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14 “Why?” Pilate asked. “What evil thing has he done wrong?” But they kept shouting out with an deafening roar, “Crucify him at once!”

15 Because he wanted to please the people, Pilate released Barabbas to them. After he had Jesus severely beaten with a whip made of leather straps and embedded with metal,[a] he sentenced him to be crucified.[b]

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the headquarters of the governor’s compound[c] and summoned a military unit of nearly six hundred men.[d]

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  1. Mark 15:15 This was a tortuous beating with a leather whip that had sharp pieces of bone and metal at the end of its lashes, designed to inflict severe pain.
  2. Mark 15:15 The Jewish death penalty was by stoning. It was the Roman practice to crucify only rebellious slaves and the worst of criminals. To have Jesus crucified was not only the fulfillment of Old Testament prophecies (Gal. 3:13; Isa. 53:5-8) but also the fulfillment of Jesus’ own words concerning the mode of his death (John 3:14; 8:28; 12:32), which would not have been fulfilled by stoning.
  3. Mark 15:16 Or “praetorium.”
  4. Mark 15:16 That is, a Roman cohort (battalion), which was the tenth part of a Roman legion of about six thousand men.