Jesus Delivered over to Pilot: 27:1-26.
(Read Matt 27:1-26)
This chapter gives great hope for sinners. When the morning came, the religious leaders delivered Jesus over to Pilot the governor. When Judas realized that Jesus had been condemned to die, he regretted, through the money in the temple and hanged himself. He never repented and sought forgiveness. His sorrow led him to despair. Feeling sorry for sin is not repentance. The priests used the thirty pieces of silver to buy the potter’s field in the name of Judas and made it a cemetery for strangers. Thus, the prophecy of Jeremiah 32:6-9 was fulfilled. When Peter repented, he was forgiven and restored. The gospel gives hope for all those who want to count their lives for Christ. From verses 11 to 26, we see the account of Jesus’ trial before Pilate. He knew that Jewish leaders had arrested Jesus out of envy. Pilate asked Jesus “Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus replied “Yes, you have said so”. Then Pilate said “Don’t you hear their charges? To Pilate surprise, Jesus said nothing. Pilate could find no good reason to sentence Jesus to death and desired to save Jesus. It was the Governor’s custom to release one prisoner each year during the Passover. There was a notorious criminal in the prison, a man named Barabbas. Pilate asked the crowd “Which one do you want me to release to you-Barabbas or Jesus, who is called Christ?” They replied “Barabbas”. Pilate asked “What I should do with Jesus who is called the Christ?” They shouted “Crucify him”. Pilate washed his hand before the crowd and said “I am innocent of the blood of this man. The responsibility is yours". The people said “Let His blood be on us and on our children”. Pilate release Barabbas and delivered Jesus to be crucified. Barabbas was released at the expense of the righteous Jesus. For our sake Christ was made sin, who knew no sin, so that we might be made right with God (2 Cor 5:21). This is the greatest exchange ever happened.
The Crucifixion: 27:27-44.
(Read Matt 27:27-44)
After scourging, Pilate released Jesus to be crucified. The soldiers mocked Jesus by clothing him with a scarlet robe and crowned him with a crown made out of thorns. They gave a reed in his right hand and bowed before him by saying “King of the Jews”. They humiliated the prince of life. The soldier spit on his face and struck his head with rod. They stripped Jesus of the robe and put his own cloths on him and led him to be crucified. Jesus was too weak to carry the cross. So, they compelled Simon of Cyrene to carry his cross. Later his sons, Alexander and Rufus became well-known believer among Christians (Mark 15:21). They gave Jesus vinegar mixed with gall to drink. But he refused to drink. Jesus willingly suffered the full pain of our sin on the cross. Jesus was nailed to the cross. They crucified him between two thieves at Golgotha, a place of a skull. The people passing by abused him by shaking their head in mockery and by challenging him to come down from the cross. The religious leaders mocked Jesus by saying “He saved others, but he can’t save himself”. “You, who destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself”. The criminals in both side of Jesus also insulted him. Many prophecies were fulfilled during this time (Psalms 22:7,18). From stable to his cross, Jesus was treated like nobody. But for those who are saved, Jesus is the “Lamb worthy to receive power, wealth, wisdom, might, honor, glory and blessing” (Rev 5:12).
The Death and burial of Jesus: 27:45-66.
(Read Matt 27:45-66)
The final three hours of Jesus’ life were full of anguish. From the sixth hour there was darkness over the land. Jesus had been on the cross from 9 A.M to 3 P.M. The darkness at 12 P.M was supernaturally imposed since an eclipse of the sun at noon is impossible. At the ninth hour (3 P.M) Jesus cried out with a loud voice “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani” in Aramaic. Which means, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me”? The bystanders thought he was calling Elijah. Christ bore our sin in his body on the cross (Gal 3:13). Father looked away from His son at that moment. Our sin separated Jesus from the Father. He suffered wrath we deserve (2 Cor 5:21). Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. The events following Jesus’ death were remarkable. The veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The veil that separated us from God is removed. Now people have access to the very presence of God. The tombs were opened and many Old Testament saints were resurrected. The earthquake and other events were so dramatic that even the Roman Centurion confessed openly that “Truly this was the Son of God”. Many women witnessed this including his burial from a distance (Matt 27:56). Joseph of Arimathea and Necodemus gave Jesus an honorable burial in the new tomb. They were devoted disciples of Jesus. It was a fulfillment of prophecy of Isaiah 53:9. A great stone was placed at the entrance of the tomb. Scholars suggest that such a stone would be humanly impossible to roll back by one man. At the request of religious leaders, the tomb was sealed with Roman seal and guarded by soldiers. This was to prevent anybody from stealing the body of Jesus. It does not make any sense to suggest that Jesus was only passed out and when he was revived he got out of the tomb. God did all things according to his eternal council. If God could use the death of his Son for our good, He can use the difficulties in our life for our good as well. Spend some time meditating the agony and shame our Lord endured on our behalf to save us.