Jesus Is Delivered to Pilate
Verse 1 – When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put Him to death.
Verse 2 – And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
The Sanhedrin had conducted their trial at night, which was illegal. They also knew that the Roman government would not condemn Him to death for blasphemy. They had to come up with another excuse for Him to be put to death. So they would say they tried Him and found He did not pay tribute to Caesar (Luke 23:2).
Verse 3 – Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
Verse 4 – saying, “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.” And they said, “What is that to us? You see to it!”
These men were the spiritual leaders and yet they just proved everything Jesus said about them in the previous chapters, was true. They were cold-hearted and without mercy. They were liars, besides being just plain evil.
Verse 5 – Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went out and hanged himself.
I personally believe that Judas was remorseful over betraying Jesus. He had walked with Jesus for 3 years and Jesus considered Judas His friend. I believe that when Judas realized the consequences of his actions, he couldn’t live with himself. Believe as you will, but I personally believe he repented.
Verse 6 – But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, “It is lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are a piece of blood.
The chief priest felt no guilt in giving Judas money to betray an innocent man, but when Judas returned the money, the priests couldn’t accept it because it was wrong to accept blood money-payment for murder. Here again, they should have remembered Jesus calling them “Hypocrites!”
Verse 7 – And they took counsel and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.
Verse 8 – Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.
This hints to the fact that Matthew wrote his gospel before the destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D.
Verse 9 – Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, “And they took thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced,
Verse 10 – “and gave them for the potter’s field as the Lord directed me.” (Jeremiah 32:6-9; Zechariah 11:13)
Verse 11 – Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” So Jesus said to him, “It is as you say.”
Verse 12 – And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.
Their accusation was: perverting the nation, and of forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, but Jesus remained silent.
Verse 13 – Then Pilate said to Him, “Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?”
Verse 14 – And He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.
According to Roman law, the refusal to offer a defense counted as an admission of guilt.
Verse 15 – Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.
Verse 16 – And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
Verse 17 – Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?”
Verse 18 – For he knew that because of envy they had delivered Him.
Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, but because God’s plan was greater, things proceeded just as they were supposed to.
Verse 19 – While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife went to him saying, “Have nothing to do with that Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
Dreams were considered as indications of the divine will. Whatever the dream was, it had bothered her so bad, she knew some evil would fall on her family if her husband didn’t do the right thing.
Verse 20 – But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
Verse 21 – The governor answered and said to them, “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” they said, “Barabbas?”
Verse 22 – Pilate said to them, “What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?” They all said to him, “Let Him be crucified!”
People today still choose Barabbas. They would rather have what the world has created instead of the Son of God. Why is that? They think that the world has more to offer, with money and fame. The sad part is all that stuff is only temporary. We take none of it when we die, and eternity is a lot longer than the time we spend on earth.
Verse 23 – Then the governor said, “Why, what evil has He done?” But they cried out all the more, saying, “Let Him be crucified!”
Verse 24 – When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”
Pilate was bound as a magistrate to free and innocent man. The washing of his hands amounted to nothing. Washing one’s hands in a difficult situation does not cancel guilt. It merely gives a false sense of peace.
Verse 25 – And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”
And so it happened. In less than forty years their city and temple was overthrown and destroyed. More than a million people perished in the siege. They died by famine, disease, the sword, and the blood ran into the streets like water. Thousands were crucified, the same infliction they had done to the Messiah.
Verse 26 – Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged (whip) Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
This was a flogging with a strap with large pieces of iron or bone on the strap. This was done by the Roman soldiers.
Verse 27 – Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.
Verse 28 – And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.
I always thought the robe was purple, because that’s what Mark says, but look at this. The scarlet color was obtained from a species of fruit; “purple” from shell-fish. The ancients gave the name “Purple” to any color that had a mixture of “red” in it, so these two colors might be called the same name. No contradiction in the Gospel.
Verse 29 – When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand. And they bowed the knee before Him and mocked Him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!”
It wasn’t bad enough for a flogging where His skin was shredded, now they have to place a crown of thorns down on His head. These were probably bramble thorns because they are common in Palestine. Check them out. They are not some tiny little thorn. These thorns drew blood.
Verse 30 – Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.
Verse 31 – Then when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, and put His own clothes on Him and led Him away to be crucified.
We all need to be reminded of the suffering that Christ endured so that we would not have to suffer because of our sin. All the punishment that we deserved was placed on our precious Savior. Don’t ever take what Jesus went through for you and me, lightly!
Verse 32 – Now as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, Him they compelled to bear His cross.
Cyrene, was in northern Africa. Simon was probably in Jerusalem to celebrate the Passover. Simon’s sons were later known in the early church. This suggests that Simon became a disciple of Jesus.
