high council (Mat.26:61). It is ironic that Jesus was in the very process of fulfilling His own prophecy. Because Jesus IS the Son of God, who always obeys the will of the Father, He did NOT come down from the cross. http://www.godcannotlie.org/is_jesus_god_what_the%20bible_says.htm
THANK YOU JESUS! THANK YOU, THANK YOU!
Mark 15:30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross. (KJV)
Save thyself, and come down from the cross . . . suggesting that if He was what He had pretended to be, and could do what He said He could do, He could easily free Himself from the cross, and get away. (Mat.27:39-40).
Mark 15:31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. (KJV)
Likewise also the chief priests . . . these were there when He was seized in the Garden, and it was their own council that condemned Him to death unanimously. They had been very busy at His arraignment, examination, and trial before Pilate, and then persuading the people to demand His crucifixion. They now follow Him to the cross to triumph over Him, insult Him, and to see that the execution was strictly carried out. They had simply forgotten their office and their education, laying aside all mortality and good manners. Instead of rebuking and restraining the people from using Him in a cruel and unkind manner, they themselves also stood . . .
Mocking said among themselves with the Scribes . . . mocking Him, along with the scribes and elders, who composed the whole Sanhedrim of the nation. There were great numbers present, who had been tireless and merciless enemies of Christ everywhere He went, and to these, it must have been a pleasing sight to see Him hanging on the cross. These scoffed at Him, ridiculed and reproached Him; and said,
He saved others, himself he cannot save . . . He had done many saving works, as healing the sick, cleansing lepers, causing the blind to see, and the lame to walk, and raising the dead; but instead they suggested that these were only frauds or trickery . . . that either these were not really done, or they were done with the help of Beelzebub (Mat.12:24). But, now when He Himself was in extreme trouble, He could not save Himself.
They had seen His striking many of them to the ground, when they came to capture Him in the garden, and of which these men were eyewitnesses (Jn.18:6); and He, as Man, could easily have obtained from His Father more than twelve legions of angels (Mat.26:53), that would have rescued Him out of their hands. But, this was NOT meant to be, for He came NOT to save Himself, but others, and to save them spiritually and eternally by dying Himself. Have you thanked Jesus?
Unfortunately, they had seen great things, and yet had NOT believed. The Lord Jesus could easily done any number of things IF He had chosen to do so. BUT . . . even IF He had, there is NO reason to think they would have believed Him to be the Son of God, and the true Messiah (Lk.1631) . . . because after this, He did a much greater work, raising Himself from the dead, of which they had the fullest evidence, yet they still remained unbelieving. (Mat.27:41-42).
Mark 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. (KJV)
Let Christ the king of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe . . . since He seemed unable to save Himself, they now insult Him with His profession of trust in God, assuming that He cannot be the Son of God, or the Father Himself would deliver Him. I think that all of these revilings reveal their guilty fear mixed with cruel rejoicing. May I say to you, BEWARE! Do NOT back away from your faith and trust in the Lord God. Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man shall do unto me. (KJV)
And they that were crucified with him reviled him . . . the robbers or highwaymen. Luke says that one of them did, and that the other reproved him and was penitent (Lk.23:39). The account in Luke may, however, easily be reconciled with that in Matthew and Mark, by supposing that probably at first, both of them reviled the Saviour, and that it is of what Matthew and Mark speak. Afterwards one of them relented, and became repentant . . . maybe from seeing the patient sufferings of Christ Jesus. It is of this, for the most part, that Luke speaks. Matthew says: Cast the same in his teeth . . . this simply means they reproached Him in the same way as the people, the chief priests, Scribes, elders and Pharisees had done. They too rebuked His pretensions of being the Son of God, the Messiah, and King of Israel; and insisted that IF He were, then why did not He save Himself, and them also? (Mat.27:44).
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. (KJV)
And when the sixth hour was come . . . or twelve o'clock at noon, having hung upon the cross from about the third hour, or nine in the morning.
There was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour . . . or three o'clock in the afternoon. One version reads, "And when it was noon, the sun was darkened, and the whole world was darkened until the ninth hour". (Mat.27:45). There was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour . . . Luke says, the sun was darkened (Lk.23:45). This darkness had to be a supernatural eclipse of the sun; for it was at the time when the moon was in the full, as appears from its being at the time of the Passover; which was on the fourteenth day of the month Nisan (April). The Jews begin their months from the new moon: and furthermore, it was over all the land, or Earth. Some versions say "the whole world was dark". Whether this darkness was over "all the earth," in our sense of the terms, or only over the small portion of it, there at Jerusalem, is not known. We know that this darkness came suddenly at noon, and then left at three o'clock, therefore it lasted during the three hours in which the sun is usually at its greatest heat and brightness. There was darkness. I believe it was TOTAL darkness, black! This could not have been a normal eclipse of the sun, for the Passover was celebrated at the time of the full moon, when the moon is opposite to the sun. The ONLY cause of this, was the intervening power of Almighty God, which provided evidence to the dignity of the Sufferer, and causing the elements to sympathize with the pains of His dying Son. It was also strangely proper to furnish this testimony when the Sun of Righteousness (Mal.4:2), was withdrawing His light for a time, and the Redeemer of men was dying. A thick, dark cloud, shut out the light of day, and clothed everything with the darkness of midnight, which was the appropriate curtain with which the world should be clothed when the Son of God died.
