Wednesday Night Bible Survey

April 12, 1995

Matthew 27:1-66


We're now in the final few hours of Jesus' earthly life.

Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, and has faced His first court appearance which was before the Jewish leaders.

Peter has just denied Jesus, the dawn of Friday morning has just arrived.

Matthew 27

Some of you have been going through some pretty hard times lately ...

The Scripture says that at times like these, we need to spend time "considering Jesus".

We need to think a little bit about what He's done for us to find the hope and strength to keep going on.

Hebrews 12:1-4 AV Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  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.  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

:1-2  Jesus delivered to Pilate

:1  to put him to death

This was their penalty for blasphemy.

Yet they were not able to carry out the sentence since they were not a self-governing nation.

The Jews were a captive state of Rome, subject to Roman laws.

This is why they now bring Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor, to have him pronounce a death sentence.

:3-10  Judas' end

:3-5  repented himself

Is Judas going to be in heaven?

After all, isn't he "repenting"

The Greek word used here.

metamellomai    (to change + to care about)  1) it is a care to one afterwards   1a) it repents one, to repent one's self

It is a word that speaks of emotions, being sorry, being sad.

It's like regret for getting caught.

But there's another Greek word often translated "repentance"

metanoia (to change + mind)  1) a change of mind, as it appears to one who repents, of a   purpose he has formed or of something he has done

This is a fuller word for repentance.

It speaks of a change in your actions and what you think about things.

It is found in:

2Corinthians 7:8-11 AV For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though [it were] but for a season.  9  Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing.  10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death.  11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you,

yea, [what] clearing of yourselves, yea, [what] indignation, yea, [what] fear, yea, [what] vehement desire, yea, [what] zeal, yea, [what] revenge! In all [things] ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Judas is an example of the "sorrow of the world".

It worked death in him, he hanged himself.


True repentance

True repentance is measured by verse 11:

1.  Carefulness (Earnestness)

Greek:  haste, speed; zeal, diligence, earnestness.

True repentance deals with the sin immediately.  No delays.  Take care of the situation.  Correct it now.

2.  Clearing of yourselves (Vindication of yourselves)

It's clearing your name.  Doing what's necessary to clear the wrong you've done.

True repentance says "I'm sorry"

3.  Indignation

True repentance is truly grieved and upset over its own sin.  Sometimes the victory in our lives over certain areas just doesn't occur until we get to the point where our sin just totally makes us sick.

4.  Fear

Fear of God. 

Of displeasing God.

Of what you've done.

5.  Vehement Desire (Longing)

longing, desire.

Repentance involves a deep desire to do what's right.

6.  Zeal

zeal, jealousy

A zeal to do what's right.

Jesus' example...

John 2:13-17

Jesus drove out the money changers.  He said, "

John 2:13-17 

Scripture prophesied of Jesus:  The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.

7.  Revenge  (Avenging of wrong)

vengeance, vindication.

Where there is a debt incurred, it is paid.

Don't just say you're sorry for breaking the window, fix it too.

8.  Ye have approved yourselves to be clear (In everything demonstrated to be innocent)

Completely making the wrong into a right.

It's easy for people to say they're sorry, but have they really repented?

These are the tests to see if it's real.

:5  and went and hanged himself

We read in Acts:

Acts 1:18-AV Now this man purchased a field with the reward of iniquity; and falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels gushed out.

What probably happened was that he hung himself, the rope broke, and the rest is real messy.

Danger of "Bible Roulette"

There's a story of a person who was looking for God to speak to him, so he prayed, closed his eyes, opened his Bible and read:

Matthew 27:5-AV And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

That seemed kind of strange, so he did it again and read ...

John 13:27-AV And after the sop Satan entered into him. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly.

That's not a good was to read your Bible!

:8  The field of blood

The book of Acts records another name:

Acts 1:19-AV And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem; insomuch as that field is called in their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.

:9  spoken by Jeremy the prophet ...

Actually, this is mostly a quote from Zechariah:

Zechariah 11:12-13AV And I said unto them, If ye think good, give [me] my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver.  13 And the LORD said unto me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly price that I was prised at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the LORD.

How come Matthew then attributes this to Jeremiah?

