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31. But he spake the more vehemently. If I should die with
thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.

32. And they came to a place which was named Gethsemane :
and he saith to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I shall pray.

He was just entering upon his dreadful agony, and knew
of no way of arming himself against it but by prayer.
And have we no need to pray ? Yes; but we are not con-
cerned for our souls, or not sensible of the danger they are
in, and therefore have no will to pray.

33. And he taketh with him Peter, and James, and .John, and
began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy ;

34. And saith unto them, INTy soul is e.xcecding sorrowful unto
death : tarry ye here, and watch.

Follow Christ in his agony, with deep consideration, that
you may never know what it is in your own ])crsons.

VOL. ir. i<



130 ST. MARK. [chap. XIV.

35. And he went forward a little, and fell on the ground, and
prayed that, if it were possible, the hour might pass from him.

36. And he said, Abba, Father, all things are possible unto
thee ; take away this cup from me ; nevertheless not what T will,
but wliat thou wilt.

Christ does not pray the Father to take away his cup of
passion, but of desertion. It seems to me that this was
rather the expression of what he felt than what he desired ;
the cry of nature under intolerable anguish, and not the
act of his will. For he therefore came into the world that
he might suffer ; and could not desire to be excused from
it. And the passage plainly speaks thus to us ; how can
we endure, what we here see lay so heavy upon Christ .?
The passage forces us to say, in spite of ourselves. Lord,
keep us from it, and from the sin which will bring us
to it.

37. And he cometh, and findeth them sleeping, and saith unto
Peter, Simon, sleepest thou ? couldest thou not watch one hour ?

How many such well-spent hours do you suppose we
shall have to think of when we come to die ?

38. Watch ye and pray, lest ye enter into temptation.

This is Christ's remedy in all straits, yet alas ! it is but
little applied by us.

38. The spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak.

This is not spoken as any ground of excuse, if we do
fall ; but to prevent it, by showing us how we are to be
supported. And this saying from the mouth of him, who
knew what was in man, is much to be observed. There may
be discernment of what is right, with a real purpose and
willingness of spirit to do it; but the flesh, that is, man,
with his pride of reason, and boasted abilities, fails wretch-
edly in the execution. Grace must do what nature cannot.
We have full warning given us of our weakness ; and like
men who are surrounded with powerful enemies, and in
continual danger of being surprised, must not only be
always upon our guard, but have the necessary aid at



VER. 43 — Go.] ST. MARK. 131

hand, by looking up to heaven for it in prayer. Put this
in practice, be humble, be vigilant, be a man of prayer,
and thou mayest defy the world, the flesh, and the devil,

39. And again he went away, and prayed, and spake the same
words.

40. And when lie returned, lie found them asleep again, (for
their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him.

Alas ! when Christians sleep in the season of temptation,
they awake too late when their feet are already in the
snare which Satan has laid for them — Edit.

41. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them. Sleep
on now, and take your rest : it is enough, the hour is come ; be-
liold, the Son ot" man is Letrayed into the hands of sinners.

When Christ said, " sleep on now," he meant that they
had lost their opportunity of watching and praying, and
witli it their strength also, as it soon appeared. The
watching and praying of the disciples was not for ('hrist,
but for themselves. Whether they watched and prayed,
or not, to him it was all one : he was sufficient for himself;
tlie hour for which he longed was come. Blessed Jesus !
and blessed hour for us !

42. Rise up, let us go : lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand.

Here is another instance of the foreknowledge of Christ,
and therefore an evidence of his divinity. — Edit.



SECTION XLIX.
Chap. xiv. ver. 43 — 65.

CHRIST IS BETRAYED, AND IMPIOUSLY CONDEMNED BY
THE JEWISH COUNCIL.

43. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh .Judas, one of
the twelve, and with hiin a great mullilude with swords and staves,
from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders.

K 2



132 ST. lAIARK. [chap. XIV.

44. And he that betrayed liim had given them a token, saying.
Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he ; take him, and lead
him away safely.

45. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him,
and saith. Master, master; and kissed him.

May God grant that we may not be so base towards
our blessed Saviour, and that he may not have any such
treacherous friends among us.

46. And they laid their hands on him, and took him.

Go along with all that is said in this manner. My sins
made his soul sorrowful unto death ; mysms betrayed him ;
my sins laid hands on him. All this he willingly endured
for my sake ; and I am resolved they shall grieve him no
more.

47. And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a
servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear.

This was Peter. He was ready enough to do what he
was not bidden, and that for which Christ would give him
no thanks.

48. And Jesus answered and said unto them. Are ye come out,
as against a thief, with swords and with staves to take me ?

49. I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took
me not : but the scriptures nmst be fulfilled.

They must be fulfilled in every tittle concerning Christ.
See Psalm xxii. and Isaiah lii. They will also be fulfilled
concerning us, either in our salvation, or in our destruc-
tion. Let us hear and fear, and do no more wickedly.

50. And they all forsook him, and fled.

51. And there followed him a certain young man, having a
linen cloth cast about his naked body ; and the young men laid
hold on him :

52. And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked.

This flight he chose rather than to fall into their hands.
This shows the great fright into which they were all
thrown.



VER. 43—65.] ST. MARK. 133

53. And tliey led Ji'sus away to the high priest : and with him
were assembled all the chief priests, and the elders, and the scribes,

54. And Peter followed him afar off', even into the palace of the
high priest ; and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at
the fire.

55. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness
against Jesus to put him to death ; and found none.

56. Form any bare false witness against him, but their witness
agreed not together.

57. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him,
saying,

58. We heard him say, T will dtstroy this temple that is made
with hands, and within three days I will build another made with-
out hands.

59. But neither so did their witness agree together.

60. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus,
saying, Answei'est thou nothing ? what is it which these witness
against thee ?

61. But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the
high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the
Son of the Blessed ?

Christ stood in the place of sinners, and he bare their
sins in his own person, and therefore he would not main-
tain liis innocence, because we, whom he thus represented,
cannot.

62. And Jesus said, I am : and ye shall see the Son of man
sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of
heaven.

Christ would not deny that he was the Son of the blessed
God, because it was the truth, though he knew that it
would cost him his life. lie however adds, that they should
see him appearing in human flesh, like the Son of man, and
in the power of God they should behold him coming to
judge the quick and the dead.

63. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith. What need
we any further witnesses ?

64. Ye have heard the blasphemy : what think ye ? And they
all condemned him to be uuiltv of death.



^*r



l34 ST. MARK. [chap. XIV.

Think not so much of the Jews as of your own sins:
they condeunied him, — they exposed the Son of God to this
opprobrious usage.

65. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and
to buffet him, and to say unto him. Prophesy ; and the servants
did strike him with the pahns of their hands.

Christ hid not his face from shame and spitting for our
sakes : may we through his grace be partakers of his suf-
ferings, that we also may be sharers with him in his glory,
in heaven. — Edit.



SECTION L.

Chap. xiv. ver. QQ — 72.

PETER DENIETH CHRIST.

66. A.nd as Peter was beneath in the palace, there cometh one
of the maids of the high priest :

67. And when she saw Peter warming himself, she looked upon
him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth.

68. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I
what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch, and the cock
crew.

In Peter"'s denial of Christ we have apamentable in-
stance of human frailty, and of what we are when left to
ourselves. Who so stout as Peter but an hour or two
before, and here he is fallen into no less a sin than that of
denying his Master .? The advice to all is, " Let him that
thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall. Be not high-
minded, but fear." And, especially, remember that Peter
would not have fallen thus shamefully if he had taken
Christ's advice, to watch and pray.

69. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that
stood bv, This is one of them.



VER. 60 72.] ST. MARK. 135

70. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood
by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of thein : for thou art
a Galilaean, and thy speech agreeth thereto.

71. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this
man of whom ye speak.

72. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to
mind the word that Jesus said unto him. Before the cock crow
twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon,
he wept.

Peter's root was good, and he immediately recovered
himself. Whenever we are so unhappy as to fall into sin,
Ave cannot too soon call to mind the words of Jesus, or be
too soon cut to the heart for it. But, Lord, keep us from
sinning, lest we never repent. C) what have I to think of!
and yet not one tear !

In this chapter and in the following, is the relation of
Christ's submitting to be apprehended, tried, condemned,
and crucified, as a malefactor. What almighty love was
here ; and who can think worthily of it ! What is our
condition, and what is sin, in God's account, when his
own Son must become a curse for us ! And how sad will
be our doom, if we slight so great a mercy ! You do not
disbelieve or deny this. But then we are apt to think con-
fusedly of it. We are willing to take it upon hearsay. It
does not come home to us. We do not, every one, think
enough of our own sins, and that they crucified Jesus
Christ. And till we do, there can be no faith in him, or
salvation by him. Some perhaps may think themselves
safe, and that they need not fear sin, because Christ died
for it. This is turning Christ's remedy into poison. Such
are blind indeed, if they do not see the dreadful guilt of
all siU;, God's hatred of it, and the necessity of forsaking it,
when Christ hanging upon the cross is placed before them.
May the Lord deliver us from such awful guilt ! Amen.



136 ST. MARK. [chap. XV.

SECTION LI.

Chap. XV. ver. I — 14.

JESUS IS ACCUSED BEFORE PILATE.

1. And straightway in the morning the chief priests held a con-
sultation with the elders and scribes and the whole council, and
bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

Our sins bound and delivered him to Pilate. Look well
at this picture. Fancy yourselves bound, and going to
be delivered up, not to Pilate, but to the devil. See in
this glass what sin will do for you, if you do not come to
Christ with penitent hearts to have the guilt of it taken
away. Think, on the other hand, what it is to be presented
to God by Christ, washed in his blood.

2. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews ? And
he answering said mito him, Ihou sayest it.

He would not deny that he was the King of the Jews,
though it was the most dangerous confession he could
make. Nevertheless Pilate was so over-ruled by the secret
counsel and power of God, as to be willing to acquit him,
and give a clear testimony of his innocence, with respect to
any seditious purposes, which he could possibly entertain,
of making himself a temporal king.

3. And the chief priests accused him of many things : but he
answered nothing.

4. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing ?
behold how many things they witness against thee.

5. But Jesus yet answered nothing ; so that Pilate marvelled.

Though Jesus was the only sinless man who ever lived,
be would not plead in his own defence, because he bore our
sins. He would not say that he was innocent, because you
and I could not, if we had stood in his place. Think be-
times what answer you will make, if God should lay sin to
your charge at the day of judgment.



VEIL 1—14.] ST. MARK. 137

6. Now at that feast he released unto ihem one prisoner, whom-
soever they desired.

7. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with
them that had made insurrection with him, who had committed
murder in the insurrection.

The prejudice of these wicked Jews against Christ fitted
them to become fit subjects for Satan to exercise his temp-
tations upon. The state of our hearts is the most impor-
tant matter with us all. May God purge out the leaven
of malice and wickedness from them ; and not lead us into
temptation ; but deliver us from the evil one. — Edit.

8. And tlie multitude crying aloud, began lo desire him to do
as he had ever done unto them.

9. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release
unto you the King of the Jews.

10. For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for
envy.

1 1. But the chief priests moved the peojile, that he should rather
release Barabbas unto them.

12. And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will
ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the
Jews ?

13. And they cried out again. Crucify him.

14. Then Pilate said unto them. Why, what evil hath he done ?
And they cried out the more exceedingly. Crucify him.

It was necessary that Jesus should both be condemned,
and declared innocent by his judge. "What a remarkable
providence was this ! If he had not suffered he would not
have redeemed us; and if he had not been iimocent he
could not; neither if he had not been declared innocent
could we have received and trusted in him, as the Saviour
of the world.