This darkness that was over the Earth at the time of Christ's sufferings, was no doubt, an addition to them. The sun, hiding its face and refusing to give its comforting light and heat to Him . . . but what about the hatred of the monstrous sin the Jews were committing, and as expressing the divine anger and resentment of the Father? God's purposes and decrees, and the end He had in view, did NOT excuse, nor diminish or lessen their wickedness! It shows their shameful stupidity, for they were NOT awakened and convinced by the amazing darkness! It made absolutely NO impression on them, although it did on the Roman centurion, who settled in his mind that Christ must be the Son of God (Mk.15:39). I think this darkness was a symbol of the judicial blindness and darkness of the Jewish nation.
Mark 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? (KJV)
And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice . . . three o'clock in the afternoon, or about the time of the slaying and offering of the daily sacrifice, which was a well-known type of Christ.
Saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? . . . Jesus cried with a loud voice, in great distress, having been silent during the three hours of darkness, and patiently bearing all His Soul sufferings, being under a sense of divine wrath, and the hiding of His Father's Face from Him. WHY did the Father hide His Face from Jesus? Because God is SO holy and pure, that He CANNOT look on ANY sin . . . and when Jesus hung on that cross, He carried the sins of the world on His sinless Self! He endured all His conflicts with the powers of darkness; but now, in the anguish of His Soul, he cries out.
In Matthew it is, "Eli, Eli". Both "Eli" and "Eloi" are Hebrew words, and mean the same thing, and are both used in Psalm 22:1-2, from where this is taken.
Which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? . . . the depth of meaning in this bitter outcry can NEVER be understood by any human mind, although the word "forsaken" does direct our thought in the right path. My God, my God . . . expresses intense suffering. It is impossible for us to understand in what sense Jesus was forsaken by God. I don’t know about you, but I cannot understand how ALL the sins of the world was placed on precious Jesus, but I believe it because the Bible says so! It is absolutely certain that God approved Jesus’ work. It is also absolutely certain that Jesus was innocent. He had done NOTHING to forfeit the favor of God. As His own Son, Jesus was holy, harmless, pure, undefiled and obedient . . . and God still loved Him. In either of these senses, God could NOT have forsaken Him. His being forsaken by God, has to do with OUR sins that He carried to the cross, for us! (Mat.27:46).
I want you to notice that Mark gives us the Crucifixion by the clock. On the third hour He was put on the Cross, and at the sixth hour (which would be twelve noon) darkness came down. The high noon sun was covered, and darkness came down over the Cross. From the sixth hour to the ninth hour, (that would be until three o'clock in the afternoon), there was darkness.
Now notice this: the first three hours were from 9:00 am until 12 noon; the second three hours were from 12 noon to 3:00pm. Jesus hung on that Cross for SIX hours. In the first three hours there was physical light; in the second three hours there was physical darkness.
But consider this: in the first three hours there was spiritual darkness; in the second three hours there was spiritual light. WHY? Because in those first three hours man did his worst. They crucified Him and they reviled Him. Even those who were hanging with Him on the Cross reviled Him, at least at first, both thieves did. His mortal enemies marched beneath His cross wagging their heads and ridiculed Him. In the first three hours man worked, doing his very worst, but in the second three hours God (Christ Jesus) worked, doing His very best . . . for us! He suffered AT the hands of man the first three hours; He suffered FOR man the last three hours. In the first three hours He was dying because OF sin, in the second three hours He was dying FOR the sin of the world. When we consider that during that time of the physical darkness, there was in reality, the spiritual light of God working. In those first three hours, I think that Satan and sin were doing all they could to destroy Him; but in the second three hours Christ Jesus is making His soul an offering for sin (for us). In those last three hours He was paying for the sins of the world . . . your sin and my sin! It was during that time that He was made sin for us (2 Cor.5:21). It was then, that He was forsaken of God, because He carried on Himself the sins of the whole world (1 Jn.2:2). But my friend, even at that time, God was in Christ (Jn.10:30,38; 14:9-11,20; 17:11,21-23), reconciling the world unto Himself (2 Cor.5:19). What a seeming impossibility we have here. It is something that is hard for many to understand, but it is Truth! We simply must trust and believe God! (1 Jn.5:10-13).
Mark 15:35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. (KJV)
And some of them that stood by . . . the cross,
When they heard it . . . the loud voice of Jesus, and the words he uttered: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, Matthew says: "Eli, Eli" (Mat.27:47).
