Jesus Condemned by the Religious Leaders
1Before dawn that morning, all the chief priests and religious leaders resolved to take action against Jesus and decided that he should be executed. 2So they bound him and led him away to Pilate, the Roman governor.
Judas Commits Suicide
3Now, when Judas, the betrayer, saw that Jesus had been sentenced to death, remorse filled his heart. He returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and religious leaders, 4saying, “I have sinned by betraying an innocent man.”
They replied, “Why are you bothering us? That’s your problem.”
5Then Judas flung the silver coins inside the temple and went out and hanged himself.
6The chief priests, picking up the pieces of silver, said, “We can’t keep this, for it’s unlawful to put blood money into the temple treasury.” 7So after some deliberation, they decided to purchase the potter’s field of clay, # 27:7 Implied in the historical context. This was the field owned by a potter, used for making clay vessels. to use as a cemetery for burying strangers. 8That’s why that land has been called “The Field of Blood.” 9This fulfilled the prophecy of Zechariah: # 27:9 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. See Zech. 11:12–13. The Greek manuscripts incorrectly identify the prophecy as from Jeremiah. There is no clear prophecy found in Jeremiah that is quoted here by Matthew. The Aramaic reads simply, “spoken of by the prophet.” The Hebrew Matthew correctly states, “spoken through Zechariah.”
They took the thirty pieces of silver, # 27:9 Thirty pieces of silver is also the price someone owed if their ox killed a slave (Exod. 21:32).
the price at which he was valued by the people of Israel,
the price of a precious man, # 27:9 As translated from the Aramaic.
10And they bought the potter’s field,
as the Lord directed. # 27:10 Or “as the Lord directed me.”
Jesus Brought before Pilate
11As Jesus stood in front of the Roman governor, Pilate asked him, “So, you are the king of the Jews?”
Jesus answered, “You have just spoken it.” 12Then he was accused by the chief priests and religious leaders, but he remained silent.
13Pilate said, “Don’t you hear these allegations?” 14But Jesus offered no defense to any of the charges, much to the great astonishment of Pilate.
15Now, every year at Passover it was the custom of the governor to pardon a prisoner and release him to the people—anyone they wanted. 16And at that time, Pilate was holding in custody a notorious criminal named Jesus Barabbas. # 27:16 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew and a few Greek manuscripts. Most Greek texts have only Barabbas. The name Barabbas is Aramaic and means “son of a father” or “son who is like his father.” He becomes a picture of every son of Adam, our father. Some believe this is a figure of speech, a nickname for one who was born an illegitimate son, with no known father. The true Son of the Father was crucified that day. 17So as the crowds of people assembled outside of Pilate’s residence, he went out and offered them a choice. He asked them, “Who would you want me to release to you today, Jesus who is called Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Anointed One?” 18(Now, Pilate was fully aware that the religious leaders had handed Jesus over to him because of their bitter jealousy.)
19Just then, as Pilate was presiding over the tribunal, # 27:19 Or “sat on the judgment seat.” his wife sent him an urgent message: “Don’t harm that holy man, # 27:19 As translated from the Aramaic. for I suffered a horrible nightmare last night about him!”
20Meanwhile, the chief priest and the religious leaders were inciting the crowd to ask for Barabbas to be freed and to have Jesus killed. 21So Pilate asked them again, “Which of the two men would you like me to release for you?”
They shouted, “Barabbas.”
22Pilate asked them, “Then what would you have me to do with Jesus who is called the Anointed One?”
They all shouted back, “Crucify him!”
23“Why?” Pilate asked. “What has he done wrong?”
But they kept shouting out, “Crucify him!”
Jesus Condemned to Death
24When Pilate realized that a riot was about to break out and that it was useless to try to reason with the crowd, he sent for a basin of water. After washing his hands # 27:24 See Deut. 21:6–7. in front of the people, he said, “I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man. # 27:24 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew and the Aramaic. The responsibility for his death is now yours!” # 27:24 The Aramaic is “You do as you please!”
