About Jesus Steve Sweetman
This Section - Chapter 27
verses 1 and 2 wee see that early in the morning, that would be Friday
morning, the Sanhedrin had made the decision to put Jesus to death.
So they bound Him and took Him to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Once again, the Romans did not allow the Jews to execute anyone
because of a crime they committed. Executions were only performed by the
Roman authorities so this is why the Jews had to bring Jesus to Pilate.
NIV in verse 3 says that when Judas saw that Jesus was condemned “he was
seized with terror”. The
KJV reads that when Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he “repented
himself”. The word repent in
the KJV, and the actions of Judas here suggest to some that Judas repented
of His drastic sin and we will see him in heaven some day.
But we need to understand these words in light of what Jesus said
in chapter 26 verse 24. Jesus said that it would be better if His betrayer
would have never been born, suggesting great punishment.
Greek word “metanoee” is the word that is translated as “repent”
in the New Testament. It
simply means “to perceive after the fact”, or “to change your mind
once understanding something”.
This is not the Greek word that is used here. It’s another word.
It is “metalmelomai”. This
word is made up of two Greek words, meaning, “after”, and “to care
fore”. Thus scholars
translate this word as “repent of one’s
self”. So the
implication here is that Judas not only didn’t repent of what he did but
of who he was.
this is the question. Did
Judas repent unto salvation, or did he simply feel bad?
With Jesus’ words in mind concerning Judas, I don’t believe
that Judas repented unto salvation. He
repented unto suicide. Yes,
the actions of returning the money shows that he did have a change of
heart and mind. He was very
sorry that he turned Jesus over to the Jews as he saw Jesus being led
away, bound and ready for execution. I
do believe that Judas repented. As I said in the last paragraph.
He did not merely repent of what he did, but he repented of who he
was, and that depressing thought sent him to suicide.
Judas did repent, but he failed to put trust in Jesus.
He failed to give Jesus his life once he repented.
Repentance without faith does not produce salvation.
You need both. Repentance
is only half of the story of salvation.
Faith is the other half. This is why I do not expect to
see Judas in heaven. It’s
a very sad story all around. I’m
sure that Judas could have come back to faith, like Peter did, but it does
not appear that he did. True faith most likely would not have led to
suicide but to Judas falling at the feet of Jesus as He was being led
away, and at that point, I believe that Judas would have been saved.
But Judas did not do that.
verse 4 Judas told the Jewish leaders that he had sinned by betraying
innocent blood. Truly Judas
did repent, did have a change of heart. He even confessed that to others,
but once again, faith was not added with his repentance, or so I believe.
Jewish leadership was very cold hearted in their response to Judas’
confession. They said, “what
is that to us”. Basically
they were saying, “so what. That’s
none of our business. Feel the
way you want to feel It’s
all over now. We’ve got what
we wanted. You do as you
also said, “that’s your responsibility”.
By saying this, they were cleaning their hands from the situation.
They acknowledged that Judas might have sinned, but it was his
responsibility to take care of that, not there’s. Of course the Jewish
leaders participated in this sin as well, something they did not admit to
as Judas did.
verse 5 we see Judas throwing the money at the feet of
the Jewish leaders. This
suggests down right disgust on Judas’ part.
At this point Judas was not only angry at himself, but angry at his
Jewish leadership. He simply
threw the money back at them and went out and hung himself.
We do see repentance in Judas’ actions, but we don’t see faith.
verse 6 we see the typical actions of hypocrites.
The Jewish leaders told Judas that they could not receive the money
back from him that he threw at their feet and put it in the
1:18 tells us that Judas bought a field “with the wicked money” he
received for handing Jesus over. So
we are uncertain just to how the field was bought.
It is quite possible that the Jewish leaders took the money and
bought the field in Judas’ name so their name would not be part of the
transaction made by blood money. Or
it might be possible that there was some agreement worked out between
Judas and the Jewish leaders to how this money was spent.
