Mark 15: Crucifixion of Jesus

How did the morning assembly of religious leaders differ the previous night’s trial?

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Mark 15:1 At dawn, the chief priests, Jewish leaders, and teachers of the Law convened in the full council. They had Jesus bound and delivered to Pilate.
King James
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.

Why wasn’t Jesus stoned instead of sending him to Pilate?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 15:1 At dawn, the chief priests, Jewish leaders, and teachers of the Law convened in the full council. They had Jesus bound and delivered to Pilate.
King James
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.

What was Pilate’s interest in asking whether Jesus was the king of the Jews?

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Mark 15:2 Pilate said to Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “Yes, you could say that.”
King James
Mark 15:2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.

Why didn’t Jesus respond to the priests’ accusations? Why was Pilate impressed?

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Mark 15:3–5 The chief priests accused Jesus of many things, but he said nothing.
“Aren’t you going to say something?” Pilate said. “Haven’t you heard all their accusations?”
Jesus gave no response, not the slightest word, so Pilate was greatly impressed.
King James
Mark 15:3–5 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.

Why did the people ask Pilate to continue his custom of releasing a prisoner?

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Mark 15:6–8 At every Passover feast, Pilate would release one prisoner to the people, anyone they wanted. A criminal named Barabbas was in prison at the time, a man who had committed murder when he led a rebellion. After a large crowd gathered, the people shouted for Pilate to do as he had done before.
King James
Mark 15:6–8 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.

Why did Pilate offer to release Jesus?

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Mark 15:9–11 Pilate said, “Shall I release to you the king of the Jews?” He knew the chief priests had condemned Jesus because they envied his popularity with the people.
The chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for the release of Barabbas instead.
King James
Mark 15:9–11 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

What percentage of the crowd wanted Jesus to be released?

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Mark 15:9–11 Pilate said, “Shall I release to you the king of the Jews?” He knew the chief priests had condemned Jesus because they envied his popularity with the people.
The chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for the release of Barabbas instead.
King James
Mark 15:9–11 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

If such a crowd had praised Jesus when he entered Jerusalem on a donkey and he was so popular among the people that the priest were afraid to arrest him, how could the people be persuaded to ask for the release of Barabbas?

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Mark 15:11 The chief priests had persuaded the people to ask for the release of Barabbas instead.
King James
Mark 15:11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.

Why was Pilate concerned about what the people wanted? Why did he question their answer?

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Mark 15:12–14 “What shall I do with Jesus the Messiah?” Pilate said.
They all shouted, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?”
But the crowd roared. “Crucify him!”
King James
Mark 15:12–14 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? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

If Jesus was to be crucified, why was he flogged?

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Mark 15:15 Pilate wanted to satisfy the people, so he released Barabbas and ordered the flogging and crucifixion of Jesus.
King James
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.

What could have motivated Roman soldiers to mock and abuse Jesus? Where did they get the purple robe? How was this treatment different from what Herod and his soldiers had done to Jesus?

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Mark 15:16–20 The soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters, where they assembled the entire regiment. They dressed him in a purple robe and placed a woven crown of thorns on his head. In mockery, they saluted him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews.” They spat on him and struck him on the head with a staff. They knelt before him, pretending to give him honor. When they tired of mocking him, they removed the purple robe, dressed him in his own clothes, and took him to be crucified.
Luke 23:11 Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus, taunting and mocking him. They dressed him in a kingly robe and sent him back to Pilate.
King James
Mark 15:16–20 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 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.
Luke 23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Why was Simon from Cyrene present on the way to the crucifixion? Who were Alexander and Rufus?Write the question here

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Mark 15:21 On the way, the soldiers met Simon, a native of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who had come from the country. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
King James
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.

Why didn’t Jesus carry his own cross?

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Mark 15:21 On the way, the soldiers met Simon, a native of Cyrene, father of Alexander and Rufus, who had come from the country. They forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
King James
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.

Why was the place of crucifixion called Golgotha?

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Mark 15:22–23 They took Jesus to Golgotha, which means “skull,” where they offered him wine mixed with a bitter drug, but he refused the drink.
King James
Mark 15:22–23 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Why did the soldiers offer wine to Jesus? Why did Jesus refuse?

