The chief priests and elders had condemned the Lord and decided to put Him to death. Having no authority to execute anyone, they delivered Him to Pilate, the Roman governor and forced Him to make an unjust ruling. After receiving the death sentence, the Lord suffered even more torture and ridicule under the hands of the Roman soldiers before they led Him to Golgotha. During the hours of crucifixion, dramatic events happened. Even the soldiers and the Centurion said with fear, “Truly this was the Son of God!” The Son of God had died and was buried, but a greater miracle would soon take place.
Did You Know...?
- Pontius Pilate (27:2): To get a death sentence, they needed to take the case to Pilate, the governor, the procurator of Judea and Samaria, A.D. 26-36 (cf. Luke 3:1)…Pilate’s home was in Caesarea, but at this festival time, he was in his Jerusalem palace. [ref]
- Barabbas (27:16) had taken part in a rebellion (Lk 23:19; Jn 18:40), presumably against the Romans. So he would have been a folk hero among the Jews. [ref]
- Scourge (27:26): Among the Jews, scourging was limited to forty lashes (Deut 25:3; cf. 2 Cor 11:24), but the Romans were restricted by nothing but their strength and whim. The whip was the dreaded flagellum, made by plaiting pieces of bone or lead into leather thongs. The victim was stripped and tied to a post. Severe flogging not only reduced the flesh to bloody pulp but could open up the body until the bones were visible and the entrails exposed… Flogging as an independent punishment not infrequently ended in death. It was also used to weaken the prisoner before crucifixion. Jesus’ flogging took place before the verdict (cf. Luke 23:16, 22; John 19:1-5; …) and so was not repeated after the verdict. Repetition would doubtless have killed him. [ref]
- Praetorium (27:27): 1. The headquarters in a Roman camp, the tent of the commander in chief. 2. The palace in which the governor or procurator of a province resided (John 18:28, 33; 19:9; Acts 23:35). [ref]
- Scarlet robe (27:28): The robe is probably the short red cloak worn by Roman military and civilian officials. Mark and John describe it as purple, Matthew as scarlet. The purple calls to mind the robes worn by vassal kings, and the scarlet shows what the garment probably was-a trooper’s cloak. [ref]
- Gall (27:34) can refer to various substances that have a bitter taste. It may have been offered to Jesus as a mild narcotic to deaden pain. Mark 15:23 identifies this substance as myrrh. [ref]
- “Eli, Eli, Lama Sabachthani” (27:46): The words were spoken in Aramaic (but with some Hebrew characteristics), one of the languages commonly spoken in Palestine in Jesus’ day. [ref]
- Joseph Arimathea (27:57): “a prominent member of the Council, who himself was waiting for the kingdom of God,” and was a secret disciple of Jesus… Luke describes Joseph as “a good and righteous man” and adds that “he had not consented to their plan and action,” i.e., of the Jewish authorities. From this remark it seems to be evident that he was a member of the Sanhedrin. [ref]
- Day of Preparation (27:62): Friday.
- Sealing the tomb (27:66): Once the stone was in place, soft wax was poured over the crevice between the stone and the wall of the opening. The official Roman government seal was then pressed into the wax. The penalty for breaking the seal was death. [ref]
- Delivering to Pontius Pilate (27:1-2)
- Judas’ Remorse and Death (27:3-10)
- Questioning by Pilate (27:11-14)
- Release of Barabbas and Condemnation of Jesus (27:15-26)
- The Soldiers’ Mocking (27:27-31)
- The Crucifixion and Insults (27:32-44)
- Death and Miraculous Signs (27:45-56)
- Burial by Joseph of Arimathea (27:57-61)
- Council with Pilate to Secure the Tomb (27:62-66)
In this passage, what things did the priests and elders do that resulted in Jesus’ death?Hide Answer
They plotted against Him and delivered Him to Pilate (1,2). They accused Him (12). They persuaded the multitudes (20).
Record the sufferings Jesus endured.Hide Answer
He was falsely accused (12). He was scourged (26). He was forced to wear a crown of thorns, mocked, spat on, and struck (27-31). He was crucified (35). He was ridiculed and reviled (39-44). He was hung on the cross for hours (45). He was forsaken (46).
How was Judas fooled and betrayed?Hide Answer
Although he received the money he lusted for, he came to his conscience and was seized with remorse. He went to the chief priests and elders whom he had helped, but they did not want to have anything to do with him. He died in despair and loneliness.
What can we learn here about the deceitfulness of sin?Hide Answer
Sin looks appealing before we commit it. But after offering us temporary enjoyment, it betrays us and leaves us empty and hurt.
