Mark 15-16, Luke 1
Mark Chapter 15
After holding The Messiah through the night of Nisan 14, The Sanhedrin sent Christ to Pontius Pilate not long after dawn. Shrewd Pilate quickly realized that Christ had violated no Roman law (i.e. the land of Judah was under Roman military occupation; see Ancient Empires - Rome), but after Christ's religious opponents threatened to cause trouble for Pilate by making complaints to his superiors, Pilate took the easiest (for him) way out - he ordered Christ executed, knowing full well, as did the religious leaders of Judah, that He was absolutely innocent. Christ was assassinated (i.e. "the murder of a socially prominent person for political purposes").
"15:1 And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders [see The Senate] and Scribes and the whole council [i.e. The Sanhedrin], and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
15:2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou The King of the Jews?
And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it.
15:3 And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. 15:4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee.
15:5 But Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled.
15:6 Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
15:7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed murder in the insurrection. 15:8 And the multitude crying aloud began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
15:9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews?
15:10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. 15:11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them.
15:12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews?
15:13 And they cried out again, Crucify him.
15:14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
15:15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified." (Mark 15:1-15 KJV)
Christ was then delivered to the Roman troops who further tortured Him (see Before The Battle Line).
"15:16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called The Praetorium; and they call together the whole band. 15:17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of Thorns, and put it about his head,
15:18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! 15:19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 15:20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him." (Mark 15:16-20 KJV)
Christ was then taken to Golgotha, the "place of a skull" - perhaps named from the skull-like face in the side of the cliff. It was then mid-morning, "15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him" (the "third hour" is equivalent to 9 am on a modern-day clock - see Hours Of The Day). Christ would hang on the "cross" (shaped like a capital T - see Crossing The T) for a little over 6 hours.
"15:21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian [see Simon of Cyrene], who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 15:22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull. 15:23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not. 15:24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
15:25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. 15:26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 15:27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 15:28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. 15:29 And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 15:30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
15:31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 15:32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him." (Mark 15:21-32 KJV)
Using modern-day time, Christ was hung on the cross at 9 am; from noon to 3 pm, "darkness over the whole land." He died not long after 3 pm.
Christ knew for most of His life that He would be the Lamb of God. The Father had made Him aware of all that was coming. There was only one thing that Christ, it seems, did not know was coming - see Eloi, Eloi, Lama Sabachthani?
"15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 15:34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
15:35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias.
15:36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of Vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down.
15:37 And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost [see Giving Up The Ghost].
15:38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom [see Why Was It Torn?]. 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
15:40 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome [see Aunt Mary?]; 15:41 Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him; and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem." (Mark 15:33-41 KJV)
It was late afternoon; the beginning of the First Day of Unleavened Bread was fast approaching at sunset. Joseph Of Arimathea and Nicodemus managed to get the Body properly buried in the tomb just as the sun was setting. Christ would remain there for three days and three nights, after which the Resurrection occurred on a Sabbath afternoon, the seventh day of the week, just before sunset (see The Son Rose As The Sun Set).
"15:42 And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath, 15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 15:44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 15:45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph.
15:46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 15:47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid." (Mark 15:42-47 KJV)
Mark Chapter 16
Very early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, the women arrived to find the tomb empty. There was no "Sunday sunrise resurrection" because Christ rose hours before, just before sunset at the end of the seventh day of the week. He was placed in the tomb just before sunset on (what we today call) Wednesday; He rose just before sunset on (what we today call) Saturday (see The Son Rose As The Sun Set and Sun Worship).
"16:1 And when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene [see Mary of Magdala], and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet Spices, that they might come and anoint him. 16:2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
16:3 And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?
16:4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
16:5 And entering into the Sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 16:6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted: Ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 16:7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you.
16:8 And they went out quickly, and fled from the sepulchre; for they trembled and were amazed: neither said they any thing to any man; for they were afraid." (Mark 16:1-8 KJV)
Some early manuscripts do not have Mark 16:9-20. Those verses do have a different "tone" to them, which may add to their suspicion. There is one obvious error in them, perhaps due only to punctuation placement when translated i.e. "when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene" should be "when Jesus was risen, early the first day of the week he appeared first to Mary Magdalene" - the same words, but a very different account. Christ did not rise on the first day of the week; Christ rose on the seventh day of the week (again, see Sun Worship).
