OceanSide church of Christ

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Mark 15

Victor M. Eskew




A.   Last week, we began a study of Mark 15.  This is Mark’s chapter about the crucifixion of Jesus.


B.    In this chapter, Jesus is handled by four individuals or groups of individuals.  Last week, we examined two of these.

1.     Jesus handled by the cowardly Pontius Pilate

2.     Jesus handled by the cruel Roman soldiers


C.   Tonight, we want to continue that study.


I.           THE MASSES (Mark 15:29-41)


A.   The Derision (Mark 15:29-32)

1.     The people (Mark 15:29-30)

2.     The priests (Mark 15:31-32a)

3.     The prisoners (Mark 15:32b)

4.     LESSON:  Here, we see the “pride” of man in one of its most outrageous displays.

a.     Pride’s behavior

1)     Wagging their heads

2)     Cynical comments

3)     Challenges

4)     Name-calling

b.    Two verses in Psalm 10 summarize their behavior:

1)     Psalm 10:2


The wicked in his pride doth persecute the poor…


2)     Psalm 10:4


The wicked, through the pride of his countenance, will not seek after God:  God is not in all his thoughts.


c.    Pride’s remedy (James 4:6-10)


But he giveth more grace.  Wherefore he saith, God resisteth the proud, but giveth grace to the humble.  Submit yourselves therefore to God.  Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.  Draw night to God, and he will draw night to you.  Cleanse your hands, ye sinners; and purify your hearts, ye double-minded.  Be afflicted, and mourn, and weep:  let your laughter be turned to mourning, and your joy to heaviness.  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.


1)     Humility begins and ends this passage.

2)     What one must do to be humble is found in-between:  submit, resist, draw night, cleanse, and weep.


B.    The Darkness (Mark 15:33)

1.     When God creates darkness, it can be very dark (i.e., the darkness on Egypt, Exo. 10:21-23).

2.     The physical darkness matched the darkness of the event.

a.     The Son of God was rejected.

b.    The Messiah was not recognized.

c.    The sinful were punishing the sinless.

d.    The sins of the world were placed on Jesus.

e.     Sin was being committed, but Jesus’ death would free man from sin.


C.   The Despair (Mark 15:34-36)

1.     We often focus upon the fact that Jesus was the Son of God, but He was also the Son of man.

2.     In this section, the humanity of Jesus “cried with a loud voice.”

3.     The words of Jesus have baffled commentators:  Eloi, Eloi, lama sabach-thani?  Which is, being interpreted, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?

a.     Was Jesus mistaken?  This leads to a problem.

b.    Was Jesus correct?  This leads to a problem.

c.    Perhaps the darkness is the key.  With the sins of humanity resting upon Jesus, perhaps the divine light of God’s presence turned from Him for a moment.


D.   The Death (Mark 15:37)


And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.


1.     The word “ghost” means “to breath out.”

2.     Jesus here breathes his last.


E.    The Division (Mark 15:38)


And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.


1.     The veil of the temple refers to the curtain in the temple that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place (Exo. 26:31-33).

2.     The veil was rent in twain.

a.     This symbolized the end of the Old Economy.

b.    It also symbolized the new and living way that Jesus opened up to man into the realms of heaven itself (Heb. 10:20).


By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.


3.     NOTE:  It was torn from the top to the bottom, indicating that it was rent by God, not man.


F.     The Declaration (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.


1.     “Petronius is the name given this centurion by tradition” (e-sword, Robertson).

2.     It appears that all the centurion had witnessed convinced him of a divine truth.  Was he, as was the penitent thief, converted that day?

3.     We have to make a similar confession in order to be saved.  We must believe that Jesus is the Son of God before being immersed for the remission of sins (Acts 8:36-38).


G.   The Disciples (Mark 15:40-41)

1.     It is interesting that the only ones mentioned here were women.  Four are specifically named and many other women were also there.

2.     Sadly, women often possess a faith that is stronger than men.  They seem to endure longer than men.

a.     The emotion of love may run deeper.

b.    The call to be a servant is understood and pursued better by woman.

3.     In this respect, men need to learn from women.


II.         JOSEPH OF ARIMATHAEA (Mark 15:42-47)


A.   The Obligation (Mark 15:42)

1.     Jesus was crucified on a Friday, the day before the Sabbath.

2.     The fact that the Sabbath was approaching concerned Joseph of Arimathaea?  Why?

a.     Jewish law stated that anyone put to death on a tree could not remain all night upon the tree, but thou shalt in any wise bury him that day (Deut. 21:22-23).

b.    If a criminal’s body was not claimed, it was removed and often cast in the Valley of Hinnom, the place for burning trash.

c.    Joseph loved Jesus, believed in Him, and did not consent to His death.  He did not want the remains of Jesus treated in a disrespectful manner.


B.    The Petition (Mark 15:43)


C.   The Validation (Mark 15:44-45)

1.     Pilate marveled that Jesus was already dead.  Crucified victims could often linger on the cross for days.

2.     A centurion validated the death of Jesus.

3.     NOTE:  Some do not believe that Jesus really died.

a.     Who?  Gnostics of the second century.  Muslims today.

b.    He did die, and His death was confirmed by a Roman centurion.

D.   The Inhumation (Mark 15:46)

1.     Inhumation is a term that refers to a burial.

2.     Many things could be said about this tomb.

a.     It was a personal tomb.

b.    It was a tomb of a rich man.

c.    It was an unoccupied tomb.

d.    It was an anticipating tomb.

e.     It was a cold, dark tomb.

f.     It was a sealed tomb.


E.    The Perception (Mark 15:47)


And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.


1.     They “beheld”, saw, perceived the location of Jesus’ body.

2.     Still the women are concerned.  Jesus was dead, but these women were bound by love and service to the Christ.




A.   Mark 15 ends on a dismal note.

1.     Jesus is dead.

2.     Jesus is buried.

3.     The disciples have gone into hiding.

4.     The Jews and the Romans return to their normal affairs of life.


B.    Yes, the next several hours would be spent in tranquil mourning.