It might have been a joint action between Judas and the Jews.
is interesting to me that Judas killed himself and was buried in a field
that was designated for Gentiles. We
don’t know for sure if there is any significance here, but Judas
“repented of who he became” as noted in verse 5.
So part of this repentance might well have been being buried in a
Gentile grave yard instead of a Jewish grave yard.
8 tells us that the field was called the Field of Blood and it was still
so named when Matthew was writing these words.
The field was literally a bloody mess because of the intestines of
Judas spilling out onto the field. It
was also a field of blood because it was bought with blood money.
9 and 10 tell us that the purchase of this field was prophesied by
Jeremiah centuries earlier. The
quote is most from Jer. 32:6-9. If you read this passage without knowing
what Matthew has just said, you’d have no real idea that what you read
in Jeremiah has anything to do with the purchase of this field.
This tells us how complicated prophecy really is.
It is quite clear that Old Testament prophecies have an immediate
fulfillment as well as a fulfillment that is farther out into the future,
and this certainly does show this to be true. Some prophecies actually
have more than one fulfillment.
verse 11 we see that Jesus is now before the Roman governor named Pilate.
Pilate asks Jesus if He were the King of the Jews.
This would normally be seen as treason against the Roman government
since there was only one king and he was Caesar.
answers the question in the same way that He answered the question when
Caiaphas asked it. Jesus
replied to Pilate by saying, “yes, it is as you say”.
Once again, Jesus puts the confession of who He is in the mouth of
his accuser. He is saying that
Pilate was the one who was making the confession, and He was merely
agreeing with what Pilate said.
verse 12 Matthew tells us that when Jesus was accused by the Jewish
leaders that He gave no answer. This is true.
Jesus was silent for the most part except when He was asked if He
was the Christ, the Son of God. The
question is not exactly the same as the question that Pilate asks here,
but it is similar.
verse 13 Pilate asks Jesus if he didn’t hear the accusation that the
Jews brought before him. Pilate
was probably wondering how Jesus could be so silent.
Why would He not defend Himself in this very important matter.
But we know why Jesus acted as He did.
He had resigned Himself to be the sheep that was willingly sent to
the slaughter. He had faced
the fight in the garden. The
fight was over. He was now
willingly going to His death without any defense.
verse 14 we see Jesus in total silence concerning the charges that the
Jews were presenting Pilate with. Matthew
tells us that Pilate was totally amazed at Jesus’ silence and his lack
of willingness to defend Himself. This is to be expected.
Pilate knew nothing of God’s will for Jesus.
verses 15 to 18 we see that it was the custom by the Romans to release a
prisoner back to the Jews at Passover in a spirit of concession.
We don’t know much about this custom, how or why it started.
do know that the Jew’s charges against Jesus was treason against
Barabbas was a legitimately convicted criminal against
always the tendency of man to align one’s self with your enemy if your
enemy can be a benefit to you. The
Jews aligned themselves with
verse 18 we see that Pilate had figured things out.
It was out of “envy” that the Jews handed Jesus over to Him,
and he knew it. They were
jealous of the crowds that Jesus was getting.
Pilate might well have seen or at least heard of the great crowds
that both followed Jesus into
verse 19 we see that Pilate’s wife sent him a message while he was
sitting in the judges seat. Apparently
she had some sort of bad dream concerning Jesus and what might happen to
her or Pilate. We’re not
told what the dream was about, but only that she suffered a lot in the
dream because of Jesus.
wife called Jesus that “innocent man”. (NIV)
Some other translations use the term “righteous man”.
This tells me that part of the dream concerned Jesus as being
righteous and being falsely accused. We
could speculate all we want about the dream, but we just don’t know its
details. The dream seemed to
have added to Pilate’s suspicions as well.
verse 20 we see the mind control that the Jewish leaders had over the
crowd. We don’t know who was
in the crowd. It might have
been a hand picked crowd. It
could have been part of the crowd that had been with Jesus when He entered
it was the same crowd, they most likely were so disappointed in Jesus
because He did not turn out to be the Messiah that would save them from
21 tells us that Pilate asked the crowd who they wanted free and they
responded by saying they wanted Barabbas, the real criminal to go free.
asks them the natural question. What
should he do with Jesus then. If
Pilate is let go free what should he do with the innocent man.
