15:1 And 1 straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried [him] away, and a a delivered [him] to Pilate.
(1) Christ being bound before the judgment seat of an earthly Judge, is condemned before the open assembly as guilty unto the death of the cross, not for his own sins (as is shown by the judgeís own words) but for all of ours, that we who are indeed guilty creatures, in being delivered from the guiltiness of our sins, might be acquitted before the judgment seat of God, even in the open assembly of the angels.
15:6 Now at [that] feast he b released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
(a) It was not lawful for them to put any man to death, for all authority to punish by death was taken away from them, first by Herod the great, and afterward by the Romans, about forty years before the destruction of the temple, and therefore they deliver Jesus to Pilate.
(b) Pilate used to deliver.
15:17 2 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his [head],
(2) Christ going about to take away the sins of men, who went about to usurp the throne of God himself, is condemned as one that sought diligently after the kingdom, and mocked with a false show of a kingdom, that we on the other hand, who will indeed be eternal kings, might receive the crowns of glory from Godís own hand.
15:21 And they 3 compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
(3) The rage of the wicked has no measure; meanwhile, even the weakness of Christ, who was in pain under the heavy burden of the cross, manifestly shows that a lamb is led to be sacrificed.
15:22 4 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.
(4) Christ is led out of the walls of the earthly Jerusalem into a foul place of dead menís carcasses, as a man most unclean, not because of himself, but because of our sins, which were laid upon him, with the result that we, being made clean by his blood, might be brought into the heavenly sanctuary.
15:24 5 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.
(5) Christ hangs naked upon the cross, and as the most wicked and base person that ever was, most vilely reproved. This was so that we, being clothed with his righteousness and blessed with his curses and sanctified by his only sacrifice, may be taken up into heaven.
15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was 6 darkness over the c whole land until the ninth hour.
(6) How angry God was against our sins, which he punished in his son who is our sure substitute, is made evident by this horrible darkness.
15:34 And at the 7 ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
(c) By this word "land" he means Palestine: so that the strangeness of the wonder is all the more set forth in that at the feast of the passover, and in the full moon, when the sun shone over all the rest of the world, and at midday, this corner of the world in which so wicked an act was committed was covered over with great darkness.
(7) Christ striving mightily with Satan, sin and death, all three armed with the horrible curse of God, grievously tormented in body hanging upon the cross, and in soul plunged into the depth of hell, yet he clears himself, crying with a mighty voice: and notwithstanding the wound which he received from death, in that he died, yet by smiting both things above and things beneath, by the renting of the veil of the temple, and by the testimony wrung out of those who murdered him, he shows evidently unto the rest of his enemies who are as yet obstinate, and mock at him, that he will be known without delay to be conqueror and Lord of all.
15:40 8 There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;
(8) Christ, to the great shame of the men who forsook the Lord, chose women for his witnesses, who beheld this entire event.
15:43 Joseph of Arimathaea, an d honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in e boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
(d) A man of great authority, of the council of the sanhedrin, or else a man who was taken by Pilate for his own council.
(e) If we consider what danger Joseph put himself into we shall perceive how bold he was.