Bible Reading Day 75
Day 75 – Mark 15:1-26
Yesterday we saw the servant nature of Jesus in the way He endured the fraudulent trial before the Sanhedrin, the Jewish rulers. Today the action moves to the Roman authority as Jesus is taken before Pilate. Unusually (for a renowned and brutal leader of an occupying army) Pilate is almost gentle with Jesus! He is surprised when Jesus will not answer His accusers. It seems that Pilate is singularly unimpressed with all the empty accusations of the Jewish leaders; maybe he is tired of the drama they create for him?
But Jesus refuses to justify Himself, and only answers “as you say” when Pilate asks “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus is clear about His place as a servant of humanity (and of His Father) whose role is to lay down His life for us. What an inspiration to us all that Jesus was willing to obey the Father fully, even refusing to defend Himself when falsely accused.
I suspect Pilate was hoping to get the crowd on his side when he offered to release Jesus – he must have known how popular Jesus was. But instead the priests and religious leaders stirred up the crowd to demand a murder be freed instead. Beware of religion – it will eventually turn your values upside down and leave you in direct opposition to God!
Finally Pilate proves himself a weak leader, and caves in to the demands of the crowd. He turns Jesus over to the soldiers, who are experienced at torturing Jews, and they pour scorn and pain on the Son of God before leading Him away to the place of crucifixion. It is testimony to the force of their torture that they have to conscript Simon from Cyrene to carry the cross because Jesus is now too weak to carry it himself.
When they crucify Jesus, they divide His clothes (their payment for their duties), throwing dice to decide who gets his robe rather than cutting it up. Mark does not mention the significance of this as John will in his gospel, but it is yet another fulfilled prophecy. The account tells us that Jesus was crucified at 9am. The sign on the cross describes His “crime” – The King of the Jews.
Let’s pause today and thank God for such a generous gift of life through the death of His Son!
Have a great day!
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