Mark 15

Held a consultation; to arrange a plan for taking Jesus before the Roman government, and securing his condemnation there. Either they had not the legal right to inflict a capital punishment, or else, if they had the right, as some have maintained, they may have feared the people, and considered it more prudent to devolve upon the Roman authorities the task of carrying such a sentence into execution.

Art thou, &c.; referring to their accusation, Luke 23:2.

He released; he was accustomed to release.

Willing to content the people. He made every effort to save Jesus, as is more particularly related by the evangelist John. At last, dreading a tumult, (Matt. 27:24,) and afraid, perhaps, of being himself accused before the Roman emperor, (John 19:12,) he reluctantly yielded.

It has been noted as an interesting confirmation of the genuineness of the Gospels, that Mark is the only evangelist who mentions that Simon the father of Alexander and Rufus; as it was very natural that he should do, since he is supposed to have written at Rome, and for the use of Romans; and one of these persons, at least, seems to have resided there (Rom. 16:13.)

It is supposed that this was a medicated drink, given to blunt sensibility to pain.

The third hour; nine o'clock in the morning.

Two thieves; condemned, perhaps, before, and reserved, for the occasion of this passover, for execution, that their punishment might be more public. There had been three criminals, it seems, thus reserved, including Barabbas, who was released.

They that were crucified with him. This was true, in fact, of only one of them. (Luke 23:39-41.)

Ps. 22:1.

A reed, perhaps the stem of the plant called hyssop. (John 19:29.)

And Jesus cried with a loud voice. If this statement contained all the information upon this subject communicated to us, we might have supposed that the exclamation was one of pain,—the last, expiring cry. But, as John tells us that the expression uttered was, "It is finished," and as Luke adds also that with a loud voice he commended his spirit into the hands of God, the dying exclamation seems to assume the character of an expression of triumphant joy that the great and glorious consummation had at last arrived.

The centurion; the officer who commanded at the execution.

Salome; the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee.

On the day now called Friday. The Jewish Sabbath was the seventh day of the week.

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