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Bible Commentaries

Brian Bell Commentary on the Bible
Matthew 27

 

 

Other Authors
Verses 1-26
  1. Intro:
    1. This was a very busy morning…
      1. Jesus was to be on the cross by 9am. They had their make-shift hasty trial at Caiaphas’ house, in the wee hours of the night. Now the Jewish council reconvened in the morning & delivered their official verdict against Jesus.
      2. Since they couldn’t exercise Capital Punishment, off to Pilate’s He is sent.
    2. Last week, Peter yielded to the flesh when he denied his Lord. Judas yielded to the devil in his great sin. This week, Pilate yielded to the world by listening to the crowd.
  2. JESUS BOUND? (1,2)
    1. ​​​​​​​Bound Him - Just as Isaac was bound before he was laid upon the altar.
      1. Both in their prime. Both in submission. Jesus submitting to His reason 4 coming
    2. Bound Him? - They actually bound the hands that had stopped waves. Hushed Wind. Stayed storms. Hands that turned water into wine & multiplied bread. Hands that dealt w/ diseases, touched/healed Lepers, & turned mud into Healing Ointments. Hands that opened deaf ears. Loosed a tongue w/an impediment. Hands that even raised the Dead.
      1. They bound Him, who came to loose those bound. Bound w/demons, infirmities, and those bound with sin? - They bound Him…with what?
        1. ​​​​​​​The only thing that kept Him bound was...His obedience to the Father & His love for us.
      2. Jesus could have easily snapped those cords like Samson did to the Philistine ropes. But there were other cords that bound Him…
        1. The cables of covenant agreements, oaths, promises. The zip-tie bond of His love to you & I.
  3. JUDAS’ REMORSE (3-10)
    1. ​​​​​​​(3) Remorse (sorrow) - Nothing wrong with the word itself. It was used of the young man who told his dad no he wouldn’t go work in the field, then felt remorse & went. It’s not the word but the result we need to look at.
      1. Remember from last week...Regret (involves just the mind). Remorse (involves the mind & emotions…we feel terrible). Repentance (involves the changing of the mind, the emotions, & the will i.e. turning away from sin)
      2. Peter felt remorse/sorrow & it led Peter back to Jesus side. Judas felt remorse & it led him to suicide.
      3. Repentance always moves us towards God, it seeks Him. Remorse brings hopelessness, desperation, a feeling of worthlessness.
    2. (4) One good result that came out of this confession was towards Jesus not Judas. It proved again His innocence.
      1. Listen skeptics: here is a man that ate, slept next to, lived with, & traveled with Jesus day-n-night for 3 yrs. And he could not find one flaw in Him. And now would be the time to bring one out.
      2. But even the traitor in his dying speech declared His innocence.
  4. PILATE ARRESTED By Jesus’ Patience (11-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​(11, intro) Jesus was accused of 3 things: (from Lk.23:2)
      1. 1) Misleading the nation. 2) forbidding to pay taxes. 3) claiming to be King.
      2. Pilate’s focus was on the 3rd charge, because this was a definite threat against Rome.
        1. If he handles this properly, Pilate could please the Jews & impress the Emperor at the same time.
    2. (14) Pilate marveled greatly - Jesus wouldn’t stand up for Himself. He said nothing. Accusation after accusation still no defending Himself?
      1. Pilate was arrested by Jesus Patience!
    3. Patient silence. Calm endurance.
      1. He had much to say to mankind. Not a single word for Himself.
      2. No mans spoke like Jesus. No man was silent like Him.
      3. Nothing to say to stop the slaughter of His sacred body.
      4. The best apologists for Christianity in the early days were its martyrs.
      5. The anvil breaks a host of hammers by quietly bearing their blows.
  5. PILATE ARRESTED By Jesus’ Purity (15-26)
    1. ​​​​​​​(15) One more scheme up Pilate’s sleeve…the tradition of Releasing a prisoner. [something California has adopted & perfected, our catch & release program of prisoners because of jail over-crowding]
    2. Pilate hoped for the popularity of Jesus among the people…Jesus or this ISIS captive?
    3. You cannot stay neutral in what you think of Jesus. And, can never rely on the popular opinion of the people.
      1. Pilate knew what was right, but refused to do anything about it.
      2. As a Governor he was supposed to uphold the law. As a Politician he knew he had to get along w/the people. But as a Man he one day would have to stand in judgment for his soul.
