BIBLE: Matthew Chapter 27 – Headline “De-Nyers are De-Liars”

Words in italic type have been added for clarity. They are not found in the original Hebrew or Aramaic.

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Matthew 27

What should I learn from this chapter?

  • The background of Annas and Caiaphas, the High Priest
  • The similarities between Jesus and Barabbas
  • The meaning in 30 pieces of silver
  • The nature of manipulation in corrupt leaders
  • How men are compared to pottery
  • How the Jews continually choose the wrong Messiah
  • Jesus as a stone
  • Chart of Jesus’ crucifixion week
  • Symbolism of thorns
  • What is the Jewish “Wave Offering”?
  • The meaning of the color Red
  • The meaning of Jesus’ baptism

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate

Matthew 27:1 When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.
  • Father and son: The “deposed” Annas was the virtual high priest who was the arm of power, although Caiaphas, his son-in-law was the installed high priest.

The father and son (in-law) were at enmity with THE “Father” and THE “Son”.

  • The family carried much influence. Jesus stepped all over their toes. He threatened their finances, their authority, their positions, and their influences. In the wake of Jesus’ shadow they became mere mortals. They had a choice to make: keep their “candy jar” and kill the potential King, or step down and support a new leadership, which obviously will not support them, giving the fact that this “Jesus” overturned their money tables. Outrageous. Then He had the audacity to ride into Jerusalem as the “King of the Jews”. Yes, they were incensed!
  • Annas belonged to the Sadducean aristocracy, and, like others of that class, he seems to have been arrogant, astute, ambitious and enormously wealthy. He and his family were proverbial for their predatory greed.
  • The chief source of their wealth seems to have been the sale of requisites for the temple sacrifices, such as sheep, doves, wine and oil, which they carried on in the four famous “booths of the sons of Annas” on the Mount of Olives, with a branch within the precincts of the temple itself. During the great feasts, they were able to extort high monopoly prices for theft goods. Hence, our Lord’s strong denunciation of those who made the house of prayer “a den of robbers” (Mark 11:15-19).
  • This is the environment in which the Trinity chose to place the Son of God.
  • Reminder: When Jesus confronted them about plotting to kill him, they denied it.
  • John 7:19 Did not Moses give you the law, yet none of you keeps the law? Why do you seek to kill Me?”
  • John 7:20 The people answered and said, “You have a demon. Who is seeking to kill You?”
  • John 8:37 “I know that you are Abraham’s descendants, but you seek to kill Me, because My word has no place in you.
  • John 8:40 But now you seek to kill Me, a Man who has told you the truth which I heard from God. Abraham did not do this.

“De-nyers are de-liars”

Matthew 27:2 And when they had bound Him (Jesus), they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the (Roman) governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

