Review of Mark 15

Review of Mark 15

by Victor Fawole


Our Lord has been betrayed by one of His friends and delivered to the hands of His enemies. He has been tried and tested, but no sin was found in Him. No, please scratch that. His divinity became His “undoing” before the very sinful men He came to save. Welcome to Mark 15, where the greatest exchange of all times happened.


Mark 15:1 Immediately, in the morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council; and they bound Jesus, led Him away, and delivered Him to Pilate.

Up until this moment, Jesus’ predictions in Mark 10:33-34 have been accurate.

  • They have gone up to Jerusalem.
  • The Son of Man has been delivered to the chief priests and the scribes.
  • They have condemned Him to death. (Mark 14:64)
  • They have mocked Him (Mark 14:65 — and will still do more)
  • They spat on Him (Mark 14:65) and now…
  • They are handing Him over to the Gentiles (Pilate)

John’s account gives an interesting detail that I’d like to call our attention to.

John 18:28-29 Then they led Jesus from Caiaphas to the Praetorium, and it was early morning. But they themselves did not go into the Praetorium, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the Passover. Pilate then went out to them and said, “What accusation do you bring against this Man?”

These guys didn’t enter into Pilate’s court simply because He was a Gentile. They wanted to “keep themselves holy for the Passover feast”. Yet, they were hatching out the biggest wickedness of human history. They desired Passover but rejected the Saviour Who would pass them over from death to life. They condemned Jesus to death for speaking the truth about His divinity. They condemned the Truth Himself to death! Hmmmmn…


Mark 15:6 Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested.

The trial got more interesting as even Pilate himself found out that Jesus was innocent. He said: “I have found no fault in this Man.” (Luke 23:14) But then, the “protest” against Jesus had become a serious situation. He had two options: Do what was right or do what was convenient. He felt that his customary kind gesture of amnesty during the feast would be an escape route. Little did he know that these guys were hell bent on killing Jesus.

Interestingly, the name Barabbas means “son of Abba”. There is a significant truth here. Jesus, the true and beloved Son of Abba, sinless and innocent, will be beaten and crucified. Barabbas, the other son of Abba, sinful and guilty, will be set free because Jesus became his substitute! The Prince of Peace in exchange of a proven terrorist.

This is exactly our story, as believers. We stood guilty before God and deserving of death (Rom. 3:23; 6:23). But then, without any work of our own, Jesus chose to die in our place. As He took Barabbas’ chains, so He took our chains and pains. Amen. He bore the punishment we rightly deserved. Just like Barabbas, we were allowed to go free with no condemnation (Rom. 8:1). Jesus “suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Pet. 3:18).


Mark 15:11-14 But the chief priests stirred up the crowd, so that he should rather release Barabbas to them. Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” So they cried out again, “Crucify Him!” Then Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, “Crucify Him!”

Here is another exchange in this chapter. We read in Mark 11:8-10 that the crowd of people openly welcomed and honoured their Messiah. They were shouting “Hosanna” which means “save us now”. But here, they are asking for their Messiah to be crucified!

Mark 15:29-30 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads and saying, “Aha! You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself, and come down from the cross!”

His hailers became his haters. Those who long waited for a deliverer are the ones who wailed loudly and delivered Him for hanging.

Mark 15:12 Pilate answered and said to them again, “What then do you want me to do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?”

This is the most important question that everyone must ask. When the gospel of Christ is preached, the hearers are expected to answer this question. They can either accept Him, mock Him, or reject Him. Each person’s answer to this question determines their eternity.


Mark 15:33-34 Now when the sixth hour had come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which is translated, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

As Jesus hung on the cross, darkness swept across the whole earth. Ordinarily, the Passover holds during a full moon, so it’s practically impossible to have a natural eclipse of the sun. It only takes an extraordinary miracle for this darkness to happen. Plus, it was needed to fulfill a requirement. Jesus, the Perfect Sacrifice, is the only Passover Lamb to be killed between two nights.

Exodus 12:6 And it shall be for you to keep until the fourteenth day of this month. And all the assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it between the evenings.

The cross was the only place where God’s justice and mercy could kiss (Psa. 85:10). God’s wrath was fully satisfied by God’s love (Isa. 53:5-11). Not just that… The cross was also a place of divine exchange…

  • Jesus took my curses and gave me His blessings. (Gal. 3:13-14)
  • Jesus took my death and gave me His life. (1Pet. 3:18)
  • Jesus took my sins and gave me His righteousness. (2Cor. 5:21)
  • Jesus took the law away and gave me His grace. (Col. 2:13-14)
  • Jesus took my shame and gave me His glory. (Heb. 12:2-3; 13:12-13)

This is the greatest exchange of all times! If you desire to understand more truths about the crucifixion, I recommend that you listen to these teachings by Pastor Dammy.

REPEAT AFTER ME: “Thank You Jesus for the Cross of Divine Exchange!”


Mark 15:37-39 And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

Crucifixion leads to complete exhaustion, unconsciousness and eventually, death. It was a bit different for Jesus. Although he was tortured and weak, He was still conscious and was able to speak even till the moment of His death. John tells us what He said.

John 19:30 Therefore when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.

The next thing that happened was significant. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom (pardon me, I read this in Buhari’s voice). This signifies that we now have free access to God’s throne of grace by the cross. The veil that blocked the Holy of Holies reminded them of sinner’s separation from God’s holy presence. No animal sacrifice could ever tear that veil. God tore it by the sacrifice of the Lamb of God. The barrier to God had been permanently removed. Access to God’s presence is now open through the completed work of Christ (Heb. 4:16). “From top to bottom” means that God tore it from heaven by Himself.

My Jesus was “forsaken” so I can have constant access to God. Hallelujah!

The rest of the chapter details the burial of Jesus’ body by Joseph of Arimathea. Jesus accurately predicted everything that would happen to Him. Suffering, death, burial… And tomorrow, we will see the fulfilment of the final prediction.

Thanks for reading.

Grace to you. Amen.

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