Matthew 27 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27 Meaning and Commentary

Matthew 27

Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people made their plans how to have Jesus executed. So they bound him, led him away and handed him over to Pilate the governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed him, saw that Jesus was condemned, he was seized with remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders. “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”

“What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.”

So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

The chief priests picked up the coins and said, “It is against the law to put this into the treasury, since it is blood money.” So they decided to use the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for foreigners. That is why it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, 10 and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.”

11 Meanwhile Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

“You have said so,” Jesus replied.

12 When he was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. 13 Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” 14 But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge—to the great amazement of the governor.

15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.

19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”

20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.

21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.

“Barabbas,” they answered.

22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.

They all answered, “Crucify him!”

23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.

But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”

24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”

25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.

27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: this is jesus, the king of the jews.

38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”

48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”

55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.

57 As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. 58 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. 59 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were sitting there opposite the tomb.

62 The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate. 63 “Sir,” they said, “we remember that while he was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ 64 So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that he has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.”

65 “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.”

Matthew 27 Meaning

Matthew 27 recounts the events leading up to and including Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It describes the betrayal of Jesus by Judas Iscariot, His trial before Pilate, the crowds choosing to release Barabbas instead of Jesus, the soldiers mocking Jesus, His crucifixion, death, and burial.

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Matthew 27 Commentary and Explanation

The events described in Matthew 27 are crucial to the Christian faith. It is through His crucifixion that Jesus paid the price for our sins and opened the way for our redemption and reconciliation with God. Let us explore this chapter further.

The chapter begins with the heartbreaking account of Judas Iscariot’s betrayal. He regretted his actions and attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. However, they refused to accept it. Judas, overwhelmed with guilt, ended his own life. This shows the consequences of betraying Jesus and serves as a warning against the destructive nature of sin.

Jesus, now taken as a prisoner, is brought before Pilate and accused of claiming to be the King of the Jews. Pilate recognized that Jesus was innocent but succumbed to the pressure from the crowd and allowed Barabbas, a notorious criminal, to be released instead. Pilate attempted to wash his hands of the matter, symbolically declaring his innocence in Jesus’ crucifixion, but the responsibility laid with him.

Jesus was then subjected to severe beatings, mockery, and humiliation by the Roman soldiers. They placed a crown of thorns on His head and dressed Him in a scarlet robe, sarcastically hailing Him as the King of the Jews. This harsh treatment emphasizes the extent of Jesus’ suffering for our sake and exemplifies His obedience to fulfill God’s plan of redemption.

After being led to Golgotha, which means “place of the skull,” Jesus was nailed to the cross and crucified between two criminals. Even in His agony, Jesus’ compassion shines through as He prays for His tormentors, saying, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing” (Luke 23:34). This exemplifies Jesus’ divine nature and His willingness to intercede on behalf of all humanity.

In the middle of Jesus’ crucifixion, darkness covered the land for three hours, symbolizing the weight and magnitude of sin that Jesus bore on the cross. At the ninth hour, Jesus cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46). In this moment, Jesus took upon Himself the separation from God that sin causes, experiencing the depths of despair and abandonment.

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Finally, Jesus took His last breath and proclaimed, “It is finished” (John 19:30). His death atoned for our sins, providing salvation and eternal life to all who believe in Him. The curtain of the temple separating the Holy of Holies, where the presence of God dwelt, was torn from top to bottom, signifying the access we now have to God through Jesus’ sacrifice.

Joseph of Arimathea, a devout follower of Jesus, approached Pilate and requested permission to bury Jesus in his own tomb. Pilate granted his request, and Jesus was laid to rest in the tomb. This sets the stage for the glorious and pivotal event of His resurrection.

Context of Matthew 27

The events described in Matthew 27 took place during the final hours of Jesus’ life on earth. It was the culmination of His ministry, fulfilling the prophecies foretold in the Old Testament. The religious leaders, filled with jealousy and fear, conspired against Jesus to bring about His crucifixion.

Pilate, the Roman governor, held the authority to decide Jesus’ fate. Despite recognizing Jesus’ innocence, Pilate ultimately succumbed to the pressure of the crowd and ordered His crucifixion. This reveals the inherent tension between the political and religious powers of the time.

Crucifixion was a brutal form of execution reserved for the worst criminals, demonstrating the extreme suffering Jesus endured for our sake. It was a public display of humiliation and a means to deter rebellion against the Roman Empire.

Breaking Down the Key Parts of Matthew 27

1. Betrayal of Judas (Matthew 27:1-10): Judas Iscariot’s remorse and tragic end demonstrate the gravity of betraying Jesus and the consequences of sin.

2. Jesus’ Trial before Pilate (Matthew 27:11-26): Pilate’s recognition of Jesus’ innocence, the crowd’s choice to release Barabbas, and Pilate’s attempt to wash his hands of Jesus’ fate emphasize the injustice of Jesus’ crucifixion and the powerful influence of public opinion.

3. Mockery and Crucifixion of Jesus (Matthew 27:27-44): The soldiers’ cruel treatment and the mocking of Jesus exemplify His sacrifice for our sins and His willingness to endure such humiliation for our salvation.

4. Jesus’ Death and Burial (Matthew 27:45-66): Jesus’ final words, the darkness that covered the land, and the tearing of the temple curtain highlight the significance of His death and the access we now have to God through His sacrifice.

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Lessons From Matthew 27

1. The importance of faithfulness: Judas’ tragic end serves as a reminder of the destructive consequences of betraying Jesus. We must remain steadfast in our commitment to follow Him.

2. The power of public opinion: Pilate’s decision to crucify Jesus demonstrates the danger of seeking approval from others rather than obeying God’s truth and standing up for what is right.

3. Jesus’ selfless sacrifice: The horrific treatment Jesus endured on the cross reminds us of His unconditional love and willingness to suffer for our sins. This should inspire us to live lives of gratitude, transformation, and service.

4. The accessibility through Jesus: The tearing of the temple curtain signifies that through Jesus’ sacrifice, we now have direct access to God. We can approach Him boldly with our prayers, thanks, and requests.

Final Thoughts

Matthew 27:1-66 offers a poignant account of the events leading to Jesus’ crucifixion and death. It highlights His sacrificial love, the consequences of betrayal and sin, and the significance of His atoning death for our salvation. As Christians, reflecting on these verses deepens our appreciation for Jesus’ sacrifice and compels us to live lives dedicated to Him.

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