Pilate believed Jesus was innocent.
That is clear.
verse 23 Pilate asks, “what crime has he done”.
The Jews had already presented Pilate with the charge of being King
of the Jews. Pilate had
rejected this to be the real case. Even
though that Jesus agreed that what Pilate said concerning Him being the
Jewish King was true, Pilate felt that Jesus was diluted.
Pilate did not feel that he could execute a insane or mentally
disturbed man. The only
logical choice was to let Jesus go free and keep Barabbas in prison, but
that was not the will of the Jews. The Jews only shouted louder than ever,
verse 24 we see the crowd getting more agitated and Pilate could see that
as well. It was for this
reason that Pilate gave into the wishes of the crowd against his better
judgment. He did not want a riot on his hands.
This would not look good in the eyes of
verse 25 the crowd of Jews was quite willing to take responsibility for
the death of Jesus. They said,
“let his blood be on us and our children”.
There words were prophetic in one strange sense of the word, for
their actions did produce lasting consequences for them and their
children. The judgment of God was on the Jews because of what they did to
Jesus, and the Jews freely encouraged if with these words.
section ends with verse 26. Pilate
released Barabbas, flogged Jesus and handed Him over to be killed.
had already been spit on, slapped and mocked by the Jews, now here in
verses 27 to 31 we see the Gentile soldiers do the same, but from what is
said more is done to Jesus by the Romans that was done by the Jews..
He is dressed in a scarlet robe which is meant to represent
royalty. He’s given a staff.
A crown of thorns is placed on His head.
Soldiers fall before Him and pretend they’re falling before their
king. They then take the staff
from His hand and progressively strike Him with it.
mocking Jesus they strip him of the fake king’s clothes and put His old
clothes back on him and then lead Him to be crucified.
now we’ve seen both Jew and Gentile come against the one and only Son of
God. Yet we cannot forget that this was all part of God’s plan.
Neither the Jews or the Gentiles killed Jesus.
It was God Himself who wanted to put Jesus to death, all because of
His great love towards us.
was forced to carry the cross he would be executed on.
It would have been very heavy and at some point He could no longer
carry it. A man named Simon
“was forced” to carry the cross. This
man most likely did not understand the significance of what he was doing,
but I would not be surprised in the least that they Holy Spirit spoke to
this man at some future point.
mentions Simon’s two sons which we note in
Paul’s writing, or at least appears to note.
It has been
suggested with good evidence that these two
sons became Christians, thus we might be able to conclude, although
it is conjecture, that Simon
himself became a Christian after he carried
Jesus’ cross. That’s
not surprising to me. This
must have been some experience
verse 33 we see that the place where the cross was planted into the ground
was called “
verse 34 we see that certain soldiers offered Jesus wine mixed with gall.
This would not have been good wine. This was probably more vinegar
than anything else. No one
would offer a dying criminal good wine.
The gall mentioned here was a yellowish herbal liquid that some
suggest might well have been opium. The
reason for the wine and gall would be to put the dying criminal in stoned
state of mind that would lesson the pain of such a death. Jesus refused to
drink this mixture after taking a little sip.
Jesus clearly did not like the taste, but He might well not have
wanted to give up control of His mind in such a crucial situation.
35 tells us that after Jesus died, the soldiers divided up his clothes by
casting lots for his garment. This
was to fulfill Scripture, but this was also the common practice.
If the dying criminals had anything worth keeping, the soldiers who
put them to death got to keep the goods.
36 merely says that the soldiers sat down and kept watch over Him as Jesus
died. The process of death for
Jesus was much faster than normal. This
was clearly part of His doing. Scripture
tells us that “He gave up His Spirit”, as to say, He freely died on
His own accord. He didn’t die a slow death as His body gave way.
verse 37 we note that they put a sign above the head of Jesus on the
cross. The sign read, “This
is Jesus, the King of the Jews”.
