Matthew 27

See Isaiah 53:3-6, 9-10. (It is utter ruin of language to try to draw a human conclusion to the chapter. Rather let the Scriptures themselves interpret it.)

1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

3 ¶ Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,

4 Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.

7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.

8 Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.

9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

10 And gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

12 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

13 Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?

14 And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

15 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

16 And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.

17 Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?

18 For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

19 ¶ When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.

21 The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.

23 And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

24 ¶ When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

26 ¶ Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.

28 And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.

29 ¶ And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!

30 And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

31 And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.

32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

34 ¶ They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

36 And sitting down they watched him there;

37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

39 ¶ And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

40 And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

41 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43 He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?

47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

48 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.

49 The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.

50 ¶ Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

52 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

53 And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:

56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.

57 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple:

58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,

60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.

62 ¶ Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.

64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.

65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.

66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Matthew 27:1-10 – The Betrayer’s Remorse and Suicide

   It was the very early morning when Jesus was led off to Pilate, for he was on the cross by nine. Judas apparently watched the scene from afar. It may be that he was stricken with horror, when our Lord did not exert His mighty power in self-deliverance. The only expedient that occurred to the traitor as practicable was to attest the Lord’s innocence. What a tribute that was to the absolute purity and beauty of the life which he had known for so long in the closest intimacy! If there had been a flaw, he would have caught at it as justifying his deed; but there was none. See Hebrews 7:26-27.
   The money burnt his hands and rang on the marble floor. Who can estimate the despair, the horror, the blackness of darkness that drove him to a suicide’s fate? See Acts 1:15, etc. Note how punctilious these false priests were, Matthew 27:6. It is certain that even after this, if he had repented, he would have been forgiven. But despair had seized him. He went to his own place! Each of us is making a place for himself and is going to it. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 27:11-21 – ​Barabbas or Christ?

   The vacillation of Pilate made him a criminal. Weakness becomes sin. At first he evidently meant to release Jesus, but instead of saying so outright, he strove to bring about His release by indirect means and without committing himself.
   First, he sent Him to Herod, Luke 23:17, thinking that a Jew would view favorably the position of a fellow-Jew. Then he sought to touch the springs of pity by the anguish of scourging. Finally, he gave the people the choice between Barabbas and Christ, feeling sure that they must choose the liberation of a lover of men rather than that of an outlaw.
   None of these expedients succeeded, and he drifted into the very act which his conscience had condemned from the first. He is a specimen of those weak men who want the right thing to be done, but will not adventure their own interests to get it done. There is no chance of such men coming out right. The one hope for us all is to declare ourselves for the right and true, at once and from the start. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 27:22-31 – ​The Stain Water Could not Wash Away

   No judge ought to have asked the crowd what he should do. But every man has to do with Christ. He is ever standing before the bar of conscience, and each of us must accept or condemn, do homage or crucify. If we do not pronounce for Him, we pronounce against Him; and there is a moment when our verdict becomes irrevocable. “What I have written I have written” (John 19:22). We are all writing our legend, and affixing it to the Cross for the universe to read, and a day comes when it is irreversible.
   We may wash our hands after the deed of treachery is done, but water will not avail for Pilate, for Lady Macbeth, or for us. We need the blood of Christ, ere we can be cleansed from all sin, I John 5:6.
   The King of men must wear a crown of the thorns with which sin is so closely identified. See Genesis 3:18. Only thus can the crown of universal empire be won! The robe of mockery must precede His Ascension vesture. The reed is appropriate, for it is through such that he wins and rules. See Isaiah 42:3; 57:15. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 27:32-44 – ​“Where They Crucified Him” (John 19:18)

   He will not drink what would dull His keen sense of the momentous issues of the Cross. Those taunts were true. None who save themselves can save others. The cry of forsakenness, the midday midnight, the yielded spirit, the rent veil, the opened tombs, the sympathy of nature—all these proved that this was no common death, and were in keeping with everything that Scripture had foretold, I Peter 1:11.
   Our Lord was wrapped in midnight, that He might be our “bright and morning star” (Revelation 22:16). He became obedient to death, that He might give eternal life. His heel was sorely wounded, that He might break the head of him that had the power of death, and might wear forever at His girdle the keys of death and Hades. Make His soul an offering for thy sin. Hide in the cleft which the soldier’s spear opened in His side. He has made peace by the blood of His Cross; we have but to accept and be at rest. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 27:32—Him they compelled to bear His cross.

   If we may judge from the familiar way in which Mark speaks of the sons of this Cyrenian, who the soldiers brutally compelled to carry our Savior’s cross, we should infer that from this hour he became a Christian. He had little suspected such a thing in the early morning, when he left his lodging to attend to his business; but, being constrained to go to Calvary, he lingered there of his own accord through those anxious hours, and was led to feel that such a sufferer, to whom even Nature paid such homage, was worthy henceforth to receive his loyalty.
   But how many of us are carrying our cross because we are compelled! There seems no alternative but to carry the dead weight of our cross with us everywhere, only wishing a hundred times each day that we might have respite. Dear soul, that cross is yet going to be the greatest blessing of your life if it lead you to the Crucified, and you find in Him what will transform it into the ladder which links earth with heaven, swaying beneath angel tread.
   If Simon became a Christian, with what rapture trust he have reviewed that incident in his life! How easy it would have been to carry the cross had he known Jesus as he came to know Him afterwards! He would have needed no compelling! So if you saw the will of Jesus in your cross, and that you were carrying it with Him, how much easier it would be! But that is so. He is in it. Bear it with Him; out of the cross will fall a shower of flowers.
   There is no such thing as chance in our lives. It might have seemed such that Simon was coming into Jerusalem at that moment. It was shown, however, to be part of the Eternal counsel. Dare to believe in the Divine purpose which orders your cross. —Our Daily Homily

Matthew 27:45-56 – ​The Broken Heart and the Rent Veil

   With hushed hearts we stand in the presence of “that sight” (Luke 23:48). It is the tragedy of time; the one supreme act of self-surrender; the unique unapproachable sacrifice and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. It is here that myriads of sin-sick, terror-stricken souls, in every century, have found refuge. It is here that martyrs have been made strong to endure. It is here that Jacob’s ladder rested, in the lower places of the earth, for He that ascended is the same also that first “descended first into the lower parts of the earth” (Ephesians 4:9). He became “obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore….” See Philippians 2:8-9.
   The centurion had seen other crucified ones die, but never one like this. He recognized the superhuman elements of the scene. But for us, the emotions of this hour are not those of wonder, but of loving gratitude and faith. He “loved me” He “gave himself for me”, Galatians 2:20. —Through the Bible Day by Day

Matthew 27:57-66 – ​The Closed and Guarded Tomb

   Fear not to entrust yourself to God in death. If you yield up your spirit and commend it to the Father’s hands, He will provide for it and for your body also. He has His Josephs everywhere. He will provide loving hands for the body, which was the shrine and casket of the precious jewel that He bought at so great a cost. Precious in His sight is the death of His saints, Psalm 116:15.
   The kings and princes of this world set themselves to guard the sepulcher of the Son of God by sealing-wax and sentries. They might as well have endeavored to restrain the bursting life of spring. Said the King of Terrors to Captain Corruption, “Take care to keep this Man’s body fast.” But what did this avail, when it had been ordained that he should not stay in Hades, nor even see corruption? Whatever your foes may do against you will not avail, if only you wait patiently for God. See Psalm 40. —Through the Bible Day by Day