        1. He looked for the easy way, not the right way.
        2. He has gone down in history as, the man who condemned Jesus.
  6. PILATES WIFE’S DREAM (19)
    1. ​​​​​​​(19) Here was an unlooked-for witness to the innocence of Christ...Pilate’s wife.
    2. History and literature of the Roman Empire is full of reports of dream prophecies, dream ghosts and dream gods.
    3. Surely this would have reminded Pilate of the dream of another Roman woman, before a very critical day. It was Julius Caesar’s wife, Calpurnia, who having seen her husband before her in a dream, covered with wounds & streaming w/blood, entreated him not to leave his house for the Roman Senate on the Ides of March. He did & was assassinated.
    4. Adam sinned by listening to his wife. Pilot sinned by not listening to his wife.
    5. I think we’ll meet Pilate’s wife in Heaven. She had some Staying Power...even when her husband didn’t deserve her by his side.
      1. ​​​​​​​She had such a strong conviction of right & wrong.
      2. She had the courage to testify to Jesus’ righteousness & innocence.
      3. We know her story in only 21 words.
        1. Tradition says, she leaned toward Judaism & may have been a Jewish Proselyte & a secret follower of Jesus.
        2. Later Christian tradition has given her the name Claudia Procula, meaning, follower at the gate. [some authorities have identified her w/Claudia in 2 Tim.4:21 who was no doubt a Roman Christian]
        3. The Greek Orthodox Church canonized her & set aside Oct.27th as her feast day.
      4. So she sends a message to her husband, at the most important trial the world has ever seen...not to condemn Jesus.
        1. She was the only person who came to the defense of Jesus while He was on trial.
        2. With a women’s delicate intuition she had sensed the approaching evil, & with a wife’s concern she had tried to save her husband from this terrible decision to put a just man to death. Her intervention caused Pilate to hesitate & once more to give the mob its choice, but they chose to crucify Jesus.
      5. In her dream she awoke with 2 convictions: that Jesus was an innocent man & that her husband would be inviting disaster if he took action against him.
        1. Both were true. Pilate had admitted, I have found no fault in this man. And, her husband’s administration ended abruptly.
        2. He was banished to Southern France where he ultimately committed suicide.
        3. Pilates wife stayed with him to the end. Lovingly supporting him. Truthfully encouraging him to do right. Allowing him to make wrong decisions. She Stayed.
    6. ​​​​​​​A wife may have insight that a husband lacks, & therefore, it is wise to listen to her.
      1. Remember, God could have just as easily gave Pilate the dream, but He chose to communicate it through his wife.
      2. Although Pilate’s wife does not succeed in convincing her husband, she rightly gives him her opinion. Spouses should regard their mates input as valuable. Remember, our spouses bring us different perspectives, & considering the other point of view helps us see life with 2 sets of eyes instead of 1. Max Lucado’s
    7. It is a mystery why God allowed the record of her dream to be recorded by Matthew. It almost seems totally irrelevant, for Pilate does not seem to have been impressed, and as far as we know it had no effect on the outcome of the trial of Jesus.
      1. So why is it here? For one, we can look at Matthew's interest in dreams.
        1. He is the dream collector of the NT. The word for dream here is onar, and it is used just 6 times in the NT, & all 6 come from the pen of Mt.
        2. 5 of the 6 dreams deal with the birth & childhood of Jesus (4 to Joseph, 1 to wisemen).
        3. Only the dream of Pilate's wife deals with the other end of his life, His trial & death
    8. It is only speculation, but even the great Spurgeon agrees that it is likely Claudia saw in her dream the crucifixion. She states clearly that she suffered, and what could her suffering had been but the vision of this innocent man being crucified unjustly.
      1. ​​​​​​​God's plea for His Son through Claudia was, "Not guilty!"
  7. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​EVERYONE’S QUESTION (22-25)
    1. ​​​​​​​(22) He asks the crowd but again doesn’t ask his own conscience, What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ? - Everyone’s eternity teeters on this one question.
    2. (24) The outward rites will never cleanse the impure soul.
      1. Some run to church for a whole month of Sundays in a row. Some use a patterned prayer, almost like a rabbits foot. Some start doing extra good deeds to relieve their guilt.
      2. Oh, Mr. Pilate your on the right track. You need cleansing, but you need something stronger than water to wash that blood off your hands.
        1. You need the washing of the very blood you’re about to spill.
        2. Agur said in Pr 30:12 There is a generation that is pure in its own eyes, Yet is not washed from its filthiness. (sounds like Pilate)
    3. What then shall I do w/Jesus who is called Christ? Ask Him to wash you of your sins this very morning. Ask Him to be Lord of your life.
