NTI Mark, Chapter 15
(v I 15) Early in the morning, the chief priests, along with other Jewish leaders, made their decision. Jesus would be turned over to Pilate for crucifixion. This decision was not unanimous, for there were those among the teachers of the law that recognized truth in what Jesus shared. But those who listened to Jesus would not be heard among the roar of those who were not ready to listen.
The chief priests shared their charges against Jesus with Pilate. Pilate listened, keeping an eye on Jesus. Pilate heard no charges against Jesus, and he wanted to hear this interesting man speak for himself. For Pilate was curious about him.
Pilate asked Jesus, "Is this true, what they say about you? That you are the king of the Jews?"
Jesus recognized that these words had the same meaning as, "Are you the Christ?" He smiled at Pilate and answered "Yes, it is as you say."
If Pilate had continued his line of questioning in this manner, Jesus would have had a good dialogue with him. For Pilate's mind was not closed against the thoughts that seemed to come from Jesus. But Pilate felt distracted from his curiosity by the glaring eyes of the chief priests. Nervous regarding his own reputation, Pilate began to question Jesus regarding the specific charges against him. Having no defense against illusions, Jesus stood quietly, loving this one called Pilate, but saying nothing to him. This confused Pilate. He sensed the innocence in Jesus and asked him, "Have you nothing to say in your own defense?"
Jesus made no reply. Pilate was amazed that there should be such a man, for he found no fear in Jesus.
It was Pilate's practice during this holy time, according to the custom of the Jews, to release one prisoner whom the people requested.
It so happened that a man named Barabbas was in prison with the insurşrectionists for having committed murder during an uprising. Barabbas was a popular personality. Some felt that his charismatic leadership would help the Jews to free themselves from Roman occupation. Some followers of Barabbas sent a message to Pilate asking him to free Barabbas according to the custom.
Pilate thought that it was this innocent man, Jesus, who should be freed. He took both men before the people and asked, "Which one do you want me to release? Do you want me to release this man that is called king of the Jews?"
Some people within the crowd were happy to see that Pilate seemed inclined to release Jesus. They joyously cheered, that the idea may be supported. But the followers of Barabbas clamored for his release, and the chief priests willingly joined in their plea. Much of the crowd followed the leadership of the chief priests, thinking they knew what was best for the defense of the Jewish people.
Pilate looked at Jesus. He noticed a desire within him to talk with this man more. "What shall I do, then, with the one you call king of the Jews?"
Jesus turned his head to look at Pilate. His peaceful gaze met with Pilate's sorrowful one as the crowd began to shout, "Crucify him!" "But why?" Pilate asked. "What crime has he committed?"
There was no answer to his question, but the shouts for crucifixion grew louder.
Feeling it was his commitment to release the one requested, he released Barabbas to them. Pilate also turned Jesus over to the guards for what he felt must be the man's fate. Then Pilate went to meet his wife for a meal, desiring very much to forget everything that had happened that day.
(v 16 - 20) There were those among the Roman soldiers who felt they hated this man, Jesus. They blamed him for all of the hardships, disreşspect and loneliness they suffered within this land of the Jews. And so they retaliated against him in order to relieve themselves of some of their hatred.
They put a purple robe on him and twisted together a crown of thorns and placed it on his head. They teased him shouting, "Hail, king of the Jews!" They fell to their knees, paying mock homage to him. Some of them spit at him, kicked him or hit him.
Jesus stood silent, not focusing on the illusion of hate, but recogşnizing the desire for love. And so without saying a word, Jesus assured the angry and frightened men that they are Love, and that they are innocent.
The silence within Jesus' mind was greater than the chaos that surrounded him. One soldier heard the silence. He stood listening to the call of peace while those around him seemed to fight against it. When it was time to strip Jesus of his "royal" robes and put his own clothes back on him, it was this man who stepped forward to hand Jesus his robe.
Jesus was grateful for the willingness within the mind, and he blessed this willingness with his gratitude.
(v 21) Jesus and the guards walked to the place of crucifixion, a man named Simon watched the procession. Jesus and a soldier worked together to carry Jesus' cross. Simon felt within him a desire to join these two men. And so he stepped into the procession and began to help them carry the cross. Jesus and the soldier who had come to know him, greeted Simon. He was welcomed immediately within the warmth of forgiveness.
(v 22) Jesus was brought to the Place of the Skull. He was offered wine mixed with myrrh to help dull the pain of crucifixion, but Jesus had already accepted the impossibility of crucifixion, so he kindly refused the wine.