What does Mark 15:1 mean?
ESV: And as soon as it was morning, the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council. And they bound Jesus and led him away and delivered him over to Pilate.
NIV: Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, made their plans. So they bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.
NASB: Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders, scribes, and the entire Council immediately held a consultation; and they bound Jesus and led Him away, and turned Him over to Pilate.
CSB: As soon as it was morning, having held a meeting with the elders, scribes, and the whole Sanhedrin, the chief priests tied Jesus up, led him away, and handed him over to Pilate.
NLT: Very early in the morning the leading priests, the elders, and the teachers of religious law — the entire high council — met to discuss their next step. They bound Jesus, led him away, and took him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
KJV: And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.
The Jewish leadership has been trying to destroy Jesus since early in His ministry (Mark 3:22–30). At least twice, they have been prepared to stone Him (John 8:59; 10:31). They don't want to execute Jesus during the Passover and week-long Feast of Unleavened Bread (Mark 14:1–2); Jesus has too many supporters who may cause a riot (Mark 11:1–10; 14:1–2). But since they have Him, it is much better if He is executed quickly.
The Sanhedrin has a lot working against them. If they imprison Jesus, His followers could rile up the travelers from Galilee, Judea, and the surrounding area who at least think He is a prophet, if not the Messiah. Because of Jesus' popularity, the number of Galileans in Jerusalem, and the fact that the Jewish council cannot execute someone, they need the Romans to kill Jesus. Were Jesus less-renowned and less-connected to conflict with religious leaders, they likely would have been content to let a mob break Roman law by stoning (Acts 7:54–60). Roman officials hold their trials in the early morning; if the Sanhedrin waits until later in the day, Pilate will not be available. At evening the Sabbath begins, so they need to move fast.
This verse does not describe a second trial before the Sanhedrin. The trial in Mark 14:53–65 happens concurrently with Peter's denials in Mark 14:66–72. "Held a consultation" means the evidence-gathering is over and the council members are making their final decision. They have already convicted Jesus of blasphemy according to the Mosaic law (Mark 14:63–65). Likely this discussion is to decide on what capital offence against Roman law they will present before Pilate.
John, who may have been present, adds more detail (John 18:28–32). When the members of the Sanhedrin take Jesus to Pilate's house, they do not enter. As residents of Jerusalem, they eat the Passover that afternoon, and will become unclean if they enter the home of a Gentile. After Pilate interviews and flogs Jesus, the Sanhedrin makes their case again (John 19:6–7). They want Pilate to execute Jesus. Pilate, either sarcastically or tauntingly, tells them to do it. They had earlier stated that by Roman law, they do not have the authority to execute someone. Now they tell Pilate that Jesus has committed an offense that, by Jewish law, is deserving of death—He has claimed to be the Son of God. By handing Jesus over to be crucified, His direct prophecy of crucifixion is fulfilled (John 18:32; Matthew 20:19) as well as the vaguer references to the crucifixion of the Messiah in the Mosaic law (Deuteronomy 21:22–23; Galatians 3:13).
Mark 15:1–5 continues after Jesus' trial before the Sanhedrin, which has been ongoing since His arrest in the garden of Gethsemane (Mark 14:43–65). They have convicted Him of blasphemy against God, but they do not have authority to execute Him, only Pilate does (John 18:31; 19:7–8). The Sanhedrin must convince Pilate that Jesus has broken a capital Roman law. Luckily for them, ''Jewish Messiah'' is roughly translated into Greek as ''King of the Jews.'' That's high treason against Caesar. Jesus' first trial with Pilate is also in Matthew 27:1–2 and 11–14, Luke 23:1–5 and John 18:28–38.
After sham trials, Jesus is taken to the local Roman governor, Pilate. This is the only person in Jerusalem with the legal authority to have Jesus executed. Pilate is not fooled, and he attempts to arrange for Jesus' release. But the ruler's ploys fail, in part because Jesus will not defend Himself, and partly because the mob is intent on His death. Pilate offers a prisoner exchange in Barabbas, and even has Jesus brutally beaten in order to pacify the crowd. Eventually, he caves in and Jesus is crucified. Thanks to His prior abuse, Jesus survives only a few hours on the cross before dying. Jesus is then buried in a tomb belonging to a secret follower among the Jerusalem council.
After being unfairly judged, Jesus will now be unfairly sentenced and cruelly murdered. It's reasonable to say this chapter provides context for everything else contained in the Bible. From Adam and Eve until the last baby born in the millennial kingdom, every person other than Christ is stained with sin. Conscience, law, Jesus' direct leadership, even the indwelling of the Holy Spirit cannot keep us from sinning. Sinless Jesus had to die on the cross, sacrificing Himself in our place, so our sins could be forgiven and we could be reconciled to God. Beneath the violence, darkness, dishonor, and death is the love of God for all mankind (John 3:16). Jesus' crucifixion is also found in Matthew 27, Luke 23, and John 19. The next chapter describes the miracle of His resurrection.
The Gospel of Mark emphasizes both Jesus' servanthood and His role as the promised Messiah: the Son of God. This is done through a concise, action-packed style. Mark provides relatively few details, instead focusing on actions and simple statements. This relates to the Gospel's authorship, which is believed to be based on the memories of the apostle Peter. These include many of Jesus' miracles, in contrast to other Gospels which include many more of Jesus' teachings and parables. Mark also makes frequent mention of Jesus' ministry being misunderstood by others.
Accessed 3/1/2024 11:28:18 PM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.