Class Notes: 5/20/2015
Mark 15:5-11; Jesus' trial before Pilate
In our study of Mark we are in Mark 15:5; where Jesus refuses to answer the Jewish leader's accusations to the point where Pilate was amazed.
The Greek word translated "amazed" is the present active of "thaumazo" also means to marvel or admire.
Pilate marveled at Jesus' poise in the face of accusation and condemnation. The evil religious leaders have already condemned Him and they only want His death. Therefore even though Jesus was forced to be in their presence He was still separated from them.
The point here is that separation is not only physical it is also mental. In this particular case we have an actual mental separation. Jesus Christ will not speak to or acknowledge the religious leaders in any way.
Mark only records two terse statements by Jesus one to Caiaphas (Mark 14:62;) and one to Pilate (Mark 15:2;). Jesus' silence highlights His fulfillment of the prophesy in Isa 53:7;
Mark's gospel skips Jesus' fifth trial before Herod Antipas governor of Galilee who also happened to be in Jerusalem that day. This trial is only recorded in Luke 23:6-12; All Herod was looking for was entertainment but Jesus did not respond.
Pilate recognizes that Jesus Christ is innocent. Pilate wasn't stupid he was weak,. As a politician he didn't have the strength of character to stand for what was right he only cared about not having to deal with a riot.
Pilate does try to negotiate with the Jews for Jesus' release but even though Pilate knew Jesus was innocent but in the final analysis to him, Jesus was expendable if the Jews would not agree to the deal.
Pilate was weak. He had the power and authority to release Jesus unilaterally but he chose to negotiate with the implacable Jewish leaders.
The sixth and last trial of Jesus Christ was His second trial before Pilate. This last trial is the most important, in fact it is so important that it is recorded in all of the gospels Matt 27:15-26; Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:18-25; and John 18:39-19:16.
This last Roman trial is with an unprejudiced but weak judge, it is a fair trial and Jesus is found innocent by the impartial judge but Jesus is still killed because of political expediency, and the weakness of character of the judge.
Mark 15:6;The feast refers to the Passover and this is the beginning of the festival of unleavened bread. Lev 23:5;
All of the feasts are also Sabbaths. In John's gospel you find "on the day before the Sabbath," and everyone thinks that the day before the Sabbath is Friday and that means that "Good Friday" was the day when Christ was crucified.
But the day before the Sabbath mentioned here is not "Good Friday" at all, it is "Good Wednesday," because every feast day was a Sabbath. The Sabbath was not only every Saturday but also every feast day that is listed in Lev 23;.
The Passover depicts Jesus' death on the cross and Jesus Christ died on the Passover the day before the Sabbath that was the first day of Unleavened Bread not the weekly 7th day Sabbath.
The feast of Unleavened Bread (Lev 23:6;) lasts for seven days. So we have eight feast days strung together in a row.
The day after the Saturday during the feast of Unleavened Bread is called Firstfruits (Lev 23:11;) It is the Sunday during the days of Unleavened Bread, that celebrates the resurrection of Jesus who is the "firstfruits" in resurrection. 1Cor 15:20;
Then fifty days after Firstfruits is Pentecost (Lev 23:15;). Pentecost simply means 50 days and since it is counted from a Saturday it always occurs on a Sunday, so ministry of God the Holy Spirit that started Church Age occurred on a Sunday so the Church began on a Sunday. (Acts 2:1-4;)
Mark 15:6; NET During the festival it was the custom of the Roman Empire for the governor to release someone who was incarcerated that the people requested.
Pilate, realized that Jesus was innocent and that He was being railroaded by the evil religious mob tried to take advantage of this custom to release Jesus.
Remember Pilate was brilliant but when it came to character he was weak. That is the sad story of Pilate. He knew that Jesus was innocent but he didn't have the strength of character to say, "This man is innocent; this man is under the protection of Rome and you will not touch Him."
He wanted to release Jesus so he would not have to establish His innocence or guilt. He knows that Jesus is innocent but he is weak so he will not take a stand for truth and as a result he spends his life avoiding the truth making himself miserable in the process.
There is no explicit reference to this custom of releasing a prisoner at the feast outside of the New Testament but it is consistent with Rome's conciliatory attitude toward it's subjects on local matters.
Instead of granting Jesus an acquittal, Pilate sought to grant the customary festival amnesty to Jesus assuming that the people would request His release but they did not.
