Daily Bible Reading for May 3, 2014, with Commentary: Mark 15-16
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Context: After being convicted by the Sanhedrin, they took Jesus before Pilate.The Sanhedrin did not want to be directly responsible for the death of Jesus, in case the crowd turned against them.Before Pilate, they charged Jesus will many things, hoping that one of the charges would stick and be enough for Pilate to sentence Him to death, since the Romans did not view blasphemy as a crime worthy of death.In asking the crowd what he should do, Pilate demonstrated that he was a weak leader, more interested in advancing his own political career, than justice.Pilate did not want to execute Jesus.He knew that He had committed no crime worthy of execution and that the Jewish leaders were using him for their own purposes.Before being crucified, Jesus was whipped and beaten by the Romans.Pilate had hoped that this may appease the people, but they still demanded His death.Jesus' death, as was His life, was unusual.Crucifixion was a prolonged and painful death, which could last days.Death finally came through suffocation and exhaustion.Right before Jesus died, He gave a "loud cry."Usually, the person being crucified has no breath left with which to cry out before their death, but Jesus did.With the death of Jesus, the curtain in the temple which separated the Holy of Holies was torn in half, from top to bottom, by God.All would now have access to Him.Jesus was buried shortly before Sabbath, with women planning to come the day after the Sabbath to anoint His body.Upon arriving at the tomb, they discovered that the stone, which weight one and one half to two tons, had been rolled back.Instead of Jesus, they found an angle who informed them that Jesus was alive.The women first fled in shock, then delivered the message to His disciples.Jesus spent time with them before going back to Heaven to prepare a place for all who chose to follow the Lord.
World History: Pilate had a tenuous relationship with the Jewish leaders.Previously, he had landed in trouble with Rome for his lack of respect for the Jewish religion and their customs after Jewish leaders complained.Pilate did not want to perform any favors for the Jewish leaders, and later, refused to go against the crowd because he feared it would be reported back to Rome. If that were to happen, with his history, Pilate's political career would suffer greatly, if not be destroyed.