"16:9 Now when Jesus was risen early the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had cast seven devils. 16:10 And she went and told them that had been with him, as they mourned and wept. 16:11 And they, when they had heard that he was alive, and had been seen of her, believed not.
16:12 After that he appeared in another form unto two of them, as they walked, and went into the country. 16:13 And they went and told it unto the residue: neither believed they them.
16:14 Afterward he appeared unto the eleven as they sat at meat, and upbraided them with their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they believed not them which had seen him after he was risen.
16:15 And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16:16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned. 16:17 And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; 16:18 They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.
16:19 So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God. 16:20 And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen." (Mark 16:9-20 KJV)
Luke Chapter 1
Luke states plainly that he was not personally a witness of most of the events that he recorded in the Gospel book of Luke, but, perhaps even better than if he had been a single witness, he compiled a record of many witnesses of Christ's life and ministry, "1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and ministers of the word" (Luke 1:2 KJV). Luke later was a close associate of the apostle Paul (see Paul's Ministry), which gave Luke another rich source of information, from which Luke then also wrote the book of Acts.
The Scriptures do not record whether Luke was martyred with Paul. An early anonymous source wrote of Luke after his death: "He served The Lord without distraction, having neither wife nor children, and at the age of 84 he fell asleep in Boeotia, full of The Holy Spirit." The other says that he was killed by being hanged in an olive tree in Greece.
Both Luke and Acts were addressed to Theophilus.
"1:1 Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, 1:2 Even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were eyewitnesses, and Ministers of the word [there are two meanings to "the Word of God" - see The Logos]; 1:3 It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, 1:4 That thou mightest know the certainty of those things, wherein thou hast been instructed." (Luke 1:1-4 KJV)
Jesus Christ was born miraculously, from a virgin. John the Baptist was The Other Miraculous Birth - John's mother Elizabeth was elderly, past the age of having children. John's father was an elderly Levite priest.
"1:5 There was in the days of Herod [see The Herods], the king of Judaea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elisabeth. 1:6 And they were both righteous before God, walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. 1:7 And they had no child, because that Elisabeth was barren, and they both were now well stricken in years.
1:8 And it came to pass, that while he executed the priest's office [see Levites] before God in the order of his course,
1:9 According to the custom of the priest's office, his lot was to burn incense when he went into the temple of the Lord. 1:10 And the whole multitude of the people were praying without at the time of incense.
1:11 And there appeared unto him an angel of the Lord standing on the right side of the altar of incense. 1:12 And when Zacharias saw him, he was troubled, and fear fell upon him.
1:13 But the angel said unto him, Fear not, Zacharias: for thy prayer is heard; and thy wife Elisabeth shall bear thee a son, and thou shalt call his name John. 1:14 And thou shalt have joy and gladness; and many shall rejoice at his birth. 1:15 For he shall be great in the sight of the Lord, and shall drink neither wine nor strong drink; and he shall be filled with The Holy Ghost, even from his mother's womb [see also When Does Life Begin?]. 1:16 And many of the children of Israel shall he turn to the Lord their God. 1:17 And he shall go before him in the spirit and power of Elias [see The Elijah To Come], to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just; to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.
1:18 And Zacharias said unto the angel, Whereby shall I know this? for I am an old man, and my wife well stricken in years. 1:19 And the angel answering said unto him, I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God; and am sent to speak unto thee, and to show thee these glad Tidings. 1:20 And, behold, thou shalt be dumb, and not able to speak, until the day that these things shall be performed, because thou believest not my words, which shall be fulfilled in their season.
1:21 And the people waited for Zacharias, and marvelled that he tarried so long in the temple.
1:22 And when he came out, he could not speak unto them: and they perceived that he had seen a vision in the temple: for he beckoned unto them, and remained speechless.
1:23 And it came to pass, that, as soon as the days of his ministration were accomplished, he departed to his own house. 1:24 And after those days his wife Elisabeth conceived, and hid herself five months, saying, 1:25 Thus hath the Lord dealt with me in the days wherein he looked on me, to take away my reproach among men." (Luke 1:5-25 KJV)
Gabriel then went and announced to Mary that she would also have a child, by a miracle.
"1:26 And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, 1:27 To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin's name was Mary. 1:28 And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women.
