MARCH 2 READING…Mark 15
Our readings today are about Jesus’ final trial before the Roman authority, Pilate…the beating of Jesus by the Roman soldiers…the crucifixion of Jesus…and the burial of Jesus.
Jesus is brought to Pilate by the religious leaders. Please understand that these same religious leaders would have nothing to do with Pilate unless it benefited their power. They said they did not have the power to kill Jesus…they were lying. We already know that the Jews stoned people to death for sins, and especially for blasphemy. They weighed the impact and their popularity and decided to pass the blame over to the Romans, after all the Jews already hated the Romans. This could be a “win-win” for them, they would get rid of Jesus, and if there was any residual effect it would fall on the Romans. Jesus did not attempt to defend Himself before Pilate, He only answered the question about His kingship. Pilate had no authority over Jesus…so there was no reason for Jesus to defend Himself. When the world turns against the followers of Jesus, and they drag us into their courts, we don’t need to defend ourselves…for the Gospel of Jesus is our defense. Even Pilate tried to abdicate his responsibility and put the decision of what to do with Jesus in the hands of the people...even giving them the option to release Jesus or a murderer, Barabbas. Do you see what “mob rule” produces? Never justice…it just fulfills the crowd’s bloodlust. So, Pilate tries to satisfy the crowd by having Jesus beaten, and then crucified.
Crucifixion is one of the cruel, inhumane, and excruciating way of putting someone to death. Crucifixion always resulted in death. The Romans had too reasons for publicly crucifying people…the first is punishment, and the second is as a warning to all others considering breaking Roman law. They crucified people for hours, and sometimes days…these people where humiliated even in their death, for they were crucified naked and in the most public place. People would come by and mock and verbally abuse those dying on the cross. Jesus was on the cross for six hours when the result of both His extreme beating and being impaled on the cross resulted in His death…but don’t be mistaken for the Bible makes it clear that Jesus gave up His life. A follower of Jesus, Joseph, asked for the body of Jesus and it was released to him. He took Jesus’ body off the cross and took Him to his family tomb. The tomb would literally be borrowed by Jesus…for He would not be there long!
Please share your thoughts from today’s reading.
TOMORROW’S READING…Mark 16