The Book of Mark
James J. Barker

Lesson 55

Text: MARK 15:16-41


1.     There is in human history no event of more significance than the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

2.     This is the focus of all history. Indeed history is divided between BC and AD.

3.     A number of years ago, certain archaeologists, scientists, historians, atheists, and other non-Christian unbelievers attempted to change the terms from BC (“before Christ”) to BCE (“Before the Common Era”); and from AD (for the Latin phrase Anno Domini, meaning “in the year of our Lord”) to CE (“Common Era”).

4.     This is just another attack on the Lord Jesus Christ.

5.     To understand the proper sequence of events leading up to our Lord’s crucifixion, the Gospel of Mark must be diligently compared with the other Gospels.

6.     The order of events seems to be as follows (see Scofield, pp. 1041, 1042):

I.                   Our Lord is brought to Golgotha (Mark 15:22).

II.                Our Lord is offered wine mingled with myrrh (15:23).

III.             Our Lord is crucified (15:25).

IV.            The first cry from the cross: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34).

V.               The soldiers part our Lord’s garments (Mark 15:24).

VI.            The Jews mock Jesus (Mark 15:29-32).

VII.         The two thieves rail on our Lord, but one repents and believes (15:32; Luke 23:39-43).

VIII.      The second cry from the cross: “Verily I say unto thee, Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43).

IX.            The third cry from the cross, “Woman, behold thy son!” and then to John, “Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26, 27).

X.               Darkness all over the land (Mark 15:33).

XI.            The fourth cry from the cross: “My God, my God, why hast Thou forsaken me?” (Mark 15:34).

XII.         The fifth cry: “I thirst” (John 19:28).

XIII.      The sixth cry: “It is finished” (John 19:30).

XIV.     The seventh cry: “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

XV.         Our Lord willingly died – He “gave up the ghost” (Mark 15:37).



1.     Matthew 27:28 says, “And they stripped Him.” Think of the terrible indignities that led up to the cross.  It is the wicked sin in man that makes him think like this and act like this.

2.     Then they clothed Him with a purple robe and put a crown of thorns upon His head (Mark 15:17). 

3.     The thorn represents man’s sin and God’s curse (cf. Gen. 3:17, 18).  When our Lord wore the crown of thorns, it was a picture of His substitutionary death – He who knew no sin became sin for us.  He bore the curse so that the curse might be removed.

4.     Our Lord was mocked and reviled and spit upon (Mark 15:17-20).

“Bearing shame and scoffing rude,

In my place condemned He stood;

Sealed my pardon with His blood;

Hallelujah!  What a Saviour!”Phillip P. Bliss, 1875.

5.     The Bible says our Lord went around doing good.  He healed the sick, and He raised the dead.  He gave eyesight to the blind. He fed the multitudes; He cast out demons.  He performed great miracles, and preached the Good News of salvation. 

6.     Yet “they smote Him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon Him” (15:19; cf. Isa. 52:14; 50:6).

7.     They wagged their heads and mocked Him (Mark 15:29).

8.     The two thieves “reviled Him” (15:32).  We know from Luke’s account that one of the thieves repented and was saved.

9.     It is interesting that our Lord’s first cry from the cross was, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). They didn’t know what they were doing because they were blinded by sin.

10. Second Corinthians 4:4 says, “the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not.”

11. They were blinded by envy (Mark 15:10).  They were blinded by hatred (Mark 15:12-14).

12. At first, they forced our Lord to carry the heavy cross, but when His weak condition made this impossible they compelled a passer-by named Simon a Cyrenian to bear His cross (15:21).

13. Mark mentions that Simon had a son named Rufus.  The Scofield Study Bible says, “It is possible that this may be the same Rufus mentioned in Romans 16:13.”  In other words, perhaps Rufus, the son of Simon, became a Christian, and perhaps Simon and Alexander did too.



