We believe Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate.

I believe Jesus suffered under Pontius Pilate

Mark 15:1-20 Isaiah 52:13-53:12     Psalm 22        June 30, 2013

Life is hard.  You are born, and if you are breathing right away, they used to smack your bottom to hear you cry.

 When you go to school, you have to deal with mean people.  It could be the cute girls who mock the efforts of the uncoordinated boy.  It could be the athletic boys who push around the weak boys.  It could be the girls who spread rumors about the fast-maturing girl in their class.

 There are also bullies when we grow up.  The bullies can be the ones who force their way in the church, in the workplace, and even in our homes.  Then there are people who stand by when bullies do their work.   They don’t want to cause any problems.

 Yes, there is suffering in this life.  We could also include physical ailments and financial problems that face people as part of suffering.  How can we find a way through this world and the suffering that we find?  Sometimes our question is: “Does anyone care about my situation?”  I think we find the answer to that question right here.


  1. Jesus was before Pilate (Mark 15:1-5)
    1. We know Pilate was procurator of Judea from 26-36 AD[1]

-Rufinus: “Those who bequeathed the Creed to us were very wise in emphasizing the actual time when all these things took place, so that the firmness of the tradition be well established, and there be no danger of uncertainty or vagueness.”[2]

  1. Jesus lived at this time
  2. Jesus was accused of blasphemy (Mark 14:64)
  3. Jesus gave no reply to Pilate, other than “You say so” to the question of his being King of the Jews

–          The good confession (1 Timothy 6:13)

  1. There is official Roman record of Pilate serving as procurator, or a military official representing the Roman emperor.  In the Apostles’ Creed, Pilates’ name is the only one that helps us know the time period that Jesus lived.  But that is important.  Jesus lived and died one time.  Other gods of the world may repeatedly do their acts of fertility, but is only Jesus, the Son of God, who lived and died once.  Then he returned to life!  It was during the time of Pilate that Jesus suffered.


  1. Was Pilate active or passive in this process? (Mark 15:6-15)
    1. Pilate was willing to release one prisoner on Passover (Jesus released all prisoners who would receive him!)
    2. The crowd did not want the king of the Jews
    3. The crowd wanted the murdering insurrectionist, Barabbas
    4. Pilate did have Jesus flogged (15:15)
    5. Pilate gave the people a choice of prisoners.  But it was Pilate who allowed Jesus to be flogged.  Earlier, before the Sanhedrin, Jesus was struck and spit upon (14:65).  Throughout his ministry, Jesus was questioned and religious leaders plotted against him. Now we get to hear how Jesus physically suffered. 


  1. The soldiers mocked  Jesus (Mark 15:16-20)
    1. To the praetorium (the governor’s palace!)
    2. The whole cohort was there (about 600 men)
    3. They played a game with Jesus (basilea)
      1. Clothed with purple
      2. Crown of thorns
      3. Saluted – “Hail, King of the Jews!”
      4. Struck with a reed, spit upon, & “worshipped”
      5. Stripped the purple cloth & put his clothes back on him
  2. The Lord’s servant suffered (Isaiah 52;13-53:12)
    1. He prospered – Jesus prospered in teaching
    2. Marred – Jesus was hit, beat, and flogged
    3. Nothing in his appearance that we should desire him – Jesus was from Nazareth & about 30 when he started his ministry
    4. Despised – by his own family, village, & nation!
    5. Associated with lepers & other sick people
    6. Wounded – for us
    7. He is bruised, we are healed
    8. All of our iniquity is placed on him
    9. Though oppressed, he did not speak
    10. Perverted justice – thanks to the rel. & Pilate
    11. Cut-off from the land of the living – went to the cross
    12. The Lord’s righteous one makes many righteous
    13. He makes intercession for the transgressors – for us!
  3. Hebrews 2:10 – perfect through sufferings
  4. Hebrews 2:18 – He helps us when we suffer
  5. God uses Jesus’ suffering to get to us.  We know God wants us!  We know that God is with us! Jesus suffered.  He took punishment from the Romans.  He received their abuse.  Nowhere in other world religions, like Islam, Buddhism, or Hinduism, is the suffering Lord taught.  For Islam, it is not found.  For Buddhism and Hinduism this idea of the Son of God suffering and dying is impossible and disgusting.[3]  And we join Jesus in his suffering as we are baptized.  “Christian baptism is a sharing in his way of lowliness, meekness, and peace.”[4]  Jesus identified himself with us.  When we get baptized, then we identify ourselves with Jesus.  The one who was bruised for us.

Life is hard.  Jesus knows this fact.  That means that God knows how hard life is for us.  What greater love is there than to lay a life down for another, or even billions of others? That is what Jesus did.

 Jesus knows what it is like to be mocked, ridiculed, abused, and beat.  He had strength to get through his suffering.  And he gives us strength to get through our suffering.

 By Jesus receiving what he did, we have our sins taken away.  We are not going to be punished because he received our punishment.  He received our punishment and gave us his righteousness.  No matter what the world sends our way, I believe Jesus has given us the best.

[1] The Interpreter’s Dictionary of the Bible, Volume 3, (Abingdon Press: Nashville; 1962), p. 811

[2] Justo L. Gonzalez, The Apostles’ Creed for Today, (Westminster John Knox Press, Louisville;2007), p. 41

[3] Thomas C. Oden, The Word of Life, (HarperSanFrancisco: 1992), p. 123-124

[4] Ibid., p. 239


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