Mark 15: 21They pressed* into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
We know we are asked to carry our own cross, but, what would happen if we are asked to carry the cross of another? This of course is symbolic of any trial another might be put through, but, just how far are we willing to go to serve others? It may not be anything we can put our finger on, so to speak, now; but, it most likely would be a decision we have to make on a moment’s notice. Would we jump at the chance to serve? As we have noted before, we should always be ready to give an accounting of our faith; up to and including actions that demonstrate our faith as well as words that testify to it’s heavenly source.
Jesus before Pilate
1Early in the morning the chief priests with the elders and scribes and the whole Council, immediately held a consultation; and binding Jesus, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pilate. 2Pilate questioned Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered* him, “It is as you say.” 3The chief priests began to accuse Him harshly. 4Then Pilate questioned Him again, saying, “Do You not answer? See how many charges they bring against You!” 5But Jesus made no further answer; so Pilate was amazed.
6Now at the feast he used to release for them any one prisoner whom they requested. 7The man named Barabbas had been imprisoned with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the insurrection. 8The crowd went up and began asking him to do as he had been accustomed to do for them. 9Pilate answered them, saying, “Do you want me to release for you the King of the Jews?” 10For he was aware that the chief priests had handed Him over because of envy. 11But the chief priests stirred up the crowd to ask him to release Barabbas for them instead. 12Answering again, Pilate said to them, “Then what shall I do with Him whom you call the King of the Jews?” 13They shouted back, “Crucify Him!” 14But Pilate said to them, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they shouted all the more, “Crucify Him!” 15Wishing to satisfy the crowd, Pilate released Barabbas for them, and after having Jesus scourged, he handed Him over to be crucified.
Jesus Is Mocked
16The soldiers took Him away into the palace (that is, the Praetorium), and they called* together the whole Roman cohort. 17They dressed* Him up in purple, and after twisting a crown of thorns, they put it on Him; 18and they began to acclaim Him, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 19They kept beating His head with a reed, and spitting on Him, and kneeling and bowing before Him. 20After they had mocked Him, they took the purple robe off Him and put His own garments on Him. And they led* Him out to crucify Him.
21They pressed* into service a passer-by coming from the country, Simon of Cyrene (the father of Alexander and Rufus), to bear His cross.
22Then they brought* Him to the place Golgotha, which is translated, Place of a Skull. 23They tried to give Him wine mixed with myrrh; but He did not take it. 24And they crucified* Him, and divided* up His garments among themselves, casting lots for them to decide what each man should take. 25It was the third hour when they crucified Him. 26The inscription of the charge against Him read, “THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
27They crucified* two robbers with Him, one on His right and one on His left. 28And the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And He was numbered with transgressors.” 29Those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads, and saying, “Ha! You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, 30save Yourself, and come down from the cross!” 31In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes, were mocking Him among themselves and saying, “He saved others; He cannot save Himself. 32“Let this Christ, the King of Israel, now come down from the cross, so that we may see and believe!” Those who were crucified with Him were also insulting Him.
33When the sixth hour came, darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34At the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “ELOI, ELOI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?” which is translated, “MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?” 35When some of the bystanders heard it, they began saying, “Behold, He is calling for Elijah.” 36Someone ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink, saying, “Let us see whether Elijah will come to take Him down.” 37And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. 38And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. 39When the centurion, who was standing right in front of Him, saw the way He breathed His last, he said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
40There were also some women looking on from a distance, among whom were Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the Less and Joses, and Salome. 41When He was in Galilee, they used to follow Him and minister to Him; and there were many other women who came up with Him to Jerusalem.
Jesus Is Buried
42When evening had already come, because it was the preparation day, that is, the day before the Sabbath, 43Joseph of Arimathea came, a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God; and he gathered up courage and went in before Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 44Pilate wondered if He was dead by this time, and summoning the centurion, he questioned him as to whether He was already dead. 45And ascertaining this from the centurion, he granted the body to Joseph. 46Joseph bought a linen cloth, took Him down, wrapped Him in the linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb which had been hewn out in the rock; and he rolled a stone against the entrance of the tomb. 47Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses were looking on to see where He was laid.
1When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, bought spices, so that they might come and anoint Him. 2Very early on the first day of the week, they came* to the tomb when the sun had risen. 3They were saying to one another, “Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?” 4Looking up, they saw* that the stone had been rolled away, although it was extremely large. 5Entering the tomb, they saw a young man sitting at the right, wearing a white robe; and they were amazed. 6And he said* to them, “Do not be amazed; you are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who has been crucified. He has risen; He is not here; behold, here is the place where they laid Him. 7“But go, tell His disciples and Peter, ‘He is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see Him, just as He told you.’” 8They went out and fled from the tomb, for trembling and astonishment had gripped them; and they said nothing to anyone, for they were afraid.
9[Now after He had risen early on the first day of the week, He first appeared to Mary Magdalene, from whom He had cast out seven demons. 10She went and reported to those who had been with Him, while they were mourning and weeping. 11When they heard that He was alive and had been seen by her, they refused to believe it.
12After that, He appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking along on their way to the country. 13They went away and reported it to the others, but they did not believe them either.
The Disciples Commissioned
14Afterward He appeared to the eleven themselves as they were reclining at the table; and He reproached them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they had not believed those who had seen Him after He had risen. 15And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. 16“He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. 17“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; 18they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”
19So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. 20And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed.]
[And they promptly reported all these instructions to Peter and his companions. And after that, Jesus Himself sent out through them from east to west the sacred and imperishable proclamation of eternal salvation.]
The Rewards of Wisdom
1 My son, do not forget my teaching,
But let your heart keep my commandments;
2 For length of days and years of life
And peace they will add to you.
3 Do not let kindness and truth leave you;
Bind them around your neck,
Write them on the tablet of your heart.
4 So you will find favor and good repute
In the sight of God and man.
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
6 In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
7 Do not be wise in your own eyes;
Fear the LORD and turn away from evil.
8 It will be healing to your body
And refreshment to your bones.
9 Honor the LORD from your wealth
And from the first of all your produce;
10 So your barns will be filled with plenty
And your vats will overflow with new wine.