OceanSide church of Christ

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Mark 15

Victor M. Eskew




A.   The death of Jesus had been predicted.

1.     The psalmist (Ps. 22:16)


For dogs have compassed me:  the assembly of the wicked have inclosed me:  they pierced my hands and my feet.


2.     In Mark’s gospel, Jesus foretold His suffering, death, and resurrection at least seven times (Mark 8:31; 9:12; 9:31; 10:33-34; 14:8; 14:22-24; 14:27).


Saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem; and the Son of man shall be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes; and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver him to the Gentiles:  and they shall mock him, and shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall kill him:  and the third day he shall rise again.


a.     Mark 14 closed with Jesus’ condemnation by the Jews (Mark 14:64).


And they all condemned him to be guilty of death.


b.    Mark 15 opens with His being delivered unto the Gentiles (Mark 15:1).


And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole counsel, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.


B.    We’ve entitled this 15th chapter of Mark’s gospel:  “The Servant of God Is Crucified.”  In this chapter Jesus is handled by four individuals or groups of individuals.


I.           PILATE (Mark 15:1-15)


A.   The Jews had sentenced Jesus to death.  However, they had a problem.  They could not carry out the sentence without approval of the Roman government.  Thus, they delivered Jesus to Pilate.


B.    In this section, we see two events:

1.     The Court (Mark 15:1-5).

a.     The question of Pilate (Mark 15:2)


And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews?


1)     The charge before the Jewish court had been blasphemy (Mark 14:64).

2)     That charge would not hold in Pilate’s court.  Thus, the Jews accus-ed Him of saying He was a king.

3)     This change would present Jesus as a threat to the Empire.

4)     Jesus’ answer was in the affirmative:  Thou sayest it.

b.    The Quietness of Jesus (Mark 15:3-5)

1)     The Jews accused Jesus of many things.

2)     Twice we are told that He “answered nothing” (See Prov. 26:4).


Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him.


2.     The Custom (Mark 15:6-11)

a.     The practice (Mark 15:6)


Now at the feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.


b.    The picks (Mark 15:7-11)

1)     The prisoner:  guilty of insurrection and murder,  named Barabas

2)     The Prince of Peace

3)     Mark 15:11


But the chief priests moved the people, that he should release Barnabas unto them.


c.    The plea (Mark 15:12-14)

d.    The politician (Mark 15:15)


And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabas unto them, and delivered Jesus, whom he had scourged unto them.


1)     Pilate had a choice:

a)     Justice:  What evil hath he done?

b)     Injustice:  Willing to content the people

2)     LESSON:  True leadership is not about constantly favoring the will of the people.  Leadership is about doing the right thing, even when there is pressure.  Pilate was a coward.


II.         ROMAN SOLDIERS (Mark 15:16-28)


A.   The Worship (Mark 15:16-20)

1.     The actions:

a.     Clothed with purple:  the color of royalty

b.    Crown:  Hail, King of the Jews

c.    Smote him

d.    Spit upon Him

e.     Bowing their knees worshipped him

2.     NOTE:  Mark 15:20 shows that all of this was done in mockery.

3.     It is frightful to think that one day these same men will bow before the King again.  On that occasion they will confess Him as Lord, but it will be too late (Phil. 2:9-11).


Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:  that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.


B.    The Way (Mark 15:21)

1.     In Mark’s gospel, only one event is recorded by the inspired writer with regard to the Via Dolorosa, Simon’s being compelled to carry the cross of Christ.

2.     When all the gospels are combined Simon’s experience presents us with a powerful lesson.

3.     We will briefly mention on point.

a.     Simon was “compelled” to carry the cross.  The word “compel” means “to press into service.”  He was forced by the Roman soldiers to carry Jesus’ cross.

b.    We, too, are to carry the cross, but we are not forced.  When we carry the cross, we do so voluntarily (Luke 9:23).


And he said unto them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.


C.   The Work (Mark 15:22-28)

1.     The Place of Execution (Mark 15:22).

a.     Golgotha was a Hebrew term which means “the place of the skull.”  Calvary is the Latin term and also means “skull.”

1)     The rock looked like a skull.

2)     This was the place of public execution and skulls and bones were left in this place.

2.     The Prescription of wine mingled with myrrh (Mark 15:23)

a.     Most believe this was given to help eliminate some pain and to stupefy the senses.

b.    Jesus refused the cup of the Romans, choosing rather to drink fully from the cup given by the Father.

3.     The Parting of Jesus’ garments (Mark 15:24)

a.     It was common to crucify the criminal naked, adding to his shame.

b.    The clothes then belonged to the executioners.

1)     They divided the garments among themselves.  John reveals that there were four soldiers involved (John 19:23).

2)     One garment, however, was a seamless garment.  Instead of tearing the cloth, they cast lots for it.

3)     Clothes were more important to them than the Christ.

c.    These actions were the fulfillment of prophecy (Ps. 22:18).

4.     The Piercing of the Savior (Mark 15:25)


And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.


a.     The brutality of this act is not described.

The pain is not recorded.

The cries of some who loved Him are not heard.

We have only the simple words:  “…and they crucified him.”

b.    These simple words summarize the “price” of man’s redemption.  The price involved the precious blood of the Son of God.

5.     The Placard above the cross (Mark 15:26)


And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.


a.     The Jewish accusation

b.    Pilate’s fabrication

c.    Jesus’ destination

d.    Christian’s declaration

6.     The Plunderers (Mark 15:27-28)

a.     Their position (Mark 15:27)

b.    The passage (Mark 15:28)

1)     Isaiah 53:12

2)     Jesus was regarded in the same manner as the two thieves, a lawbreaker.




A.   The six hours of crucifixion had just begun.


B.    Mark will keep us posted as the hours pass.


C.   Jesus will be handled by two more individuals or groups before the chapter ends.