Mark 15 Bible Commentary

John Wesley’s Explanatory Notes

(Read all of Mark 15)

Verse 3

[3] And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.

Matthew 27:12.

Verse 7

[7] And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.

Insurrection — A crime which the Roman governors, and Pilate in particular, were more especially concerned and careful to punish.

Verse 9

[9] But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?

Will ye that I release to you the king of the Jews — Which does this wretched man discover most? Want of justice, or courage, or common sense? The poor coward sacrifices justice to popular clamour, and enrages those whom he seeks to appease, by so unseasonably repeating that title, The king of the Jews, which he could not but know was so highly offensive to them.

Verse 16

[16] And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.

Praetorium — The inner hall, where the praetor, a Roman magistrate, used to give judgment. But St. John calls the whole palace by this name. Matthew 27:27; John 19:2.

Verse 17

[17] And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,

Purple — As royal robes were usually purple and scarlet, St. Mark and John term this a purple robe, St. Matthew a scarlet one. The Tyrian purple is said not to have been very different from scarlet.

Verse 20

[20] And 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.

Matthew 27:31; John 19:16.

Verse 21

[21] And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

The father of Alexander and Rufus — These were afterward two eminent Christians, and must have been well known when St. Mark wrote.

Verse 22

[22] And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

Matthew 27:33; Luke 23:33; John 19:17. 24, 25. St. Mark seems to intimate, that they first nailed him to the cross, then parted his garments, and afterward reared up the cross.

Verse 28

[28] And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.

Isaiah 53:12.

Verse 29

[29] And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

Matthew 27:39.

Verse 33

[33] And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.

Matthew 27:45; Luke 23:44.

Verse 34

[34] And 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?

My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me — Thereby claiming God as his God; and yet lamenting his Father's withdrawing the tokens of his love, and treating him as an enemy, while he bare our sins.

Verse 37

[37] And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

Matthew 27:50; Luke 23:46; John 19:30.

Verse 41

[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.

Who served him — Provided him with necessaries.

Verse 42

[42] And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,

Because it was the day before the Sabbath — And the bodies might not hang on the Sabbath day: therefore they were in haste to have them taken down.

Verse 43

[43] Joseph 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.

Honourable — A man of character and reputation: A counsellor - A member of the sanhedrim.

Who waited for the kingdom of God — Who expected to see it set up on earth. Matthew 27:57; Luke 23:50; John 19:38.

Verse 46

[46] And 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.

He rolled a stone — By his servants. It was too large for him to roll himself.