  8. BARABBAS’ RELEASE (26)
    1. ​​​​​​​WHO WAS BARABBAS? Bar/abbas = son of/the father.
    2. He had made insurrection (open revolt against civil authority) against Rome.
      1. And in the rebellion had committed murder.
      2. In the eyes of the Emperor he would be considered a dangerous political prisoner. (a Terrorist)
    3. Jesus was delivered. Barabbas was released.
      1. Jesus delivered bound, delivered unto death.
      2. Barabbas released unto freedom, released to life.
    4. Barabbas should have died for his crime but Jesus occupied his cross.
      1. Then the words of Pilate & then the soldier, Barabbas…you’re free!
        1. ​​​​​​​Free??? Yes, another is to die in your place.
    5. WHAT HAS BARABBAS DONE? [Adapted from Judah Smith’s message on Barabbas]
      1. He deserves this. He’s a bad man. He’s a thug. A terrorist. He should be on death row. He’s a rebel for wrong. He led a rebellion. He murdered people. He deserves this. He deserves the chains. He deserves crucifixion. He deserves death He deserves hell.
    6. WHAT HAS JESUS DONE?
      1. He didn’t deserves this. He’s a good man. He heals. He restores. Delivers. Sets free. Opens blind eyes & deaf ears. Heals the lame & the leper.
    7. THIS ISN’T FAIR
      1. ​​​​​​​There seems to be no conscience w/Barabbas.
      2. We don’t see him turn to Jesus saying, I owe you everything now, for you have set me free.
    8. (Jesus) It’s ok Father, let them have Barabbas.
      1. He knew the Father would have to treat Jesus like Barabbas so He could treat Barabbas like Jesus.
      2. Remember, this is all about Jesus going to the cross.
      3. (Jesus) Yes, let them have Barabbas, Take me!
      4. What a picture of divine Grace this substitutionary death presents.
        1. Substitution = The just for the unjust.
        2. Vicarious Taking the place of another. [Vicar=substitute]
        3. Barabbas could say, He died for me.
    9. I’M SURE BARABBAS THOUGHT THE PEOPLE SET HIM FREE.
      1. The people didn’t set Barabbas free. Pilate didn’t set Barabbas free. It was ONLY the Love of the Father that set Barabbas free.
      2. (God the Father) I Love Barabbas. I wanted him to go free.
        1. (me) WHAT? but he’s bad man.
      3. (Father) But I Love Barabbas. I wanted him to go free.
        1. (me) But didn’t you know he probably will never acknowledge the free gift?
      4. (Father) Yeah, but I love him. Brian remember, For while you were still a sinner Christ died for you?
        1. ​​​​​​​(me) So You are saying you sent Your Son Jesus, for Barabbas, even the one who would walk away from Jesus, and His free gift, & never come back?
      5. (Father) I Love Barabbas. I wanted him to go free.
    10. WHO IS THIS BARABBAS REALLY?
      1. Barabbas is you...its me...its us. We are Barabbas.
      2. How many times have I stood on that platform w/Pilate & Jesus, and I’m Barabbas. And they started to take my chains off. And I say, No, No. I deserve this. I deserve the guilt. I deserve the shame. I deserve the consequence. I deserve it.
        1. ​​​​​​​And Jesus responds, No son. Let me have it. Let me have your sin. Let me have your pain.
        2. (me) No God, I did this to myself. I deserve this. I deserve poverty. I deserve sickness. NO!
        3. (me) But God I’m so ashamed. (Jesus) Give Me your shame.
          (me) But what if I do it again. (Jesus) I’ll still be here again.
          (me) God I don’t want to do this anymore. (Jesus) Give Me your sins son.
          1. This is all we got. It’s all I got. It’s all you got...It’s God alone.
    11. JESUS IS ENOUGH
      1. Your greatest challenge is not your discipline, your devotion, your focus. Your greatest challenge is believing the gospel.
      2. Could there be that there’s a God with a love so scandalous. So wide. So deep. So vast. So high. So expansive. So welcoming.
        1. ​​​​​​​Just give me your sin son/daughter. And you do.
          1. Then you see him walking now to the post to be whipped. While you stand a free man/woman. He says go son/daughter, live your life. Be free. I’ll pay the price.
        2. His blood is sufficient for your salvation. His blood is sufficient to sustain you...​​​​​​​through every challenge & every sin & every temptation.
          1. JESUS IS ENOUGH

Verses 27-44
  1. Intro: Love is Messy
    1. Spurgeon, Leave out the cross, & you have killed the religion of Jesus. Atonement by the blood of Jesus is not an arm of Christian truth it is the Heart of it.
