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15. Trial, Crucifixion, Death and Burial

And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. 2And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. 3And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. 4And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. 5But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled. 6Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. 7And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. 9But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? 10For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. 11But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? 13And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.

15And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 17And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 19And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. 21And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 22And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 23And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 24And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man 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 thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. 29And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30Save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled 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, saying, 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 Elias. 36And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.

39And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41(Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.

42And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved 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 knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph. 46And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.

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,
(Titus 2:11-13.)

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.


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