Mark 15:1-15 A Covenantal Curse.

Mark 15:1-15 A Covenantal Curse.

The apostate Jewish leadership, represented by their council, bound Jesus so that he could be delivered to the Gentile authorities for execution, in the person of Pilate. Pilate had no interest in the charge laid against Jesus, that he claimed to be Deity, Pilates only concern was whether he posed a direct threat to the political order. Jesus was indeed the King of the Jews, but not as a king in the way Pilate would have imagined. The fact that Jesus refused to answer his accusers, caused Pilate to marvel since he did not commit any such political or violent crime. Barabbas, on the other hand, was a rebel who did commit murder during a recent rebellion. Pilate knew that the chief priests were leading their charge out of envy, and being astute politicians, they worked up the crowd in their favour.

When they were repeatedly asked by Pilate what Jesus had done to be deserving of death, the crowd only called out for him to be crucified. Pilate, himself also primarily a politician, “wanting the gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified” (v. 15). Pilate released a man who was guilty of murder, and posed a real threat to his reign, in favour of short-term appeasement of the crowd. In taking the place of a murderer, we see Jesus taking the place of all for whom he died – likewise murderers of the Son of Man. “As Paul notes, the crucifixion of Jesus brought Him publicly under the curse of God (Gal. 3:13; cf. Deut. 21:23)” (NGSB 1595). Those not covered by his blood, suffer the covenantal curse themselves.

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