    2. As the Tree of good/evil introduced the curse into the world; so God ordained a Tree, the Cross as the means of the curses removal.
      1. 953 chapters after the Tree of Gen.3, we find another Tree in which we may finally rest in its shade. It’s wondrous branches stretching far & wide, where we still go to gather the fruit of eternal reconciliation to God the Father.
      2. I like the reminder that, God made a grace garden with 1 law tree, not, a law garden with 1 grace tree.
    3. Outline: Preaching Pavement. Baby Shower Gift. God’s Tract.
  2. PREACHING PAVEMENT (27-31)
    1. ​​​​​​​This is where it all got messy. This is the bloody Pavement in The Passion of the Christ where Jesus was whipped almost to death.
    2. The Roman ritual of condemnation went like this…
      1. The judge would say Illum duci ad crucem placet [this man should be taken to a cross]
      2. Then, he turned to the guard & said, I miles expedi crucem [Go soldier, prepare the cross] (William Barclay, pg.358,359.)
        1. While the cross was being prepared, Jesus was in the hands of the soldiers.
  3. Praetorium – The governor’s headquarters. In the courtyard.
    1. NW corner of the Temple area, at the Tower of Antonia, on the east side of the city. They discovered in excavations a large pavement area.
      1. Jn.19:13 When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus out and sat down in the judgment seat in a place that is called The Pavement, but in Hebrew, Gabbatha.
      2. When you visit, you can even see a game chipped into one of the Paving stones.
    2. Here they play the Comic King [A game of cat & mouse]
      1. Remember He had already went through the scourging before this horse-play began.
      2. To them Jesus was only another man for a cross, & they carried their barrack-room pantomime of royalty & worship, not w/any malice, but as a coarse jest.
        1. No, the malice comes later…from His own. :(
        2. The Crown preaches a message...here stands Jesus wearing the consequences of Adam’s sin (Adam’s fall brought the thorns).
      3. All in a days work for the soldiers. But not every day did they have one that claimed to be King. So to relieve some boredom, a few minutes of entertainment at Jesus’ expense.
    3. Sin should be slapped. Covetousness should be crucified. Wickedness should be whipped. Bad decisions should be beat. Shortcomings should be scourged...not Jesus!
    4. Struck him on the head - most likely to drive the sharp thorns onto His brow.
      1. Show thorns from Israel.
      2. Struck is in the imperfect tense indicating, they repeatedly struck him on the head. * this affected me more than anything here. Over & over. Stop it! (yet, each blow is exactly like just 1 of our sins. That same voice yells, Stop it!)
      3. The crown of thorns a cruel caricature of the wreath worn by the emperor.
        1. The physical sufferings of Christ have always been, and will remain, a window through which we see…the heart of God.
    5. Our Lord quietly suffered & never fought back.
      1. A lesson Matt’s readers would need to learn as they faced official persecution.
    6. This Pavement still preaches: [it’s a powerful, somber, sobering, overwhelming spot]
      1. Our Jewish Tour guide said, I never heard that it wasn’t the Jews fault or the soldiers, but that we EACH put Jesus on the cross. WE are to blame.
      2. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​I asked 1 who taught a this site, What struck you? The cost; the value of me. [It’s the messy side of God’s love]
      3. I had asked another, What struck you? It sunk in, not only where we were but what He did.
  4. BABY SHOWER GIFT (32-36)
    1. ​​​​​​​According to law, the guilty victim had to carry his cross, or at least the cross beam, to the place of execution, & Jesus was no exception.
      1. He left Pilate’s hall bearing His cross.
    2. Here we have the long walk down the Via Dolorosa, i.e. road of sorrows.
      1. ​​​​​​​Chrysostom saw prophetic fulfillment in this, seeing it as parallel to Isaac’s bearing the wood for his own sacrifice to Mt. Moriah.
        1. Gen.22:6 So Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on Isaac his son; & he took the fire in his hand, and a knife, and the two of them went together.
      2. And so, Jesus is off to Jerusalem's killing fields.
    3. (32) Simon of Cyrene - [CyreNAIca was in Eastern Libya today, near Benghazi]
      1. Simon came to Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover; and ended up meeting the Passover…Lamb.
      2. The next time your plans are interrupted & you have to carry another’s cross, remember what Simon did for Jesus AND what Jesus did for Simon.
      3. In Lk.23:26 He bears it after Jesus. That either can mean Jesus took the front & Simon carried the rear (lighter side). Or, Jesus took it from Antonia Fortress to the Damascus Gate (which He did) then Simon carried it from the gate to Calvary.
