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Bible Commentaries

Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected Books of the Bible
Matthew 27

 

 

Introduction

The Death and Burial of Jesus

- Matthew Twenty-Seven -

The death of Jesus demands more than just asking Jesus into your heart. His death for our sins demands submissive obedience. The death of Jesus demands a change in behavior of those that would follow Him. The life of one that would follow Jesus must show evidence of commitment to Him who died, was buried and arose again. The story of Jesus" death and burial in Matthew Twenty-seven should move us to that commitment.

Matthew devoted about one-fourth of his gospel to the death of Jesus and the events of the last days of His life leading to that sacrifice for our sins. His death pictures the struggle between salvation by His blood and damnation brought on by following men. Jesus was a godly and perfect man that did nothing wrong. (Matthew 27:19, Matthew 27:23) The Christ suffered pain, humiliation and separation from God so that sinners might be saved. He died for the sins of the entire world. Jesus was crucified not for doing anything wrong, but for His claim to be the Messiah.


Verses 1-10

Jesus" betrayer hangs himself - Matthew 27:1-10 : The chief priests and elders wanted Jesus put to death. Pilate was the person used to accomplish their wicked purpose. They thought that Pilate would be willing to put Jesus to death because he claimed to be a friend of Caesar. Pilate knew Jesus was innocent but did what the Jews wanted anyway.

Jesus had already been condemned by the Jews on the charge of blasphemy. They knew this would not be enough for Pilate to pronounce a death sentence on Him so now they make a political charge against Jesus. They began to accuse Him of making Himself the King of the Jews. Pilate asked Him, "Art thou the King of the Jews?" Jesus, of course, is King, not only of the Jews, but of all obedient people everywhere. Jesus is king but only in a spiritual sense. Jesus said, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence." (John 18:36)

In addition to the tragedy of Jesus" death Matthew twenty-seven also records the death of Judas. Judas had sold Jesus and betrayed Him with a kiss. (Matthew 26:47-50) Judas then committed suicide by hanging himself. He reminds us that sin never turns out like the sinner thinks it will. In this case Judas" sin lead to such guilt that he returned the money and hanged himself. When he hanged himself he probably fell down, and the violence of his fall probably caused his bowels to gush out according to Acts 1:18. Judas also reminds us that we cannot undo what has been done. Sin always has a terrible end!


Verses 11-26

Jesus was sentenced to death by Pilate - Matthew 27:11-26 : Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the King of the Jews?" Jesus did not reply to the false charges made by the chief priests and elders. This caused Pilate to marvel and to understand that Jesus really was innocent. Pilate believed in Jesus but, like many, would not submit to Him. Even Pilate"s wife knew Jesus was an "upright man." "...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." (Matthew 27:19) Though man can never rid himself of personal responsibility Pilate tried. He first wanted to release Jesus instead of Barabbas. The people refused. Then in response to the people"s desire to crucify Jesus, Pilate washed his hands of responsibility (he thought) and allowed Jesus to be crucified.


Verses 27-31

Jesus was mocked by the soldiers - Matthew 27:27-31 : Jesus was mocked and humiliated in every possible way. He was dressed in a scarlet robe like a king. They probably decided that a king needs a crown. They platted a crown of thorns and put it on His precious head. As if that were not painful and humiliating enough, they gave Him a "scepter" to hold in His precious hands. It was a reed. Then they began to mock Him, and bow their knees to Him, and say to Him, "Hail, King of the Jews!" Hail means greetings, good health to you, live long to you. They spat on Jesus, struck Him with a reed, dressed Him again in His own clothes and led Him away for the crucifixion. Why did Christ have to suffer so? Jesus suffered this agony because He loved us and He did not want any of us to die without hope! His suffering causes us to see a vivid picture in our own minds of the ugliness of sin.


Verses 32-66

Jesus" death and burial - Matthew 27:32-66 : The power of the cross makes salvation possible. The sign over His head read, "This is Jesus the King of the Jews." He is far more though, "Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, to God who alone is wise, be honor and glory forever and ever." (1 Timothy 1:17) Jesus showed the world God in the most sacrificial way possible. Now we must be, "Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God." (Hebrews 12:2)

Simon of Cyrenia helped Jesus bear the cross to Golgotha. This place is also called Calvary and the place of the skull. There Jesus suffered and died for the sins of the world. Even nature acknowledged the death of the Son of God for sinners. No wonder the sun hid its face, the veil of the temple rent and the graves opened. God had died for the sins of man! "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." (Matthew 27:54)

Jesus was buried in a tomb belonging to Joseph of Arimathea. He had not consented to the action of the council even though he was a member. He displayed love and courage by seeing that Jesus was properly buried. Joseph"s tomb was a "new tomb hewn out in a rock." (Matthew 27:60) Some Roman soldiers were given the impossible task of trying to keep Jesus in the tomb. In spite of their guard "He arose."

Jesus" sacrifice on the cross is the result of amazing love. "Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all." If Jesus could willingly endure this suffering for us, surely we can live for Him! To prepare for eternity you must obey the gospel NOW and keep faithful to God. Purify your heart by deep faith (John 8:24), change your life through repentance, (Acts 17:30), change your relationship with God through baptism. Then, from that watery grave of baptism arise to walk in newness of life in Christ. (Romans 6:3-4) Now is the time when you should prepare for eternity. "For He says: "In an acceptable time I have heard you, And in the day of salvation I have helped you." Behold, now is the accepted time; behold, now is the day of salvation." (2 Corinthians 6:2) Why not be the person you can be through Christ?

 


Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.

Bibliography Information
Box, Charles. "Commentary on Matthew 27:4". "Charles Box's Commentaries on Selected books of the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/box/matthew-27.html. 2014.

Lectionary Calendar
Saturday, September 21st, 2019
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24
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