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15. Trial, Crucifixion, Death and Burial
1And straightway in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes, and the whole council, held a consultation, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him up to Pilate. 2And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering saith unto him, Thou sayest. 3And the chief priests accused him of many things. 4And Pilate again asked him, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they accuse thee of. 5But Jesus no more answered anything; insomuch that Pilate marvelled. 6Now at the feast he used to release unto them one prisoner, whom they asked of him. 7And there was one called Barabbas, lying bound with them that had made insurrection, men who in the insurrection had committed murder. 8And the multitude went up and began to ask him to do as he was wont to do unto them. 9And Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10For he perceived that for envy the chief priests had delivered him up. 11But the chief priests stirred up the multitude, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12And Pilate again answered and said unto them, What then shall I do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14And Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out exceedingly, Crucify him. 15And Pilate, wishing to content the multitude, released unto them Barabbas, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16And the soldiers led him away within the court, which is the Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17And they clothe him with purple, and platting a crown of thorns, they put it on him; 18and they began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19And they smote his head with a reed, and spat upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20And when they had mocked him, they took off from him the purple, and put on him his garments. And they lead him out to crucify him. 21And they compel one passing by, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to go with them, that he might bear his cross. 22And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23And they offered him wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24And they crucify him, and part his garments among them, casting lots upon them, what each should take. 25And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 26And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27And with him they crucify two robbers; one on his right hand, and one on his left. 28And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was reckoned with transgressors. 29And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ha! Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31In like manner also the chief priests mocking him among themselves with the scribes said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32Let the Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reproached him. 33And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elijah. 36And one ran, and filling a sponge full of vinegar, put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let be; let us see whether Elijah cometh to take him down. 37And Jesus uttered a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38And the veil of the temple was rent in two from the top to the bottom. 39And when the centurion, who stood by over against him, saw that he so gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40And there were also women beholding from afar: among whom were both Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41who, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women that came up with him unto Jerusalem. 42And when even was now come, because it was the Preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43there came Joseph of Arimathaea, a councillor of honorable estate, who also himself was looking for the kingdom of God; and he boldly went in unto Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45And when he learned it of the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46And he bought a linen cloth, and taking him down, wound him in the linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb which had been hewn out of a rock; and he rolled a stone against the door of the tomb. 47And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
Mark 14:51. And a young man. How some persons have come to dream that this was John 221221 “Aucuns ont songé que c’estoit Jean, l’un des Apostres;” — “some have dreamed that it was John, one of the Apostles.” I know not, nor is it of much importance to inquire. The chief point is, to ascertain for what purpose Mark has related this transaction. I think that his object was, to inform us that those wicked men — as usually happens in riotous assemblies stormed and raved without shame or modesty; which appeared from their seizing a young man who was unknown to them, and not suspected of any crime, so that he had difficulty in escaping out of their hands naked. For it is probable that the young man, who is mentioned, had some attachment to Christ, and, on hearing the tumult by night, without stopping to put on his clothes, and covered only with a linen garment, came either to discover their traps, or, at least, that he might not be wanting in a duty of friendship. 222222 “Ou, pour le moins à fin de faire devoir d’ami envers Jesus Christ;” — “or, at least, in order to perform the duty of a friend towards Jesus Christ.” We certainly perceive — as I just now said — that those wicked men raged with cruel violence, when they did not even spare a poor young man, who had left his bed, almost naked, and run, on hearing the noise.
Mark 15:25 And it was the third hour. This appears not to agree well with the testimony of the Evangelist John; for he relates that Christ was condemned about the sixth hour, (14:14.) But if we consider—what is evident from other passages—that the day was divided into four parts, and that each of the parts took its name from the first hour of its commencement, the solution will not be difficult. The whole time, from sunrise to the second part of the day, they called the first hour. The second part, which lasted till noon, was called by them the third hour. The sixth hour commenced at noon, and lasted till three or four o’clock in the afternoon. Thus, when the Jews saw that Pilate was wearing out the time, and that the hour of noon was approaching, John says that they cried out the more vehemently, that the whole day might not be allowed to pass without something being done, (14:15.) But this is not inconsistent with the assertion, that our Lord was crucified about the close of the third hour; for it is plain enough, that no sooner was he hastily condemned, than he was immediately executed; so eager was the desire of the Jews to put him to death. Mark therefore means not the beginning, but the close, of the third hour; and it is highly probable that Christ did not hang on the cross longer than three hours.
Mark 15:36. Saying, Let him alone, let us see if Elijah will come to save him. Mark relates these words as having been spoken by the soldier, while holding out the vinegar; but Matthew tells us that others used the same language. There is no inconsistency here, however; for it is probable that the jeering was begun by one person, but was eagerly seized by others, and loudly uttered by the multitude. The phrase, let him alone, appears to have implied not restraint, but ridicule; accordingly, the person who first mocked Christ, ironically addressing his companions, says, Let us see if Elijah will come. Others quickly followed, and every one sung the same song to his next neighbor, as usually happens with men who are agreed about any course. Nor is it of any importance to inquire if it was in the singular or plural number; for in either case the meaning is the same, the word being used in place of an interjection, as if they had said, Hush! Hush!
Mark 15:43, and Luke 23:51. Who also himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. The highest commendation bestowed on Joseph is, that he waited for the kingdom of God. He is likewise praised, no doubt, for righteousness, but this waiting for the kingdom of God was the root and source of his righteousness. By the kingdom of God, we must understand the renovation promised through Christ; for the perfection of order which, the prophets had every where promised, would exist at the coming of Christ, cannot exist, unless God assembles under his government those men who had gone astray. It is therefore pointed out in commendation of Joseph’s piety, that, during the disorder which then prevailed, he cherished the hope of that redemption which God had promised. Hence, too, arises the fear of God, and the desire of holiness and uprightness; for it is impossible for any one to dedicated himself to God, unless he expects that God will be his deliverer.
Yet let us observe, that while salvation through Christ was promised indiscriminately to all the Jews, and while the promise of it was common to them all, it is only of a very few that the Holy Spirit testifies what we are here told of Joseph. Hence it is evident, that nearly the whole of the people had buried in base forgetfulness the inestimable grace of God. All of them, indeed, had on their lips the language of boasting in reference to the coming of Christ, which was approaching; but few had the covenant of God fixed in their minds, so as to rise by faith to spiritual renovation. That was indeed an awful insensibility; and therefore we need not wonder if pure religion fell into decay, when the faith of salvation was extinguished. Would to God that a similar corruption did not prevail in this unhappy age! Christ once appeared as a Redeemer to the Jews and to the whole world, as had been declared in the predictions of the prophets. He set up the kingdom of God, by restoring affairs from confusion and disorder to a regular and proper condition. He has assigned to us a period of warfare, to exercise our patience till he come again from heaven to complete his reign which he has commenced. How many are there who aspire to this hope, even in a moderate degree? Do not almost all cleave to the earth, as if there had been no promise of a resurrection? But while the greater part of men, forgetful of their end, fall off on all sides, let us remember that it is a virtue peculiar to believers, to seek the things which are above, (Colossians 3:1;) and especially since the grace of God has shone upon us through the Gospel,
teaching us, that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, justly, and piously, in the present world, looking for the blessed hope and manifestation of the glory of the great God,