    4. My children received US Savings Bonds at their birth. It meant nothing to them as a baby or even a child but later in adulthood it would be useful. [$25 - $75 after yrs of accruing interest, to help pay for the U.S. government's borrowing needs]
      1. And so here with Jesus, at His birth he received the gold, frankincense, myrrh.
    5. (34) Wine mingled w/gall (in Marks account Myrrh) (resin/powder)
      1. To drug w/Myrrh. In accordance w/Jewish customs based on Prov 31:6, this was given to dull the senses. Give strong drink to him who is perishing, And wine to those who are bitter of heart.
        1. An acceptable anesthetic to deaden physical pain, or deep emotional bitterness.
      2. The Babylonian Talmud says that, respected women appointed themselves to provide condemned victims w/a narcotic, pain-reducing drink before execution.
    6. But Jesus refused it…
      1. ​​​​​​​He would not have His senses dulled.
      2. He wanted to be in full possession of His faculties as He did the Fathers will.
      3. He would accomplish the work of Redemption.
      4. He would enter fully into His sufferings, on our behalf.
      5. He would take no shortcuts.
      6. He refused the cup of sympathy so that He might better drink the cup of iniquity.
    7. Myrrh was received at His birth, yet denied at His death. [simply pointed to His death]
      1. Finally, that strange baby shower gift makes sense.
    8. (35) Then they crucified Him - Crucifixion was a barbaric form of capital punishment invented by the Persians. [They believed the earth was sacred to Ahura Mazda, the earth god]
    9. They felt that death should not contaminate the earth; thus hung them above the earth. [Ahura Mazda=Lord Wisdom]
    10. Remember later on, Jesus showing the scars from His nails?
      1. He didn’t pretend his holes/scars/wounds weren’t there. The nails were there.
      2. And admitting it doesn’t take scars away...scars remain.
      3. What/who has wounded you? What scars do you bear in your body/mind/soul?
        1. Know that God will release the greatest power in your life from where the nails were. [just like when He showed His scars]
      4. It takes faith to believe, the same place where the nails were, is the same place where the healing is.
      5. Oh your scars happened, and they hurt...but don’t stay wounded...when there is healing in His hands.
  5. GOD’S TRACT (37-44) [Hebrew. Gk. Lt.]
    1. The King of the Jews (37) [read His placard as truth. God speaking truth through unbel’s]
      1. The Jews repeatedly asked Pilate to change the sign (Jn.19:21,22). Finally Pilate stands for something & says, Do not write The King of the Jews, but that he said that he was...what I have written I have written.
        1. Oh, an eternal truth Mr. Pilate…for He is a King.
        2. During Jesus’ infancy the Magi came from the East heralding Him as King.
        3. Now, His royal title is fixed to His cross. [some call it God’s 1st tract]
          1. And 1 day when He returns it will be emblazoned on His robe and on His thigh a name written: KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.
      2. A King - 1st at His crib. 2nd on His cross. 3rd to be on the day of His coronation. [remember from Christmas]
    2. (39) Thomas Carlyle called ridicule...the language of the devil. Here, it was so true.
      1. Murder of the tongue is a weapon of mass destruction, causing emotional bloodshed and psychological warfare that only God's grace can heal.
    3. (40) Come down from the cross - How about come up from the grave in 3?
      1. ​​​​​​​Salvador Dali, Christ of Saint John of the Cross.
    4. Save Yourself - Be careful of the worlds whispers…
      1. The devil told Jesus, serve Yourself (Mt.4:3,4)
      2. Peter said, pity Yourself (Mt.16:21-23)
      3. His unsaved relatives said, show Yourself (Jn.7:4)
      4. The world said, defend Yourself but Jesus was silent (Mt.27:14).
      5. The world said, pamper Yourself but Jesus refused the drug (34).
      6. The crowd at Calvary said, save Yourself but Jesus remained on the cross & finished the work the Father gave him to do (42). Adapted, Warren Wiersbe pg.664,665.
    5. Jesus was deaf to all those appeals & gave Himself.
      1. Starting as a baby...He gave Himself. Continuing w/a perfect life...He gave Himself. Culminating on His cross...He gave Himself. Today, as our mediator & interceder...He still gives Himself.
    6. (42) He saved others; Himself He could not save –
      1. It is precisely because He did not save Himself, that He was able to save others.
      2. It is possible that their sarcastic...He saved others, may have encouraged the one thief to trust Him.
    7. (42) One last challenge, Come down from the cross & we will believe in You.
