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Mark 15:21-47 - Jesus’ crucifixion, death, and burial
Jesus Is Crucified
21 And they forced a certain man who was passing by, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), who was coming from the country, to carry his cross.
Cyrene is in modern day Libya but this is before Islam and the influx of Arabs so he may have been black. The Chosen portrays African Jews in Palestine. Just a thought! More importantly…
22 And they brought him to the place Golgotha(which is translated “Place of a Skull”). 23 And they attempted to give him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.
This is probably an analgesic. Why did Jesus refuse some relief from his pain?
24 And they crucified him and divided his clothes among themselves by casting lots for them to see who should take what.
25 Now it was the third hour when they crucified him. 26 And the inscription of the charge against him was written, “The king of the Jews.”
27 And with him they crucified two robbers, one on his right and one on his left.29 And those who passed by reviled him, shaking their heads and saying, “Aha! The one who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30 save yourself by coming down from the cross!”
The mocking echoes Psalm 22:7 and, yet again, Jesus’ we are reminded of Jesus’ claim that he would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. The two thieves emphasise the shame of Jesus’ death.
How is Jesus about to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days?
31 In the same way also the chief priests, along with the scribes, were mocking him* to one another, saying, “He saved others; he is not able to save himself! 32 Let the Christ, the king of Israel, come down now from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Even those who were crucified with him were reviling him.
Utter rejection by the leaders of the Jews and the Romans. Then…
Jesus Dies on the Cross
33 And when the sixth hour came, darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?” (which is translated, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”)
Jesus is quoting Psalm 23:1. The scriptures continue to be fulfilled. Darkness indicates the presence of evil and the triumph of the Satan and the rebellious gods. Jesus prays in Aramaic. The Jews were not speaking Hebrew at this point in their history.
35 And some of the bystanders, when they heard it, said, “Behold, he is summoning Elijah!” 36 And someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave it to him to drink, saying, “Leave him alone! Let us see if Elijah is coming to take him down.”
37 But Jesus uttered a loud cry and expired. 38 And the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
What does the tearing of the curtain indicate [Hebrews 10:19-22]?
39 And when the centurion who was standing opposite him saw that he expired like this, he said, “Truly this man was God’s Son!”
The first man to profess that Jesus in the Son of God after his death is a Roman. Even Romans can enter in!
40 And there were also women observing from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and Joses, and Salome, 41 who used to follow him and serve him when he was in Galilee, and many other women who went up with him to Jerusalem.
Even women can enter in!
Jesus Is Buried
42 And when it was already evening, since it was the day of preparation (that is, the day before the Sabbath), 43 Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the council who was also himself looking forward too the kingdom of God, came acting courageously and went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
Mark says earlier that all the Sanhedrin condemned Jesus so death [14:64]. Is Mark now contradicting himself?
44 And Pilate was surprised that he was already dead, and summoning the centurion, asked him whether he had died already. 45 And when he learned of it from the centurion, he granted the corpse to Joseph. 46 And after* purchasing a linen cloth and taking him down, he wrapped him in the linen cloth and placed him in a tomb that had been cut from the rock. And he rolled a stone over the entrance of the tomb. 47 Now Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was placed.
Mark is careful to point out the location of the tomb and the sealing were witnessed albeit by women[!!].
This is an execution site outside Jerusalem.
Most later Greek manuscripts add v. 28 [a quotation from Isa 53:12] after v. 27, “And the scripture was fulfilled that says, ‘And he was counted with the lawless ones’ ”