Whereas Matthew takes nearly two chapters to recount the trial, Passion and Death of Jesus, Mark does so in 47 brief verses. Keeping in mind what we have said along about Mark’s style in regards to keeping the action moving, keeping Jesus moving to his Destiny on the Cross, it turns out, and this will be revealed tomorrow, that Mark is working his way through the Passion and Death of Jesus so that he can get to the Resurrection. The Resurrection of Jesus is the cornerstone of our Christian Faith and it’s the point that Mark really wants to get to.
But, there is no Easter Sunday without Holy Thursday and Good Friday. So, in chapter 15 we have Good Friday recounted for us: the sham-trial; the sentencing; the Way of the Cross (only 1 verse); the Crucifixion, Death and Burial of Jesus.
Mark keeps the action moving and this entire chapter is almost strictly the recounting of chronological events without a lot of commentary or explanation from Mark.
A few items of interest:
-In verse 5 Jesus refuses to answer any more questions. This is to fulfill a prophecy of Isaiah that the Accused One would offer no defense, but would willingly, freely, accept his Execution.
-In verse 13 the same crowds that on Palm Sunday welcomed Jesus as their Messiah, are now calling for his death.
-In verse 26 Mark recounts the sign that Pilate hangs over Jesus’s head: INRI- Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews. Perhaps inadvertently, Pilate is the first to recognize Jesus as King- not only of the Jews, but of the whole universe. A fact that will soon be verified by his Resurrection.
Point for Prayer
Jesus’s ultimate Gift has been given for us: His very Life. Pray with this entry from a devotional called God Calling:
“Give abundantly. Feel that you are rich. Have no mean thought in your heart. Of Love, of thought, of all you have, give, give, give. You are followers of the World’s Greatest Giver. Give of time, of personal ease and comfort, of rest, of fame, of healing, of power, of sympathy, of all these and many more. Learn this lesson, and you will become a great power to help others and to do mighty things” (entry for August 30).