Matthew 27:Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
  • NOTE: What did Judas think would happen? Was he so dull he didn’t know Jesus would be condemned, even though Jesus continually told his disciples the leaders wanted to kill him? Jesus even confronted the leaders and told them he knew they wanted to kill him.
  • When Judas saw that Jesus had been condemned, he knew he had condemned himself.
Matthew 27:4 (Judas) saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.”
  • Judas KNEW Jesus was innocent, so why did he do it? Was he trying to teach Jesus a lesson for shaming him in Bethany at Simon the leper’s house. Judas’ father was “Simon”. Was Simon the leper Judas’ father and did Jesus shame Judas in front of his father?
  • The timing certainly is right. Scripture says it was because he was greedy for the money…it’s possible the two worked together.
And they (the chief priests) said, “What is that to us? You see to it!
  • “What is that to us?” It was quite a bit to them when they were out to kill Jesus and confronted him at every turn.
  • They could care less that Jesus was innocent. They guarded their candy jar of powerful positions, wealth, and influence.
  • The movie “Shawshank Redemption” so clearly displays this story of a powerful religious prison warden who represents the chief priests of Jesus’ day, who saw the potential of one wise and educated man, a prisoner whose innocence threatens him. The prisoner makes a decision of life and death to ultimately find himself resurrected from captivity.
  • Hillary Clinton, when questioned about the massacre at Benghazi replied “What does it matter?” (aka: What is that to us?”
Matthew 27:5 Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.
  • Note: Judas betrayed Jesus and the chief priests and elders betrayed Judas.
  • moral of the story: He who lives by the sword dies by the sword-and he who lives by betrayal dies by betrayal.
Matthew 27:6 But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.”
  • I can only imagine these lofty and arrogant chief priests, in their regal regalia, after purchasing for themselves the excruciating death of an innocent man looking down at thirty pieces of silver that had spilled out of Judas’ bag, rolling across the temple’s marble floor forcing them to be on their knees (in a posture of worship) in order to capture the coins as though they were worshiping their money.
  • 1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
  • Written to those who spill innocent blood:
  • Isaiah 59:7 Their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed innocent blood; Their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; Wasting and destruction are in their paths.
  • Jeremiah 7:6 … do not oppress the stranger, the fatherless, and the widow, and do not shed innocent blood in this place, or walk after other gods to your hurt,
  • Why did the chief priests and rulers want to kill Jesus? Because in their arrogance he threatened their power and money: First he called them hypocrites. (In Hebrew, the word “hypocrite” means “actor”, someone wearing a mask). He upended their money tables which was the source of their riches. He had the audacity to call Himself the “Son of God” claiming to forgive sins, making Himself to be higher than them. And then, to make matters worse, He rode into Jerusalem on the colt of a donkey being declared “The King of the Jews!”

    Aghast and completely indignant, red faced with anger, they scream to Jesus, “Do you hear what these are saying? SHUT THEM UP!”

    Jesus put them in their place. He was their Messiah, their God, and their Creator. His ride into Jerusalem completed the prophecy of Daniel’s 69th week, written and inspired by God. For the prophecy of 70 weeks click here to See: Daniel Chapter Nine

    How will these “white washed tombs” who wear priestly garments preserve their masks of supposed dignity? How will they cover their disgusting, utter greed? How can they deflect their guilt? By covering it with a GOOD? deed.
Matthew 27:7 And they consulted together and bought (purchased) with them (the thirty pieces of silver) the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
  • POTTER: A potter is a person who makes pottery from potter’s clay. If a pot is marred, it is thrown into the field and broken into shards.
  • Because of this event, a cemetery for foreigners (gentiles and Samaritans) near Jerusalem is still called the potter’s field.
Matthew 27:8 Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
  • Scripture says Judas hung himself and when he fell he burst open and his entrails gushed out.
  • Acts 1:18 Now this man (Judas) purchased (with his death) a field with the wages of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst open in the middle and all his entrails gushed out.
    (It appears he threw himself over a cliff and hung himself with a rope)
Matthew 27:9 Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced,”
Matthew 27:10 and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.”
  • The next verse in Zechariah:
    • Zechariah 11:13 And the Lord said to me, “Throw it to the potter”—that princely price they set on me. So I took the thirty pieces of silver and threw them into the house of the Lord (the temple) for the potter.

Jesus Faces Pilate

Matthew 27:11 Now Jesus stood before the governor (Pilate). And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”
  • Jews had no word for “yes”, instead they reply with “you say”.
Matthew 27:12 And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
  • Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth.

Sheep are the only animals on earth that can’t defend themselves.
Jesus chose to be a lamb.

  • John 1:29 The next day John (the Baptist) saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
Matthew 27:13 Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
Matthew 27:14 But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.