Many possible ideas have been suggested:

Robertson:  This quotation comes mainly from #Zec 11:13| though not in exact language. In #Jer 18:18| the prophet tells of a visit to a potter's house and in #Jer 32:6ff.| of the purchase of a field. It is in Zechariah that the thirty pieces of silver are mentioned. Many theories are offered for the combination of Zechariah and Jeremiah and attributing it all to Jeremiah as in #Mr 1:2f.| the quotation from Isaiah and Malachi is referred wholly to Isaiah as the more prominent of the two. Broadus and McNeile give a full discussion of the various theories from a mere mechanical slip to the one just given above.

Johnson:  The prophecy is found in # Zec 11:12 Albert Barnes shows that a change of a single letter in the original would transform Zechariah into Jeremiah, and it is supposed that some early copyist made the mistake. Another explanation is that Jeremiah, in the Jewish arrangement of the prophets, stood first, and that his name was given to the whole book of prophecy. (PNT 152)

Gill:   Ver. 9. "Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the" "prophet", &c.] Through the purchasing of the potter's field with the thirty pieces of silver, the price that Christ was valued at, a prophecy in the writings of the Old Testament had its accomplishment: but about this there is some difficulty. The evangelist here says it was spoken by Jeremy the prophet; whereas in his prophecy there is no mention of any such thing. There is indeed an account of his buying his uncle Hanameel's son's field, in "#Jer 32:7-12", but not a word of a potter, or a potter's field, or of the price of it, thirty pieces of silver; and that as a price at which he, or any other person was valued; but the passage which is manifestly referred to, stands in "#Zec 11:12,13", where are these words, "and I said unto them, if ye think good, give [me] my price, and if not, forbear; so they weighed for my price thirty [pieces] of silver: and the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter, a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty [pieces] of silver, and cast them to the potter in the house of the Lord": the removing of this difficulty, it might be observed, that the Syriac and Persic versions make no mention of any prophet's name, only read, "which was spoken by the prophet"; and so may as well be ascribed to Zechariah, as to Jeremy, and better: but

it must be owned, that Jeremy is in all the Greek copies, in the Vulgate Latin, Arabic, and Ethiopic versions, and in Munster's Hebrew Gospel. Various things are said for the reconciling of this matter: some have thought that Zechariah had two names, and that besides Zechariah, he was called Jeremy; but of this there is no proof. Jerom {y} affirms, that in an Hebrew volume, being an apocryphal work of Jeremy, which was shown him by one of the Nazarene sect, he read these words verbatim: so that though they do not stand in the writings of Jeremy, which are canonical Scripture, yet in an apocryphal book of his, and which may as well be referred to, as the book of Maccabees, the traditions of the Jews, the prophecies of Enoch, and the writings of the Heathen poets. Moreover, Mr. Mede {z} has laboured, by various arguments, to prove, that the four last chapters of Zechariah were written by Jeremy, in which this passage stands; and if so, the reason is clear, for the citation in his name. But what seems best to solve this difficulty, is, that the order of the books of the Old Testament is not the same now, as it was formerly: the sacred writings were divided, by the Jews, into three parts: the first was called the law, which contains the five books of Moses; the second, the prophets, which contains the former and the latter prophets; the former prophets began at Joshua, and the latter at Jeremy; the third was called Cetubim, or the Hagiographa, the holy writings, which began with the book of Psalms: now, as this whole third and last part is called the Psalms, "#Lu 24:44", because it began with that book; so all that part which contained the latter prophets, for the same reason, beginning at Jeremy, might be called by his name; hence a passage, standing in the prophecy of Zechariah, who was one of the latter prophets, might be justly cited, under the name of Jeremy.  That such was the order of the books of the Old Testament, is evident from the following passage {a}

   ``it is a tradition of our Rabbins, that the order of the     prophets is, Joshua and Judges, Samuel and the Kings,     Jeremiah and Ezekiel, Isaiah, and the twelve.''

