The Crucifixion of Jesus Christ
In the early morning hours the chief priests and elders took counsel against Jesus, and decided to put him to death. They bound Him and took Him away to go before Pontius Pilate, who was the governor of the land. Judas, who had betrayed Jesus, finds out what had happened and came before the chief priests. Judas was filled with guilt and desired to return the 30 pieces of silver that had been given to him to betray Jesus. He tells the chief priests; “…I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us?” (Matthew 27:27:4) Judas through the silver down in the temple and went home to hang himself. When the chief priests asked what they should do with the money, they took counsel and buried them in the potter’s field. This fulfilled what Jeremiah had prophesied about; “…And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; And gave them for the potter’s field…” (Matthew 27:9) The field was from then on called the “Field of Blood”.
Jesus stands before the governor (Pontius Pilate), where Jesus is asked; “…Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.” (Matthew 27:11) Pilate then asks Him if He knows about how many people are witnessing against Him. But Jesus does not respond, and Pontius marveled at this. While Pilate was questioning Jesus, he had in his custody a prisoner named Barabbas. In Hebrew, bar means ‘son of’ and abba means ‘father’ meaning that Barabbas was the ‘son of the father’. Pilate then goes before the people and asks them; “…Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?” (Matthew 27:17) The chief priests and the elders, persuaded the crowd to ask for the release of Barabbas. So Pilate asks; “…What shall I do then with Jesus which is called the Christ? They all said unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?” (Matthew 27:22-23) But the crowd continued to cry louder and louder for the crucifixion of Jesus. Pilate washed his hands before them said to the crowd; “…I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.” (Matthew 27:24)
Barabbas was released to them and soldiers took Jesus and “scourged him”, meaning they whipped Him with a leather strap that had sharp glass, pottery or rocks tied into the leather. Then the soldier put a scarlet robe over His back, a crown woven of thorns on His head. The soldiers then got down on one knee and mocked Him, saying; “…Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit on him… and smote him on the head.” (Matthew 27:29-30) After they had finished mocking and beating Him, they led Jesus away to crucify Him.
The soldiers were leading Him to a place called Golgotha, which means the ‘place of a skull’, while on their journey there; Jesus was no longer able to bear the weight of His own cross. Because of this a man of Cyrene, by the name of Simon was compelled to carry the cross for Jesus. The soldiers gave Jesus Vinegar to drink, but He refused. Upon arrival to Golgotha the soldiers stripped Jesus and cast lots for his raiment. Setup above the cross, where Jesus was crucified, read; “…THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” (Matthew 27:37) And one the left and right of Jesus were two thieves, who were also being crucified. This just shows how little the despicable people around Him, thought of His being. While Jesus was suffering on the cross, many passed by and mocked Him.
“…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.” (Matthew 27:40) – This is very interesting, because 3 days later, Jesus did build the temple again, His own body.
“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.” (Matthew 27:42) – Even though the chief priests had seen His great miracles, seeing was not enough for them. Instead, every action or move that Jesus made would require proof. This is the very reason why seeing is not always believing. The priests had already seen, but wanted more. Thus proving that they would never be satisfied, even with the evidence placed before them.
In the ninth hour, Jesus cried out with a loud voice towards the heavens; “…Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46) Many that were there, thought Jesus was crying out for Elias. And foolishly said, “…let us see whether Elias will come and save him.” (Matthew 27:49) But at that same moment Jesus “…cried again with a loud voice, [and] yielded up the ghost.” (Matthew 27:50) Immediately following the death of Jesus, the veil of the temple was rent in twain [it was torn] and the entire earth did shake. Graves of the saints were opened, and the dead did walk. Those who were around, began to fear greatly, saying; “…Truly this was the Son of God.” (Matthew 27:54) Many women and men, including Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses and Joseph went before Pilate and begged for the body of Jesus.
Pilate agrees to give the body and they take the body to a sepulchre, where they rolled a large stone in front of the door. Pilate remembered that it was said Jesus would arise the third day. So to be careful he commands soldiers to watch the sepulchre, to ensure that His disciples don’t take the body and then claim Jesus was resurrected.