Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral virtue, and in your moral virtue,
knowledge ;

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Matthew Chapter 27

Chapter 27 starts with the day of the crucifixion.
In the morning the Chief Priests and the elders make a final declaration of the decision that they had held for at least a week. Jesus was to be put to death. It was not legal in the Jewish law to condemn someone to death in the middle of the night. So, to honor the law, they  waited to make the formal pronouncement of death until the morning. Then they took Him to Pilate the governor.

According to Eerdmans, it is possible that Jesus was taken to Herod's palace to  see Pilate.  Pilate frequently stayed there when He had business in Jerusalem.  He was there for the great festival. His other choice to stay would have been to stay in the Roman barracks in Jerusalem but His wife was with Him, (Matt.27:19) so it is probable that  he was staying in Herod's palace. So when Matt. 27:2 says He was delivered up to Pilate. Jesus probably had a strenuous  journey to get to Pilate.
path to the palace

Verses  27:3-10, is the account of Judas regretting what he had done. Judas tries to give the money back. He confesses that he has delivered an innocent man to them. It is probable that Judas did not realize that Jesus would actually be killed once He was arrested. Judas probably thought that he could make some quick money and Jesus would be released after some questioning because, after all, Jesus was innocent. Judas new Jesus had done no wrong. It did not occur to him that the religious leaders would actually have Him killed. Notice in verse 27:4, Judas says " I have betrayed innocent blood" not "I have betrayed the Messiah" Judas did not believe that Jesus was the Christ.
if he had truly believed in Jesus as the Messiah, he would not have despaired to the point of taking his own life. He had no hope in the spiritual  kingdom of Jesus. Peter had betrayed Jesus too but Peter knew who Jesus truly was and he was waiting, in hope, to see what would happen next (Luke 22:31-34).

Judas throws the silver into the temple and goes away to hang himself. Eerdman's says he probably did it with his own girdle. Their waste bands, or girdles, would wrap around many times. The girdle was also the place where he had probably carried his bag of silver before he threw it away. He had gone to someplace high and had hanged himself, the girdle broke, causing his body to fall head long, probably some distance to cause his guts to gush forth.  According to Eerdmans, in one of the fragment writings of Papias, Judas fell upon a road after trying to hang himself and a wagon ran over him, causing his bowels to gush out.

Papias was born in the same era as Josephus, around 70 ad. He considered his calling from the Lord to be to carefully preserve the sayings of Jesus. He describes himself in one writing as a hearer of the apostle John and a companion of Polycarp. When the disciples were writing their gospels he reportedly helped them to remember what they had told him was said by Jesus in the early days. He kept careful notes of everything. Only fragments of his writings have survived ,but he, like Josephus, is proof that our faith has ancient, historically documented  roots.

Roman coins
Notice, one more thing. The Chief priests were still very careful to keep the law.  The silver  that Judas was paid, was probably not shekels . Only shekels could be taken  as an offering in the temple. That's why there were "money changers" in the temple courts (Matt. 21:12)
Judas was probably paid in Roman coins which bore the images of emperors and battles fought by the Romans.  The Priests would not "defile" the temple with the wrong coins but they were willing to put an innocent man to death, and in so doing, they committed murder  
(Exodus 20:13).
Just something to think about; when Jesus yielded up His spirit as he hung on the cross, the veil in the heart of the temple, was torn in two from top to bottom. (Matt. 27:51)  

In verse 27:11, Jesus is standing before Pilate. I think that it is important to read all of the gospel accounts of Jesus being sentenced to death.
In Matthew 27:11-26, Jesus comes before Pilate and Pilate's wife sends him a note telling Pilate to have nothing to do with "that innocent Man" (In something called, The second homilies of Matthew, it is recorded that she was a convert to Judaism and became a Christian after the death and resurrection of our Lord)

In Mark 15:1-15, we find out that Pilate was onto the Priests and Scribes and knew that Jesus was delivered to him out of envy. He knew Jesus was innocent.

