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Put him to death ; he had professed to be the Christ, and said that hereafter they should see him coming in the clouds of heaven. This they said was blasphemy, and for it they condemned him to die.
Pilate ; the Roman governor. As the Jews had no authority to put any one to death, it was needful, in order to accomplish their design, that the Roman governor should condemn him. They brought him to Pilate for this purpose; and Christ had foretold that the Gentiles, to whom Pilate belonged, would put him to death. Matthew 20:19 .
Repented himself ; he knew that Jesus was innocent, and yet he had been instrumental in delivering him to his murderers. He was therefore tormented by a conviction of his guilt. The evil of committing known sin is greater than sinners imagine; while the pleasure which they derive from it is less, and is nothing compared with the pain which it will give them. The commission of one sin not only opens the door and prepares the way for the commission of others, but leads to consequences which the sinner little imagines, and the contemplation of which fills him with horror. A deep conviction of sin, and the most pungent distress on account of it, full confession of guilt, and readiness to return the wages of iniquity, may all exist without true repentance, without any love to God and holiness, or any preparation for heaven.
What is that to us? the language of men hardened in wickedness, and determined to execute their murderous purpose. Tempters to iniquity are hard-hearted and cruel; they will get men into trouble, but will not relieve them. They are of their father the devil, and like him they will tempt men to sin, and then torment them on account of it.
There are two kinds of sorrow on account of sin. One is in view of its having been committed against God: this is godly sorrow, which worketh repentance unto salvation, and needeth not to be repented of. The other is sorrow on account of the evil to which sin exposes the sinner, and is wholly selfish. This is the sorrow of the world, which worketh death. 2 Corinthians 7:10 . The sorrow of Peter exemplified the one, and that of Judas the other.
Treasury ; the place where the offerings or contributions of the people were kept. Hypocrites and formalists are sometimes exceedingly scrupulous about little things, while they commit the greatest and most aggravated transgressions without hesitation, and without remorse. While practising the grossest deception, and even killing the friends of God, they profess to be doing him service.
Potter’s field ; a place where earthen-ware had been made.
Strangers ; those who came from other countries, and died at Jerusalem.
This day ; the time when Matthew wrote his gospel, perhaps thirty years after the events here recorded.
Jeremy ; Jeremiah. The event here referred to is not mentioned in Jeremiah, but in Zechariah 11:12-13 . The name Jeremiah in several ancient translations and manuscripts is not mentioned, and it reads, that which was spoken by the prophet.
Slander and abuse, reviling and persecution may sometimes be best met by silence: and perfection of character requires such a control over one’s own spirit as to be able not to speak, when it is manifest that no good will result from it.
Envy ; the uneasiness they felt in witnessing his increasing influence among the people. The indulgence of envy is a great sin.
Nothing to do with that just man ; do nothing against him, or towards condemning him.
All efforts of unrighteous magistrates to screen themselves from guilt in knowingly condemning the innocent or acquitting the guilty, will be fruitless. They may deceive themselves and their fellow-men, but they cannot deceive God. He will hold them responsible; and the measures they take to hide their guilt will only increase their wickedness, and aggravate their condemnation. It is a fearful thing to incur the guilt of blood. When unrighteously shed, it rises to heaven for vengeance. Pilate was stripped of his authority, and died in exile, it is said by his own hand. The state of the Jews for eighteen hundred years shows that the guilt of shedding the blood of Christ was awful, and that God is just.
His blood be on us ; we will bear the blame of his crucifixion: if divine judgments come, let them come on us and our children.
Scourged Jesus ; according to the custom of scourging one condemned to die before his execution.
Scarlet robe ; in mockery of his claim to be the king of the Jews; for a purple or scarlet robe was the ensign of sovereignty.
A reed ; in mockery, as a sceptre.
Cyrene ; a city in the northern part of Africa.
Bear his cross ; at first the cross had been laid on Jesus, according to the custom of compelling malefactors to carry their own cross to the place of execution.
A place called Golgotha ; without the city. Hebrews 13:12 . Golgotha means a skull; but why the place bore this name is not agreed.