Said, behold he calleth Elias . . . When they heard the words, "Eli, Eli" or Eloi, Eloi, spoken by Christ, they thought He was calling for Elias (Elijah). These could NOT be the Roman soldiers that said this, for they had no idea who Elias was. It had to be the Hellenistic (Greek speaking) Jews, who did not understand the Hebrew language so well. When they heard the above words, and having some notion of the prophet Elias, thought Jesus was calling for Elias. Luke does not have these words, but instead: Luke 23:46 And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost. (KJV)
Mark 15:36 And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. (KJV)
And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar . . . at the same time, John says: John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. (KJV)
And put it on a reed . . . a sponge full of vinegar on a hyssop stalk (Jn.19:29).
And gave him to drink . . . and so fulfilled a prophecy in Psalm 69:21.
Saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come and take him down . . . this was not said by he that fetched the sponge, but the others that were with him, and which agrees with (Mat.27:49), as forbidding him to go near him, and offer him anything to drink.
Some say there was a pot in a place nearby, for them that were crucified, either to refresh their spirits, or stop too great a flow of blood, that they might continue longer in their misery. Still others say this was probably the tart wine which was the common drink of the Roman soldiers. Our word vinegar comes from the French vin aigre, meaning sour or tart wine. Although it is possible that it was brought at this time for the use of the four Roman soldiers who were employed in the crucifixion of our Lord, yet it is just as likely that it might have been furnished for the use of the persons crucified. John does not tell us, neither do the other Gospel writers (Mat.27:34,48; Mk.15:36; Lk.23:36). It seems that crucifixion brought on a grievous thirst. This vinegar must not be confused with the vinegar and gall mentioned in Matthew 27:34 and Mark 15:36. That was a stupefying potion, intended to lessen His pain, which He refused to drink, but of this vinegar, He took a little, and then died (verse 30). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/14703-vinegar
And put it upon hyssop . . . a great many suppositions have been created to solve the difficulty in this text, which is occasioned by supposing that the sponge was put on a stalk of hyssop, and that this is the reed mentioned by Matthew and Mark. (Mat.27:48; Mk.15:36). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/7974-hyssop
And they filled a sponge with vinegar . . . a sponge is called a branch of the sea, because it grows there. A sponge can swallow up anything that is liquid, and which may be again squeezed and sucked out of it. The Jews call the sponge, that which swallows up liquids, and was used for such a purpose. And put it upon hyssop . . . not meaning the juice of hyssop, into which some have thought, but the hyssop’s stalk. The hyssop with the Jews was not consider among herbs, but trees (1 Ki.4:33).
And put it to his mouth . . . no one is sure if Christ drank some of the vinegar or not, it seems by what follows that He did.
John is the only one of the Gospel writers who tell us of Jesus. John 19:25-27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. 26 When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! 27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home. (KJV) . . . His mother stood very near, not only where she could see Him, but also to hear Him speak. This had to be a very hurtful sight, which was the fulfilling of Simeon's prophecy. Luke 2:35 (Yea, a sword shall pierce through thy own soul also,) that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed. (KJV) . . . She was seeing her beloved Son and Redeemer (Lk.1:46-55) in great agony and sorrow, being insulted and mocked by the worst of wicked men. In my humble opinion, this shows that she stood in need, as all others, of a crucified Saviour, for ALL people are sinners and in need of forgiveness (Jn.8:7). Jesus' mother was NOT a co-partner with Him in making satisfaction for sin, as the Catholics falsely say. That is Heresy: (Mat.15:9; Acts 15:24; 1 Cor.11:19; 1 Tim.4:1; Tit.3:10; 2 Pet.2:1; 3:17). http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_catholic_laws_rituals_wrong.htm http://www.worldlychaos.org/w_c_catholics.1.htm
After this . . . after Jesus had committed His mother to the care of John, which seems to have been right after the soldiers cast lots for His garments (Jn.19:24), about the sixth hour, before the darkness came over the land. It would still be about three hours after this, before He died.
Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished . . . were as good as finished, all things relating to His sufferings, and the conditions of them, which were beforehand appointed by God, and foretold in prophecy, and of which Christ had perfect knowledge.
That the Scripture might be fulfilled . . . so many prophecies were fulfilled by His crucifixion. Crucifixion prophecies: #1 Gen.3:15; Jn.12:31-32 #2. Dan.9:26; Jn.11:50-52 #3. Ps.41:9; Mk.14:10-11 #4. Zec.13:7; Mk.14:50 #5. Zec.11:12; Mat.26:15 #6. Zec.11:13; Mat.27:3-7 #7. Isa.53:7; 1 Pet.1:18-20 #8. Isa.50:6; Mat.27:26-30 #9. Isa.52:14; Ps.22:18; Mat.27:26; Jn.19:1 #10. Ps.69:9,19-20; Mat.26:55,66 #11. Ps.35:11; Mk.14:55-57 #12. Isa.53:7; Mat.27:13-14 #13. Isa.53:4-6,10-11; Jn.19:16-19 #14. Isa.53:12; Lk.23:32-33 #15. Ps.22:16; Jn.20:25-27 #16. Ps.22:18; Jn.19:24 #17. Ps.69:21; Mat.27:34 #18. Ps.22:17; Lk.23:48 #19. Ps.38:11; Lk.23:49 #20. Ps.109:25; Mat.27:39-40 #21. Ps.22:8; Mat.27:43-44 #22. Isa.53:12; Lk.23:34 #23. Ps.22:1; Mat.27:46 #24. Zec.12:10; Jn.19:34,37 #25. Ps.31:5; Lk.23:46 #26. Ps.22:31; Jn.19:30 #27. Ex.12:46; Ps.34:20; Jn.19:32-33,36 #28. Isa.53:8-9; Mat.27:57-60
I thirst . . . the Scripture that referred to His drinking the vinegar is Psalm 69:21. The physical exhaustion which He had undergone, the heartache He had felt, the heat of the day, and the loss of Blood, were all causes of His thirst. This He could have very easily borne without any complaint whatsoever, but He wanted to give them the fullest proof of His being the Messiah, by clearly showing how every prophecy associated with the Messiah, which had been written long ago in the prophets, had its total fulfillment in Him.
Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. (KJV)
And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. . . when He had cried again (verse 34) with a loud voice; yielded up the ghost . . . "Father, into thy hands I commend my Spirit" (Lk.23:46), and "it is finished" (Jn.19:30). This reveals the intensity of His affection, His strong confidence in God, and His being fearless of death. Do you see HOW He died? He "yielded up the ghost" . . . meaning that He silently dismissed His Spirit. As a rancher, I have often heard the death rattle in animals, the gasp for that last breath. I heard it in my own mother as I stood by her death bed. Our precious Lord did NOT go that way. He dismissed His Spirit. He went silently and willingly. (Mat.27:50). And gave up the ghost . . . our Lord Jesus, the Man, died. Our Lord’s favorite expression for Himself was “the Son of Man.” In the four Gospels, there are over 80 times that Jesus calls Himself the “Son of Man.” The Man, Jesus, died a physical death. His spirit or soul departed from His Body, into the Hands of His Father. He freely laid down His precious life, which NO man could take away from Him. Jesus could NOT die as God, for God cannot die! He is everlasting, eternal. Eternal God: (Deut.33:27; Isa.60:15; Rom.1:20; 2 Cor.5:1; Eph.3:11; 1 Tim.1:17; 2 Tim.2:10; Heb.9:14; 1 Pet.5:10). My friend, Jesus IS God!!!
Sixteen Things Fulfilled In His Death
#1. Fulfillment of ALL Scriptures of the sufferings of the Messiah (Ps.22; Isa.53; Lk.24:44; Jn.19:28; 1 Pet.3:18).
# 2. Defeat of Satan (Jn.12:31-32; Col.2:14-15; Heb.2:14-15).
#3. Breaking down of the middle wall of partition to make Jews and Gentiles one (Eph.2:14-18; 3:6; 1 Cor.12:13; Gal.3:28).
#4. Our personal access to God (Rom.5:1-2; Eph.2:18-19).
#5. Finished is the power of death (1 Cor.15:55-56; Heb.2:14).
#6. Finished is sin's power Rom.6; 1 Cor.15:54-57).
#7. Display of His obedience and love to death (Phil.2:7-8; Heb.5:8-10; 1 Pet.2:21; 4:1).
#8. Perfection of Christ (2 Cor.5:21; Heb.7:26; 1 Pet.2:22; 1 Jn.3:5).
#9. Forgiveness of all sin (Mat.26:28; Eph.1:7; Col.1:14; Heb.9:15; 1 Pet.1:18-21; Rev.1:5; 5:9-10).
#10. Peace between God and man (Rom.5:1-11; 2 Cor.5:14-21; Col.1:20-22).
#11. Death penalty paid for all who believe (Rom.5:6-8; 1 Cor.6:19-20; 2 Cor.5:14-21; Heb.2:9-15; 1 Pet.1:18-21).
#12. Finished is the claim of Satan on us (Rom.8:18-24; 1 Cor.6:19-20; 2 Cor.5:14-15; 1Thes.5:10; Heb.2:9-15; 1 Pet.1:18-21).
#13. Satisfaction of the full justice of God (Gen.2:17; Jn.3:16; Rom.3:21-26; 5:1-11).
#14. Spiritual healing for all who believe (Isa.53:4-5; Mat.8:17; 13:15; Jn.10:10; 1 Pet.2:24; Jam.5:14-16).
#15. Gift of power and anointing of the Holy Spirit (Jn.7:37-39; 14:16-18,26; Lk.24:49; Acts 1:4-8; Gal.3:13-14)
#16. Blotting out of the Old Covenant, bringing in the New Covenant (Mat.26:28; Eph.2:14-18; Col.2:14-17; Heb.7:11-28; 8:6; 10:1-18).
Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. (KJV)
And the vail of the temple was rent in twain, from the top to the bottom . . . at which time also there was an earthquake, the rocks were rent, and graves were opened. (Mat.27:51-52).
When Christ Jesus died, some very important things happened. One was an earthquake, and the rocks rent (broke, split), and the high and huge veil in the Temple, the curtain which separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple, was torn in two . . .
Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent; (KJV) . . . Do you see HOW that veil was torn? NOT from the bottom to the top BUT from top to bottom. It was rent (torn) by God, NOT by man. The veil symbolizes the Body of Jesus. When His Body was rent upon the Cross . . . when He had paid the penalty for your sin and mine in His own Body . . . it was then that the way was opened for us into the Presence of God (Rom.5:1-2). Since then we do NOT have to have a priest or a preacher go into the Presence of God for us. We ourselves are a priesthood (1 Pet.2:5,9). We can go directly to the throne of God through Christ. My friend . . . the only Way to the Father is through His Son. "For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1 Tim.2:5).
For Holy of Holies, and Veil, see:
And the earth did quake . . . whether this earthquake was only on the ground where Christ was crucified, and on which the city and temple of Jerusalem stood; or whether it extended to other parts of the Earth is not said. It is said that there was an earthquake in the reign of Tiberius Caesar, in which twelve cities in Asia fell. It is not certain this is the earthquake mentioned here. But, this earthquake certainly was an indication of God’s divine anger and resentment, and in abomination of the sin of crucifying Christ (Ps.18:7; Heb.12:27), and it was a symbol of the shaking and removing of the Jewish church state and ordinances (Heb.12:26-27). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/5395-earthquake
And the rocks rent . . . which were near Mount Calvary and around Jerusalem. It is said that the cracks and crevices are to be seen to this day, and which seemed to be supernatural. This also was a sign of Almighty God’s divine wrath and fury (Nah.1:5-6), and a rebuke for the stupidity and hardness of the Jews, who were unmoved when rocks were rent (broken) asunder. But, the rocks were a symbol of the future conversion of many through the powerful ministry of the Word, and as a result of Christ's death . . . hearts, as hard as rocks, were broken in pieces, stony hearts removed, and hearts of flesh given (Eze.11:19; 36:26); of which the 3000 being pricked to the heart under Peter's sermon, were an example (Acts 2:41).
What was the importance of the Temple veil being torn in two when Jesus died?
During the lifetime of Jesus, the holy Temple in Jerusalem was the center of Jewish religious life. The Temple was where animal sacrifices were carried out and worship according to the Law of Moses was followed faithfully. A veil separated the Holy of Holies, considered the earthly dwelling place of God’s Presence, from the rest of the Temple. That veil indicated that man was separated from God by sin (Isa.59:1-2). Only the high priest was permitted to pass beyond this veil, and only ONCE each year (Ex.30:10; Heb.9:7), to enter into God's Presence for ALL of Israel and make atonement for their sins (Leviticus 16).
Solomon's temple was 30 cubits high (1 Ki.6:2), but Herod had increased the height to 40 cubits, according to the writings of Josephus, a first century Jewish historian. There is uncertainty as to the exact measurement of a cubit, but it is safe to say that this veil was possibly almost 60 feet high. Josephus also tells us that the veil was four inches thick and that horses tied to each side could not pull the veil apart. The book of Exodus tells us that this thick veil was made from blue, purple and scarlet material and fine twisted linen.
The size and thickness of that veil makes the events that happened at the moment of Jesus’ death on the cross so much more important. And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that very moment the curtain (veil) of the Temple was torn in two . . . from the TOP to bottom.
HOW can we apply this to us today? Just WHAT importance does this torn veil have for us today? The tearing of that veil at the very moment of Jesus' death vividly symbolized that His Sacrifice, the shedding of His own Blood, was the atonement (Rom.5:11) for sins in the Eyes of God the Father! There is just ONE atonement suitable to God (Jn.14:6). It meant that from that moment on, the way into the Holy of Holies was open for ALL people, for ALL time, both Jew and Gentile. NO more priests necessary! Born again believers are now the priesthood (1 Pet.2:5,9).
When Jesus died, the veil was torn, and God moved out of that place, never again to dwell in a temple made with hands again (Acts 17:24).
The Temple and Jerusalem were left “desolate” (destroyed by the Romans) in A.D. 70, just as Jesus prophesied in Luke 13:35. As long as the Temple stood, it implied the continuation of the Old Covenant. Hebrews 9:9-11 refers to the age that was passing away as the new covenant was being established (Heb.8:13; Rom.6:14-15).
The veil was really symbolic of Christ Himself as the ONLY Way to the Father (Jn.14:6; Acts 4:12). This is indicated by the fact that the high priest had to enter the Holy of Holies through the veil. Now, Christ Jesus is our superior High Priest, and as believers in His finished Work on the cross, we partake of His Priesthood (1 Pet.2:5,9). We can now enter the Holy of Holies through Him (Rom.5:1-2). Born again believers enter into the sanctuary (the Throne of God), ONLY by the “blood of Jesus” (Heb.10:19-20; 1 Pet.1:18-19). This is the way that He opened for us, through the veil, that is, through his flesh. That veil is symbolic of Jesus’ Flesh being torn for us during His suffering and death, just as He was tearing down the Temple veil for us.