Matthew doesn’t tell us, but the one who made the decision to put
up this sign was Pilate. It appears he did it out of spite to protest the
pressure that the Jews had put on him to execute Jesus.
He felt trapped and this was one way to announce his disgust with
the whole situation.
Pilate didn’t understand the words he erected, the words were a
prophetic announcement to those who saw Jesus die. He was the King of the
Jews, but He was also the Saviour of the world.
38 tells us that two robbers were crucified with Jesus.
Here, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah, the world’s Saviour was
executed as a criminal, with two other criminals.
This echoes the words of Paul when he writes in Philippians 2 when
he says that Jesus suffered death, “even the death of the cross”.
This kind of a death was a criminal death.
God came to earth in Jesus and was killed as a criminal.
being killed as a criminal wasn’t bad enough, those who passed by
ridiculed Jesus by reminding Him that He would destroy the
add insult to insult it wasn’t only those who passed by who mocked
Jesus. The Jewish leaders
mocked Him as well with similar words. They sarcastically said that Jesus
saved others, but could not save Himself. Clearly, they did not really
believe that Jesus saved others, and therefore they did not expect Him to
save Himself either.
told Jesus that if He came down from the cross then they would believe.
But Jesus did many miracles, including raising others from the dead and
these Jewish leaders failed to believe then.
How could they believe now. Besides,
Jesus never did what the Jewish leadership demanded Him to do, and it was
not time to start now. Jesus
did what His Father wanted Him to do.
He did not bow to public opinion or public demands.
my guess that if Jesus had have come down from that cross at that very
moment, the masses would have fallen at His feet and the Jewish leaders
would have been more angry than ever.
They already publically told the people that Jesus had a demon.
If He had have come down from the cross, the Jewish leaders
probably would have said that satan himself entered Jesus to cause this to
happen. They would have viewed
this as satan incarnate. Obviously
this could not have happened. There
was more work of salvation to be done as He hung dying on that cross.
verse 43 the Jewish leaders ridicule Jesus’ claim to being the Son of
God. If He was really God’s
Son then He should be able to call out to His Father and God His Father
would rescue Him. But Jesus
did that in the garden. He had
already fought that battle and gave into God’s will, and God’s will
was for Jesus to hang on that cross until He died.
God did not save Jesus because He was not His Son.
God didn’t rescue Jesus because this was His plan to save
mankind, not Jesus. So here is
one of the great exchanges made by Jesus on the cross.
Jesus was not rescued by God so that we could be rescued by God.
was behind these words that came from the lips of the Jewish leaders.
It reminds me of Jesus’ battle with satan in the wilderness after
His water baptism. Satan at
that time confronted Jesus on His claim to deity as well.
Satan hasn’t given up yet. He
continues, using the Jewish leaders as his agents.
verse 44 we see that at this point the robbers on the crosses beside Jesus
heaped insult on Him as well, although we do know that one of these
robbers had a change of heart that led him to his salvation.
verses 45 we see that darkness covered the land from the sixth hour.
(12 noon) to the ninth hour (3 PM)
This was while Jesus was hanging on the cross.
This darkness was an oppressive darkness, a darkness that was a
result of what was taking
place on the cross. The
darkness of sin was totally destroying the physical body of Jesus, so much
so, as Isaiah says in Isa. 52;14, Jesus was so marred that He could not be
recognizable. God’s judgment
was upon Jesus during those three hours. This judgment was due to our sin.
Jesus was punished in place of us.
This in one sense of the word was the saddest time in world
history. It was a dark event,
and darkness covered all the land.
might recall Jesus saying earlier that the day would come when “darkness
would reign”. Well, this was
that time. Darkness reigned
during these three hours.
believe also that Jesus was in a battle with satan during these three
hours of darkness. This truly
was one of the most important three hours in universal history.
died around the ninth hour. Most
people took up to three days to die a slow death, but not so with Jesus.