Taking the Place of Barabbas

Matthew 27:15 Now at the feast (the Passover) the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.
Matthew 27:16 And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
Matthew 27:17 Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
  • Some ancient manuscripts of Matthew 27:16–17 have the full name of Barabbas as “Jesus Barabbas” and this was probably the name as originally written in the text.
    Evans, Craig A. (2012). Matthew (New Cambridge Bible Commentary). Cambridge University Press. p. 453. ISBN 978-0521011068.
Matthew 27:18 For he (Pilate) knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.
Matthew 27:19 While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
  • It is an enigma the many ways God communicates with various people. Dreams seem to be consistent this the way God spoke to others in scripture: Abraham, Joseph, Daniel and Joseph, all of which have had night visions.
Matthew 27:20 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
  • The Jews have a penchant for choosing the WRONG PERSON:
  • First, they chose Herod as their Messiah: “The Herodians believed that since the timing was right for the messiah as foretold in the book of Daniel, for Daniel’s 70th week, that Herod was their messiah; in spite of the fact that Herod was not Jewish but Idumean, a descendent of Esau. This fact alone disqualifies him according to the laws of Leviticus.”
  • Next, they chose Caesar as their “king” although Jesus is the “King of kings”: They cried out: “We have no king but Caesar!” (blasphemy!)
  • They will also choose the Antichrist during the seven year tribulation, the one who will turn on them and kill them.
  • “I come in my Father’s name and you will not receive me, but another you will receive who comes in his own name.” John 5:43
Matthew 27:21 The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?”
They said, “Barabbas!”
  • Reminder: The Jews typically choose the wrong person.
  1. They chose Barabbas, the murderer.
  2. The Herodians believed that Herod “the Great” was the Messiah (knowing that the Messiah was due to arrive according to the timing in the book of Daniel).
  3. They chose Caesar as their king instead of Jesus:
  • John 19:15b Pilate said to them, “Shall I crucify your King?” The chief priests answered, “We have no king but Caesar!”
  • 4. Earlier, when Jesus was confronting the Pharisees, he said “I have come in my Father’s name and you will not receive me”…”another will come in his own name and HIM you WILL receive.” The Jews today believe that the one who builds their third temple will be the Messiah. However, prophecy says it will be the coming Antichrist.
Matthew 27:22 Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ (Messiah)?”
They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
Matthew 27:23 Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?”
But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
  • ►NOTE: They had no answer.
  • Personal Application: When someone wants something that makes no sense, all they can do is yell louder and repeat their demand.
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult (uproar) was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.
  • “You see to it”, the same words the priests told Judas when Judas threw the money bag down in the temple. It means “the guilt is yours…not mine.”
  • Both Pilate and the Priests will have to give an account of their words in the future to another Judge at the Great White Throne Judgment. Will this Judge agree with them? Their Judge of the future is none other than Jesus, Himself.
Matthew 27:25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
  • What a statement, to bring their horrendous guilt down on their children.
  • His blood was on both them and on their children. In 70 AD their temple was destroyed. They were sent into captivity and dispersed for ~2,000 years. Not until Israel became a nation again in 1948 AD did the first sign of Jewish life appear.
Matthew 27:26 Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus (flogged Jesus with a Roman scourge), he delivered Him to be crucified.
  • ►Note: Below, a Roman Scourge matching the scourge marks on the Shroud of Turin.

The Soldiers Mock Jesus

Matthew 27:27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium (the govenor’s headquarters) and gathered the whole garrison (cohort) around Him.

The High Priest refused to go into the gentile (non-Jewish) Praetorium because he didn’t want to be unclean for the Passover. But the “Passover Lamb” was already in the Praetorium.

Barbara Grover
  • “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world!”
Matthew 27:28 And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
  • The color scarlet in the Bible is the color representing both sin and redemption. Jesus’ red blood covers our scarlet sins. See Topic: The Color Red
Matthew 27:29 When they had twisted (literally: woven) a crown of thorns, they put it on 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!”
Matthew 27:30 Then they (the soldiers) spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
  • The reed is a visual symbol of a ruler’s scepter (a rod with an ornate, gem encrusted orb at the end).
  • The reed is a mockery of a scepter in the same way Jesus was made a mockery of a so-called “real king”. But Jesus was more and much more. The man they mocked was their Creator, the Son of God, the “real” King of Kings and Lord of Lords.
  • Personal Application: Be careful never to mock anyone.
  • He mocks proud mockers but gives grace to the humble.  Proverbs 3:34

The same judgment men give to others they will receive in justice: Those who mock are mocked by God.