      1. General Booth said long ago, It is because Jesus did not come down from the Cross that we believe in him.
    8. Slide25 While man was doing his worse…God was doing His best.
    9. 1st see Jesus as Sufferer - observe His great love for you.
      ​​​​​​​2nd see Jesus as Sovereign - behold the King & His demands...Repent & Believe.
      3rd see Jesus as your Substitute - ask Jesus to place your sins in His paper shredder for you, for He has taken your place. 1 Pet.2:24 He bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness; by whose stripes you were healed.
    10. At the Pavement...Love was Messy. On the Cross...Love was Messy. Today, when you try to love others in Jesus’ name, you’ll find...Love is Messy.
    11. Illustration about Faith: A thirsty man sees a water pump in the middle of the desert. His water bottles are empty and he comes upon this pump. Tied to it is a hand written note put there by someone before him. The note reads "I have buried a bottle of water to prime the pump. Don't drink any of it. Pour in half of it to wet the leather. Wait, and then pour in the rest. Then pump. The well has never gone dry, but the pump must be primed to bring the water up. When you are through drawing water, refill the bottle and bury it in the sand for the next traveler." Warning! “You are going to be tempted to not believe this note, & want to just consume the bottle. If you do, you’ll soon be thirsty again, & so will be everyone else that follows you.
      1. ​​​​​​​​​​​​​​That’s the choice that we all have. We can empty it all on ourselves, but then we’ll be empty again. Or, we empty it on onto God’s hands. If we do so He promises that He will give us living water that will become in us a fountain, springing up into everlasting life.

Verses 45-66
  1. Intro: a Sponge, a Curtain, and a Cross
    1. I’m going to read an excerpt from When God Weeps, by Joni Eareckson Tada.
    2. From Heaven the Father now rouses himself like a lion disturbed, shakes his mane, and roars against the shriveling remnant of a man hanging on a cross. Never has the Son seem the Father look at him so, never felt even the least of his hot breath. But the roar shakes the unseen world and darkens the visible sky. The Son does not recognize these eyes.

      “Son of Man! Why have you behaved so? You have cheated, lusted, stolen, gossiped – murdered, envied, hated, lied. You have cursed, robbed, overspent, overeaten – fornicated, disobeyed, embezzled, and blasphemed. Oh, the duties you have shirked, the children you have abandoned! Who has ever so ignored the poor, so played the coward, so belittled my name? Have you ever held your razor tongue? What a self-righteous, pitiful drunk – you, who molest young boys, peddle killer drugs, travel in cliques, and mock your parents. Who gave you the boldness to rig elections, foment revolutions, torture animals, and worship demons? Does the list never end! Splitting families, raping virgins, acting smugly, playing the pimp – buying pornography, accepting bribes. You have burned down buildings, perfected terrorist tactics, founded false religions, traded in slaves – relishing each morsel and bragging about it all. I hate, loathe this things in you! Disgust for everything about you consumes me! Can you not feel my wrath?”

      Of course the Son is innocent. He is blamelessness itself. The Father knows this. But the divine pair have an agreement, and the unthinkable must now take place. Jesus will be treated as if personally responsible for every sin ever committed.

      The Father watches as his heart’s treasure, the mirror image of himself, sinks drowning into raw, liquid sin. Jehovah’s stored rage against humankind for every century explodes in a single direction. “Father! Father! Why have you forsaken me?!”

      But heaven stops its ears. The Son stares up at the One who cannot, who will not, reach down or reply.

      The Trinity had planned it. The Son endured it. The Spirit enabled him. The Father rejected the Son whom he loved. Jesus, the God-man from Nazareth, perished. The Father accepted his sacrifice for sin and was satisfied. The Rescue was accomplished.
    3. The Cross of Christ - the gospel can be summed up into words: became & become
      1. Jesus became sin for us so we could become righteous. 2Cor.5:4 loose paraphrase
      2. The cross is about forgiveness: both getting it & giving it.
    4. If you were to look at Rembrandt’s painting of The Three Crosses, your attention would be drawn 1st to the center cross on which Jesus died. Next note the contrast of light & darkness depicted by the 2 thieves. Finally, your eyes would drift to the edge of the painting and catch sight of another figure, almost hidden in the shadows. Art critics say this is a representation of Rembrandt himself, for he recognized that by his sins he helped nail Jesus to the cross.
    5. (45) Darkness - From 9am to Noon He hung in the light. From Noon to 3pm, a miraculous darkness covered the land. It was as though all creation was sympathizing w/the creator.