138 ST. MARK. [chap. XV.

SECTION LII.

Chap. XV. ver. 15 — 26.

CHRIST IS CRUCIFIED.

15. And so Pilate, \\illing to content the people, released Ba-
rabbas unto thein, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged liim,
to be crucified.

Can ive ever be so undervalued ? We can suffer nothing
that we do not deserve, and yet how little can we bear ?
How does our blood boil within us, at a small affront, or
injury, and how lasting is our resentment ! Well might
Christ say, " Learn of me to be meek and lowly." And
so the Christians did once ; but those days are past.

16. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Prae-
torium ; and they call together the whole band.

17. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of
thorns, and put it about his head.

They clothed Christ in a robe of purple, — in a kingly
robe, in scorn. And with a crown of thorns. Our sins
served to make up this crown of thorns. Let them pierce
you to the heart. Christ wore the painful crown gladly,
that they might not be the never-dying worm at our
hearts.

18. And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews !

Do you say truly, what they said in scorn and mockery .?
He was and is King of the Jews, and of all flesh ; and of
his kingdom there shall be no end. He has all power given
him in heaven and earth, to govern, bless, and reward his
faithful servants ; and he shall be my Lord and King to
save and reign over me. Nothing can make you Chris-
tians but saying this from the heart.

19. And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit
upon him, and bowing their knees worshijipcd liim.



VEIL 15 — 2G.J ST. MARK. 139

20. And when they had mocked him, they took ofl" tlie purple
from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to
crucifv him.

21. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by,
coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to
bear his cross.

Christ should have borne his cross himself, as malefac-
tors usually difl ; but probably he was faint and weary,
and could not. Well, my friends ; that is a good heart
which follows the blessed Jesus in every step of his suffer-
ings ; and says, what did he endure for me, and what re-
turn docs he expect from me ! If we do not think thus,
what are we.'*

22. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is,
being interpreted. The place of a skull.

23. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh ; but
he received it not.

They gave him a stupifying potion, according to custom
in such cases, to lessen the sense of pain ; but mingled with
gall, according to St. Matthew, to make it bitter and un-
palatable. But he would not drink it. Either he would
not have his senses dozed, or his pains lessened.

24. And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments,
casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

25. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

26. And the superscription of his accusation was written over,

THE KING OF THE JEWS.

Pilate wrote this title in derision ; but it was a blessed
truth. He was the King of the Jews, not in a temporal
sense, as they expected, but spiritually, to bear rule in their
souls, and to subdue sin in them. He is oiu' king, and we
are his covenanted people, when we receive him into our
hearts by faith, and submit to his gracious rule. This is
salvation, and nothing else is so. O ! think as you read
this chapter, and as ever you desire it should be made a
blessing to you, that all he endured was to bring you to
this, and how surely you will perish if it does not.



140 ST. MARK. [chap. XV.

SECTION LIII.

Chap. XV. ver. 27 — 38.
Christ's death.

27. And with him they crucify two thieves ; the one on his
right hand, and the other on his left.

2S. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith. And he was
numbered with the transgressors.

Christ was numbered with the transgressors; that we
might be numbered with the children of God.

29. And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads,
and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest tlie temple, and bulkiest it
in three days,

30. Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

They thought this was a sure proof that he was not the
Clirist, the Saviour of the world, because he did not save
himself. How blind is man ! It is a thousand to one
but that we should have thought then just as they did.
But his death was our life, his cross our crown. We know
this now ; let us not come short of it, but trust in the
merits of his death, and crucify that sin in ourselves, which
crucified him.

31. Likewise also the chief priests mocking, said among them-
selves, with the scribes. He saved others ; himself he cannot save.

32. Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross,
that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with
him reviled him.