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Mark 15:22–23 They took Jesus to Golgotha, which means “skull,” where they offered him wine mixed with a bitter drug, but he refused the drink.
King James
Mark 15:22–23 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

If the soldiers gambled for who would own Jesus’ clothes, what was Jesus wearing on the cross? What made his clothes so valuable?

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Mark 15:24 After the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, they threw dice for the fair dividing of his clothes.
King James
Mark 15:24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

Why was the crucifixion in the morning and not the evening?

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Mark 15:25 It was nine o’clock when he was crucified.
King James
Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

How accurate was the posted sign that described the charge against Jesus?

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Mark 15:26 The sign to show the charge against him said, “The king of the Jews.”
King James
Mark 15:26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Jesus had already been treated as a criminal. Why did he need to be crucified among them?

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Mark 15:27–28 Two criminals were crucified with him, one on the right, the other on the left. This fulfilled the scripture that says, He was treated as one of the criminals.
King James
Mark 15:27–28 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

How did the behavior differ between the grieving and the gloating spectators?

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Mark 15:29–32 People who walked by insulted him and shook their heads. “You said you could tear down the Temple and rebuild it in three days. If you have such power, save yourself. Come down from the cross.”
In a similar manner, the chief priests and teachers of the Law mocked him. “He saved others,” they said. “Let’s see if he can save himself. If he is the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross. Then we will believe he is who he says he is.”
The criminals who were crucified with him joined in the mockery.
King James
Mark 15:29–32 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, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 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.

Why was the sky dark for three hours after noon?

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Mark 15:33 From noon until three o’clock, darkness covered the land.
King James
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

What theological difficulties might we face by saying the Son was forsaken by the Father at the cross? What did the audience think Jesus was saying?

Author’s Thoughts
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Mark 15:34–36 At three o’clock, Jesus screamed, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani,” which means “My God, my God, for this I was born.”
Some of those standing there said, “Listen! He calls for Elijah.”
One of them ran to fill a sponge with sour wine and lifted the sponge on the end of a branch so Jesus could drink.
“Wait. Let’s see if Elijah will come to save him.”
King James
Mark 15:34–36 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? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 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.

From the time Jesus was nailed to the cross, how many hours passed until he died? How many different things might have been said and done during that time?

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Mark 15:37 After Jesus screamed again, he quit breathing.
King James
Mark 15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Why was the Temple veil ripped in two?

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Mark 15:38 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.
King James
Mark 15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

What impressed the guard who stood in front of Jesus? Why?

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Mark 15:39 When the centurion who stood guard in front of Jesus heard him scream and saw how he died, he said, “This man really was the Son of God.”
King James
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.

Who was present at a safe distance from the cross?

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Matthew 27:55–56 Many women who had followed from Galilee to serve Jesus were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John, sons of Zebedee.
Mark 15:40–41 From a safe distance away, women were watching. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of Joses and the younger James, and Salome. They had followed Jesus and served him in Galilee. Many other women who had come with Jesus to Jerusalem were also there.
King James
Matthew 27:55–56 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children. 
Mark 15:40–41 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; (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

Who was Joseph of Arimathea? What was his relationship with Jesus?

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Mark 15:43 Joseph of Arimathea, a respected member of the council who looked for the coming of God’s Kingdom, went boldly before Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
King James
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.

Why did Pilate doubt whether Jesus had died? How was the death verified?

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Mark 15:44–45 Pilate doubted whether Jesus could already have died, so he asked the centurion whether his death was certain. After the centurion assured him that Jesus was dead, he granted the request.
King James
Mark 15:44–45 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.

Who was present at the burial of Jesus?

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Mark 15:46–47 Joseph took Jesus down from the cross and wrapped his body in the fine linen that he had purchased. He laid him in a tomb that was cut into the rock and rolled a stone to close the entrance.
Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where Jesus was buried.
John 19:39 Nicodemus, the one who had come to Jesus by night, went with Joseph and carried about seventy-five pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes.
King James
Mark 15:46–47 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. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.