    6. 3 hours of silence, as well as 3 hours of darkness & no record of what happened. Yet, here lies probably the 3 most important hours of all human history.
      1. So tremendous that it cannot be described. It cannot be told. No wonder the sun buried its face & hid its glory.
    7. Remember it was Passover. Passover required them to remember back to the 1st Passover. (Passover had to do w/the 10th plague)
      1. Do you remember the 9th plague? (Ex.10:21-29) Darkness, that was even felt.
      2. How long? For 3 days.
      3. Do you remember the 10th plague? (Ex.12:29,30) Death of 1st born.
        1. The shed Lamb’s blood meant the saving of life for some & the surety of death for others.
    8. 7 Statements on the cross: 3 before noon. 4 at 3pm. 0 from noon to 3pm.
      1. Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.
      2. Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.
      3. Woman, behold your son, Behold your mother. Then at 3pm…
      4. My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? - I thirst. - It is finished. - Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.
  2. 4 STATEMENTS (46-50)
    1. FORSAKEN (46)
    2. No man could answer this question. No Angel could answer. But Ps.22 decodes the mystery. 1 My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me? Why are You so far from helping Me, And from the words of My groaning? 2 O My God, I cry in the daytime, but You do not hear; And in the night season, and am not silent. 3 But You are holy, Enthroned in the praises of Israel.
      1. (Ps.22:2) a period of light & dark. (Ps.22:3) The reason...The Holiness of God.
        1. Jesus was saying, Father I understand because You’re Holy & I am Full of Sin (not mine, but of others). You must give this strike of Divine wrath.
    3. Then God turns His back on the sin-bearer.
      1. Here is the colossal difference between the martyrs & their Lord. In their dying agony they were divinely sustained, but Jesus...forsaken by God.
    4. Forsaken - Jesus was partially forsaken, when He came to earth. Gradually, as He drew near to the cross. Then totally, not only from man, but now from His Father.
      1. Forsaken can mean, abandoned, deserted, left behind, left alone.
      2. Please don’t say, He doesn’t know what I’m going through or He doesn’t understand my pain.
    5. SPONGE (47-49)
    6. Interesting a sponge, the very lowest form of animal life, brought into contact w/Christ, who is at the top of all life. [best & softest sponges come rt. out of the Med]
      1. As the sponge brought refreshment to the lips of our dying Lord, so may the least of the saints bring refreshment (or please Him) today.
      2. This was no ordinary sponge. This was a sponge w/a high calling of bringing refreshment unto its Maker. Yet, this sponge might not have always felt this way. Let me read to you about The sponge w/an attitude. (my Poem 2004)
    7. FINISH LINE (50a)
    8. Jesus cried out again with a loud voice - Like the shout of a conquering warrior. [yet, odd coming from a condemned man dying on a cross, isn’t it?]
      1. But what a shout it was, It Is Finished #6
      2. 1000’s have preached on this, but who can tell the meaning that lies compacted within it? It was finished. It was over. He had won. He was Victor. This was no cry of despair, but of completion. A cry of fulfillment. A cry of Victory. Jesus the Finisher, not the quitter.
      3. So, what was finished? [1] All prophecies regarding His 1st advent. [2] The completion of His suffering. [3] The goal of Incarnation was reached. [4] His work on earth was finished. [5] The Atonement was complete. [6] It was the end of our sins. [7] A fulfillment of the Laws requirements.[8] The destruction of Satan’s power (sentenced passed/thou not executed yet)
    9. YIELDED (50b) Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit #7
    10. ​​​​​​​Yielded - Jn.10:17,18 I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. [He was in control & was voluntarily yielding up His Sp]
    11. The Timing…Impeccable. He was our Passover Lamb, it was Passover, it was 3pm.
      1. Ex.12:6 Now you shall keep it (lamb) until the 14th day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight. (lit. between the evenings. i.e. between sunset & dark. To the Jews that was between 3-6pm) It was a death by appointment, not an accident.
      2. This is how we die also. Not according to the will of cancer, or from an erratic drunk driver. No we die under God’s providential care.
        1. ​​​​​​​We do not pray, Father into the hands of accidents or the apparent randomness of ill health, I commit my spirit.
      3. We will pass through the curtain according to God’s clock, not the timetable of random fate. (Lutzer)
      4. Ps.31:14,15a But as for me, I trust in You, O Lord; I say, You are my God. My times are in Your hand.
  3. 3 SUPERNATURAL EVENTS (51-53)
    1. ​​​​​​​TEMPLE - Veil Torn (51a)
    2. Ripped top to bottom...i.e. something God did...not man. And, speaks of the completeness of Jesus’ sacrifice (not torn ½ way...meeting u 1/2 way).