In Luke 23:1-25, we find out that Jesus was sent to Herod after His first meeting with Pilate. Which would make sense of the fact that Jesus probably walked a long way, after being up all night, to each of the palaces that Pilate and Herod were staying ,and before being beaten by the whole Roman cohort.
No wonder He couldn't carry His own cross. Also Isaiah 52:14; So His appearance was marred more than any man and His form more than the sons of men. ...He was so marred from the lashing and beating from the Roman cohort that He did not resemble a man anymore.
  In John 18:28-40 and 19:15, we get a longer more detailed account of Pilate and the time he spent with Jesus. We do get a dialog between Jesus and Pilate that we don't see in the other Gospels.  Jesus tells Pilate of His heavenly kingdom.
It is interesting that in John 18:38 Pilate says to Jesus "What is truth?" John 14:6 Jesus says,  " I am the way, the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father but through Me."

Once Pilate can not resist the crowd any longer, he has Jesus whipped and delivered to the Roman army to be crucified. (Matt.27:26) 

Matthew 27:27 and Mark 15:16 both tell us that Jesus was delivered to the "whole" Roman cohort. According to Wikipedia, that would have been a total of 480 men.  480 men ,mocking, beating ,and spitting on Him. He was stripped of His clothes and they put a scarlet robe on to His bleeding flesh. They wove thorny vines into a crown and pressed it into His head which was probably already bloody from the beatings.  Remember Isaiah 52:14.   ( The crown of thorns was supposed to represent the laurel leaves that Caesar wore because Jesus was claiming to be a king. 
 Matt. 27:30 ,says that once they put the crown of thorns on Him, they beat Him on the head. When they were done, they put His clothes back on Him and lead Him to be crucified.

Matthew 27:32, tells us that the Roman guards forced Simon of Cyrene a man "coming in from the country ", to carry the cross behind Jesus as He walked. They did not do this out of kindness for Jesus. They did it because, after being up all night, possibly walking  between the palaces in Jerusalem and being beaten beyond human recognition, Jesus could not walk and carry His own cross. The Roman soldiers were aloud to force people who were not Roman citizens to go with them 1 mile to carry a heavy object for them or in this case, the cross of Jesus. That is why in Matthew 5:41 Jesus tells them that if they were  forced to go one mile, go two.

 Luke is the only Gospel that tells us that Jesus was followed by a great multitude of people. There were massive amounts of people in Jerusalem from all over the country. They were there to celebrate the Passover.
Luke 23:27 says And there were following Him, a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning Him and lamenting His fate. The same people who had hailed Him as Messiah only 6 days earlier were now following in a procession to the cross. Some were mourning and some were following just to see what was going to happen.

Matt. 27:33 tells us that when they got to the place where He would be crucified, they tried to give Him wine mixed with gall. Commentators actually believe that this was wine mixed with murr. When these two things are mixed together, they produced a very bitter liquid, gall means "bitter". This liquid was also an analgesic which would relax the person and dull the pain. Hanging on the cross to die was very painful and could be a very long experience. They were trying to be kind to Him. Eerdman's says that it was probably the women who were mourning for Him, who brought the liquid. The soldiers obviously allowed this attempt to reduce Jesus's suffering. There are many speculations about why Jesus refused the mixture that could have saved Him some suffering . I read from one commentator that He wanted to be able to have a clear moment when He could say "it is finished!". I like that Idea but I can't forget what He said in Matt. 26:29 " I will not drink of this fruit of the vine until that day that I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom".(Matt.27:34). He didn't drink the wine. 

As He hung on the cross, they went on to divide up His clothes and sit down to watch Him.  (I find it incredible that they could want His clothes. They must have been covered with blood.)