1:29 And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. 1:30 And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. 1:31 And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name JESUS. 1:32 He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David [see Israelite Monarchy - The Messiah]: 1:33 And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end.
1:34 Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?
1:35 And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee [see also Spiritual Conception], and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God. 1:36 And, behold, thy cousin Elisabeth, she hath also conceived a son in her old age: and this is the sixth month with her, who was called barren. 1:37 For with God nothing shall be impossible.
1:38 And Mary said, Behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it unto me according to thy word. And the angel departed from her." (Luke 1:26-38 KJV)
Mary then visited Elizabeth for "about three months" (Luke 1:56), which, since "this is the sixth month with her" (Luke 1:36) before Mary left for the visit, Mary remained with Elizabeth until about the time of the birth of John the Baptist.
"1:39 And Mary arose in those days, and went into the hill country with haste, into a city of Juda; 1:40 And entered into the house of Zacharias, and saluted Elisabeth. 1:41 And it came to pass, that, when Elisabeth heard the salutation of Mary, the babe leaped in her womb; and Elisabeth was filled with the Holy Ghost: 1:42 And she spake out with a loud voice, and said, Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 1:43 And whence is this to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 1:44 For, lo, as soon as the voice of thy salutation sounded in mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy. 1:45 And blessed is she that believed: for there shall be a performance of those things which were told her from the Lord.
1:46 And Mary said, My soul doth magnify the Lord, 1:47 And my spirit hath rejoiced in God my Saviour. 1:48 For he hath regarded the low estate of his handmaiden: for, behold, from henceforth all generations shall call me blessed. 1:49 For he that is mighty hath done to me great things; and holy is his name. 1:50 And his mercy is on them that fear him from generation to generation. 1:51 He hath showed strength with his arm; he hath scattered the proud in the imagination of their hearts. 1:52 He hath put down the mighty from their seats, and exalted them of low degree. 1:53 He hath filled the hungry with good things; and the rich he hath sent empty away. 1:54 He hath holpen his servant Israel, in remembrance of his mercy;
1:55 As he spake to our fathers, to Abraham, and to his seed for ever.
1:56 And Mary abode with her about three months, and returned to her own house." (Luke 1:39-56 KJV)
The birth of John the Baptist came exactly as prophesied by Gabriel. Both Jesus and John were born for a specific purpose. Neither married. Neither were corrupted by the politics of the world. Both were assassinated because they preached the Truth (see John's Last Days).
"1:57 Now Elisabeth's full time came that she should be delivered; and she brought forth a son. 1:58 And her neighbours and her cousins heard how the Lord had showed great mercy upon her; and they rejoiced with her.
1:59 And it came to pass, that on the eighth day they came to circumcise the child; and they called him Zacharias, after the name of his father. 1:60 And his mother answered and said, Not so; but he shall be called John.
1:61 And they said unto her, There is none of thy kindred that is called by this name.
1:62 And they made signs to his father, how he would have him called. 1:63 And he asked for a writing table, and wrote, saying, His name is John. And they marvelled all. 1:64 And his mouth was opened immediately, and his tongue loosed, and he spake, and praised God.
1:65 And fear came on all that dwelt round about them: and all these sayings were noised abroad throughout all the hill country of Judaea. 1:66 And all they that heard them laid them up in their hearts, saying, What manner of child shall this be! And the hand of the Lord was with him.
1:67 And his father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesied, saying,
1:68 Blessed be the Lord God of Israel; for he hath visited and redeemed his people,
1:69 And hath raised up an horn of salvation for us in the house of his servant David;
1:70 As he spake by the mouth of his holy prophets, which have been since the world began:
1:71 That we should be saved from our enemies, and from the hand of all that hate us;
1:72 To perform the mercy promised to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant;
1:73 The oath which he sware to our father Abraham,
1:74 That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear, 1:75 In holiness and righteousness before him, all the days of our life.
1:76 And thou, child, shalt be called the prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways; 1:77 To give knowledge of salvation unto his people by the remission of their sins, 1:78 Through the tender mercy of our God; whereby the dayspring from on high hath visited us, 1:79 To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.
1:80 And the child grew, and waxed strong in spirit, and was in the deserts till the day of his showing unto Israel." (Luke 1:57-80 KJV)
Fact Finder: Why was Jesus Christ born as a human?
See A Man With A Mission