    3. The draw bridge is let down. The vault is open. 100% unrestricted access to God.
      1. No more need for the temple (one greater than the Temple was here).
      2. No more need for the priesthood. (He is our great high priest) Heb.10:21
      3. No more need for the sacrificial system (He offered 1 sac for sins forever) Heb10:12
        1. The veil, torn. Christ’s body, torn. The earth itself, torn. Graves, torn open. Even the centurion’s heart, torn.
    4. TERRAIN - Shake & Break (51b)
    5. The earth quaking reminds us of Mnt. Sinai, when God gave the Law to Moses. Now it quakes again at the Laws fulfillment.
    6. Interesting, the Incarnation didn’t rend the veil. His sinless life didn’t. Nor his anguish in Gethsemane. Not even His agony on the cross. He must actually die to redeem the sinner.
    7. TOMBS - Open (52,53)
    8. The Torn Veil says, He conquered Sin. The Earthquake suggests, He conquered the Law and fulfilled it. The Resurrected saints prove, He defeated Death.
  4. 4 HUMAN REACTIONS (54-66)
    1. ​​​​​​​The cross is a mighty magnet (attracting or repelling).
    2. SOLDIERS (54)
    3. Before his salvation C.S.Lewis thought, We can’t know God anymore than Hamlet or Romeo & Juliet could know Shakespeare.
      1. We can’t know God, anymore than any character in a play can know its author
      2. Then it occurred to him...Hamlet or Romeo & Juliet could know their creator...IF Shakespeare wrote himself into the Play.
      3. Then he realized...this is the phenomena of the bible...God wrote Himself into the play, so man could know who God is.
        1. ​​​​​​​This Centurion just witnessed the Greatest Scene/Act in History. He witnessed God wrote Himself into the play!...and he had front row seats.
    4. (57) Once He had finished His work of redemption, note that Jesus Christ was not again touched by enemy hands. While Christ was being made sin for us, God permitted people to do their worst. But when the work was finished, God permitted only Christ’s friends to handle Him.
    5. WOMEN (55,56; 61)
    6. Last to leave their Lord’s resting place...1st to return to it when the Sabbath was past.
    7. JOSEPH, of Arimathea (57-60)
    8. Joseph was a disciple, but secretly for fear of the Jews, yet when his lord was actually dead, extraordinary courage nerved his spirit & he boldly went to Pilate.
      1. This is the hour of late blooming love that draws him out of the shadows…to fearlessly befriend His Savior.
    9. Joe & Nic (Nicodemus) are like stars that appear amidst a black sky.
      1. Not any of the apostles, but these 2 men attend & officiate the burial service.
      2. Picture this wealthy man, propping a ladder up against the cross beam, struggling to pull out the deeply embedded nails, one by one. How do you lower him to the ground w/o getting blood all over you? Removing the thorns from his punctured & swollen head, his face swollen from Roman fists, bones out of socket.
    10. Nic & Joe understood Is. 52:14 better than we ever could, his appearance was so disfigured beyond that of any man and his form marred beyond human likeness.
      1. ​​​​​​​Sponging the blood off the body their hands would no doubt run across the spear wound & remember, He was pierced for our transgressions. Isa 53:5
      2. They defiled themselves (touched a dead body) & were not able to eat Passover...but what difference did it make…they found the Lamb of God.
      3. New tomb - new, so no one could say that another came forth from the tomb. They made His grave w/the wicked, But w/the rich at His death. Is.53:9
    11. CHIEF PRIESTS (62-66)
    12. The disciples forgot that Jesus said He would rise, but His enemies didn’t.
      1. Interesting, that at His trial His false witnesses gave a different meaning to His words; but they knew all the while that He was speaking of His bodily Resurrection not the raising of the physical Temple.
    13. Make it as secure as you know how - Pilate either didn’t want Him coming out. Or, was saying, just try to hold hold Him in.
      1. ​​​​​​​Can man hold back Spring when it’s ready to bud forth?
    14. Unintentionally, they did honor to the sleeping King, & helped prove His resurrection by sealing the tomb, making it impossible for anyone, friend or foe, to steal the body.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Matthew 27:4". "Brian Bell Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/cbb/matthew-27.html. 2017.

Lectionary Calendar
Friday, May 29th, 2020
the Seventh Week after Easter
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