Why did Pilate ask Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?”?Hide Answer
The chief priests and elders had accused Jesus of proclaiming Himself a king (Lk 23:2). Under the Roman law, such claim was a crime deserving death.
What various considerations influenced Pilate’s decision? What consideration finally won?Hide Answer
1) His conscience (24). 2) Either listening to the people’s demands or expecting an uprising. 3) The warning from his wife (19).
The multitude’s demand finally won, although Pilate made sure to declare his innocence.
Have you ever been in a dilemma like Pilate’s? How did you act?
In this story, who were condemned besides Jesus?Hide Answer
The multitude had condemned themselves by declaring their own guilt (25).
In what ways are we like Barabbas?Hide Answer
We are freed from our death sentence because Christ has died in our place.
What human depravity is seen in the soldier’s cruelty?Hide Answer
People who are usually under others’ command are often tempted to bully those who are weaker than them. The soldiers, thinking that Jesus was at their mercy and powerless to defend Himself, went all out in their mocking and abuse.
Jesus was called “king of the Jews” three times in this passage. How is this king very different from what we normally expect of a king?Hide Answer
He did not have soldiers to fight for Him. He was greatly humiliated. Although He had the power to retaliate, He did not even utter any threat. This King, unlike all others, chose to suffer and lay down His life for His people.
What three groups of people hurled insults at Jesus?Hide Answer
1) Those who passed by (39). 2) Chief priests, scribes, and elders (41). 3) The robbers who were crucified with Him (44).
Compare the insults in 40 and 43 with Satan’s temptation in 4:3.Hide Answer
The challenge that Satan tempted Jesus with (“if you are the son of God”) now surfaced again in a different form. Satan’s temptation had failed the first time. This time, the chief priests, scribes, and elders seemed to act as Satan’s agent, insulting the Son of God and challenging Him to come down from the cross. Satan probably thought that He had won the final victory.
Why was the cross a “stumbling block” to these people (cf. 1Cor 1:23)?Hide Answer
The people would never have expected that their king would die such a cruel death. They thought that when the Messiah comes, He would fight for them and deliver them from their oppressors. Because of their disappointment in Jesus, whom they once thought was the Messiah, they despised and insulted Him.
Is it possible for people of today to “crucify” Jesus? If so, how?Hide Answer
Those who have tasted the grace of God but choose to turn away from the truth are actually crucifying the Lord once again and putting Him to open shame (Heb 6:6). Their act would be comparable to those who hurled insults at Jesus because they despise the salvation of the Lord.
What miraculous signs occurred while Jesus was on the cross?Hide Answer
There was darkness over all the land(45). The veil of the temple was torn in two (51a). The earth quaked, the rock split, and the graves were opened. Many saints were raised (51b,52).
What did these signs mean?Hide Answer
The darkness probably represented God’s rejection(cf46). The tearing of the veil in the temple from top to bottom is symbolic of the reconciliation between God and men. Because of Christ’s atonement, we can now come to God directly without the mediation of priests (Heb 4:16; 6:19). The rising of the saints was evidence that Christ, the first fruits of resurrection, had conquered death and released believers from its bondage (1Cor 15:20-22).
How did Jesus address God, and how was this unusual?Hide Answer
Instead of calling God “myFather,” He now called Him, “myGod.” Itis possible that He did so because since He was our sins, He could not assume the role of the beloved Son but must suffer God’s rejection in the same way a sinner would.
Why was He forsaken by God? What does this have to do with you?Hide Answer
God has put on Him the iniquity of us all (Isa53:4-6,10,12).
How did Jesus’ burial fulfill the Scriptures?Hide Answer
He was buried with the rich. See Isa 53:9.
What can we learn from the women mentioned in 55, 56 and 61?Hide Answer
Unlike the multitudes, they did not despise the Lord. Although they may not have understood the Lord’s prediction about His resurrection, they lingered below the cross and at the tomb. Just as they had faithfully ministered to the Lord’s needs during His preaching (55), they now attended to His death and burial.
Why were the Chief priests and Pharisees still worried that the disciples might steal the body? What does this tell us about them?Hide Answer
They were afraid that the people would believe the disciples and become their followers. Once again, their popularity was at stake. They were always more concerned about themselves than for the truth.
How did the sealing of the stone and guarding the tomb later become important proofs that Jesus had indeed resurrected?Hide Answer
Whether the guards were temple guards or Roman soldiers, it would have been impossible for the timid disciples to go through these armed men, roll away the stone that had been sealed, and steal the Lord’s body. The Pharisee’s precaution would later turn out to be an indisputable proof that the Lord had resurrected.
Final Thoughts: Write down your feelings and reflections on Jesus’ suffering, death, and burial.