In verse 46 we see Jesus, around the ninth hour,
cry out, “my God, my God, why have you forsaken me”?
Lots have been said about this verse, and we need to understand
what really happened here.
are some people that believe that Jesus died spiritually as well as
physically. This is called “the spiritual death of Jesus”.
I don’t believe that to be true.
We need to understand what is meant by the word “forsaken”
here. God did not forsake
Jesus in the sense that He withdrew His Spirit from Jesus.
This would have meant that Jesus was no longer God in human flesh.
Jesus could not have done what He did if His union with God was
completely severed. This was not a task that mere man could perform.
need to understand these words in the sense that God the Father turned His
back on Jesus. God the Father
was not there to help Jesus out of this situation, but was there to help
Jesus through this situation. That
is much like God the Father does with us.
He does not always rescue us from trouble, but helps us through the
trouble. Jesus did not die
spiritually at this point.
verse 47 many of
those who stood by Jesus thought that He was speaking to Elijah for
help. This is understandable
since the Jews held Elijah in such great esteem, understanding that he’d
be the one that would come before the Messiah to announce His coming.
verses 47 and 48 we see that some soldiers offered Jesus “wine
vinegar” on a sponge that was place on a stick.
We should note that this was not just wine.
It was “wine vinegar”, that is, wine that had gone bad.
A note about wine here is in order.
In this verse the wine is specifically called “wine vinegar”,
not just wine. This tells me
that in other places, such as, when Jesus turned the water into wine, it
was real wine. There is no
adjectives to state what kind of wine it was.
It wasn’t old wine, or new wine.
It was alcoholic in nature.
My point is that if wine was meant to be understood as grape juice,
that would have been clearly stated.
also see soldiers telling other soldiers to wait and see if Elijah would
really come to help Jesus out. There
was clearly some kind of suspense going on here.
And we do know that there were people who came to faith because of
what they saw as Jesus was hanging on the cross.
verse 50 Jesus dies, but He just doesn’t slowly fade away.
He gave up His spirit. He
died intentionally. It was not
as if His body finally gave up. No,
it was that moment that Jesus was to die, and He died on His own account
in accordance with the will of God His Father.
in verse 50 Matthew tells us that Jesus cried out in a loud voice. What
Jesus said is not recorded by Matthew, but we know from other accounts
that Jesus said something to the effect that He was now placing His spirit
into the hands of God. This
too tells us that Jesus’ body did not just give up, but Jesus died
intentionally at a specific predetermined point in time.
believe at this point that Jesus left His earthly body to be with God the
in Eph. 4:9 speaks of Jesus “descending into the lower parts”.
Some suggest that Jesus left His body on the cross, and His spirit
descended into hell and loosed those
who were captive, that is, the saints in Hades.
How do we correlate those
words with what I just said concerning Jesus going immediately to His
Father when He committed His Spirit into God’s hands?
I don’t see a problem here. I
don’t believe Jesus would have had to leave His earthly body to go
anywhere, especially Hades, because Hades might not be a physical earthly
place as we understand places. Hades
is most likely a spiritual place in the spiritual world that presently
surrounds us. So if this is
indeed the case, Jesus did not have to actually go anywhere in spirit.
When Paul speaks of “descending”, he might well be speaking
verse 51 we see there was an earth quake
at the moment of Jesus’ death.
This is yet another physical and natural occurrence that was
brought about by what was happening in the spiritual world.
event that took place was the ripping of the curtain in the temple.
We need to understand that this curtain was not a thin sheet, like
a bed sheet. This was a very
heavy duty curtain that would have been very hard to rip.
And we should note that it was ripped from top to bottom.
This is significant in that it suggests that the ripping was done
by God and not by man. If man
would have ripped the curtain, it would have been ripped from the bottom
up sense a man would have been standing on the floor.
ripping is symbolic of the fact that now, since the death of Jesus, all
men, not just priests, could enter the most holy place where God is.