25And the crowd replied, “Let his blood be on us and on our children!”
26So he released Barabbas to the people. He ordered that Jesus be beaten with a whip of leather straps embedded with metal, and afterward be crucified. 27Then the guards took him into their military compound, where a detachment of nearly six hundred soldiers surrounded him.
28They stripped off his clothing # 27:28 The Greek word ekduo means “to fully undress.” This was an act meant to shame and humiliate. and placed a scarlet robe on him to make fun of him. 29Then they braided a crown of thorns and forcefully shoved it onto his head. After placing a reed staff in his right hand, they knelt down before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews!” 30Then they spat in his face and took the reed staff from his hand and hit him repeatedly on his head, driving the crown of thorns deeper. 31When they finished ridiculing him, they took off the scarlet robe and put his own clothes back on him and led him away to be crucified. 32And as they came out of the city, they stopped an African man named Simon, from Libya, # 27:32 Or “from Cyrene,” which is present-day Tripoli, Libya. and compelled him to carry the cross for Jesus.
33They brought Jesus to Golgotha, which means “Skull Hill.” # 27:33 The Aramaic word Golgotha is, in Latin, calvaria, or Calvary. Origen, an early church father (185–253 AD), recorded that Jesus was crucified at the place where Adam was buried and where his skull was found. David brought Goliath’s head (Goliath and Golgotha are taken from the same root word) and buried it outside of Jerusalem. Some believe this is where it got its name, Golgotha (the place of the skull). The cross has to pierce the place of the skull for our minds to submit to the revelation of the cross. 34And there the soldiers offered him a mild painkiller, a drink of wine mixed with gall, # 27:34 See Ps. 69:21. Jesus was twice offered a painkiller on the cross and did not drink it. He knew he was to drink the cup of suffering the Father had given him. He did that for you. but after tasting it, he refused to drink it.
35Then they crucified Jesus, nailing his hands and feet to the cross. The soldiers divided his clothing among themselves by rolling dice to see who would win them. 36And the soldiers stood there to watch what would happen and to keep guard over him. 37Above his head they placed a sign that read, “This is Jesus of Nazareth, # 27:37 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. See John 19:20. The sign was written in Aramaic, Latin, and Greek. Aramaic was the language of the common people in Israel. Hebrew ceased to be their spoken language after 450 BC, when the Jews returned from Babylon. Aramaic remained the language of Israel for nearly one thousand years. Latin was the official language of the Roman Empire. The inscription was also in Greek, for the Alexandrian Jews who had come to observe the Passover in Jerusalem would be unable to read Aramaic. The words were “Jesus, the Nazarene, King of the Jews.” The first letters of each of the four words written on the sign in Aramaic (Hebrew) were Y-H-W-H (Y’shua Hanozri Wumelech a Yehudim). To write these letters, YHWH (also known as the Tetragrammaton), was the Hebrew form of writing the sacred name “Yahweh.” No wonder the chief priests were so offended by this sign and insisted that Pilate change it. This was a sign given to Israel, for over Jesus’ head on the cross was written “Y-H-W-H! God, the Savior, bled to death for you.” King of Israel.”
38Two criminals were also crucified with Jesus, one on each side of him. # 27:38 See Isa. 53:12. 39And those who passed by shook their heads and ridiculed him, 40saying, “We heard you boast that you could destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days! Why don’t you save yourself now? If you’re really God’s Son, come down from the cross!”
41Even the ruling priests, with the Jewish scholars and religious leaders, joined in the mockery # 27:41 See Pss. 22:17; 109:25; Lam. 2:15. 42and kept on saying, “He saved others, but he can’t even save himself! Israel’s king, is he? He should pull out the nails and come down from the cross right now; then we’ll believe in him! 43He puts his trust in God, so let’s see if it’s true, and see if God really wants to rescue him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
44Even the two criminals who were crucified with Jesus began to taunt him, hurling their insults on him.
