In this part of Mark chapter 14 the chief priests had just torn their clothes and shrieked their condemnation of Jesus because Jesus said that He was the Son of the blessed One. The failure of the priests was a horrible example to the crowd assembled there and no doubt gave them energy and a certain diabolical enthusiasm for what followed. Like priest, like people. Almost everything in life is a reflection of leadership. A failure by leadership will be seen in what the people do. Thats one of the reasons that leaders will face a greater judgment. The greater your responsibility, the greater your accountability will be. The Bible says in Mark 14:65, And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. These would be awful things to do to any human, let alone the Christ of God, and these were just the first of the horrible indignities that Jesus would suffer at the hands of men. Many more indignities and injustices would follow in the hours to come. Never forget that Jesus willingly submitted to these things in order to suffer for the sins of the world.
But before we are told more about the trial and the torture of Christ, we are given the final episode concerning the failure of Peter to keep his promise to stand with Christ. The Bible says in Mark 14:66-72, And as Peter was beneath in the palace, there comes one of the maids of the high priest; And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon him, and said, And you also were with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what you say. And he went out into the porch, and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely you are one of them: for you are a Galilean, and your speech agrees to that. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom you speak. And the second time the cock crowed. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, you shall deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
The woman saw Peter and said, You also were with Jesus of Nazareth. If you are rightly related with God, such a statement from the people of the world is a compliment. If you are rightly related to the Lord, one of they things that you pray for every day is to be a witness for Christ in the path that He gives you to take. But if you are not rightly related, then you fear such a statement just like Peter did. Better to be a doorkeeper in the house of God than to dwell in the palace of wickedness.
Just hours before these events, Peter had said that he would die with Jesus. But instead of standing with Jesus and dying with Him, Peter stood with the unbelievers and denied Christ; and then the Bible says, And when he thought thereon, he wept. Better it would have been to have died with Jesus and to have left this earth than to have thought those thoughts about his own denial and then to have cried those tears of regret and sorrow and remorse. There is nothing worse for a believer than to know you have failed the Lord. If you are new in following Christ, remember this lesson. Do everything you can to avoid tasting the bitter pill of spiritual failure. King David learned the lesson the hard way and he cried out in Psalms 51:3-4, my sin is ever before me. Against thee, thee only have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight. And in Psalm 51:12 he said, Restore unto me the joy of my salvation. The greatest chastisement that a believer can know is that of a tormented conscience and a disquieted soul.
The story of Peters denial was a great failure. But because of the mercy of God, failure can be turned to victory. What Peter learned, we all learn sooner or later in the Christian life. Not only are we dependent upon the mercy and grace of Christ for our salvation, but we are also dependent upon it every day of our lives. Perhaps you have known spiritual failure and the tears that come with it. Just remember that after this failure Peter eventually accomplished great things as an apostle. If you will repent of your failures and learn from them, you also can enter into all the things that God still wants to do in your life.
After the priests had finished condemning Jesus in their judgment hall, they sent Him to Pilate to be judged again. They wanted Pilate to put Him to death. The Bible says in Mark 15:1-5, 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. And Pilate asked him, are you the King of the Jews? And he answering, said unto him, You are saying it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answer you nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus still answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
The thing that so astonished Pilate in all of this was the fact that Jesus did not defend Himself. Pilate knew that Jesus was innocent, and Pilate knew that the priests and other religious leaders had delivered Jesus because of envy and jealousy. Undoubtedly Pilate knew the priests from his past dealings with them. He knew what they were. Pilate no doubt had judged many others over the years: some guilty and some innocent; but Jesus was different than them all. Jesus remained silent in the face of all the unjust and untrue accusations. Of course, we know why Jesus was silent. He came to die for the sins of the world. He came to suffer for your sins so that you would not have to suffer. Isaiah 53:7 was written 500 years before Jesus and prophesied of the Christ and said, He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.
Mark 15:6-15 says, Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will you that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will you then that I shall do unto him whom you call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil has he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified.
Again Pilate expresses the fact that he knows that Jesus is innocent. After listening to the witnesses Pilate said concerning Jesus, What evil has he done? Pilate had a lot of knowledge about what was going on. This passage states very clearly that Pilate also knew why Jesus was accused. Verse 10 says about Pilate, For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. As the Roman governor Pilate was a politician and was responsible for keeping the peace. His failure was that keeping the peace became too important for him. There will not always be peace in this world because of the constant contest between good and evil. Truth and righteousness and goodness are more important than peace. If you get your priorities wrong, for the sake of peace you will join with evil. Thats what Pilate did. Being successful in his job as governor was more important to him than doing the right thing. Unfortunately we have a lot of politicians in our day who are just like Pilate. Their judgment is coming.
Pilate offered to release Jesus to the multitude, but they cried out, Crucify him. And so we see that everyone, absolutely everyone, had a part in sending Jesus to His death. Let every mouth be stopped and every soul be found guilty before God. The religious leaders, the political leaders, the common people, and even the disciples all had a role to play in the death of Christ. Jew and Gentile are equally guilty. For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
crucifixion of Jesus the Bible says in Mark 15:16-25,
And the soldiers led him
away into the hall, called Praetorium, and they call together the whole band.
And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it
about his head, And began to salute him, Hail, king of
the Jews. And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him,
and bowing their knees worshipped him. 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. 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. And they bring him unto the place
the death penalty. Condemned individuals were beaten, stripped naked, and hung
on a wooden post to die a slow and tortuous death, exposed to the elements and
to the public in all of their anguish and torment. At just the right time,
Jesus was born into the world. He was born into the world to die this death.
This was not just an innocent man dying an unjust death. This was the Son of
God dying for the sins of the world. Look up to the hill
On the way to
The Bible says in Mark 15:26-32, And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. And the scripture was fulfilled, which said, And he was numbered with the trangressors. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroys the temple and builds it in three days, Save thyself, and come down from the cross. Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 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.
There were some
horrible people who stood there in the presence of the Christ as He suffered
for the sins of the world. Not only did they mock Him at the trial and along
the road to
Copyright; 2003 by Charles
F. (Rick) Creech
All Rights Reserved