AND NOW WE COME TO THE VERSE WE WILL USE TO REMEMBER THIS CHAPTER... MATT. 27:37 "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS" THIS PHRASE HAS 27 LETTERS...If you can remember this phrase, you will remember that this is the chapter where Jesus is crucified..

John 19 says it was written in Hebrew, Latin and Greek
From Verse 27:39 through verse 45, we get an account of the mocking and humiliation that Jesus suffered as He hung, dieing on the cross.

In Verse 27:45 we find out that at noon the day went dark and remained that way until 3pm.

Think of how long those hours were as Jesus hung there suffering and dieing.


 With Matthew 27:50 Jesus's earthly suffering is finally ended. This verse says "He yielded up His spirit"

The verses 27:51-53 are incredible!!! The veil in the temple was torn top to bottom. This veil was many, many feet high and about 9 inches thick. It must have made an incredible sound as it tore all the way down! The temple, which the Priests had tried to protect from Jesus, was now in crisis. The Holy of Hollies was completely exposed for all to see. The veil protecting it from any human eyes was now destroyed and when the people were allowed to see in, the most holy place was empty.. The  Arc of the Covenant with the Mercy seat was gone, the budding rod of Aaron was gone. There was nothing there. God had departed from that place long ago.

The sad thing about these incredible verses is that the world is obsessed with zombies, or at least here in America we are. I think the enemy has done a good job of preparing the world to see the walking dead. But instead of it being an amazing thing attributed to God, it will appear as an evil to be conquered. The two witnesses spoken of in Rev.11, will not be welcomed as a call to repentance. They will be feared, attacked and ultimately destroyed with a celebration to follow that will be felt around the world. People will give eachother gifts like it's Christmas!

In Verses 27:54-56 we have the events of the minutes  that Jesus hangs lifeless on the cross. We read of a few faithful women who were there for His actual passing.  John 18, tells us that John was the only disciple present at the foot of the cross.

In the last verses of Matthew , (27:57-66) We have the record of Jesus's burial. A rich man, who was a disciple of Jesus, came forward to claim the body of our Lord. Actually, we learn from John 19, that Nicodemus, from John chapter 3, was also there (read Isaiah 53:9)   Joseph of Arimathia and Nicodemus a pharisee and a ruler of the Jews, were both rich men. They were men whose courage failed them while the Lord lived. But once He was dead, their faith that Jesus was who He said He was grew, and they were able to stand for the Lord and honor Him in His death. While the Priests and rulers were hoping that Jesus would be cast into a dishonorable grave, and Jesus's own disciples were too distraught and afraid to care for the body of our Lord, these two men stepped forward and spent their own resources to honor Him in His death. They would now be unclean for the Passover and probably were to be forbidden to worship in the Temple ever again. I am looking forward to meeting these men in heaven.
 (Isn't this a process for us too? As the eternal becomes more important to us, we become more able to see that honoring the Lord should be our top priority, above our fears, above our comfort, above worrying about our future.)

 Matt. 27:62-66, the day after the crucifixion, the Jewish leaders went to Pilate and told Him of the claims Jesus made about rising from the dead. They wanted Pilate to order his guards to guard the grave, But Pilate told them to use their own guards and make it as secure as they wanted.  These guards were professionals. They new they risked death if they failed. We know that no grave could hold Him!!!


To find out what Happened to the guards and the grave, start reading chapter 28. We are almost finished with the book of Matthew!!!

God is good!!! Keep reading, read 28 over and over again. Practice your remembering tools... you should now be able to impress your kids, your husband and really, every one you know, with your knowledge of the book of Matthew.    

Keep holding on tight ladies. We live in a scary, disappointing world. Nothing shows that more clearly than what was done to our Lord. He bore  the suffering willingly for us. He was so faithful to us, it's time for us to be faithful to Him

God Bless you ladies, it will be awhile until 28 is posted. We have a women's conference coming up and then Christmas and New years will be here. I am praying for every one of you!!!

be faithful, be brave  ,
LOve NaNcy 

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