Past Issues

Jesus -- the Messiah #31

Read Mark 15:1-32.

Jesus Before Pilate

1 Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

2 “Are you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate. “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.

3 The chief priests accused him of many things. 4 So again Pilate asked him, “Aren’t you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of.”

5 But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

6 Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. 7 A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. 8 The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

9 “Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?” asked Pilate, 10 knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. 11 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

12 “What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?” Pilate asked them.

13 “Crucify him!” they shouted.

14 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

15 Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

16 The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. 17 They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. 18 And they began to call out to him, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 19 Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

21 A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. 22 They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). 23 Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. 24 And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

25 It was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. 27 They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. 29 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, 30 come down from the cross and save yourself!”

31 In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! 32 Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe.” Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.


vv. 9-15 – The Roman governor in Jerusalem wanted to find a way to set Jesus free. He knew that this was just a religious conflict between Jesus and the Jewish leaders.
However, Satan was behind all of this. He wanted Jesus killed as well. Jesus was leading a battle for righteousness, and that had to be stopped.

vv. 16-32 – Note the suffering that Jesus sacrificially endured:
    17 – crown of thorns on His head
    19 – struck with staff
    19 – spit upon
    20 – mockery
    24 – crucifixion vv. 29-32 – insults

What a privilege the man from Cyrene had, that he could be of some service to
Jesus in His suffering, by carrying His cross. (v. 21)

 Ironically, several times Jesus’ oppressors ascribe to Him the title of king:  the
soldiers (v. 18), the governor (v. 26), the religious leaders (v. 32).  The demons
had earlier recognized Jesus as the highest of kings, and Jesus Himself claimed to be “the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Mighty One.”  He wasn’t the kind of king they were expecting, but He certainly was a king in a much greater and eternal sense.

However, Jesus was a servant king.  He was carrying forward God’s self-sacrificing struggle of love for righteousness on earth.  He was restoring the Kingdom of God both for time and for eternity.  He was calling all people into this Kingdom, its service now and its reward forever.

God calls us yet today to be disciples of Jesus and struggle for righteousness with love.

What do you think of a “servant king?”  Can the Kingdom of God be established through self-sacrificing love and service?  That is the way of God Who is love.  What kind of a battle for righteousness would this be today?

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