Matthew Poole's Commentary
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.Mark 15:1-5 Jesus is brought bound and accused before Pilate: his
silence before the governor.
Mark 15:6-15 Pilate, prevailed upon by the clamours of the people,
releases Barabbas, and giveth up Jesus to be crucified.
Mark 15:16-23 Christ is mocked of the soldiers, crowned with
thorns, and led to the place of crucifiction.
Mark 15:24-28 He is crucified between two thieves,
Mark 15:29-32 reviled,
Mark 15:33-37 and calling upon God expires.
Mark 15:38 The veil of the temple rent.
Mark 15:39-41 The centurion’s confession.
Mark 15:42-47 Joseph of Arimathea begs the body, and buries it.
See Poole on "Matthew 27:1". See Poole on "Matthew 27:2". Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor in Judea at this time, Luke 3:1. The reasons of their carrying Christ to him, when they had condemned him to death for blasphemy, (a crime cognizable before them, as appeareth in the case of Stephen, Acts 7:54-60), see in our notes on Matthew. What time in the morning they carried him before Pilate is not said, only John saith it was early, and we read it was about the sixth hour, (that is, with us twelve of the clock), when Pilate dismissed him, being by him condemned; so probably they were with Pilate by six or seven in the morning. This morning was the morning after the evening in which they had eaten the passover, and the first day of their feast of unleavened bread: so little did they regard God’s ordinance.
And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.Ver. 2-20. This history of our Saviour’s examination before and condemnation by Pilate, together with the indignities offered him after his condemnation, is recorded in some degree or other by all the four evangelists, by the comparing of which it will appear that Mark hath left out many material circumstances and parts of it. In our notes on Matthew 27:11-31, we have compared and considered them all, and shall thither refer the reader; only observing,
1. How much more favour Christ found from a Gentile heathen than from the Jewish high priest, and not favour only, but justice also.
2. How close our Saviour kept upon his guard, not accusing himself.
3. The horrible debauchery of these priests, that they would prefer a murderer, and seditious person, before a most innocent person.
4. The weakness of a corrupt heart to resist an ordinary temptation. Pilate was convinced the prosecution was malicious, that there was no guilt in Christ; yet he must content the people, and is basely afraid of their misrepresenting him to the Roman emperor.
5. That the point upon which Christ was condemned, was his maintaining his spiritual kingdom in and over his church, for he expressly disclaimed any claim to any earthly kingdom before Pilate, as the other evangelists tell us.
6. How punctually the words of Christ are by the providence of God fulfilled; we have now heard how Christ was delivered to the Gentiles, by them mocked, scourged, spit upon, and now going to be killed.
7. How Christ hath made all our bitter waters sweet, sanctifying every cross to us, and taking the curse out of it. He was reviled, imprisoned, mocked, scourged, spit upon, and last of all killed; he hath tasted of all these bitter waters, and by that taste they are made wholesome and medicinal for us; and he hath learned us, that there is no ignominy, shame, and contempt, no indignity and species of suffering, for his sake, in which we may not boast and glory, as being thereby made conformable to the sufferings and death of Christ. And if we suffer with him, we shall be glorified together.
And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing.See Poole on "Mr 15:2"
And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And 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?See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And they cried out again, Crucify him.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Praetorium; and they call together the whole band.See Poole on "Mark 15:10"
And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head,See Poole "Mark 15:2"
And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
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.See Poole on "Mark 15:2"
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.Ver. 21-37. To make this history complete, all the other evangelists must be consulted, and compared with Mark, who omits many considerable passages recorded by them; we have done it in our notes on Matthew 27:32-50, See Poole on "Matthew 27:32", and following verses to Matthew 27:50, to which I refer the reader, both for the understanding the several passages of this relation, and reconciling any small differences between the relations of the several evangelists. It is the observation of some, that when in Scripture the father is made known by the son, or sons, it signifieth some more eminency in the sons than in the father. Many think that this Simon was a pagan: though it be not certain, yet it is not improbable, that this Alexander was the same who is mentioned Acts 19:33, persecuted there by the Jews; and Rufus, he whom Paul saluteth, Romans 16:13, calling him chosen in the Lord. They say they were both at Rome, where they judge St. Mark was when he wrote this history, and that Mark mentions them as those who could attest the truth of this part of the history. The father bare Christ’s cross, (or one end of it), there is all we read of him. The sons believe on him who died upon it. So free is Divine grace, fixing where it pleaseth. Concerning the wine mingled with myrrh, we spake in our notes on Matthew 27:32-50. Some think our Saviour’s friends gave it him to refresh him; but it is most probable it was given him to intoxicate him, that he might be less sensible of the pain he should endure upon the cross: whatsoever they intended, our Saviour refused it, having wine to uphold him which they knew not of. For other things relating to this story, see the notes on Matthew 27:32-50.
And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
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,See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
Save thyself, and come down from the cross.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
Let 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.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
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?See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And 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.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.See Poole on "Mark 15:21"
And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.Ver. 38-41. The prodigies happening upon the death of our Saviour, and the passages happening between the time of his expiration and his burial, are more largely reported by the other evangelists than by Mark; we have put them all together, and considered the passages relating to them, in our notes on Matthew 27:51-54.
See Poole on "Matthew 27:51", and following verses to Matthew 27:54.
And 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.See Poole on "Mark 15:38"
There 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;See Poole on "Mark 15:38"
(Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.See Poole on "Mark 15:38"
And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,Ver. 42-47. The circumstances of our Saviour’s honourable burial, as related by this and the other evangelists, are gathered together and opened in our notes on Matthew 27:57-66.
See Poole on "Matthew 27:57", and following verses to Matthew 27:66.
Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counseller, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.See Poole on "Mark 15:42"
And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.See Poole on "Mark 15:42"
And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.See Poole on "Mark 15:42"
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.See Poole on "Mark 15:42"
And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.See Poole on "Mark 15:42"