If you study the design of the
ripping of the curtain means the whole
verse 52 Matthew states something that the other gospel writers leave out
for some reason. He says that
at the death of Jesus, many people came out of their tomb.
To understand this we refer once again to what Paul says in Eph.
4:8. Paul tells us here that
Jesus led certain captive people free when He descended into the lower
parts. I think that those
coming out of the tombs as Matthew states were those Jesus released.
53 is a bit hard to understand, so we just accept it as it is written.
Those who came out of their graves did not go to paradise, or
heaven. They stayed on the
earth, and after Jesus rose from the dead they actually entered the city
verse 54 we see that many of the soldiers and people who were standing at
the cross were terrified at the earth quake and all the other things that
were taking place when Jesus died. We
often think that the return of Jesus will be extremely dramatic, and that
it will be. But I think that
His death might have been just as dramatic as His return will be, or at
least close to it.
of how the soldiers and others felt, many of them confessed that Jesus was
indeed the Son of God. Does
this mean that these people were saved at this point.
Well, it might suggest that. If
not, it was a major stepping stone in their salvation.
I do believe that those who made this confession were saved, if not
at that point, later. Personally,
I think they were saved right then and there, and it was in answer to
Jesus prayer, “forgive them for they know not what they do”.
God the Father brought these people to a place of repentance and
faith at the foot of the cross of Christ.
You might well consider the cross to be the most powerful altar
call in human history.
55 and 56 tell us that many women were there watching from a distance.
Jesus’ mother Mary was one of these and at one point, as John
states, before Jesus died, He asked John to take care of His earthly
note that these women took care of Jesus’ needs, and that is what these
women did throughout the three year ministry of Jesus.
We need to understand that women played an important part in the
life, ministry and death of Jesus.
verse 57 we see a rich man named Joseph from Arimathea. We learn elsewhere
that he was a member of the Sanhedrin. He was also a disciple of Jesus as
Matthew tells us here. So
there were some of the Jewish leadership that were followers of Jesus.
asked Pilate if he could have the body of Jesus to bury. This would have
been at some point after Jesus died at 3 PM and before sundown when the
Sabbath began. Joseph would
have had to prepare the body of Jesus quite quickly to get it all finished
before the Sabbath.
see in verses 59 and 60 that Joseph prepared Jesus’ body and put it in
his own new tomb. This would
be in fulfillment of Isa. 52:9 that said that Jesus would be buried with
the rich. A large stone was
placed in front of this tomb. This
stone would have been a flat wheel shaped stone that would have been
placed in a groove in the ground that made for easy movement of the stone
from side to side.
61 tells us that Mary Magdalene along with three other women watched all
this take place. These women wanted to know where Jesus was buried.
We know that on Sunday, after the Sabbath, they returned to this
tomb with the idea to anoint the body of Jesus.
verse 62 we see that the Jewish leadership went to Pilate.
It was the “day after Preparation Day”.
Preparation Day would have been Friday when the Jews would have
“prepared” for the Sabbath, since they were not allowed to labour on
verses 63 to 65 the Jews remind Pilate that Jesus said that He would rise
the third day. Of course they
did not believe this would happen, but they feared that the disciples of
Jesus would come back to the tomb and steal His body and spread a false
roomer around that Jesus had indeed risen from the dead.
That would defeat the whole purpose of Jesus’ death in the eyes
of the Jewish leaders. They
told Pilate that if the body of Jesus was stolen and people thought that
He had risen from the dead, this would make things worse than ever.
So they asked Pilate to have the tomb secured by a guard.
verse 65 Pilate agrees and let’s them have a guard.
Pilate tells them to secure the tomb the best they know how.
Pilate might well have thought that if Jesus’ body was to be
moved from the tomb that it would be by a miracle and not by some taking
66 tells us that the Jews did secure the tomb.
So we know for a fact that no one did remove Jesus’ body from the
tomb. The guard and the Jews
would have prevented that from taking place.