Our blessed Saviour endured these cruel taunts and re-
proaches on our account : let us be willing to bear reproach
for him, and not be ashamed of him and of his salvation.
—Edit.

33. And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness
over the whole land until the ninth hour.



VEIL 27—38.] ST. MARK. 141

This darkness shadowed forth that darkness which Christ
sustained in his own mind.

34. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, say-
ing, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani ? which is, being interpreted.
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?

So many a poor sinner cries out, when God withdraws
himself from him, though he is not actually forsaken any
n)ore than Christ was. Learn from hence how dreadful a
thing it will be to be finally forsaken of God. How shall
we be able to endure separation from him in the darkness
of hell, when Jesus thus cried out for being forsaken of him
but a little time ?

35. And some of them that stood by, when they luard it, said.
Behold, he calleth Elias.

They wrested his words in scorn ; and meant that he
might call long enough before Elias would come to take
him down.

36. And one ran and lillcd a spunge full of vinegar, and put it
on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone ; let us see
whether Elias will come to take him down.

The providence of God, by the influence of human mo-
tives, caused them to cease from troubling the Saviour any
further. Let us see that providence in our own behnlf, and
thank God that his kingdom rules over the hearts of the
wicked at all times. — Edit.

37. And .Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost.

His loud voice showed that his life was whole within
him ; and that this was a cry of joy and triumph, for
having finished his sufferings on our behalf. He gave up
the ghost, of his own accord. The Jews could not have
taken his life from him, if he himself had not spoken the
breath out of his body. And who but Christ, the Son of
God, could have done this ? According to our faith in his
death, and the use we make of it, we live or die for ever.



142 ST. MARK. [chap. XV.

38. And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top
to the bottom.

This was intended to show the end of the Jewish pecu-
liarity ; and that henceforth all nations should have access
to God.



SECTION LIV.

Chap. XV. ver. 39—47.
Christ's burial.



39. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw
that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said. Truly this
man was the Son of God.

To say this, in truth, is to possess saving faith. This
great truth is never revealed savingly to us, though we
hear ever so much of it outwardly, till the Spirit sets it
home upon our hearts.

40. There were also women looking on afar off: among whom
was INIary Magdalene, and Alary the mother of James the less and
of .loses, and Salome ;

This is mentioned to the praise of these women, and for
our imitation. They had followed him, and ministered
unto him in his lifetime, and did not forsake him in his
death, when all the disciples, except St. John, fled from
him.

41. (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and mi-
nistered unto him ;) and many other women which came up with
him unto Jerusalem.

Their names are not only in the scriptures, but in the
Book of Life. — Edit.

42. And now when the even was come, because it was the prepa-
ration, that is, the day before the sabbath.



VER. 39 47.] ST. MARK. 143

43. Joseph of Arimathsea, an honourable counsellor, which also
waited for the kingdom of God,,came, and went in boldly unto
Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.

True faith is here described by waiting for the kingdom
of God, that is, believing, expecting, and preparing for it.
Such a faith will make us bold for Christ.

44. And Pilate marvelled if he vvere already dead : and calling
unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any
while dead.

45. And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to
Joseph.

46. And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped
him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out
of a rock, and rolled a stone unto tliedoor of the sepulchre.

47. And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses be-
held where he was laid.

Let this be the use and improvement of all our know-
ledge of Christ ; let us so live, as not to fear death. Christ
has by his death taken out the sting of it, and triumphed
over it, not for himself, but for our sakes. If we live
members of Christ, and die in the habit of well doing, and
in the faith of Christ, the grave will give us up again as
it did him, to our everlasting happiness. Lord grant that
our faith in thy sight, may never be reproved. O Jesus,
live in us, that we may die unto thee, and live with thee
for ever in heaven. Amen.

In Christ's death, let us read the guilt and condemnation



Online LibraryThomas AdamAn exposition of the four Gospels (Volume 2) → online text (page 10 of 39)