The veil being torn from top to bottom is a fact of history. The profound significance of this event is explained in wonderful detail in Hebrews. The things of the Temple were shadows of things to come, and they all ultimately pointed to Christ Jesus. He was the Veil to the Holy of Holies, and through His death the faithful believers now have free access to God (Rom.5:1-2; Eph.2:18; 3:12).
The veil in the Temple was/is a constant reminder that sin renders humanity UNFIT to be in the Presence of a holy and pure God. The fact that the sin offering was offered annually, plus countless other sacrifices repeated daily showed clearly that sin could NOT truly be atoned for or erased by mere animal sacrifices. Christ Jesus through His death, removed the wall (the veil) between God and man, and now we can approach Him with confidence and boldness (Heb.4:14-16).
At the exact time that Christ spoke with a loud voice and died, was the time of the offering of the evening incense; and so must be seen by the priest that was then offering, and those that assisted him, because the incense altar was near the veil. This renting of the veil must have been a very amazing sight to them.
The rending of the veil was evidently witnessed by many priests. Three o'clock was the time of the evening sacrifice and they were serving in the Temple at that very moment. This must have had some effect on them. At any rate, later on many of the priests came to a saving knowledge of Christ. "And the word of God increased; and the number of the disciples multiplied in Jerusalem greatly; and a great company of the priests were obedient to the faith" (Acts 6:7). This reveals that many of the priests believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, and I have every reason to believe that some of them were serving in the Temple at the time of the Crucifixion.
The fact that at the very moment when Christ Jesus gave up the Ghost was the very moment that the veil was rent in twain is NO accident by any means. They are precisely stated together.
Jesus gave up the Ghost. He could NOT die until He had given up His Spirit. He did NOT die because His bodily organs refused to function, which means He died differently, from any of us. I've been in the presence of people when they have died. There is a death rattle when they die. The last thing we do is try to draw in our breath. The one thing we humans want is that final breath. Jesus did NOT do that. He dismissed His spirit, thus making His death different even in a physical sense. At that very instant, the veil was torn in two. The veil speaks of the humanity of Christ. The Book of Leviticus gives us more understanding of the veil because the Book of Leviticus has to do with the services in the tabernacle. That veil, the humanity of Christ, shuts us out from God. His sinless life shows how sinful we are. The minute He died, the veil was rent. It is His death that brings us to God, my friend, NOT His life.
Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. (KJV)
And when the centurion, which stood over against him . . . to watch that no one released Him, and that He did not come down from the cross Himself.
Saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost . . . he cried with a loud and voice, and the very next moment He died.
He said, truly this man was the Son of God . . . which he concluded, from effects of God’s divine power; and which to them showed Jesus to be a divine Person, just what He said He was, and that the Jews had charged Him with blasphemy, and condemned Him for it, and so it seems also the rest of the soldiers that were with them, as appears from. (Mat.27:54).
Now we are told about the women who were present.
Mark 15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; (KJV)
There were also women looking on afar off . . . at some distance from the cross, observing what was said and done.
Among whom was Mary Magdalene . . . who had received great favors from Christ (Mary Magdalene: (Mat.27:56,71; 28:1; Mk.15:40-41,47; 16:1,9; Lk.8:2; 24:10; Jn.20:1,11,18)
And Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses . . . Mary, Mother of James: (Mat.27:56; Mk.15:40,47; 16:1; Lk.24:10). So called to distinguish him from James the son of Zebedee, and because he might be little of stature.
And Salome . . . the mother of Zebedee's children, James and John. (Mat.27:56)..
Mark 15:41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem. (KJV)
Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him . . . (Mat.27:55; Lk.8:2-3; 23:27; 16:1; Jn.19:25). These women had seen His miracles, heard His doctrines, and had been converted by Him. It seems that they had followed Him wherever He went, over many miles and through many difficulties and discouragements. They were there with Him in His triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Mat.21:5), and now here at His cross. They did not even leave Him when He was dead, and in His grave.
And ministered unto him . . . of their worldly substance (Lk.8:3). Ministering unto Him . . . attending Him, and providing for His needs. While multitudes of men joined in the cry, “Crucify Him”, and forsook Him in His exasperating moments, it seems that NONE of His female followers were unfaithful to Him. In the midst of all His trials, and all the disrespect poured out on Him, they stayed close to their beloved Redeemer. Never did female loyalty shine more brilliantly, and never was a more joyful example set for all who should afterwards believe in Him and follow Him . . . men or women!
And many other women which came up with him into Jerusalem . . . not only those women mentioned above, but many other women that followed Him from other parts. (Mat27:55).
Many women (the weaker sex), were there watching. This seems to be a rebuke of the former vanity and confidence of the apostles, and of their present fear and cowardice. WHERE was Peter? He had boldly stated that he would never be offended, though all men were; and would die with Christ, rather than deny Him. And where were the rest of the apostles, who said the same things? NONE were present except John, as can be learned from the Gospel writer (Jn.19:26-27).
