“Why, what harm has he done?” Pilate kept saying to them. But they shouted furiously, “Crucify him!”
I’ll ask you a question
so you can dig a deeper hole
it’s the easiest of four others
I could put before you
most simply put—why
most elusive of the lot—why
you can ask all you want
to those unable to hear
in the end it’s a minor delay
the unquestioned roll along
Even as Pilate asks why the crowd has the response “Crucify” so quickly on their lips, we might see him cupping a hand behind an ear as if to say, “What was that? Louder, please.” It would not be the only double message he has sent.
Translationally, the English “wrong” or “harm” is much too mild for “evil”. The word κακός (kakos, base, wrong, wicked) is a primary word and etymologically related to the crude “kakka” or “sh_t”.
This can relate back to Herod’s appreciation of Baptizer John, but it is far easier to see it as Pilate continuing to play with the chief priests and crowd.
Given the way Mark references previous scenes, Readers can appreciate the imagination of Myers196:
The fickle masses are central characters in the farce and important to Mark’s political message. In a matter of days, the crowd has gone from “hearing gladly” Jesus’ criticisms of the priestly elite (see 11:38) to being manipulated by them to lobby for his demise (15:10f). In the Colosseum parody, the tragedy is that the masses again succumb to the will of their political and class opponents (who fear them! see 14:2). That is why the shrieks of the crowd (15:13f) simultaneously echo the wails of the demons in Mark (see 3:11, 5:5, 9:26) and the cries of the oppressed (see 9:24, 10:47f, 11:9).
Even to this day the poor, the masses, find themselves tricked into supporting the current economic paradigm that has never been on their side. Sheer overwhelming power against them and dreams of riches that may yet be theirs combine to entice them to act against their own long-term best interest.
Whatever the cause of wailing, it has been heard by Jesus and he has been present with those crying out. This has connections with Moses entering the court of Pharaoh with a demand to release wailing captives. Both Moses and Jesus have elusive grave stories from an unknown location to empty.