Teaching Notes are Bible studies we taught before GraceLife Ministries began publishing articles online in 1995. Some were presented as sermons, others as group studies.

Our hope is that these older studies will be a blessing to you in your life and ministry. Please use them in any way God leads you.

These teaching notes are from a series of studies about the Gospel of Mark.

[These notes are from a study prepared 45 years ago.]

Outline of Mark 15

I. Jesus is taken to Pilate by the Sanhedrin. 1-2

II. Jesus is questioned by Pilate. 3-5

III. Jesus is offered for release as was tradition for the feast, but the people cried for the release of Barabbas and the crucifixion of Christ. 6-15

IV. Jesus is taken to the Praetorium and mocked. 16-20

V. Jesus makes the agonizing journey to the Cross. 21-23

VI. Jesus is crucified. 24-41

A. Christ is crucified between two thieves and mocked by passersby, the chief priests, and the scribes. 24-32

B. Christ cries out to His Father and then gives up His Spirit. 33-37

C. Christ’s death causes the veil in the Temple to be rent in two. 38

D. Christ’s death impresses the minds and hearts of many including a centurion, Mary Magdalene and other women. 39-41

VII. Jesus is buried. 42-47

Personal Interpretation of Mark 15

Jesus is illegally arrested and taken before the Sanhedrin and Pilate. The chief priests make many false accusations against Jesus, but He doesn’t say a word. That stunned Pilate. He must have known that what was being said about Jesus was ridiculous. There was a tradition that one Jewish prisoner would be released during the Feast of Atonement. Pilate offered Jesus to be released, but the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask for Barabbas, a rebel and murderer, to be released. They also asked for Jesus to be crucified. Pilate, who had no backbone, did as the people asked though he knew it was an injustice. 1-15

After the soldiers had made sport of Christ and thoroughly mocked Him, they led Jesus out to be crucified on Golgotha. The soldiers offered Jesus a mixture of wine and myrrh, a pain deadener, but He refused it. 16-23

In the short time that Jesus was on the Cross, numerous passages of prophetic Scripture were fulfilled. Verses 24-41 list a few. It was part of Roman law that the accusation against the prisoner be placed on the head of the cross. The sole accusation made against Jesus was that He was “The King of the Jews,” which was a statement of fact. 24-28

Passersby and the religious leaders had great fun with the Lord and mocked Him on the Cross as He died for sin. At the sixth hour, a great darkness came over the whole area and three hours later Jesus was heard to cry out. The Lord spoke in Aramaic, but in Hebrew the words sounded like someone crying out for the prophet Elijah. At the moment of death, the penalty had been paid for sin and the separation of man from God, which is symbolized by the veil in the Temple being torn from top to bottom. This opened the way for people to come to God through the Lord Jesus Christ. 29-41

It was almost unheard of for a man to die in six hours on a cross. Pilate answered a request and gave the body of Christ to Joseph of Arimathea for burial in his yet unused sepulcher – another prophecy fulfilled. A great stone was rolled at the doorway and many witnessed all that occurred. 42-47

Reference Additions

The Romans did not permit the Jews to inflict the sentence of capital punishment. Consequently it was necessary to take Jesus to Pilate, who was the Roman procurator over Judea. (1)

The sixth hour was 12 o’clock Noon. At this brightest time of the day, darkness came over the whole land. This could not have been a total eclipse for the Passover occurred at the time of the full moon, when no such eclipse was possible. What caused the darkness is not stated. Certainly the timing of the phenomenon was supernatural. (33)

The Lord’s greatest suffering on the Cross was not physical – it was rather agony of soul as He bore the guilt of sin in His body. The sense in which God had forsaken Christ was that the Father withdrew from communion with the Son. No longer did He evidence His love toward His Son. Instead, Christ had become the object of the Father’s displeasure for He was the sinner’s substitute. (34)

Wycliffe’s Bible Commentary (pp. 181-185)

Practical Usage of Mark 15

Preaching Application: Mark 15:30

“Save thyself, and come down from the cross.”

This statement by passersby shows that they did not understand why Jesus came from Heaven to earth. He did not come to save Himself, but to save others.

I. He came to give His life. Matthew 20:28

II. He came to save the lost. Luke 19:10; John 12:47; 1 Timothy 1:15

III. He came to give new life. John 10:10

Next Time

We will look at the Eternal God in the next part of our special series.

[Thank you for reading these teaching notes from 45 years ago. My prayer is they will be a blessing to you and your ministry.]