Moreover, it is usual with them to say {b}, that the spirit of Jeremiah was in Zechariah; and it is very plain, that the latter prophets have many things from the former; and so might Zechariah have this originally from Jeremy, which now stands in his prophecy: all this would be satisfactory to a Jew: and it is to be observed, that the Jew {c}, who objects to every thing he could in the evangelist, with any appearance on his side, and even objects to the application of this prophecy; yet finds no fault with him for putting Jeremy for Zechariah. That the prophecy in Zechariah belongs to the Messiah, and was fulfilled in Jesus, manifestly appears from the context, for as well as the text itself. The person spoken of is in "#Zec 11:4", called to "feed the flock of slaughter", which being in a very poor condition, "#Zec 11:5,6", the state of the Jews, at the time of Christ's coming, is hereby very aptly represented: he agrees to do it, "#Zec 11:7", and accordingly furnishes himself for it; but he is despised, abhorred, and rejected by the shepherds, the principal men in church and state; because he severely inveighed against their doctrines and practices, "#Zec 11:8", upon which he rejects them, and dissolves both their civil and church state; which can suit with no other times than the times of Jesus, "#Zec 11:9-11,14", and lest it should be thought that he used them with too much severity, he gives one single instance of their ingratitude to him, which shows how little they esteemed him; and that is, their valuing him at no greater a price than "thirty pieces of silver",

"#Zec 11:12,13", which were afterwards "cast unto the potter". The Jews {d} themselves own, that this prophecy belongs to the Messiah, though they interpret it of him in another manner.

:11-26  Jesus before Pilate

:11  Thou sayest

Or, "It is as you say"

This is all the Matthew, Mark, and Luke record Jesus as saying.

John gives us a little more detail, and a bit more dialogue between Jesus and Pilate.  It's possible that he might have been able to get himself a seat at Jesus' trial since it is thought that John had some kind of with the high priests.

But basically, Jesus doesn't say much at all to Pilate.

Paul writes:

1Timothy 6:13-AV I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and [before] Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession;  14 That thou keep [this] commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ:  15 Which in his times he shall shew, [who is] the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;  16 AV Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom [be] honour and power everlasting. Amen.


It doesn't take a lot of words to give a good witness.

:16  a notable prisoner

or, "notorious"

:16  Barabbas

His name means "a son of a father"

We don't know much about him.

:18  he knew that for envy they had delivered him

Here's one of the real motives behind what the Jews were doing.

They were jealous of all the attention that Jesus was getting.

He was drawing the crowds.


Check your motives.

Before you go out on your next crusade, check what your real reasons are.

Sometimes we find ourselves being critical of others and tearing them apart, and it all is just because we wish we had what they had.

:20  persuaded the multitude

It hasn't even been a week since the multitude had been crying out,

Matthew 21:9-AV And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the Son of David: Blessed [is] he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.


Beware of popularity

Baseball players know all about this.

A guy is on a hitting streak, and he's wonderful.

He goes into a slump, and he's booed.

:25  His blood be on us

That's kind of a scary thing for them to be saying.

:26  when he had scourged Jesus

The prisoner was stripped sometimes entirely, sometimes to the waist, and tied by the hands to a pillar, with the back bent so as to receive the full force of the blows. The scourge was of stout leather weighted with lead or bones.                                           

:26  crucified

An oriental punishment, and the Romans adopted it from their enemies the Carthaginians.

Hands and feet nailed onto a cross.  See replica of Roman spike.

The cross was then dropped in a hole in the ground, often wrenching the bones out of joint.

As you hung, you had trouble breathing, having to push up against the nails to catch your breath.

Death was usually by suffocation.

If a prisoner hung on too long, their legs were broken so they couldn't push themselves up and breath.

:27-32  Jesus is mocked

:27  the common hall

The governor's headquarters or palace.

:28   a scarlet robe

A mocking of Jesus, wrapping around Him a makeshift kingly robe.

:29  a crown of thorns

Both to be a means of mocking Jesus with a "crown", as well as a means of torture.

Some thorns in Israel can be an inch or two in length.

:29  a reed in his right hand

As a kind of king's sceptre.

:32  compelled to hear his cross

Jesus is starting to drag.

He's been up all night, agonizing in prayer in Gethsemane.

He's faced the two trials before the Sanhedrin and Pilate.

He's faced beatings and scourgings.