Verse 33 – And when they came to a place called Golgotha, that is to say, Place of a Skull,
Verse 34 – they gave Him sour wine mingled with gal to drink. But when He tasted it, He would not drink it.
They gave Him vinegar. This mixture was said to dull the senses. Afterward when Jesus was on the cross and just before His death, vinegar was offered to Him without the myrrh – the vinegar which the Roman soldiers drank. When Matthew and Mark say that He would not drink, they refer to a different thing and a different time from John, so there is no contradiction.
Verse 35 – Then they crucified Him, and divided His garment, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: “They divided My garments among them, and for My clothing they cast lots.”
The nailing of the hands and feet to the wood alone would have killed some, but then they would drop the cross into a hole with such force, it would be excruciating pain. Then the free circulation of blood throughout the body was perverted. More blood was carried out in the arteries than could return to the veins. The result was intense pressure to the head. Sometimes, it would take days for them to die. But our Savior not only suffered severe pain to His physical body, but He also bore the anguish of the world’s sin.
Verse 36 – Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.
Verse 37 – And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS KING OF THE JEWS.
Verse 38 – Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left. (Barabbas should have been the one in the middle.)
Verse 39 – And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads
Verse 40 – and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
None that said that, understood the real reason and purpose Jesus was there. They kept thinking about the physical temple.
Verse 41 – Likewise the chief priests, also mocking with the scribes and elders, said,
Verse 42 – “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the king of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.
Some people still today, have to see a supernatural performance before they will believe. However, all these at that time, had seen miracle after miracle. They had seen thousands fed with little; they knew He had raised the dead; blind eyes to see; the lame walked again; and even demons cast out. But yet that wasn’t enough. Blessed are those who believe by faith.
John 20:29 – Jesus said to him “Thomas because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.
Verse 43 – “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
Verse 44 – Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.
This darkness took place from about noon until three o’clock.
Verse 46 – And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”
Jesus cried out from the anguish of the worlds sins being placed on Him and the separation from the Father. The Father released His wrath on His Son for the sins of the entire world. Isaiah 53:4, 5, says, Surely He borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted. (Verse 5) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Verse 47 – Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!”
Verse 48 – Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave it to Him to drink.
Verse 49 – The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come and save Him”
They thought He had been crying out for Elijah, because Elijah had never died.
Verse 50 – Jesus, when He cried out again with a loud voice, yielded up His Spirit.
John 19:30, records He cried out, “It is finished!”
Verse 51 – And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom, and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,
Verse 52 – and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;
Before we go too far, some of you might not know, there was a curtain that separated the holy from the most holy place, dividing the temple into two apartments. This was the time of day when the priests were burning incense in the holy place. When that veil curtain was torn from top to bottom, it signified that God was accessible to all without having to go through a priest or a prophet.
This earth quake was felt by other countries because it is mentioned by Roman writers.
The graves were often tombs in caves behind rocks. At the earth quakes, the rocks split. The saints were probably the ones who would be recognized by the people living in Jerusalem. However, the dead were not raised until the resurrection of Jesus, Him being the first.
Verse 53 – And coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.
The Bible is silent on what happened to them later. I can only speculate they went to heaven when Jesus ascended because the Bible says, “It is appointed for men to die once, but after this the judgment, Hebrews 9:27. So they were not left to die a second time.
Verse 54 – Now when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
Verse 55 – And many women who followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering to Him, were there looking on from afar,
These women couldn’t come close to where Jesus was crucified because of the Roman soldiers.
Verse 56 – among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Mary Magdalene, who had been delivered by Jesus of seven devils, Luke 8:2, was there, and Mary, James and John’s mother, and yes, Jesus’ mother was there, and His brothers, James and Joses or Joseph.
Jesus Is Buried
Verse 57 – Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.
Verse 58 – This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.
The bodies of those crucified were usually left on the crosses to rot. so Joseph would have to have permission to remove the body.
Verse 59 – And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
Verse 60 – and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.
Verse 61 – And Mary Magdalene, was there and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.
Verse 62 – On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,
Verse 63 – saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’
Verse 64 – “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.”
There has been so much controversy on which day Christ was crucified, I’m not going to speculate. However, for Christ to have been crucified on Friday, that would have been one full day in the grave and part of the second. Friday at sunset to Saturday at sun-set is one, Saturday at sun-set to Sunday morning would have been one and one half day. It just doesn’t add up to “The Third Day.” The only thing I am sure of is that He was raised on the “First Day of the Week,” which was Sunday.
Verse 65 – Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it secure as you know how.”
Verse 66 – So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.
We will soon see that guards, rocks, or seals could not hold Him from “Coming Out!”