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The Crucifixion in Mark 15, 16

The Seven Sayings From The Cross [Redhill, UK, March 1994] Part 1 [] Part 2 [] Part 3 [] Part 4


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The Flogging / Scourging (Mt. 27:26; Mk. 15:15; Jn. 19:1)

The Walk To Golgotha

The Crucifixion Of Christ

The Inscription On The Cross

The Real Cross

The Inspiration Of The Cross





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Mark 15

The trial before Pilate
And immediately in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole council, made their decision and bound Jesus and took him away and delivered him up to Pilate. 2 And Pilate asked him: Are you the King of the Jews? And he answering said to him: So you say. 3 And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4 And Pilate again asked him: Have you no answer to make? See how many accusations they make against you. 5 But Jesus made no further answer; so that Pilate marvelled.
   6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested. 7 And among the rebels in prison, who had committed murder in the insurrection, there was a man named Barabbas. 8 And the crowd came up and began to ask Pilate to do as he usually did for them. 9 And Pilate answered them saying: Will you have me release to you the King of the Jews? 10 For he knew that because of envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, that instead he should release Barabbas to them. 12 And Pilate again answered and said to them: What then shall I do to him whom you call the King of the Jews? 13 And they cried out again: Crucify him! 14 And Pilate said to them: Why? What evil has he done? But they cried out exceedingly: Crucify him! 15 And Pilate, wishing to calm the crowd, released to them Barabbas and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
   16 Then the soldiers led him away into the hall called Praetorium, and they called together the whole battalion. 17 And they clothed him in a purple cloak, and twisted together a crown of thorns and put it on him. 18 And they began to salute him: Hail, King of the Jews! 19 And they hit his head with a rod and spat upon him, and kneeled down in homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple cloak and dressed him in his own garments. And they led him out to crucify him.

The crucifixion
21 And they compelled a passer-by to carry his cross, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the countryside, the father of Alexander and Rufus.
   22 And they brought him to the place named Golgotha, which means, Place of the skull. 23 And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh; but he did not accept it. 24 And they crucified him and divided his garments among themselves, casting lots for them to determine what every man should take.
   25 And it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him read: The King of the Jews. 27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right hand and one on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which said: And he was numbered with the transgressors.
   29 And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads and saying: Ha! You that would destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 save yourself and come down from the cross! 31 In like manner also the chief priests mocked among themselves and the scribes, saying: He saved others. Himself he cannot save! 32 Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so we may see and believe! And they that were crucified with him ridiculed him.
   33 And when the sixth hour had come, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? Which means: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said: Look, he calls Elijah. 36 And one ran and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a rod and gave it to him to drink, saying: Leave him be. Let us see if Elijah will come to take Him down. 37 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed his last. 38 And the veil of the temple was torn in two- from the top to the bottom. 39 And when the centurion, who stood facing him, saw how he breathed his last breathe, he said: Truly this man was the Son of God.

The burial of Jesus
40 And there were also women watching from afar, among whom were both Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 who, when he was in Galilee, had also followed him and ministered to him; and many other women that also had come with him up to Jerusalem.
   42 And when evening had come, because it was the Preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43 Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honourable rank, who also was looking for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate wondered if he were already dead, and called the centurion. He asked him whether he was already dead. 45 And when it was confirmed by the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And Joseph bought a linen shroud, and taking him down, wrapped him in the linen shroud and laid him in a tomb that had been cut out of the rock. And he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses observed where he was laid.



15:10 Envy and jealousy were the real reasons why Jesus was killed. Every time we suffer from them, we are fellowshipping the sufferings of Jesus. If we suffer with Him, we will also reign with Him. This is what the symbol of baptism shows- we go under the water, but come up out of it with Christ.

15:15 The moment of the Lord being delivered over by Pilate is so emphasized. There are few details in the record which are recorded verbatim by all the writers (Mt. 27:26; Mk. 15:15; Lk. 23:25; Jn. 19:16). The Lord had prophesied this moment of handing over, as if this was something which He dreaded (Mk. 9:31; 10:33); that point when He was outside the legal process, and must now face His destruction. The Angels reminded the disciples: "Remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee, saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men" (Lk. 24:6,7). The emphasis is on "How" , with what passion and emphasis. Rom. 4:25 makes this moment of handing over equivalent to His actual death: "Who was delivered (s.w.) for our offences, and raised again for our justification" . So much stress is put on this moment of being delivered over to crucifixion. The Gospel records stress that Pilate delivered Him up; but in fact God did (Rom. 8:32); indeed, the Lord delivered Himself up (Gal. 2:20; Eph. 5:2,25). Always the same word is used. These passages also stress that He delivered Himself up, and was delivered up, for us. It was our salvation which motivated Him at the moment of being delivered up. Perhaps it was at that moment that He had the greatest temptation to walk through the midst of them and back to Galilee. As the crowd surged forward and cheered, knowing they'd won the battle of wills with Pilate..." take ye him and crucify him" ringing in His mind...this was it. This was the end.

15:22 John says that the Lord went out bearing His cross. Luke says that Simon was asked to carry the hinder part of the cross behind Him. Matthew and Mark say Simon carried the cross. Mk. 15:22 (Gk.) says that the soldiers carried Jesus to Golgotha. J.B. Phillips renders it: "They got him to a place Golgotha" . It would seem that the Lord collapsed, perhaps fainting. If He was crucified on an olive tree (excavations of crucified men suggest this is what was used), it would not have been simply because of the weight of the stake. Take a picture of Him lying there, with the face that was marred more than the children of men pressed into the hot dust of that Jerusalem street. And some human fool probably said something like 'Come on, get up' (doubtless with embellishments). If indeed He did faint, there would have been that sense of 'coming round', the " Where am I?" , the memory and consciousness flooding back. " Have I died and been resurrected?" No, as some nameless soldier kicked Him and told Him to get up.

15:23 Significantly, very few actual details are given by the Gospel writers of both the scourging and the crucifixion. It could be that they felt it impossible to dwell upon these things; or it could be that they and their readers knew what was involved in these practices, and we are left to dwell upon them in our own imagination. We are intended to reconstruct in our own minds what may have happened… We have a solemn duty towards Him to do this. This is perhaps why the tenses change so dramatically in the records. Take just Mk. 15:23-26: “They offered…they crucify…and part…casting lots…crucified…was written". These arresting changes are surely to encourage us to re-live it all. Mark speaks of “they crucify him", going on to say that “then are there two crucified with him" (Mk. 15:38 RV), whereas Luke records the act in the past tense. Mark’s present tenses are arresting: “plaiting…they clothe him…they smote…" (:17,19 RV). Perhaps Mark is seeking consciously to make us imagine it all as going on before our eyes.

15:34 Mt. 27:46 says that at " about the ninth hour, Jesus cried" those words about being forsaken. Mark says it was at the ninth hour, and we know it was at the ninth hour that Christ uttered His final words of victory. Yet it must have been only a few minutes before the ninth hour when Christ faltered; hence Matthew says that it was "about the ninth hour". What is a few minutes? Only a few hundred seconds, only moments. Only moments before the sweetness of the final victory, "It is finished" or accomplished, the Son of God was faltering. The conclusion is that at the very last moment our Lord faltered. It was 11:59, into injury time, and He faltered. Enter, please, into the sense of crisis and intensity. This is the only time that he prays to God as “God" rather than “Father" / abba. This itself reflects the sense of distance that enveloped Him. For He was your Lord and your Saviour hanging there, it was your salvation which hung in the balance. The more we appreciate this wavering at the last minute, the more fully we will appreciate the wonder of the final victory.