Now He's having to carry the cross up the hill.

:32 of Cyrene, Simon by name

Simon by name, the father of two well-known Christians.

Mark 15:21-AV And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.

Romans 16:13-AV Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

Cyrene was in North Africa, and was the house of many Jews.

Some have suggested that Simon could have been a black man.

:33-38  Jesus is crucified

:33  a place called Golgotha

Golgotha means "skull"

It is a Hebrew name.

This place had another name in Greek:  Calvary (not cavalry) which also means "skull"

Luke 23:33-AV And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

"Calvary" is a translation of the Greek word for skull (kranion).

show poster of Golgotha

:34  vinegar ... mingled with gall

It was a custom of the Jews to give a man being executed:

   ``a man went out to be executed, to give him to drink a     grain of frankincense in a cup of wine, that his     understanding might be disturbed, as it is said, "#Pr 31:6".     "Give strong drink to him that is ready to perish, and     wine to those that be of heavy hearts"; and the tradition     is, that the honourable women in Jerusalem gave this     freely; but if they did not, it was provided at the charge     of the congregation.''

It was a kind of anethesia.

But Jesus refused.

He had to take the full weight and pain of our sins on the cross.

:35  parted his garments, casting lots ...

Fulfilling another prophecy

Psalms 22:18-AV They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

:37  Jesus the king of the Jews

There's kind of a ring of truth to this, wouldn't you say?

:39-44  Jesus is taunted

:40  if thou be the Son of God

They really don't understand.

It's because He is the Son of God that He's on the cross in the first place.

:44  the thieves ... cast the same in his teeth

NIV reads:

Matthew 27:44-NIV In the same way the robbers who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

Actually, both of the thieves start off mocking Jesus, but later on one of the thieves will understand what's going on and repent.

Luke 23:42-43 AV And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.  43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.

:45-49  Jesus cries out

:45  from the sixth hour ... darkness

The sixth hour would be 12 o'clock noon.  The ninth hour would be 3:00 in the afternoon.

The darkness couldn't be an eclipse, and eclipse doesn't last for three hours!

:46-47  Eli, Eli ...

Some of the people standing around watching couldn't tell what Jesus was saying, some thinking that He was calling for Elijah to help Him.

I think Jesus was telling them that He was fulfilling a Messianic passage.

The method that the Jewish songleaders used to tell the congregation which psalm to sing was to refer to the first line of the psalm they wanted to sing.

If you wanted everybody to sing Psalm 23, you'd say:

Psalms 23:1 The LORD [is] my shepherd; I shall not want.

What Jesus is trying to communicate is for everybody to please turn to Psalm 22:

 Psalms 22:1-AV <<To the chief Musician upon Aijeleth Shahar, A Psalm of David.>> My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? [why art thou so] far from helping me, [and from] the words of my roaring?

Read Psalm 22:1-21

What a picture of the crucifiction.

I believe we have Jesus' own validation that this Psalm was prophetic of Jesus dying on the cross. 

When was David's hands and feet ever pierced?  It's about Jesus.

:50-56  Jesus dies

:50  yielded up the ghost

Luke tells us:

Luke 23:46-AV And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Other translations of this passage:

Matthew 27:50-NIV And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

NASB:  MAT 27:50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up {His} spirit.

The Greek:

aphiemi  1) to send away  ...

The idea is that when He was ready, He died.

:51  the veil of the temple was rent

The veil was the huge solid, one piece cloth curtain that separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place.

Only the high priest could go past the veil into the Holy of Holies, and that only once a year to briefly sprinkle blood on the Day of Atonement.

The veil served as a separation, keeping men out of the Holy of Holies, which served as a representation of the throne room of God, heaven itself.

Yet when Jesus gave up His spirit, He offered Himself once and for all as an offering for our sins.

Hebrews 10:19-22 AV Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,  20 By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;  21 And [having] an high priest over the house of God;  22 Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

:51  from top to bottom

If it was man removing the obstacle between him and God, the veil would have to be torn from the bottom up to the top.

But since God is the one doing the work here, the veil has been torn from top to bottom.

Only God could remove the veil.

:52-53  many bodies of the saints which slept arose ...

