St Matthew 27 Reflections

The Gospel According to St. Matthew: Matthew Chapter 27: Read Here: https://www.lds.org/scriptures/nt/matt/27?lang=eng

27 Behold the Man

Behold the Man, by Antonio Ciseri

The chief priests and elders delivered Jesus to Pilate. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned, he was sorry for what he had done and took the thirty pieces of silver back to the priests and elders (see Matt 28:1-2).

‘Judas said,

“I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.

‘And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself’ (vs. 4-5).

‘And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying,

“Art thou the King of the Jews?”

‘And Jesus said unto him,

“Thou sayest.”

‘And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

‘Then said Pilate unto him,

“Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?”

‘And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

‘Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them,

“Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?”

‘For he knew that for envy they had delivered him’ (vs. 11-18).

What can we learn from Jesus’s quiet self-control? How about when He said, “Thou sayest.” Is it up to Him who has created all things and done all things well to prove to us who He is? Or is it up to us to be believing and to seek a witness through the Holy Spirit? These people had witnessed miracles and heard the reports of the wonderful things Jesus was doing. Do signs convert?

Maybe those who seek a sign of proof will not be too happy when they receive it. We can always choose how to act and what to do and not do; but, we cannot choose the consequences.

If we are doing what we should and others mock us or cast blame upon us, we shouldn’t allow that to consume us. We can have the calm assurance of the Spirit that we are in the right, without feeling the necessity of proving it to anyone. Our eternal reward is far too great to put into jeopardy for immediate comfort.

Pilate certainly was hoping the people would release Jesus, because he didn’t believe the people had a just cause in condemning Jesus. They delivered him out of spite and envy.

Pilate’s wife also warned him, “Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him” (vs. 19).

‘But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them,

“Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?”

‘They said, Barabbas.

‘Pilate saith unto them,

“What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?”

They all say unto him,

“Let him be crucified.”

‘And the governor said,

“Why, what evil hath he done?”

‘But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified’ (vs. 20-23).

The chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude to condemn Jesus. Who holds the blame? Unrighteous leaders, or those who follow them even after accepting Jesus as their King the week before? Did they fear repercussions from their leaders? Did they really know Jesus?

‘When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying,

“I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.”

‘Then answered all the people, and said,

“His blood be on us, and on our children.”

‘Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified’ (vs. 24-26).

When we know something is wrong, do we join in with the crowd to save face? Are there things that we would not do by ourselves, but because others are doing them, we then feel justified to do so? Were there some people who yelled for Jesus to be crucified because He seemed helpless, so they abandoned Him? Were they looking for the signs and wonders that had been prophesied, or were they looking for miracles to satisfy their own lusts?

Pilate knew that what was being done was wrong, but it was done by his consent. Can we so easily wash our hands of guilt? Can we dismiss our part in the shedding of innocent blood by looking the other way? These are difficult things to consider, but things that are important to consider.

After scourging Jesus, or beating Him with forty stripes save one (which is another proof of the chief priests and elders corrupting the law and misusing their power), ‘the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.  And when they had plaited a crown of thorns, they put it upon 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!”

‘And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him’ (vs. 27-31).

With His flesh torn and bleeding, his robe was placed on His open wounds. And then He was ridiculed. The Master of the Universe was belittled, mocked, and spit upon. And He endured that for me. Could I endure it for Him?

‘And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross’ (vs. 32).

Would it be an honor to carry the cross for the Lord? How can we help to carry the load?

‘And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

‘And sitting down they watched him there’ (vs. 33-36).

Can you imagine? They nailed Him to a tree. They crowned Him with thorns. They made sport over who would own something which had belonged to Him. And then that sat down to watch.

‘And set up over his head his accusation written,

“THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

‘Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, And saying,

“Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.”

‘Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,

“He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.”

‘The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth’ (vs 37-44).

Jesus endured so much for all of us. As His disciples we should feel honored to be able to endure some of the shame of the world for Him. We will continue to be mocked and belittled as long as we hold to the truth and do not subscribe to the evil of the world around us. It’s okay. He has already delivered us. And He will not leave us alone. He has sent His Comforter, the Holy Ghost, to sustain us.

‘Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying,

“Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?”

‘that is to say,

“My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

‘Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said,

“This man calleth for Elias.”

‘And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said,

“Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.”

‘Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost’ (vs. 45-50).

Jesus completed His mission perfectly. From childhood through His atoning sacrifice in Gethsemane and on the cross, He did His Father’s will. The Great Jehovah, I Am, took upon Himself flesh and blood and redeemed a fallen world.

Some Things That Happened Following His Death: Read Matthew 27:51-66.

  1. ‘The veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent’ (vs. 51).
  2. Because of the earthquake, the centurion and they that were with him said,

“Truly this was the Son of God” (vs. 54).

  1. Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children were all present and had witnessed the crucifixion (vs. 55-56).
  2. Joseph of Arimathæa, one of Jesus’s disciples, begged Pilate for Jesus’s body. ‘And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed’ (vs. 57-60).
  3. Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, grieved outside the sepulcher (vs. 61).
  4. The chief priests and Pharisees asked Pilate to secure the place of burial. ‘Pilate said unto them,

“Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.”

‘So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch’ (vs. 62-66).

  1. Following the resurrection of Jesus Christ, many ‘graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many’ (vs. 52-53).
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