Remember the evil religious mob kept on vehemently accusing Jesus. Religion always bullies, and religion can bully Pilate because he is weak.
They can't bully Jesus because, He will not answer them, He stands in the Praetorium with all of the dignity that comes from the strength of divine viewpoint and they can't shake Him.
He will not speak to them, He will have nothing to do with them, even though they are standing near Him and accusing Him with boisterous shouting.
He will not answer them a word. Jesus is perfect strength and perfect strength stays silent and remains separated from religious mob's attempt to bully Him while simultaneously He remains courteous and answers Pilate.
A principle we can get from this is that bullies always attack weakness. The way to defeat bullies is to be mentally stronger than they are and ignore them. The only reason there is a problem with bullying in our society is because people are weak minded and want to please the mob.
Jesus could not be bullied so He remained aloof from the mob on the other hand Pilate could be bullied because he wanted to please the mob.
Jesus was strong, Pilate was weak. Jesus had Divine viewpoint, Pilate had human viewpoint. This is something that teens in our country need to learn. Self esteem comes from who you are not who you please.
Ignore the mob and don't try to please them.
The religious mob bullies because of legalism. They try to bully Jesus and they fail. They bully Pontius Pilate but they do not go directly at him. They accuse Jesus but they will not go directly at Pilate and bully him directly because if he is provoked he will rise up against them and attack them even though he is weak.
Pilate despises the religious leaders, he knows they are nothing but a bunch of rabble-rousers. So the religious leaders incite the mob and it is the mob who screams out, "Barabbas." It is the mob that destroys freedom, truth and justice and freedom.
This same thing is happening in our country today where the rabble-rousers incite the mob and they scream out "hands up don't shoot" and other lies and it is the mob that destroys truth, justice and freedom.
Destruction of truth and justice always results in the destruction of freedom because freedom is only established in truth and justice. John 8:32;
Mark 15:7; Barabbas is a Chaldean name. In Chaledan, "Bar" means son, "abbas" means father, so his name was "son of the father." He may have been a Zealot, a nationalist who stirred up opposition against Rome who was awaiting execution.
Pilate specifically chose him because he was the worst person that he had in custody. Pilate was deliberately putting the worst person he had up against Jesus who was innocent in an attempt to get the mob to choose Jesus. Barabbas is public enemy number one; Jesus is perfect.
There never was a greater antithesis between two people that this. Based on this Pilate was certain that the people will ask for Jesus to be released rather than Barabbas but he assumed wrong.
Mark 15:8; During Jesus' trial the mob came to ask Pilate what he was going to do for them as was the custom at the feast. It is likely that many in the mob were supporters of Barabbas because he had led the failed insurrection.
Mark 15:9-11; Pilate saw this as an opportunity to show his contempt for the Jewish leadership so He refers to Jesus as the "King of the Jews."
His mistake was his placing the choice with the mob. "Do you want me," the translation of the Greek word "thelo," is the key here because it refers to volition.
He is requesting an expression of volition from the mob but the word "thelo" that is used refers to volition that is expressed from emotion in contrast to another Greek word, "boulomai", that refers to volition that is expressed from rational thinking in the mind.
So we have "thelo" instead of "boulomai" because the choice of the mob is always from irrational emotion it is never from rational thought.
He recognized that the chief priests had turned Jesus over to him out of envy and hatred not out of loyalty to Rome.
Envy or jealousy is a ghastly mental attitude sin. The religious leaders were jealous of Jesus Christ and they are going to kill Him because of their jealousy. Jealousy has two weapons of assassination; lies and deceit and violence.
Pilate hoped to achieve Jesus' release and thereby undo the religious leaders' evil scheme to have Jesus killed. But as God would have it Pilate's plan did not work. Psa 76:10; The chief priests incited the emotional mob to bully Pilate into releasing Barabbas instead of Jesus.
Here we see that the chief priests who have lowered themselves to become political mob bosses are ruling the people not by the law but by mob rule.
Principle: The rulers of any people must rule through rational law and never through the emotional mob. If they do not God will wage war on them all. James 4:6;
Pilate had failed to consider the probability that the emotional irrational mob would side with their evil leaders and their lies and deceit rather than for truth and justice.
This same thing is happening in our cities today where the envy and jealousy of the irrational emotional mob in "the community" that chooses to believe the lies and deceit of the political mob bosses rather then the rational truth of divine establishment that is the basis of law as established in the constitution of the USA are rioting.
God is waging war against our nation because of this evil.
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