Life's Greatest Decision

The Gospel of Mark

Chapter 15

The religious leaders, teachers of the religious law, and all the council met together immediately early in the morning. They put chains on Jesus' arms and legs, and led Him away, and gave Him to Pilate. Pilate asked Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?"

Jesus answered him, "Yes, It is just like you have said it." The chief priests said He was guilty of many things. Pilate asked Jesus again, "Won't You answer any of these things? You heard the many things they say You are guilty of." But Jesus did not answer anything, and Pilate was full of wonder.

Pilate Tries to Free Jesus but Fails

Pilate usually freed a prisoner every year at the feast. He freed one prisoner the people asked for. A man named Barabbas was in prison with the rebels who had killed other people in a rebellion. The crowd of people went to Pilate and began to ask him to do for them what he usually did every year. Pilate answered, "Do you want me to free the King of the Jews for you?" Pilate said this because he knew the chief priests gave Jesus to him because they were jealous. But the chief priests convinced the crowd to ask Pilate to free Barabbas for them instead of Jesus. Pilate answered again, "Then what should I do to the man whom you say is the King of the Jews?"

They shouted, "Kill Him on a cross!"

But Pilate said to them, "Why? What evil things has He done?"

But they shouted even louder, "Kill Him on a cross!" Pilate wanted to please the crowd, so he freed Barabbas and he ordered them to beat Jesus and he gave Him to them so they could hang Him on a cross to die.

The Soldiers Shame Jesus

The soldiers took Jesus away into the palace (named the Praetorium), and they called all the Roman soldiers to come there. They dressed Him in purple clothes, and they made a crown of thorns and put it on His head. They began to call out to Him, "Honor to the King of the Jews!" Then they hit His head many times with a stick and spit at Him, and went down on their knees in front of Him. They took the purple clothes off Him after they laughed at Him, and they put His own clothes on Him again. Then they led Him out to hang Him on a cross to die.

Jesus is Hung on a Cross to Die

There was a man from Cyrene , named Simon, who was the father of Alexander and Rufus. He walked near them as he came from outside the city, and they forced him to carry Jesus' cross.

They brought Jesus to the place named Golgotha . That means, "The Place of the Skull." They offered Him wine mixed with myrrh, but He did not take it. They hung Him on a cross, and divided His clothes with each other. They threw a dice to decide what each person should take. It was nine o'clock in the morning when they hung Him on the cross. They wrote what they said He was guilty of, "The King of the Jews." They also hung two thieves on crosses to die with Jesus. They put one thief at Jesus' right side and the other thief at His left side.

The people who walked near Jesus, shouted evil things against Him and shook their heads and said, "Ha! You Who were going to destroy the temple and build it again in three days, save yourself and come down from the cross!" The chief priests and the teachers of the religious law laughed at Him with each other in the same way and said, "He saved other people, but He cannot save himself. The Christ, the King of Israel, should come down from the cross now, so we can see it and believe in Him." The men who were hung on crosses with Him also said evil things against Him.

Jesus Dies

It became dark everywhere there at noon , and the darkness remained until three o'clock in the afternoon. Jesus called out with a loud voice at three o'clock , "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?" That means, "My God, My God, why have You turned away from Me?" Some people who stood near there heard it and they said, "Listen, He is calling Elijah."

Then someone ran and filled a sponge with wine vinegar. He put the sponge on a long stick and gave it to Jesus to drink, and he said, "Leave Him alone now and let us see if Elijah will come and take Him down from the cross." Jesus called out with a loud voice and His life left Him. Then the curtain in the temple was torn into two pieces. It tore from the top to the bottom.

When the chief officer who stood there in front of Jesus saw the way He died, he said, "It is true that this man was the Son of God."

The Woman on the Mountain of Calvary

There were also women who stood far away and watched. Mary Magdalene and Mary, the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome were among them. They had followed Jesus when He was in Galilee and served Him. Many other women who came with Him to Jerusalem were also there.

Jesus is Buried

It was Preparation Day (the day before the Sabbath), so Joseph from Arimathaea came when it was evening. He was an important member of the Jewish Council who was also waiting for the kingdom of God to come. He went courageously to Pilate, and asked him for the body of Jesus. Pilate was surprised that Jesus was already dead and he called the chief officer to him. He asked him if Jesus was already dead. Pilate gave the body to Joseph after the captain told him that Jesus was dead. Joseph bought a very fine cloth, and he took Jesus down from the cross and put the cloth around His body. Then he put Jesus in a grave that was made by cutting a hole in rock, and he rolled a very large stone and put it against the door of the grave. Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where they put Jesus.

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