Matthew now kind of jumps ahead to a few days down the line to include in his list of awesome things that happened as a result of Jesus' death and resurrection.

Apparently there was a kind of resurrection that took place after Jesus' own resurrection.

We don't know a lot about this resurrection.  This is the only reference that tells about it.  Except possibly for:

Ephesians 4:8-AV Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men.

:54  truly this was the Son of God

John Wayne

When they saw the awesome effect of Jesus' death, the darkness, the earthquake, etc., they changed their mocking tune real quick.

:55  many women were there

I think this is beautiful.

Matthew doesn't record that there were any of the men there (though we know that at least John was there), as far as we know, they were still hiding.

But the women stuck it out with Jesus.

God bless them!

:56  Mary Magdalene

She was a woman out of whom Jesus had cast seven demons

Luke 8:2-AV And certain women, which had been healed of evil spirits and infirmities, Mary called Magdalene, out of whom went seven devils,

:56  Mary the mother of James and Joses

Ironically, Jesus' own mother had two sons, also named James and Joses (Joseph)

Matthew 13:55-AV Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?

But this Mary is the wife of Clopas.

She is also Jesus' aunt, the sister of his mother Mary. (apparently there were two Mary's in one family?)

Jesus' mother, Mary, is also at the cross, though not mentioned by Matthew.

John 19:25-AV Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the [wife] of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene.

:56  the mother of Zebedee's children

This was James' and John's mom. 

Her name was Salome.

Mark 15:40-AV There were also women looking on afar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome;

:57-61  Jesus is buried

:57  Arimathaea ... Joseph

We know only a few things about Joseph:

He was a rich man.

He was a member of the Sanhedrin.

He was secretly a disciple of Jesus.

Luke 23:50-AV And, behold, [there was] a man named Joseph, a counsellor; [and he was] a good man, and a just:

Luke 23:51-AV (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) [he was] of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

John 19:38-AV And after this Joseph of Arimathaea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and Pilate gave [him] leave. He came therefore, and took the body of Jesus.

:59  a clean linen cloth

Was this the shroud of Turin?

Who knows?  It certainly doesn't have to be for me to believe.

:60  in his own new tomb

This brings about the fulfillment of another prophecy:

Isaiah 53:9-AV And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither [was any] deceit in his mouth.

Jesus was crucified among thieves, but buried in a rich man's tomb.

:60  rolled a great stone

The opening to the central chamber was guarded by a large and heavy disc of rock which could roll along a froove slightly depressed at the center, in front of the tomb entrance.

The stone would be a protection against both man and beasts for a dead body.

These stones were generally large enough that it would take several men to move the stone.

Later on, when the women want to visit the tomb, they are worried because they don't know who they're going to get to roll away the stone.

Mark 16:3-AV And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre?

The point:  There's a very large obstacle in the way, especially if Jesus is somehow not really dead, and He revives and hops out of the tomb.

:61  Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting ...

This is an important bit of historical evidence in the trial of the resurrection of Jesus.

Some have claimed that on Sunday, the women simply went to the wrong tomb, and even took everybody else to the wrong tomb, an empty one.

But these two Mary's were there when Jesus was buried.

They saw the location of the tomb.

:62-66  The tomb is secured

:66  sealing the stone

Robertson:  Probably by a cord stretched across the stone and sealed at each end as in #Da 6:17. The sealing was done in the presence of the Roman guard who were left in charge to protect this stamp of Roman authority and power.

They are trying to keep the disciples from stealing the body, but in the end, they are actually validating the resurrection.

:66  setting a watch

"okay, synchronize your watch ..."  no!

This would be the setting up of a group of Roman soldiers to guard the tomb.

This would have been a group of four Roman soldiers, where one would stand guard while the others slept, then they would rotate through the night.

The Roman guards were tough, trained to either guard or face the penalty of death, or at least very severe physical punishment.

The stage is set, Jesus is dead and the tomb is sealed and secured ...

Back to our opening idea ...

Hebrews 12:1-4 AV Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset [us], and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,  2  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.  3 For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds.  4 Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.

When you're facing hard times, and you're tempted to say to God, "What's going on?", take time to look at what Jesus has done for you first.

Matthew 28