The Death of the Savior
45For three hours, beginning at noon, a sudden and unexpected darkness came over the earth. # 27:45 Or “the land.” 46And at three o’clock Jesus shouted with a mighty voice in Aramaic, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” # 27:46 The last words of Jesus were spoken in Aramaic. Every Greek text gives a transliteration of the Aramaic words and then translates them back into Greek. —that is, “My God, My God, why have you deserted me?” # 27:46 See Pss. 22:1; 42:9. The Aramaic can be translated “for this purpose you have spared me.” 47Some who were standing near the cross misunderstood and said, “He’s calling for Elijah.” 48One bystander ran and got a sponge, soaked it with sour wine, then put it on a stick and held it up for Jesus to drink. 49But the rest said, “Leave him alone! Let’s see if Elijah comes to rescue him.” # 27:49 A few Greek manuscripts have an additional sentence: “A soldier took a lance and pierced him in the side and blood and water poured out.” It is not found in the Aramaic and many Greek texts of Matthew. If included, it would mean the soldier took Jesus’ life with his lance. However, Jesus said that no man could take his life from him. The evidence is compelling that it was not part of the original text, but was taken from John 19:34 and added here.
50Jesus passionately cried out, # 27:50 See Luke 23:46 and John 19:30 to read the words he shouted out at death. took his last breath, and gave up his spirit.
51At that moment the veil in the Holy of Holies was torn in two from the top to the bottom. # 27:51 It was obviously the hand of God that tore the veil from top to bottom. In Matthew 26:56 it was the High Priest who tore his clothes in the presence of Jesus. Now God tears his veil in the presence of the High Priest offering the Passover blood in the Holy of Holies. The earth shook violently, rocks were violently split apart, 52and graves were opened. Then many of the holy ones who had died were brought back to life and came out of their graves. 53And after Jesus’ resurrection, # 27:53 The Aramaic reads “after their rising.” they were seen by many people walking in Jerusalem. # 27:53 Perhaps one was Joseph, for he had asked that his bones be buried in the promised land. He saw a resurrection coming and didn’t want to be left out. See Heb. 11:22. Jesus’ resurrection was so powerful that many were instantly raised back to life again along with him.
54Now, when the Roman military officer and his soldiers witnessed what was happening and felt the powerful earthquake, they were extremely terrified. They said, “There is no doubt, this man was the Son of God!”
55Watching from a distance were many of the women who had followed him from Galilee and given him support. 56Among them were Mary Magdalene; Mary, the mother of Jacob and Joseph; and the mother of Jacob and John.
The Burial of Jesus
57At the end of the day, a wealthy man named Joseph, a follower of Jesus from the village of Ramah, # 27:57 As translated from the Aramaic. Ramah (formerly Ramathaim Zophim) was the village of Samuel, situated on a hill overlooking Jerusalem. The Greek is “Joseph of Arimathea.” Luke tells us that he was a member of the Sanhedrin. See Luke 23:50–51. It is possible that Joseph may have lost a son the age of Jesus when Herod killed the infants. 58approached Pilate and asked if he could take custody of the body of Jesus. So Pilate consented and ordered that the body be given to him. 59Then Joseph wrapped the body in a shroud of fine linen and placed it in his own unused tomb, which had only recently been cut into the rock. 60They rolled a large stone to seal the entrance of the tomb and left.
61Sitting across from the tomb were Mary Magdalene and the other Marys, # 27:61 As translated from the Hebrew Matthew. See v. 56 and 28:1. watching all that took place.
62The next day, the day after Preparation Day for Passover, the chief priests and the Pharisees went together to Pilate. 63They said to him, “Our master, we remember that this imposter claimed that he would rise from the dead after three days. 64So please, order the tomb to be sealed until after the third day. Seal it so that his disciples can’t come and steal the corpse and tell people he rose from the dead. Then the last deception would be worse than the first!”
65“I will send soldiers to guard the tomb,” Pilate replied. “Go with them and make the tomb as secure as possible.” 66So they left and sealed the stone, # 27:66 This official seal, if broken, would bring the death penalty to the offender. and Pilate’s soldiers secured the tomb.