Mark 15

Pilate asks Jesus questions

1 Very early the next morning, all the Jewish leaders had a meeting. The leaders of the priests met with the leaders, the teachers of God's Law, and the other important Jews. They decided what they would do. They tied Jesus' hands and feet and they took him to Pilate's house. They put him under Pilate's authority.

15:1Pilate ruled Jerusalem on behalf of the Roman government.

2 Pilate asked Jesus, ‘Are you the king of the Jews?’

Jesus replied, ‘You have said it.’

3 Then the leaders of the priests said to Pilate that Jesus had done many bad things. 4 So Pilate asked him again, ‘What is your answer? You should say something! Listen! They are saying that you have done many bad things.’

5 But Jesus still did not reply to what the men were saying against him. Pilate was very surprised about that.

6 Each year during the Passover festival, Pilate let one person go free out of the prison. The people had to ask him for the person that they wanted. 7 A man called Barabbas was in the prison at that time. He and some other men had fought against the Roman rulers. And they had killed someone when they were fighting. 8 The crowd came to Pilate. They asked him to do what he usually did at this time.

9 Pilate asked the people, ‘Do you want me to let the king of the Jews go free?’ 10 Pilate knew why the leaders of the priests had brought Jesus to him. They were jealous because people liked Jesus so much. 11 But the leaders of the priests talked strongly to the people. They said, ‘Ask Pilate to let Barabbas go free instead of Jesus.’

12 Pilate asked the crowd again, ‘So what should I do to Jesus? He is the man that you call “the king of the Jews”.’

13 The people shouted back to Pilate: ‘Kill him on a cross!’

14 ‘Why should I kill him?’ Pilate asked. ‘What bad things has he done?’

But the people shouted even louder, ‘Kill him on a cross!’

15 Pilate decided to do what the crowd wanted. So he let Barabbas go free. He said to his soldiers, ‘Hit Jesus many times with a whip. Then take him and fix him on a cross to die.’

15:15Pilate was afraid that the crowd would start to fight. So he did what they had asked him to do. He wanted them to be happy. People with authority used a whip to punish someone who had done something wrong. It had long narrow pieces of leather. And there were pieces of metal on the ends.

16 So, the soldiers took Jesus to the yard at the ruler's house. They told all the soldiers in their group to come there. 17 Then they put a dark red coat on Jesus, like a king wears. They used some sharp branches and they made a crown for him. They put it on his head.

15:17A crown is usually a special hat that a king wears. But this crown was sharp and it was painful for Jesus to wear it. The dark red coat was also like the coat that a king wore. The soldiers did not believe that Jesus was really a king.

18 Then the soldiers began to laugh at Jesus. They said, ‘Hello, King of the Jews, you are great!’ 19 They took a stick and they hit him on the head with it many times. They spat on him. Then they went down on their knees in front of him. They told him how great he was. 20 Then they finished laughing at him. They took the dark red coat off him. They put his own clothes back on him. Then they took him away to the place where they would kill him on a cross.

The soldiers put Jesus on a cross

21 As the soldiers were taking Jesus out to that place, a man called Simon was there. He was coming in from outside the city. He was from the city called Cyrene, and he was the father of Alexander and Rufus. The soldiers told Simon that he must carry Jesus' cross. 22 The soldiers took Jesus to a place that is called Golgotha. (Golgotha means ‘the place of a skull’.)

15:22The skull is the bone inside the head. Golgotha was the place where the Roman soldiers killed robbers.

23 They tried to give Jesus some wine to drink. They had mixed some medicine called myrrh into the wine. But Jesus would not drink it. 24 Then the soldiers fixed Jesus on to the cross. They took his clothes for themselves. They played a game to decide which soldier would receive each of his clothes.

25 It was about nine o'clock in the morning when the soldiers fixed Jesus to the cross. 26 They put a notice there to show the reason why they were killing him. It said, ‘The King of the Jews’. 27 They also put two robbers on crosses with Jesus. One robber was on Jesus' right side. The other robber was on his left side. [ 28 The Bible says that this would happen. It says, ‘People thought of him like someone who did not obey God's Law.’]

15:28You can read this in Isaiah 53:12.
15:28This verse is not in many old copies of Mark's book.

29 The people who walked near there said bad things against Jesus. They laughed at him and they said, ‘Oh! You said that you would destroy God's Great House. And you said that in three days you would build it again. 30 If you can really do that, save yourself. Come down from the cross!’

31 The leaders of the priests and the teachers of God's Law laughed at him. They said to each other, ‘This man saved other people, did he? But he cannot save his own life! 32 If he is the Messiah, the king of Israel, he should come down from the cross now. Then we would see it and we would believe in him.’ The two men who were on the crosses next to Jesus also said bad things against him.

Jesus dies

33 At midday, the whole country became dark for three hours. 34 At three o'clock in the afternoon, Jesus shouted loudly, ‘Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani?’ That means, ‘My God, my God, why have you left me alone?’

35 Some people who were standing near there heard him. They said to each other, ‘Look! He is shouting to Elijah.’

36 One man ran to get a piece of cloth. He poured cheap wine on it, and he put it on the end of a stick. Then he lifted it up to Jesus so that he could drink the wine from it. The man said, ‘Wait! Now we will see if Elijah comes to take him down from the cross.’

37 Then Jesus shouted loudly, and after that he died.

38 And the curtain inside God's Great House completely tore into two parts from the top down to the bottom.

15:38The curtain was in front of the special room inside God's Great House. God tore it from the top down. The curtain was too thick for a man to tear it.

39 The captain of the soldiers was standing there in front of Jesus. He saw how Jesus died. ‘It must be true!’ he said. ‘This man really was the Son of God.’

15:39The captain was an important soldier. He had authority over 100 other soldiers.

40 Some women were also there. They were watching these events from a long way away. Mary from Magdala was one of the women. Mary the mother of the younger James and Joses was also there. Salome was there too. 41 These women had travelled with Jesus when he was in Galilee and they had helped him. Many other women were also there near the cross. They had come to Jerusalem with Jesus.

Joseph buries Jesus' dead body

42 It was Friday and the Jews were preparing for their day of rest on Saturday. 43 That evening, a man called Joseph went to see Pilate. Joseph was from a town called Arimathea. He was a good man and he was one of the group of important Jewish leaders. He was waiting for the time when God would start to rule his people in his kingdom. Joseph bravely asked Pilate for the dead body of Jesus to bury it. 44 Pilate was surprised that Jesus had already died. He asked the captain of the soldiers to come to him. He asked him if Jesus had already died. 45 The captain told Pilate that Jesus was already dead. So then Pilate let Joseph go and take Jesus' dead body. 46 Joseph bought a new piece of soft white cloth. He took Jesus' body down from the cross and he put the cloth round him. Then he put Jesus in a special hole in a rock. People had cut that hole in the rock to bury dead bodies in it. After this, Joseph rolled a big stone across the front of the hole to shut it.

47 Mary from Magdala and Mary the mother of Joses were watching. They saw where Joseph had put Jesus' dead body.

15:47In that country, people buried dead bodies in large holes in the rock. They put a big stone in front of the hole to close it.