What does Mark 15:14 mean?
ESV: And Pilate said to them, “Why? What evil has he done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify him.”
NIV: Why? What crime has he committed?' asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, 'Crucify him!'
NASB: But Pilate said to them, 'Why, what evil has He done?' But they shouted all the more, 'Crucify Him!'
CSB: Pilate said to them, "Why? What has he done wrong? "But they shouted all the more, "Crucify him! "
NLT: Why?' Pilate demanded. 'What crime has he committed?' But the mob roared even louder, 'Crucify him!'
KJV: Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
Verse Commentary:
Pilate's question is significant. Jesus has cowered the chief priests (Mark 11:27–33), threatened the elders' financial interests (Mark 11:15–19), embarrassed the Sadducees (Mark 12:18–27), and shamed the Pharisees (Matthew 23:1–36). He even affirmed Caesar's authority (Mark 12:13–17). Despite what the Jewish leaders claim, Jesus has not disrespected Caesar, planned a rebellion, or caused any political unrest. Even when Jews tried to make Him king, He slipped from their grasp (John 6:15).

The accusation that most condemns Jesus by the Mosaic law is the issue the Jews didn't think Pilate would be interested in—but it's actually the claim which scares Pilate the most. When Pilate sarcastically dares the Jews to crucify Jesus, themselves, they finally reveal their religious motivation: "We have a law, and according to that law he ought to die because he has made himself the Son of God" (John 19:7). To the monotheistic Jews, this is a clear case of blasphemy (Mark 14:61–64).

This presents another wrinkle to Pilate's judgment. The polytheistic Romans believe the emperor is a god and gods come to earth and impregnate human women. So, as interpreted in Pilate's Greco-Roman worldview, the "son of [a] god" claim is very possible, and it scares him (John 19:8). Upon Jesus' death, the centurion affirms Pilate's fear, saying, "Truly this man was the Son of God!" (Mark 15:39).

But more than the legal and logical conundrums, Pilate's question is imperative for the legitimacy of the gospel. Jesus did nothing to deserve death, and that is why He is the perfect sacrifice for our own death-deserving sins.

Despite Pilate's clear reluctance to crucify Jesus, he is not a "nice" man by any definition. After he used money dedicated to the temple to build aqueducts, a group of Jews peacefully confronted him, holding a kind of sit-in for a week. When he finally came to speak to them, he posted soldiers in the ranks of the Jews, their armor covered. At a signal, the soldiers drew clubs and knives and beat the protestors. Some died from the beatings while others were trampled. This is one of several times Pilate showed his cruelty to his subjects.

Some time after the sham trial of Jesus, Pilate will be removed from rule when he massacres a group of Samaritans. They had been tricked into thinking they were digging up sacred artifacts left by Moses. The gathering didn't have anything to do with a rebellion, but Pilate sent his army to chase down the group and kill those they could catch.

Overly aggressive or not, Pilate is willing and able to confront the slightest challenge to his authority. He knows Jesus is no threat.
Verse Context:
Mark 15:6–15 describes history's greatest miscarriage of justice. The Sanhedrin has convicted Jesus with blasphemy, a crime in the Mosaic law (Mark 14:61–64). Such a charge won't convince the Roman authorities to execute Jesus, so they present Him to Pilate as an imminent insurrectionist (Luke 23:2, 5). Pilate interrogates Jesus and finds Him harmless (John 18:33–38). Pilate then sends Jesus to Herod Antipas, who also finds the Sanhedrin's charges baseless (Luke 23:6–15). Herod sends Jesus back to Pilate who must decide: risk rebellion by the Jewish leadership or kill an innocent man? Pilate's decision is also found in Matthew 27:15–26, Luke 23:13–25, and John 18:38—19:16.
Chapter Summary:
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.
Chapter Context:
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.
Book Summary:
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.
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