They beat Jesus from his head to his foot, sentenced Him to be crucified naked, and caused His dignity to be stripped from Him like the bark on a tree. But the bond between Jesus and the Father cannot be broken. Jesus’ dignity is in His identity and that cannot be taken by man or by Satan.

Click here to discover the difference between Dignity and Pride.

Matthew 27:31 And when they (the soldiers) had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.
  • The fun was over. After they mocked him, and led him away, he was literally a bloody mess from head to foot and unrecognizable. Beaten so horrifically, he could not carry his own cross beam.

The King on a Cross

Matthew 27:32 Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. Him they compelled (forced) to bear His (Jesus’) cross (beam).
Matthew 27:33 And when they had come to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull, (Aramaic: “Skull”) also called Calvary, (from Latin calva: “bald head,” or “skull”)
Matthew 27:34 they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.
  • Deu 32:32-33 ASV 32 For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: Their grapes are grapes of gall, Their clusters are bitter: 33 Their wine is the poison of serpents (Satan), And the cruel venom of asps.
Matthew 27:35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.” (Psalm 22:18)
Matthew 27:36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.
  • Joseph’s brothers, after throwing Joseph in a pit, sat down and ate lunch ignoring Joseph’s pleas.
Matthew 27:37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
  • The acronym INRI represents the Latin inscription IESVS NAZARENVS REX IVDÆORVM (Iesus Nazarenus, Rex Iudaeorum), which in English translates to “Jesus the Nazarene, King of the Jews” (John 19:19). John 19:20 states that this was written in three languages: Hebrew, Latin and Greek and was put on the cross of Jesus. › wiki › Jesus,_King_of_the_Jews
  • The crime of the criminal was to be posted with the criminal. Since Jesus was innocent Pilate had to post something and so he posted the truth.
Matthew 27:38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.
Matthew 27:39 And those who passed by blasphemed (cursed) Him, wagging their heads
Matthew 27:40 and saying, “You who (said you would) destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
  • They did not realize Jesus was speaking of his body when he said “Destroy this temple and in three days I will raise it.” Jesus raised Himself from the Dead indicating His position in the God Head. He forgave sins and He raised Himself from the Dead.
  • He WAS…IS…WILL forever BE GOD. See notes in John 1:1 and Genesis 1:1 concerning Jesus being both “with God” and “God”.
  • Those who passed by questioned his identity as the Son of God. In verse 42 they also question his identity as the King of Israel.
  • This is Satan’s “Method of Operation” (M-O) with the words “if” and “really”: “If you are the Son of God” … and …. “If He is the King of Israel.”
  • Gen 3:1 “Has God really said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?”
  • Luke 4:3 And the devil said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, command this stone to become bread.”
  • Luke 4:9 Then he brought Him to Jerusalem, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down from here.
Matthew 27:41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes, (and the Pharisees), and elders, said,
Matthew 27:42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe (in) Him.

This is the religion of man: demanding a god who will do what they want him to do, instead of accepting and obeying THE GOD they profess to worship.

  • Even if He came down from the cross, they still would not believe Him. This is the hopelessness of sin that blinds men to the Truth. When they asked Jesus why He ate and drank he replied they would not believe regardless, because John (the baptist) neither ate nor drank … and still they didn’t believe. In the book of Revelation, in spite of the plagues … still they did not repent.
  • It defies logic.
Matthew 27:43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I AM the Son of God.’ ”
Matthew 27:44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.
  • One of the two robbers later repented. Jesus then told him that very day he would be in Paradise of Sheol with Him.
  • The other side of Sheol is called “Torments”. It waited for the other robber. Paradise and Torments are separated by a wide chasm which no one can cross.

