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Pilate Questions Jesus(A)

15 Very early in the morning, the ·leading [T chief] priests, the elders, the ·teachers of the law [scribes], and all the ·Jewish council [Sanhedrin; see 14:55] decided what to do with Jesus. They ·tied [bound] him, led him away, and turned him over to Pilate, the governor.

Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

Jesus answered, “·Those are your words [It is as you say; L You say so; C an indirect affirmation].”

The ·leading [T chief] priests accused Jesus of many things. So Pilate asked Jesus another question, “You can see that they are accusing you of many things. Aren’t you going to answer?”

But Jesus still said nothing, so Pilate was ·very surprised [amazed].

Pilate Tries to Free Jesus(B)

Every year at the ·time of the Passover [festival/feast] the governor would free one prisoner whom the people ·chose [requested]. At that time, there was a man named Barabbas in prison, one of a group of rebels who had committed murder during ·a riot [the uprising/insurrection]. The crowd came to Pilate and began to ask him to free a prisoner as he always did.

So Pilate asked them, “Do you want me to free the king of the Jews?” 10 Pilate knew that the ·leading [T chief] priests had turned Jesus in to him because they were jealous. 11 But the ·leading [T chief] priests had ·persuaded [stirred up] the people to ask Pilate to free Barabbas, not Jesus.

12 Then Pilate asked the crowd again, “So what should I do with this man you call the king of the Jews?”

13 They shouted, “Crucify him!”

14 Pilate asked, “Why? What ·wrong [crime; evil] has he done?”

But they shouted even louder, “Crucify him!”

15 Pilate wanted to ·please [satisfy] the crowd, so he freed Barabbas for them. After having Jesus ·beaten with whips [flogged; scourged], he handed Jesus over to the soldiers to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus(C)

16 The soldiers took Jesus into the [courtyard of the] governor’s palace (called the Praetorium) and called ·all the other soldiers [the whole cohort] together [C a cohort was about 500 soldiers; here it may mean those of the cohort on duty]. 17 They put a purple robe [C probably a scarlet military coat (Matt. 27:28), whose color resembled purple—the color of royalty] on Jesus and used thorny branches to make a crown for his head. 18 They began to ·call out to [greet; salute] him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19 The soldiers beat Jesus on the head many times with a stick. They spit on him and made fun of him by bowing on their knees and worshiping him. 20 After they finished, the soldiers took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him out of the palace to be crucified.

Jesus Is Crucified(D)

21 A man named Simon from Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus [C probably two Christians known to Mark’s readers], was coming from the ·fields [countryside] to the city. The soldiers forced Simon to carry the cross for Jesus. 22 They led Jesus to the place called Golgotha, which means [C in Aramaic] the Place of the Skull. 23 ·The soldiers [L  They; C this could be the soldiers or the women of Jerusalem] tried to give Jesus wine mixed with myrrh to drink [C a narcotic meant to dull the pain; Prov. 31:6; Ps. 69:21], but he refused. 24 The soldiers crucified Jesus and divided his clothes among themselves, throwing lots [C similar to dice] to decide what each soldier would get [Ps. 22:18].

25 It was ·nine o’clock in the morning [L the third hour] when they crucified Jesus. 26 There was a sign with this charge against Jesus written on it: the king of the jews. 27 They also put two ·robbers [rebels; revolutionaries; C the term “robber” was used by the Romans of insurrectionists] on crosses beside Jesus, one on the right, and the other on the left. |28 And the Scripture came true that says, “They put him with criminals [Is. 53:12].”|[a] 29 People walked by and ·insulted [defamed; slandered; C the same Greek word used to “blaspheme”] Jesus and shook their heads [C a gesture of derision; Ps. 22:7], saying, “You said you could destroy the Temple and build it again in three days. 30 So save yourself! Come down from that cross!”

31 The ·leading [T chief] priests and the ·teachers of the law [scribes] were also making fun of Jesus. They said to each other, “He saved other people, but he can’t save himself. 32 If he is really the ·Christ [Messiah], the king of Israel, let him come down now from the cross. When we see this, we will believe in him.” The robbers who were being crucified beside Jesus also ·insulted [ridiculed; taunted] him.

Jesus Dies(E)

33 At ·noon [L the sixth hour] the whole country became dark, and the darkness lasted ·for three hours [L until the ninth hour]. 34 At ·three o’clock [L the ninth hour] Jesus cried in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” This means [C in Aramaic], “My God, my God, why have you ·abandoned [forsaken] me?” [Ps. 22:1]

35 When some of the people standing there heard this, they said, “Listen! He is calling Elijah.” [C The prophet Elijah was associated with the end times (Mal. 4:5) and was also viewed as a helper in time of need.]

36 Someone there ran and got a sponge, filled it with ·vinegar [or sour wine; C an inexpensive drink used by soldiers and slaves], tied it to a ·stick [reed], and gave it to Jesus to drink [Ps. 69:21]. He said, “[Leave him be; Wait!] We want to see if Elijah will come to take him down from the cross.”

37 Then Jesus cried in a loud voice and ·died [breathed his last; L expired].

38 The curtain [C dividing the Most Holy Place from the rest of the temple] in the Temple was torn into two pieces, from the top to the bottom [C representing new access to the presence of God, and perhaps God’s judgment against the Temple leadership]. 39 When the ·army officer [centurion] who was standing in front of the cross saw ·what happened when [or how] Jesus died,[b] he said, “This man really was the Son of God!”

40 Some women were standing at a distance from the cross, watching; among them were Mary Magdalene, Salome, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph. (James was her youngest son.) 41 These women had followed Jesus in Galilee and ·helped [cared for; supported] him. Many other women were also there who had come with Jesus to Jerusalem.

Jesus Is Buried(F)

42 This was Preparation Day. (That means the day before the Sabbath day.) That evening, 43 Joseph from Arimathea was ·brave [bold] enough to go to Pilate and ask for Jesus’ body. Joseph, an ·important [respected] member of the ·Jewish council [Sanhedrin; see 14:55], was one of the people who was waiting for the kingdom of God to come. 44 Pilate was amazed that Jesus would have already died, so he called the ·army officer [centurion] and asked him if Jesus ·had already died [or had been dead very long]. 45 The officer told Pilate that he was dead, so Pilate told Joseph he could have the body. 46 Joseph bought some linen cloth, took the body down from the cross, and wrapped it in the linen. He put the body in a tomb that was cut out of a wall of rock. Then he rolled a [C large] stone to block the entrance of the tomb. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joseph ·saw [took note of] the place where Jesus was laid.


  1. Mark 15:28 And … criminals.” Some Greek copies do not contain the bracketed text, which quotes from Isaiah 53:12.
  2. Mark 15:39 when Jesus died Some Greek copies read “when Jesus cried out and died.”