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Bible Commentaries

Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT

Mark 15

Verses 1-15

TITLE : Pilate's Mistakes TEXT : Mar_15:1-15 PROPOSITION : The local congregation must learn from the mistakes of Pilate. QUESTION : Which? KEY WORD : Mistakes READING : Mar_15:9-15


1. There are many problems in the church today:

1. Doctrinal

2. Moral

3. Preachers

4. Leadership

2. Most problems are:

1. Avoidable

2. Personality clashes

3. Attitudes - Unforgiving, grudges, animosity, not willing to cooperate, selfish

3. We often make the same mistakes that Pilate made.

4. Learn from Pilate’s mistakes .

Listen to the wrong people (11-13)

1. We fail to hear God - mind is already made up

2. Remember the boy Samuel? ( 1Sa_3:1-21 ) Eli is not calling, God is.

3. Check their motives.

4. Rehoboam made this mistake - 1Ki_12:1-33 - young men instead of wise counsel

5. Many politicians - Lyndon Johnson (Vietnam), Nixon (Watergate) - listened to bad advice - and resulted in disaster

6. Is this the will of God?

Believed what he heard (15)

1. Mat_11:18-19 - John is a demon, Jesus is a winebibber and glutton

2. Little smoke = Raging fire (Gossip, tale bearing, rumor, innuendo)

3. Don't believe everything you hear.

1. Believe the best

2. Put in best possible light

3. Check with the source

4. We should believe little of what we see, and less of what we hear.

5. Act_17:11 - Checked up on Paul to see if what he said was true

Washed his hands ( Mat_27:24 )

1. We cannot forgive our own sins -

1. First pray to God

2. Next reconcile with brethren ( Mat_5:23-24 ; Mat_18:15-17 )

2. We must not be "quitters"

3. I dent your car in the parking lot - “God forgive me for not paying attention” - You come out - I wave at you, “It is OK. I prayed for forgiveness.” - I have washed my hands of the whole thing.

Verses 16-20

TITLE: King is crowned TEXT: Mar_15:16-20 PROPOSITION: Jesus endured cruel mocking. QUESTION: Who? KEY WORD: Mockings READING: Same


1. Many of the recent school shootings = teasing, mocking, scorn, ridicule

2. Jesus suffered such mocking at the palace of Pilate

3. Jesus was taken to the Praetorian (Judgment Hall)

What Happened?

1. Taken to the Praetorian hall or courtyard (palace hall of judgment) (16)

2. Gathered whole band - many soldiers were present (16)

3. Clothed him with purple (royalty), crown of thorns on his head (17)

4. Salute him - word means “embrace, hug, enfold in ones arms” Imagine that with the beating on his back, open wounds, ripped flesh

5.“Hail, King of the Jews” (18)

6. Hit him with a rod, spit on him (19)

7. Bowing their knees, worshipped him (in mockery) (19)

8. Took off the purple robe, put on own clothes (20)

9. Led him out to be crucified (20)

Mocking in the New Testament

1. Herod was mocked by the wise men - Mat_2:16

2. Jesus predicted it would happen - Mat_20:19 ; Mar_10:34 ; Luk_18:32

3. Parable - man not able to finish the tower - Luk_14:29

4. On Pentecost - Mocked apostles - full of new wine - Act_2:13

5. Paul on Mar’s Hill in Athens - Act_17:32

6. Prophets were mocked - Heb_11:36

7. False teachers will mock believers - Jud_1:18


1. Greek word - mocked = turn up the nose at one, sneer with the nostrils

2. God is not mocked - you can mock God, not get away with it

Verses 21-38

TITLE: Crucified TEXT: Mar_15:21-38 PROPOSITION: To appreciate the cross we must understand what was involved. QUESTION: What? KEY WORD: Sufferings READING: Mar_15:21-25


1. We often glorify the cross (jewelry, steeples, etc.)

2. We fail to see the cross was not shiny gold.

3. It was pain and death.

Verse by verse study

Simon compelled to carry cross - 21

Golgotha - place of skull - 22

Gave him wine with myrrh to drink - not accept it - 23

Parted his garments, gambling for his estate - 24

3 rd hour of the day = 9 Amos - 25

Inscription - THE KING OF THE JEWS - 26

2 thieves on either side of Jesus - 27

Prophecy fulfilled ( Isa_53:12 ) - numbered with transgressors - 28

Railed on him, wagging their heads, You can destroy the temple and build it in 3 days? - 29

Save yourself - come down from the cross - 30

Chief priests - He saved others, can’t save himself - 31

Descend from the cross that we may believe - 32

6 th hour there was darkness until 9 th hour (noon until 3 PM) - 33

At 9 th hour - My God, My God, why have you forsaken me? - 34

Thought he was calling for Elijah - 35

Sponge filled with vinegar, on reed - 36

Let him alone; see if Elijah comes to help him - 36

Cried with a loud voice, gave up the spirit - 37

Veil in temple tore from top to bottom -38


1. Cross - weighs 300 lbs, cross beam weighs 75 lbs.

2. Myrrh (gall) is a mild anesthetic

3. Nails = tapered spikes 5 to 7 inches long

4. Through wrist and arch of foot

5. Death came in 3 - 6 hours; up to 3 or 4 days

6. Spear from right side upward through both lungs and heart

7. Cause of death - can breath deeply in, but not exhale

8. Death is caused by hypercarbia (too much carbon dioxide, too little oxygen)

9. Loud cry and death could mean a cardiac rupture

10. Another explanation - clots in blood stream from opening and closing wounds moved to heart or brain

Verses 42-47

TITLE: Buried TEXT: Mar_15:42-47 PROPOSITION: Burial seem so final, as if it is all over. QUESTION: Which? KEY WORD: Questions SCRIPTURE READING:


1. Jesus died. That is a fact.

2. Jesus was raised. That is a fact.

3. We spend little time thinking about the burial.

4. We will try to answer some questions about the burial of Jesus.


1. Joseph of Arimathea - council member

2. Nicodemus (of Joh_3:1-36 ) ( Joh_19:39 - ruler of the Jews)

3. With courage - boldness


1. Waited for the kingdom - believed the teachings of Jesus

2. NOW? Is the dream gone? Has hope vanished?

3. Did Jesus fail them?


1. Two sites for tourists:

A. Church of the Holy Sepulcher (sacred to Catholics)

B. Garden tomb

2. Here are the statements to identify the location

A. Near Golgotha ( Joh_19:41 )

B. In a garden

C. New tomb, no man laid

D. Outside the city gate ( Heb_13:11-13 )


1. After his death at 3 PM

2. Before 6 PM on Friday evening

3. Passover begins in a few minutes.

4. The burial was a “rush” event.

How important?

1. Burial fulfills prophecy

2. Proves his death

3. Proves his resurrection

4. Demonstrates his deity

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Bibliographical Information
Luscombe, Manly. "Commentary on Mark 15". Luscombe's Commentary on Selected Books of the NT. 2021.