1.     Mark 15:22 says, “And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.”

2.     John 19:17 tells us Golgotha is a Hebrew word.  Matthew 27:33 also mentions Golgotha.

3.     Luke 23:33 says, “And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him…”  Only Luke uses the name “Calvary,” from the Latin word for “The place of a skull.”

4.     The crucifixion of Christ and the resurrection of Christ are the two greatest events in the history of mankind.

5.     Someone has said, “Christ’s nail-pieced hand lifted empires off their hinges and changed the course of ages.”

6.     The apostle Paul said, “But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness” (I Cor. 1:23).

7.     In Ephesians 1:7, Paul said: “In whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.”

8.     Seven hundred years before Calvary, the prophet Isaiah wrote, “But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him; and with His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5).

9.     Many other OT prophecies were fulfilled that day on Calvary.  For example, Mark says, “And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not” (Mark 15:23; cf. 15:36).

10. Psalm 69:21 says, “They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.”

11. Our Lord refused to drink this vinegar (sour wine) mingled with gall (myrrh) because it would have dulled His senses and made His crucifixion easier to endure.  Our Lord came into this world to die on the cross for our sins and so He did not want anything that would confuse His mind or alleviate His sufferings.

12. “And with his stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:5). Our Lord’s death was a perfect sacrifice for sin.

13. There are people who are always looking for an easy way out.  But our Lord was not looking for an easy way out when He suffered on the cross for you and for me. The Bible says, “But He received it not” (Mark 15:23).

14. The ungodly Roman soldiers who crucified our Lord had no thought of fulfilling Scripture when they “parted His garments, casting lots” (15:24); yet this was foretold 1,000 years before by David in Psalm 22:18.

15. Furthermore, crucifixion was unknown back in David’s day. It was not until much later that the Romans popularized it.  Back in David’s day, people were stoned to death (cf. Ps. 22:16).

16. Zechariah 12:10 says, “And they shall look upon me whom they have pierced.”   Zechariah’s prophecy was made about 500 years before Christ.  John refers to this fulfilled prophecy in John 19:37, “And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced.”

17. Mark 15:28 refers to another fulfilled prophecy (Isa. 53:9, 12).

18. Another prophecy fulfilled at the cross was Psalm 22:1 – “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Cf. Mark 15:34).

19. There were seven sayings from the cross, and this is the only one recorded by Mark (see introduction to message).

20. Jesus had to die on the cross as our substitute. He could not have been stoned to death.  He could not have been hanged.  He could not have been beaten to death.  Because the Bible says, “And without shedding of blood is no remission” (Heb. 9:22).

21. Though our Lord died in the afternoon, darkness covered the whole land for three hours as our Lord hung on the cross (15:33).

22. This was God’s way of turning out the lights as the Light of the World suffered on the cross, surrounded by wicked sinners. 



1.     W. Graham Scroggie said, “It was not the nails that held him to the tree, but his own unquenchable love for you and me.”

2.     Our Lord said back in John 10:15, “I lay down my life for the sheep.”

3.     He also said, “No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again” (John 10:18).

4.     The first five cries from the cross are expressions of suffering (cf. Mark 15:34).

5.     But the last two are expressions of triumph.

·        The sixth cry: “It is finished” (John 19:30).

·        The seventh cry: “Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

6.     As our Lord died, “the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom” (Mark 15:38), miraculously signifying that God did it (cf. Hebrews 10:19, 20).

7.     Furthermore, the heathen Roman centurion said, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).

8.     Lord willing we will meet this centurion up in heaven, along with the repentant thief, and maybe even Barabbas. 

9.     Certainly we will see “Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome… and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem” and Joseph of Arimathaea (15:40-43).



1.     The wicked chief priests and scribes mocked our Lord, and said, “He saved others; himself he cannot save” (Mark 15:31).

2.     They unknowingly spoke the truth. Our Lord could not save Himself.  He had to die in order to save others.

3.     If our Lord did not die on the cross for our sins, we’d all be lost and on our way to hell.

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