The Rejection of the Servant Mark 14:43-15:47, cont’d.
Mark 15:1-15 The Trial before Pilate
Mark 15:1-Jesus is taken to Pilate (the Roman governor, prefect, procurator of Judea…appointed by Tiberius in A.D. 26…he appointed the high priests). He knew that the motivation of the chief priests was “envy” (:10). He had already had problems with the Jewish people and it had been reported to Rome. He did not want another incident that might threaten his future. If that happened…heads would roll…literally.
Mark 12:2-5-The chief priests, elders, scribes, and whole Council gathered together and then sent Jesus to Pilate. Pilate questioned Jesus, “Are You the King of the Jews?”…Jesus replied, “It is as you say.” The Jews knew that the only charge which Pilate was interested in would be one which threatened political stability. So, this question was presented. John (18:34-38) tells us that Jesus went on to explain the nature of His answer to this charge. The chief priests began to accuse Him of other charges…but He gave no further response.
Mark 15:6-15-Pilate tried to make a deal with the Jews that would satisfy both the supporters of Jesus and His opponents by offering to execute a notorious insurrectionist named Barabbas instead of Jesus. The chief priests would support this because an insurrection against the government threatened their security. The followers of Jesus would obviously support this since it would spare His life. But the chief priests were too well organized and determined in their effort to have Jesus killed and they won the shouting match.
Mark 15:16-20-Jesus is taken by the soldiers to the Praetorium (the residence of the governor, perhaps the fortress of Antonia where the Roman troops were housed) where He is mocked and beaten.
Mark 15:21-47 The Crucifixion before the Public
Mark 15:21-A man named Simon of Cyrene was forced to help Jesus carry His cross (cf. Romans 16:13).
Mark 15:22-They brought Him to Golgotha (Place of a Skull, see February 14, Matthew 27:32-66) for the crucifixion.
Mark 15:23-They gave Him wine mixed with myrrh, a sedative…but He refused it.
Mark 15:24-25-“And they crucified Him…And it was the third hour when they crucified Him.” (9:00am). Stop for a moment. Don’t go any further. Just say those words…”And they crucified Him…” If we are not careful…we become far too comfortable with those words. We forget the cross. We forget the cause. We forget the cost.
Mark 15:26-The inscription was the official accusation of His crime.
Prayer: Lord, I don’t like reading this…because I know what happened. And, I know why it happened…me. I am the sinner. The mockery, the beatings, and the nails that held You to the cross were meant for me. Lord Jesus…please forgive me…when I forget the cross. Lord, what if the Gospel ended here…at the end of chapter 15. Thank you, Lord, for chapter 16! Thank you for the resurrection!