Mark 15* Christ before Pilate. (1-14) Christ led to be crucified.(15-21) The crucifixion. (22-32) The death of Christ. (33-41)His body buried. (42-47)1-14 They bound Christ. It is good for us often to remember thebonds of the Lord Jesus, as bound with him who was bound for us.By delivering up the King, they, in effect, delivered up thekingdom of God, which was, therefore, as by their own consent,taken from them, and given to another nation. Christ gave Pilatea direct answer, but would not answer the witnesses, because thethings they alleged were known to be false, even Pilate himselfwas convinced they were so. Pilate thought that he might appealfrom the priests to the people, and that they would deliverJesus out of the priests' hands. But they were more and moreurged by the priests, and cried, Crucify him! Crucify him! Letus judge of persons and things by their merits, and the standardof God's word, and not by common report. The thought that no oneever was so shamefully treated, as the only perfectly wise,holy, and excellent Person that ever appeared on earth, leadsthe serious mind to strong views of man's wickedness and enmityto God. Let us more and more abhor the evil dispositions whichmarked the conduct of these persecutors. 15-21 Christ met death in its greatest terror. It was the deathof the vilest malefactors. Thus the cross and the shame are puttogether. God having been dishonoured by the sin of man, Christmade satisfaction by submitting to the greatest disgrace humannature could be loaded with. It was a cursed death; thus it wasbranded by the Jewish law, #De 21:23|. The Roman soldiers mockedour Lord Jesus as a King; thus in the high priest's hall theservants had mocked him as a Prophet and Saviour. Shall a purpleor scarlet robe be matter of pride to a Christian, which wasmatter of reproach and shame to Christ? He wore the crown ofthorns which we deserved, that we might wear the crown of glorywhich he merited. We were by sin liable to everlasting shame andcontempt; to deliver us, our Lord Jesus submitted to shame andcontempt. He was led forth with the workers of iniquity, thoughhe did no sin. The sufferings of the meek and holy Redeemer, areever a source of instruction to the believer, of which, in hisbest hours, he cannot be weary. Did Jesus thus suffer, and shallI, a vile sinner, fret or repine? Shall I indulge anger, orutter reproaches and threats because of troubles and injuries? 22-32 The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was calledthe place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; forhe was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Wheneverwe look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was writtenover his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to behis subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieveswith him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him greatdishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered withthe transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even thosewho passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from thecross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, thoughhe gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from thegrave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believesthe truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek forsalvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hopeof forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by thesufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godlysorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord ofglory! 33-41 There was a thick darkness over the land, from noon untilthree in the afternoon. The Jews were doing their utmost toextinguish the Sun of Righteousness. The darkness signified thecloud which the human soul of Christ was under, when he wasmaking it an offering for sin. He did not complain that hisdisciples forsook him, but that his Father forsook him. In thisespecially he was made sin for us. When Paul was to be offeredas a sacrifice for the service saints, he could joy and rejoice,#Php 2:17|; but it is another thing to be offered as a sacrificefor the sin of sinners. At the same instant that Jesus died, theveil of the temple was rent from the top to the bottom. Thisspake terror to the unbelieving Jews, and was a sign of thedestruction of their church and nation. It speaks comfort to allbelieving Christians, for it signified the laying open a new andliving way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Theconfidence with which Christ had openly addressed God as hisFather, and committed his soul into his hands, seems greatly tohave affected the centurion. Right views of Christ crucifiedwill reconcile the believer to the thought of death; he longs tobehold, love, and praise, as he ought, that Saviour who waswounded and pierced to save him from the wrath to come. 42-47 We are here attending the burial of our Lord Jesus. Ohthat we may by grace be planted in the likeness of it! Joseph ofArimathea was one who waited for the kingdom of God. Those whohope for a share in its privileges, must own Christ's cause,when it seems to be crushed. This man God raised up for hisservice. There was a special providence, that Pilate should beso strict in his inquiry, that there might be no pretence to sayJesus was alive. Pilate gave Joseph leave to take down the body,and do what he pleased with it. Some of the women beheld whereJesus was laid, that they might come after the sabbath to anointthe dead body, because they had not time to do it before.Special notice was taken of Christ's sepulchre, because he wasto rise again. And he will not forsake those who trust in him,and call upon him. Death, deprived of its sting, will soon endthe believer's sorrows, as it ended those of the Saviour.
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