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Mark 15:1 - 16:20

Good Questions by Josh Hunt

These Questions Have Groups Talking


Mark 15:1 - 16:20(1)



  1. Allow me to read this passage slowly. As I do, try to picture the details of the sights and smells of this most important day in history.
  2. This passage begins, "Very early in the morning. . ." What all had happened the night before?
  3. Jesus was accused of many things. Why didn't he answer? Do you think he wanted to answer and just bit his tongue?
  4. How did this day play for Barabbas? How did Barabbas feel about life at the end of the day? How are we all like Barabbas?(3)
  5. How did this crowd react to Jesus when he entered Jerusalem, a week earlier?
  6. How could they turn so quickly?
  7. Who was Pilate?
  8. Why didn't Jesus take the wine?
  9. Everyone look at verse 28.(4)
  10. How do we know what verses belong in the Bible and what verses don't?(5)
  11. How reliable is the text we have of the Bible?
  12. What time of day was Jesus crucified? When did all this happen?
  13. What is the significance of the curtain in the temple being torn?
  14. On resurrection morning, what was the first thing the ladies saw that was unusual?
  15. Look at verse 7. Which disciple was singled out in the instructions to tell the disciples?
  16. Why was this disciple singled out? What does this teach you about God?
  17. How did the disciples react when they got the news that Jesus had risen from the dead?
  18. Jesus told them he would die. He told them he would rise from the dead. Yet, they didn't get it. Why not? How do you explain this?
  19. What does this teach us about us?(6)
  20. Do you think there are spiritual realities and spiritual truths that exist that are outside our paradigm, and therefore, we cannot see them?(7)
  21. If you Bible has one, look at the note just before verse 9. What does your Bible say about that?
  22. How does this color your interpretation of verse 18?
  23. How important is the resurrection to our faith?
  24. What difference does the resurrection make to your day to day life?
  25. Let's close in prayer, worshiping God that he is the God who is victorious over life and death.

1. Mark 15:1-16:20

Very early in the morning, the chief priests, with the elders, the teachers of the law and the whole Sanhedrin, reached a decision. They bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate.

[2] "Are you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate.

"Yes, it is as you say," Jesus replied.

[3] The chief priests accused him of many things. [4] So again Pilate asked him, "Aren't you going to answer? See how many things they are accusing you of."

[5] But Jesus still made no reply, and Pilate was amazed.

[6] Now it was the custom at the Feast to release a prisoner whom the people requested. [7] A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising. [8] The crowd came up and asked Pilate to do for them what he usually did.

[9] "Do you want me to release to you the king of the Jews?" asked Pilate, [10] knowing it was out of envy that the chief priests had handed Jesus over to him. [11] But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to have Pilate release Barabbas instead.

[12] "What shall I do, then, with the one you call the king of the Jews?" Pilate asked them.

[13] "Crucify him!" they shouted.

[14] "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!"

[15] Wanting to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas to them. He had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

[16] The soldiers led Jesus away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium) and called together the whole company of soldiers. [17] They put a purple robe on him, then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on him. [18] And they began to call out to him, "Hail, king of the Jews!" [19] Again and again they struck him on the head with a staff and spit on him. Falling on their knees, they paid homage to him. [20] And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him out to crucify him.

[21] A certain man from Cyrene, Simon, the father of Alexander and Rufus, was passing by on his way in from the country, and they forced him to carry the cross. [22] They brought Jesus to the place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). [23] Then they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it. [24] And they crucified him. Dividing up his clothes, they cast lots to see what each would get.

[25] It was the third hour when they crucified him. [26] The written notice of the charge against him read: the king of the jews. [27] They crucified two robbers with him, one on his right and one on his left. [28] [29] Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, "So! You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, [30] come down from the cross and save yourself!"

[31] In the same way the chief priests and the teachers of the law mocked him among themselves. "He saved others," they said, "but he can't save himself! [32] Let this Christ, this King of Israel, come down now from the cross, that we may see and believe." Those crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

[33] At the sixth hour darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. [34] And at the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?"--which means, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"

[35] When some of those standing near heard this, they said, "Listen, he's calling Elijah."

[36] One man ran, filled a sponge with wine vinegar, put it on a stick, and offered it to Jesus to drink. "Now leave him alone. Let's see if Elijah comes to take him down," he said.

[37] With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.

[38] The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. [39] And when the centurion, who stood there in front of Jesus, heard his cry and saw how he died, he said, "Surely this man was the Son of God!"

[40] Some women were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James the younger and of Joses, and Salome. [41] In Galilee these women had followed him and cared for his needs. Many other women who had come up with him to Jerusalem were also there.

[42] It was Preparation Day (that is, the day before the Sabbath). So as evening approached, [43] Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. [44] Pilate was surprised to hear that he was already dead. Summoning the centurion, he asked him if Jesus had already died. [45] When he learned from the centurion that it was so, he gave the body to Joseph. [46] So Joseph bought some linen cloth, took down the body, wrapped it in the linen, and placed it in a tomb cut out of rock. Then he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. [47] Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses saw where he was laid.

[16:1] When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. [2] Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb [3] and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"

[4] But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. [5] As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.

[6] "Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. [7] But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "

[8] Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.

[9] When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. [10] She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. [11] When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.

[12] Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. [13] These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.

[14] Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

[15] He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. [16] Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. [17] And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; [18] they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."

[19] After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God. [20] Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

2. For me it is about ten a.m.

3. Jesus was Barabbas' substitute, as he was ours.

4. A trick question. It should give you an opportunity to chat a bit about the reliability of the Bible and on what basis verses are or are not included in the Bible. This is important in this section as a good part of the end of Mark is in dispute. It is beyond the scope of what I am doing with these lessons to duplicate the good work done by many writers on these issues. I would encourage you to avail yourself of such resources.

5. It is an exacting science performed by people smarter than me. I took every course I could take in Greek during Seminary except this one. I didn't feel I was up to the task to do the work of a textual critic. I do have enough understanding of the field to have a high level of confidence in the text we have. We have far better, far better documentation on the New Testament as compared to the great Greek playwrights and philosophers. There are no major doctrinal issues that hinge on textual issues. Someone could decide whether or not to believe the Bible, but to debate its historical veracity is not an issue founded on reality.

6. It is the power of paradigms. We cannot see (read CANNOT see) what is outside of our paradigm.

7. The starting point in seeing things is admitting that we might, just might be a little bit blind.

























































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