Mark Chapter 15

Jesus’ Trial before Pilate:
(Read: Mark 15:1-20)
Jesus faced trial before the Jewish religious court and before the Roman authorities. The Sanhedrin made the trial official by condemning Jesus to death. To know more about the trial of Jesus, read the note on Matthew 27:1-32.  Jews didn’t have the authority to crucify people. 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 Barabbas instead of Jesus.  He was murderer and criminal. Less than a week before the same people honored Jesus in his triumphal entry.  This shows how religious leaders could influence people. Barabbas is a picture of ourselves.  We are all guilty before God.  But God has made it possible to release us from the judgment of sin by judging his own Son in our place. He endured the beating and mocking from soldiers. Then Jesus was led away to be crucified.  “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 Peter 2:23).  Thus, Jesus set an example for us to follow his steps. Christ endured the cross despising the shame so that we might be saved. When we are discouraged, meditate on Christ who suffered for us. Jesus was crucified to rescue us from the penalty of sin we deserve.  Does the suffering of Christ impact the way you live your life today?
The Crucifixion and burial of Jesus: 
(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. Eventually this led to his conversion.  Jesus endured insults and mockery for us. From noon until three o’clock there was darkness.  These were 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 the crucifixion of Jesus, read Matthew 27:33-56; John 19:17-37. The burial of Jesus is not a less significant part of the redemption story. He was buried according to the scriptures (1 Corinthians 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 from their sin. Jesus rose from the dead on the third day.  Jesus' death and resurrection are the path to a new 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 for our salvation!