Vinegar-mingled with gall ; Mark names "wine mingled with myrrh," an intensely bitter substance. Though it may have been intended as a stupefying draught, it still belonged to the process of a bloody, ignominious, and agonizing death. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy in Psalms 69:21 . In persecuting the Saviour, accusing and condemning him; in giving him vinegar and gall to drink, parting his garments among them and casting lots on his vesture, and never ceasing to afflict him till he gave up the ghost, all concerned were free and accountable; and though doing it with wicked hands and wicked hearts, they were fulfilling the predictions of God, and thus proving that Jesus was the Messiah.
Casting lots ; to determine which soldier should have the garment. Psalms 22:18 .
Watched him ; this was customary, to see that none should come and take down those who were crucified till it was ordered.
Two thieves ; thus he was numbered with the transgressors, according to Isaiah 53:12 .
Destroyed the temple ; their false accusation, Matthew 26:61 ; John 2:19-21 .
King of Israel ; the Messiah.
Cast the same in his teeth ; they upbraided him in the same way.
Sixth hour ; twelve o’clock noon.
Ninth hour ; three o’clock in the afternoon.
Eli , Eli , lama sabachthani ; a phrase in the Chaldaic language, as then spoken in Judea, explained in the last part of the verse. Psalms 22:1 .
Yielded up the ghost ; gave up his life. Jesus Christ retained his life and endured his agony till he had finished the work which God gave him to do. He suffered all that was needful in order to become the author of eternal salvation to all who believe on him. He then voluntarily gave up his life.
Veil of the temple ; which separated the most holy place from the other parts of the temple. By this was signified that now the way into God’s presence was opened by the blood of Christ. Hebrews 9:7-8 ; Hebrews 10:19-20 . The rending veil of the temple, the quaking earth, the bursting rocks, the opening graves, and the rising dead, all testified to the greatness of the event of the Saviour’s death; and heaven and earth seemed to sympathize with their expiring Lord.
Which slept ; who were dead.
Arose ; not now, but, as is added in the next verse, after his resurrection. These were the earnest of the general resurrection at the last day. The whole transaction was designed to show that through the resurrection of Christ his disciples shall also attain to a glorious resurrection.
The holy city ; Jerusalem.
Centurion ; the Roman officer in command on that occasion.
This was the Son of God ; as he had professed to be. The object of God in suffering the wickedness of men, is totally different from theirs in committing it. They mean it for evil, and it is evil, and they are evil in committing it; and without repentance and forgiveness, they will be for ever punished as evil-doers. But God means to overrule it, and he will overrule it for good. In all that he suffers to be done, as well as in all that he does himself, he is good. Joseph, Mordecai, Daniel and his three friends, and Christ and his disciples, are all striking illustrations of this great and momentous truth. Chap. Matthew 28:18 ; Genesis 50:20 ; Esther 7:10 ; Daniel 3:20 ; Daniel 3:30 ; Daniel 6:16 ; Daniel 6:28 .
The even ; evening-some time after three o’clock. Sometimes there are friends of Christ among the rich, and in circumstances where we should least expect them. They may be associated with the wicked, and yet through grace be kept from being partakers of their sins. On the other hand there may be hypocrites, and the basest of men, connected with the people of God. It is not wise or safe to judge of bodies of men by certain individuals who belong to them-to approve or condemn the whole on account of the character and conduct of a part.
His own new tomb ; thus Christ according to prophecy, was "with the rich in his death." Isaiah 53:9 .
Day of the preparation ; for keeping the passover. Men cannot by any efforts thwart the purposes of God. A man’s heart deviseth his way, but the Lord directeth his steps. Proverbs 16:9 . There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord, that shall stand. Proverbs 19:21 .
Until the third day ; this shows what was then meant by three days, or three days and three nights, which Jesus said he should be in the heart of the earth, or the grave. Matthew 12:40 .
The last error ; that of taking him away, and then pretending that he was risen from the dead. This they said would be worse than his pretending to be the Messiah.
A watch ; soldiers to watch his grave.
Sealing the stone ; so that no one could open the sepulchre without breaking the seal. All the efforts of the Jews to show that Jesus Christ was guilty only tended more clearly to show, and more strikingly to illustrate, his innocence and their own guilt; and all their efforts after he was dead to prevent his resurrection, only tended more clearly to demonstrate that he had risen. So God taketh the wise in their own craftiness, and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong. Job 5:13 .
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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Matthew 27". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 19 / Ordinary 24