In the previous article we looked at the portrayal in Mark 15 of the horrific mistreatment suffered by Jesus at the hands of his executioners. A few comments today will bring the story to its conclusion. Continue reading . . .
In the previous article we looked at the portrayal in Mark 15 of the horrific mistreatment suffered by Jesus at the hands of his executioners. A few comments today will bring the story to its conclusion.
The place of Jesus' crucifixion is called Golgotha (Mark 15:22), lit., "place of the skull." It was located outside the city proper in accordance with Jewish and Roman custom (Lev. 24:14; Num. 15:35f.; Acts 7:58; Heb. 13:12-14).
According to v. 23, “they offered him wine mixed with myrrh, but he did not take it.” This has been interpreted in two different ways. The traditional view is that it was customary for Jewish women to provide a narcotic drink to those condemned in order to deaden their sensitivity to the pain of crucifixion (see Prov. 31:6-7). If so, then Jesus' unwillingness to drink reflects his determination to endure with complete consciousness the agonies of the cross and the Father's wrath.
Others argue that this was not an act of compassion on the part of the women but an act of cruelty and torment on the part of the soldiers ("they" refers to the soldiers). The mixture was designed to make the wine undrinkable and extremely bitter. Thus the soldiers teased Jesus under the pretense of giving him good wine. Their real purpose was to aggravate his agony and humiliation.
The reference to his garments being divided by the casting of lots (v. 24) is an allusion to Psalm 22:16-18. It was customary to divide the victim's clothes among his executioners. Jesus would have had only a bloody inner and outer garment, a belt, and a pair of sandals.
The inscription placed above his head