Christ was upon the cross, enduring all His sufferings: the chief priests and people mocking Him, the darkness upon the Earth, the earthquake and the rending of the rocks. The women were witnesses to all of this, being just a short distance away because of the crowd of people and soldiers around the cross. They beheld with an eye of faith, their bleeding, dying Lord, being crucified for them (and us), and as bearing and taking away their sins (and ours). This could not help but stir up their affection and love for Christ Jesus, their concern for Him, and their sorrow for sin. Even with the sadness of seeing the suffering of their Redeemer, there had to be great joy and peace within them, for believing in Him. I feel sure that they remembered Jesus’ Words about eternal life.
The Burial of Christ Jesus (Mark 15:42-47)
(Isa.53:9; Mat.27:57-60,66; Mk.15:43-46; Lk.23:50-53; Jn.19:38-42; Acts 13:29; 1 Cor.15:4)
Mark 15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, (KJV)
And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath . . . that is, Friday; on which day, it is clear, Christ suffered, died, and was buried.
It was not the preparation for the Passover, which had already been celebrated the evening previous, but for the Sabbath of the Passover week, which was a "high day" (Jn.19:31). Mark explains it thus by adding, "that is, the day before "the Sabbath." It had become a preparation day by custom, and not by force of law; for there is nothing in the law on the subject. The fact that it was the preparation is given by Mark as the reason why Joseph went to Pilate and asked for the Body (verse 43); while John states it as the reason why "the Jews" besought Pilate to have the legs of the crucified broken and their bodies taken away (Jn.19:31`). The same cause operated on both the friends and the foes of Jesus, each party having a different object in view.
John 19:31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. (KJV) . . . This grand feast was now drawing near, and according to the Jewish law (Deut.21:22-23), the body of one that was hanged on a tree was NOT to remain all night, but to be taken down that day and buried. What the practice of the Jews was at this time is not certain, but according to the Roman laws, the bodies hung until they were putrefied, or eaten by birds of prey. But, that their land might not be defiled, and especially their Sabbath, by His remaining on the cross, the Jews wanted to have Christ taken down.
For that sabbath day was an high day . . . not only a Sabbath, and a Sabbath in the Passover week, but it was the day in which all the people appeared and presented themselves before the Lord in the Temple, and the sheaf of the first fruits was offered up (Lev.23:10); all with great somberness, meeting together made it a very celebrated day. What horrendous hypocrisy! The Jews pretending a great concern for fear that that day should be polluted, although they had NO conscience whatsoever of shedding innocent Blood of their Saviour.
Besought Pilate that their legs might be broken . . . this was done to hasten the death of the one on the cross. The result of this, while they were suspended on the cross, would be to increase their pain by breaking the legs, thus depriving the body of the support which it received from the feet, shifting the whole weight of the body onto the hands. This increased torment quickened the death. The usual period which persons crucified would live was several days.
And that they might be taken away . . . which it seems the Jews had no power to do, but must be done by the Roman soldiers, or by permission from the Roman governor, so the Jews make their request to Pilate.
Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. (KJV)
Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor . . . a good and honest man, well dressed, well behaved, and morally upright in his office as a counsellor. He seems to have been a priest, and one of the bench of priests that sat in the high priest's chamber, which is called "the chamber of the counsellors"; with whom he advised there.
Which also waited for the kingdom of God . . . for the coming and kingdom of the Messiah, for the Gospel dispensation, the world to come. I believe, until now, that Joseph was a ‘closet Christian’, the same as Nicodemus was. He had not as yet, publicly professed Christ Jesus, for fear of the Jews, who had made a law, that whoever did, should be cast out of the synagogue (Jn.19:38). http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/8815-joseph-of-arimathaea
Came and went in boldly unto Pilate . . . but now, his fear s gone. He is now NOT ashamed of Christ, or afraid openly to appear in His cause, and now he openly declares himself a disciple of Christ, a believer in Him.
And craved the body of Jesus . . . desired permission to take Jesus’ Body down from the cross, and bury it. Matthew says: And begged the body of Jesus . . . which could not be taken down and buried without permission of the Roman governor; and which was usually granted to the friends of the deceased; or else they were buried in places allotted for such persons (Mat.27:33). This would have been the case of Christ Jesus, IF Joseph had not asked for His Body. This Joseph did, to prevent its being still further abused by the Jews, and buried in such a disgraceful way. Joseph was able to more easily obtain his request, for he was a person of good character and wealth, and because Pilate himself had a good opinion of Jesus, and of His innocence, as well as his wife was also much in His favor: so that Joseph had no trouble obtaining the Body of Christ. As soon as Joseph asked, he was granted the favor, and orders were given to the centurion and his soldiers, to deliver Jesus’ Body it to Joseph. (Mat.27:58).
Mark 15:44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. (KJV)
And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead . . . usually death by crucifixion was a very slow and lingering death. Persons that had their full strength hung a long while before they died. The two thieves, which were crucified with Christ, did not die when Jesus did.
And calling unto him the centurion . . . who was set by Pilate to watch Jesus.
