The Sentence, Crucifixion and Burial (Mark 15:6-47)

Jesus was brought before the Roman Governor, Pontius Pilate. It was the time of the Passover, and the Jews traditionally released one prisoner as part of the festival. But the crowds requested the release of Barabbas (a murderer), clamouring for the crucifixion of Jesus. Jesus was beaten and handed over to soldiers in order to be crucified, and they dressed him in a purple cloak, put a crown of thorns on his head, and mocked him shouting "Hail, king of the Jews". After this, Simon of Cyrene was made to carry the cross to Golgotha (which means the place of a skull) for him. When they arrived, Jesus refused to drink wine mixed with myrrh. The guards then cast lots for his clothes, and at the third hour, they crucified Jesus. There was an inscription attached to his cross which read 'The King of the Jews'. Two robbers were crucified with him - one on either side. Passers-by jeered at him, and the chief priests mocked Jesus while he was hanging on the cross. At the ninth hour, Jesus called out "My God, My God, why have you abandoned me?" and some bystanders thought that he was calling Elijah. He was offered a sponge soaked in vinegar to drink, then uttered a loud cry, and breathed his last.

At that time, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, and the centurion who was standing guard over Jesus proclaimed "Surely this man was the Son of God". Some female followers of Jesus were present at his crucifixion, witnessing it from a distance - MaryMagdalene, and Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. Because it was Preparation Day (the day before the Sabbath), when evening came Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate to ask for Jesus' body. The centurion confirmed that Jesus had died, so Pilate agreed to this request. Joseph of Arimathea took Jesus' body, wrapped it in linen, and placed it in a tomb.


  • By his crucifixion, Jesus acts as a sacrifice for all people's sins.
  • Humiliation - Jesus felt rejected, and he was jeered at by the priests and the bystanders.
  • Abandoned - Jesus even cried out that he had been abandoned by God.
  • Crucifixion - this represented an incredibly painful and long-drawn-out death.
  • Things are beginning to change - Jesus' female (not male) followers witness the crucifixion, and a Roman centurion is the first to acknowledge Jesus' true identity.
  • Curtain in the temple - previously God was believed to be behind the curtain and almost unreachable; now he is everywhere.
  • Judaism is still important though - the body must be buried before the Sabbath.

 Contemporary Issues

  • Suffering for a belief.
  • What do we need to be saved from in this day and age?
  • Is there anyone/anything that you would be prepared to die for?



Which Jewish festival was being celebrated at the time of Jesus' death?

Who sentenced Jesus to death (name and position)?

Who was released instead of Jesus (name and crime committed)?

Who carried Jesus' cross for him?

What was written on the notice nailed to Jesus' cross?

Explain the part played by Joseph of Arimathea, in the burial of Jesus

What significance does Jesus' crucifixion hold for Christians today?