Mark 15:21-25

Mark 15:21 (KJB)
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.

The scourging and the other blood letting by mocking had severely weakened Jesus in that He was unable to carry His own cross or maybe just the cross beam which would be nailed to the supporting post to form a cross. On the way out to Golgotha, they compelled a man named Simon who was of Cyrene. Cyrene was located where modern day Libya is. Cyrene was located on the tip, right on the Mediterranean. It was in the province of Cyrenaica. There were many Jewish colonies there. Simon was probably in Jerusalem because of the Passover Feast. Jesus was taken outside the city to be crucified. (John 19:20 KJV) This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. In the time of Moses, when someone was to be stoned to death it was to be done outside the camp. (Num 15:35 KJV) And the LORD said unto Moses, The man shall be surely put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. Rufus is believed to be the same one mentioned in Romans 16:13. (Rom 16:13 KJV) Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine. Nothing more beyond the mention is known of Alexander.

Mark 15:22 (KJB)
And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

The name Golgotha, in the Aramaic is “gulgultă” which means “skull.” In Hebrew it is “gulgőleth” means “skull” and in the Greek, “kraniou totos” which means “the place of the skull.” Some believe it is Gordon’s Calvary because the rocks below the surface look like a skull, but that is doubtful. It was located north or west of Jerusalem. This place was not a designated place for executions and nowhere is it described as a skull shaped hill, or even a hill itself. What happened there was more important than the geographical location, as long as it was in keeping with the Scriptures.

Mark 15:23 (KJB)
And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh: but he received it not.

Before they crucified Jesus, the soldiers had attempted to give Him some sour wine mixed with a bitter substance. It was a Jewish custom to give a condemned person a pain killing drug before sentence was carried out. Jesus had tasted it and it was bad so He refused to drink because He wanted to pay for the sins of His people fully conscious and not drugged up. (Mat 27:34 KJV) They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.  “Gall” was normally used to indicate some type of unpleasant tasting substance. Myrrh would have caused the drink to have a bitter taste. It is also believed to be some type of opiate which caused a deep sleep or numbed the pain of the execution. The honorable women of Jerusalem had provided narcotic drinks to those who were condemned to lessen the pain of capital punishment.

Mark 15:24 (KJB)
And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take.

They had crucified Him by stripping Him naked. All the pictures of “Jesus” we see on the cross always has a loin cloth on Him but the reality is that the prisoner was stripped naked and then crucified. The arms were outstretched on the cross beam and were nailed in the wrists because if they were nailed in the palms, the weight of the body would rip the nail out or between two of the fingers. The prisoner was then placed on the cross upright and the body was supported by a little seat. The feet were nailed separately to the upright or supporting beam. It was done this way to prolong the agony of the prisoner and they normally took a long time to die. Then when Jesus was already on the cross, they had cast lots for His garment. (Psa 22:18 KJV) They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture. This was also a fulfillment of prophecy. The soldiers could not tear the garment and give a small piece to each because it was seamless and that is why they had to cast lots, so one person would win the whole piece. (John 19:23 KJV) Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout.

Mark 15:25 (KJB)
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.

The time that Jesus was crucified was 9:00 AM. He was on the cross for six hours. (John 19:13-14 KJV) When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called the Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. {14} And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour: and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! John states that it was the sixth hour that Jesus was crucified. This was because it was looking at Roman time plus it was the time which Pilate sat down to begin to hear the case against Jesus. So there is no conflict in the timing. Mark is going by Jewish time which makes 6:00 AM the beginning of the first watch or the first hour of the day.