He asked him, whether he had been any while dead . . . he asked him if Jesus was dead, and how long He had been dead.
Mark 15:45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. (KJV)
And when he knew it of the centurion . . . when the centurion informed Pilate of Jesus’ giving up the Ghost after He had cried out with a loud voice, and which had so greatly affected him. Not until Pilate had made sure of Jesus’ death, by the centurion, who had perhaps returned to the praetorium, leaving the soldiers to watch the bodies, did he grant Joseph's request. This procedure shows that Joseph's request for the body of Jesus preceded the request of the Jews that the bodies be taken away. The centurion told Pilate how Jesus was found to be really dead when they came to break the legs of the malefactors; and how that one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, from whence flowed blood and water (Jn.19:34). There was no room to doubt that Jesus was really dead. Pilate being satisfied, and released His Body.
He gave the body to Joseph . . . ordered Jesus Body to be given to him, and gave him permission to take it down from the cross, and bury it.
This is something that is quite interesting. Joseph of Arimathaea is a little-known follower of Jesus. Yet he actually had charge of the burial of the Lord Jesus’ Body, and he had the courage and boldness, to step out in the open here. He was a member of the Sanhedrim (Lk.23:51-52). He had NOT agreed to the counsel and the deed of that group. He was of Arimathaea, a city of that land. He also was waiting for the Kingdom of God. This man now steps out as a follower of the Lord Jesus when the apostles were scattered, gone under cover, and he asks for the Body of Jesus.
We are told here that Pilate marveled that Christ Jesus was so soon dead. It was usual for a person who was crucified to remain alive on a cross, sometimes for days. His life would just slowly and painfully expire. It was a cruel and inhuman way of torture. This is the reason Pilate marveled and made special inquiry. Jesus gave up the Ghost. That is important for us to see. During the last hours of dying, a prisoner on the cross had his legs broken to hasten his death. But Jesus was already dead, and it was not necessary to break His legs, this being a fulfillment of the prophecy that not a bone of His body would be broken (Ps.34:20).
Mark 15:46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. (KJV)
And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen . . . Joseph took the Body of Christ down from the cross, most likely with the assistance of others, not he himself alone. John says that this was done with spices (Jn.19:40). The Jews’ custom was to use myrrh, aloes and other aromatics in large quantities, when they buried their dead. When they were not regularly embalmed, which was a long and tedious process, they enclosed the spices in the folds of the linen, or wrapped the body in it. Spices were sometimes used in such large quantities as to form a bed, on which the dead body was laid. It is said of Asa (2 Chron.16:14), they "laid him in the bed which was filled with sweet odours and spices." There was not enough time to properly embalm the Body of Jesus, so He was buried in this manner.
This clean linen cloth, in which the dead Body of Christ was wrapped, may be a symbol of His purity and innocence, who did NO sin. He did NOT die for any of His own sins, but for the sins of others (you and me), and also it represents His pure and spotless righteousness (Jer.23:5; 1 Cor.1:30; Heb.1:9; 1 Jn.2:1; 3:7; Rev.19:11), which is compared to fine linen, clean and white.
And laid him in a sepulchre, which was hewn out of a rock . . . Matthew says: And laid it in his own new tomb . . . Christ was laid NOT in His own tomb, but in another's tomb. This perfectly matches His lifetime, “He had not where to lay his head” (Mat.8:20; Lk.9:58). So when He died, He had no sepulcher (tomb) of His own to put His Body in; thus fulfilling yet another prophecy (Isa.53:9). Do NOT believe those heretics that say that Jesus was rich. They LIE!!!
And rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre . . . sepulchers were made with doors to go in and out. The stone rolled to the door, was a large,broad stone, with which the mouth of the sepulcher was shut up. It was at the shutting up of the sepulcher with this stone, that mourning began; and after it was shut with this big stone, it was not lawful to open it. This was done by Joseph, to preserve the Body from any injury, either from beasts, or from the Jews. Joseph then
departed to his own house; for the Sabbath was here, and there was no more time to do anything more.
The sepulcher in which the Body of Christ was laid, had been hewn out of a rock; the body was wrapped in a clean linen cloth, and wound up in it with myrrh and aloes to preserve it, and was buried . . . the women later prepared spices and ointments, to anoint Jesus' Body with; although they rested on the Sabbath day according to the commandment; but then as soon as the Sabbath was over, although it was a feast day, they came to the sepulcher with their spices and ointments (Lk.23:56; 24:1). (Mat.27:59-60).
Mark 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid. (KJV)
And Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid . . . very likely they saw Joseph and his men, take Jesus down from the cross, and they followed him, and saw where he laid Him. (Mat.27:61). These two faithful women were witnesses of His death and His burial, as they afterwards were also of His resurrection from the dead.
Gospel of Mark
ch.1 . . ch.2 . . ch.3 . . ch.4 . . ch.5 . . ch.6 . . ch.7 . . ch.8 . . ch.9. . ch.10 . . ch.11 . . ch.12 . . ch.13 . . ch.14 . . ch.15 . . ch.16