Jesus Dies on the Cross

Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour (noon) until the ninth hour (3pm) there was darkness over all the land.
  • There was darkness for three hours. It cannot be the presence of the Father because God is light. Were the evil principalities of Satan’s fallen angels gathering to celebrate Jesus’ death?
  • The total amount of time on the cross was six hours: the number of man.
Matthew 27:46 And about the ninth hour (3pm) Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
  • While sabachthani is also valid Mishnaic Hebrew, the fact that Jesus is quoting the Aramaic Targum rather than the canonical Hebrew version probably indicates that he was speaking Aramaic. In Mark, the word that Jesus uses for God is actually ελωι (Eloi) rather the ηλι (Eli) used in Matthew.
Matthew 27:47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”
  • They misunderstood Jesus’ words.
  • Elijah was an Old Testament prophet who was taken to heaven without dying. He was to be the forerunner of the Messiah.
  • Luke 1:17 He (John the baptizer) will also go before Him in the spirit and power of Elijah, ‘to turn the hearts of the fathers to the children,’ and the disobedient to the wisdom of the just, to make ready a people prepared for the Lord.”
Matthew 27:48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
  • This time they are offering Jesus sour wine without gall.
Matthew 27:49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
Matthew 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit (died).
  • John 19:30 So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
  • Note:
  1. 30–33 AD – An earthquake, identified in the geological strata of the Dead Sea and by Roman sources, reported by the Gospels to have taken place during the crucifixion of Jesus.
  2. There was an earthquake. (Even the rocks knew who Jesus was).
  • Riding into Jerusalem as King of the Jews, Jesus told the leaders who demanded he tell the crowds to stop praising Him:
    Luke 19:40 But He answered and said to them, “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out.”
  1. The veil of the temple was torn in two which had separated God in the holy of holies, from sinful men. It is symbolic that men can now approach God directly because Jesus acts as our High Priest offering His own blood for our atonement and not the sacrifice of animals.
  1. The rocks were split. The rock that gave the Hebrews water when they were in the wilderness was split in two when it was struck.
  • Numbers 20:11 Then Moses lifted his hand and struck the rock twice with his rod; and water came out abundantly, and the congregation and their animals drank.
  • Now, Jesus as our Rock of Salvation is split (broken) at his death, and because of this we are able to drink from the Living Water.
  • John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her (the Samaritan woman at the well), “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”
  • John 7:38 He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
  • What is Living Water? Eternal Life.
Matthew 27:52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
  • Note on Nisan 18: the graves were opened after Jesus’ resurrection, symbolic of the Jewish Spring Feasts. Jesus was not only the Passover lamb, but also the First Fruit of the resurrections while the saints who rose afterward are the wave offering during the feast of unleavened bread.
Matthew 27:53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
  • See chart above: Jesus is the Passover Lamb as prescribed by the Jewish Feast of Passover, and Jesus is the First Fruits of all those who are raised from the dead. Together with Jesus the saints who came out of the tombs after His resurrection they are the wave offering.
Matthew 27:54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
  • The soldiers who beat Him, mocked Him, gambled for His clothes, and crucified Him are questioning their reality. Those of whom Jesus said “Father, forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing.”
  • The Following is taken from Bible History Online with some changes:
  • Imagine the fear inspired by a detachment of Roman legionnaires marching into your village. The ground rumbles beneath the feet of one hundred soldiers armed with sword, shield and armor as they move down your street. The entire unit is moving as one. Not one soldier thinking of his own choices but moving as a single entity. Alongside, riding on a proud steed, is the centurion. Distinguished in attire and character, he is one who worked his way up through the ranks by merit into a position of trusted authority. Seasoned by battle and enforcing law in hundreds of villages throughout the Empire his eyes are filled with a deep knowing. He has been given a charge and a duty to carry out and is little moved by the opinion of any human spirit.
  • One Centurion on what would have been another day of keeping order became witness to the day that shook the city and changed the world. 
  • How many other crucifixions had he overseen, being fully aware of the religious fervor of the zealots, the political hatred among the people, the activities of everyday criminals, and the unnerving tenseness in unpredictable uprisings. Less than a week earlier masses gathered shouting for a man who claimed to be king of the Jews.
  • He ignored those watching this crucifixion. He saw some crying and others mocking. He saw the sign over his head, “This is Jesus. The King of the Jews” 
  • Then it might have occurred to him that this was the same man that entered Jerusalem on the colt while the crowds shouted “Save us from our enemies!” (The meaning of Hosanna). No wonder, he might have mused, that this man was now being crucified.
  • Then he heard him promise one of crucified thieves next to him the promise of Paradise! Imagine that … from an excruciating cross!
  • There must have been a considerable amount of thinking and considering behind his steely-eyed gaze as he stood watch with his soldiers who were gambling for His clothes during this eerie event. The sky was dark and still. What made this Jesus so special? Somehow he didn’t fit the profile. 
  • In the midst of his thoughts Jesus gasps, “It is finished!” and gives up his spirit as if by choice and purpose. (John 19:30)  
  • Then a violent earthquake! Everything is shaking and his feet are moving underneath him. The loud and dramatic waves of the earth’s moving power is rumbling through every soul causing terror, screams near and far… the panic of people running, horses bucking, birds fleeing the trees and rocks falling. 
  • The centurion makes an authoritative conclusion. “Surely he WAS the Son of God!”
  • A statement that his men and others heard him say, only added to the sense of foreboding awe. 
Matthew 27:55 And many women who (had) followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,
Matthew 27:56 among whom were (1) Mary Magdalene, (2) Mary the mother of James and Joses (Joseph), and (3) the mother of Zebedee’s sons called the “Sons of Thunder” (Jesus’ disciples James and John).

Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb

  • There must have been a couple of hours between Jesus’ death at 3pm and evening dusk (at least around 5pm). He was removed from the cross before dusk. If the shroud of Turin is the burial cloth of Jesus, there are faint images of small flowers which begin to fold up around 3pm and the images show the beginning of this process. The area is specific for these type of flowers: outside of Jerusalem.
  • See: The Shroud of Turin
Matthew 27:57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
  • William of Malmesbury mentions Joseph’s (Joseph of Arimathea) going to Britain in one passage of his Chronicle of the English Kings, written in the 1120s. He says Philip the Apostle sent twelve Christians to Britain, one of whom was his dearest friend, Joseph of Arimathea. William does not mention Joseph by name again, but he mentions the twelve evangelists generally. He claims that Glastonbury Abbey was founded by them; Glastonbury would be associated specifically with Joseph in later literature.
  • Joseph of Arimathea was a metal merchant who had mines in England (including tin). After Jesus’ resurrection he went to England and spread the good news of the Gospel.
Matthew 27:58 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.
  • A bold move considering Jesus was condemned as an enemy of Rome.
Matthew 27:59 When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
  • Linen signifies righteousness.
    • Revelation 19:8 And to her it was granted to be arrayed in fine linen, clean and bright, for the fine linen is the righteous acts of the saints.
Matthew 27:60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn (cut) out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
Matthew 27:61 And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite (in front of) the tomb.
  • Mary Magdalene and Mary were present when the rock was rolled over the door of the tomb.

Pilate Sets a Guard

Matthew 27:62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,
  • This would be the day the Passover lamb was eaten.
Matthew 27:63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’
  • Were they worried?
  • Why didn’t they go to the tomb on the third day? Why weren’t the disciples there?
Matthew 27:64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
Matthew 27:65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.”
  • Pilate was no longer interested in their affairs.
  • The chief priests and Pharisees caused the guards to work on the Passover sabbath; therefore, the guards had to have been Roman guards.
Matthew 27:66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
  • Psalm 2:1 “Why do the heathens (gentiles) rage and the people (the Jews) imagine a vain (hopeless) thing?”
    • It is a hopeless act to attempt to keep Jesus in the grave. His body will never see corruption.
  • Psalm 16:10 For You will not leave my soul in Sheol, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption.

Above: Jesus’ Crucifixion Week showing both Jewish Days and Roman Days.

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