Jesus’ Trial before Pilate: 15:1-20.
(Read: Mark 15:1-20)
Jesus faced trial before the religious and Roman authorities. The Sanhedrin made the trial official by condemning Jesus to death. To know more about trial of Jesus, read note on Matthew 27:1-32. Jews didn’t have the authority to crucify people to death. So they delivered Jesus to Pilate the Roman governor. Pilate asked Jesus “Are you the king of Jews?” Jesus replied, “Yes, you have said so”. In the presence of Pilate Jesus did not defend himself. He was like an innocent lamb who has been slaughtered (Isaiah 53:7). Pilate was amazed at Jesus' silence. Though Pilate could not find any reason to sentence Jesus to death he was afraid to release him. The Jews demanded the release of the criminal Barabbas instead of Jesus. Less than a week before the same people honored Jesus in his triumphal entry. This shows how religious leaders could influence people. In Barabbas we see the picture of ourselves. Though we are guilty, God made is possible to release us from the judgment of sin by judging his own Son in our place. Jesus endured the abuse and torture until the soldiers got tired of it. Then Jesus was led away to be crucified. Thus Jesus set an example to follow his steps. “When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to God who judges righteously” (1 Pet 2:23). We must keep God’s purposes in mind so that we may not be discouraged when we suffer for Christ. Jesus was crucified to rescue us from the penalty of sin we deserve.
The Crucifixion and burial of Jesus: 15: 21-47.
(Read: Mark 15: 21-47)
Pilot delivered Jesus to be crucified. A man named Simon from Cyrene was forced to carry Jesus’ cross. At that time he was not a disciple. But it seems this experience eventually led to his conversion. Jesus endured insults and mockery for us. From noon until three o’clock there was darkness. This was the darkest hours of human history. Jesus uttered “It is finished and breathed last (John 19:30). When Jesus died, the thick curtain in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The barrier between God and man was removed. Our access to God has been secured by the death of Christ (Heb 10:19-20). The Roman Centurion who witnessed all these things said “Truly this man was the Son of God”. Many women also witnessed his death. Our sin is so horrific that it requires the vicarious death of the Son of God to save us. To know more about crucifixion of Jesus, read Matthew 27:33-56; John 19:17-37. The burial of Jesus is not a less significant part of redemption story. He was buried according to the scriptures (1 Cor 15:4). Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus gave an honorable burial to Jesus’ body. Their love for Christ motivated them to do that. It was the fulfillment of Isaiah 53:9. Jesus’ death was necessary to save the human race. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day. For Christians Jesus' death is the path to a new life. Jesus’ death and resurrection mean that our death is no longer the dead end of life. Someone has said “Death for the followers of Christ is an entrance ramp, not an exit ramp”. Christ has paid the debt we owe to God so that he could free us from the fear of death. Pray for those who are resistant to the gospel that God may open their eyes to see what Christ has endured for them on the cross. Christ has paid the debt we owe. How thankful we must be!