The Passion of Christ – Matthew 27:1-32

August 26, 2012

INTRODUCTION – Length or extent of coverage given; and yet we tend to skip over it or speed read it. Never heard anyone say their favorite verse in the Bible was out of these chapters.
And yet we are clearly commanded in the N.T. to “Consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”

I. Decision of Chief priests and elders vs. 1- 2
A. Not clear if in presence of Jesus or not

B. They had slept on it and were resolved to finish it

C. They bound Him, which shows they still did not know or understand Him

D. They needed Pilate’s o.k.

II. Judas’s remorse – vs. 3-10
A. Did Judas literally see this? It says “saw” not heard. My guess is his eyes were opened to see the utter evil and hardness of heart of the accusers, and the pure innocence and righteousness of Christ in the way He responded.

B. The chief priests and elders in their response to Judas revealed that innocence or justice was the least of their concerns.

C. The irony of their response to him must not be overlooked. First when it came to justly dealing with Jesus, they knew but chose to ignore the clear command in Deut. 19:15-19, which says “A single witness shall not rise up against a man on account of any iniquity or any sin which he has committed; on the evidence of two or three witnesses a matter shall be confirmed. If a malicious witness rises up against a man to accuse him of wrongdoing, then both the men who have the dispute shall stand before the Lord, before the priests and the judges who will be in office in those days. The judges shall investigate thoroughly, and if the witness is a false witness and he has accused his brother falsely, then you shall do to him just as he had intended to do to his brother. Thus you shall purge the evil from among you.”

But when it came to righteously dealing with the reward money that Judas returned to them – they were all over it. It is not even clear what command in the law they were responding to. One commentator suggested they were responding to Deut. 23:18 that says, “You shall not bring the hire of a harlot or the wages of a dog into the house of the Lord your God for any votive offering, for both of these are an abomination to the Lord your God.” But that is pretty obscure. The point is they were all concerned about being lawful regarding 30 coins; when they were in the process of illegally and unjustly arranging the murder of a totally innocent and pure man.

D. As shocking as this is for a body of religious leaders, it like so many other details of Jesus’s suffering and death was prophesied by Jeremiah hundreds of years before as Matthew tells us in vs. 9, 10.

III. Jesus before Pilate – vs. 11-26
A. Pilate had surely seen many men of influence tried over the years of his career; but he was “quite amazed” that Jesus did not defend Himself or respond to any of the charges the chief priests and elders made against Him. Any normal man would be doing his darndest to save his life, when it was his very life that was at risk. But Jesus clearly cared much more about pleasing His Father and fulfilling His calling than saving His life or avoiding suffering.

B. Pilate could have chosen any prisoner to give the people a choice. He chose the one they would be least likely to want released.

C. Perhaps he thought that even though the leaders were consumed with envy towards Jesus; the people would recoil at the thought of Barabbas being released.

D. Judas saw His innocence. Pilate’s wife saw His righteousness through a very troubling and vivid dream. Pilate saw His innocence and wanted nothing to do with His demise. But the chief priests and elders whipped the emotions of the crowd into a frenzy and craftily persuaded them to ask for Barabbas instead of Jesus.

E. Vs. 25 is exhibit A of how utterly foolish and wrong a majority of people or a worked up crowd or mob of people can be.

F. Matthew barely mentions Jesus’s scourging. What do you know about this process in that day?

IV. Jesus before the Roman cohort – vs. 27-32
A. Pilate’s soldiers – perhaps emboldened by the crowd’s hard heartedness and murderous frenzy – decided to take advantage of this weak defenseless so called Savior; and thus before they crucified Him they mocked and beat and humiliated Him

B. Because of the blood loss from the scourging most likely, the soldiers had someone else help carry His cross to Golgotha.

CONCLUSION Basilea Schlink p. 74 O Sacred Head – vs. 1 p. 63

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