Verses 1-2 The invalid decision to kill Jesus, in the morning is now being transferred into a legally valid decision. A decision by all the chief priests and elders of the people. Why Matthieu left out the scribes, we do not know, Luke 22:66 mentioned the scribes though. The scribes are no longer present, because the Scriptural proof was proven that Jesus had committed blasphemy?
In 6 B.C., a Roman Governor was appointed in Judea, limiting the operational area of the Sanhedrin, the highest Jewish authority that the secular (including pronouncing the death penalty) and spiritual matters. The Executive, including the sentencing to and execution of the death penalty, came in the hands of the Roman governor or procurator (John 18:31), who lived in Caesarea and not in Jerusalem. The Sanhedrin settled the local affairs, while the highest law authority remained in the hands of the governor in accordance with the then prevailing Roman practices. Pontius Pilate was procurator of A.C. 26-36 (his official title) of Judea. Flavius Josephus used the title of governor, mainly indicating as military commander. Because of the large amounts of Jews in Judea and outside of Judea (and possible rebellion and riot) Pilate was in Jerusalem. Possible in the Antonia fortress to the North of the temple square or in the Palace of Herod in the northeast of Jerusalem (the latter is unlikely given Luke 23:7).
The decision by the Sanhedrin to kill Jesus, they were unable to perform. Therefore, Jesus is bound and transferred to Pilate, in order that the governor can confirm and perform the judgment.
Verses 3-4 The denial by Peter, led to his remorse and repentance. The betrayal by Judas leads to his death. When the repentance of Judas occurred, is not mentioned, after the nightly conviction or after leading Jesus to Pilate? In each case, he returns to the chief priests and elders (still in meeting?). He spoke in front of all: I HAVE SINNED and I have betrayed innocent blood. How will the attendees have laughed at him. They had reached their goal and had no message and business with Judas. Its ruling of having betrayed an innocent man, is too late, the decision had taken to kill Jesus, Judas cannot change anything. Judas is guilty, because every human being is individual responsible for his actions. Despite the fact that the prophecies are fulfilled and despite that satan entered in Judas. The character of Judas (thief, dishonesty, greed) has led to this Act. For the Jewish conscience, repent was inextricably linked to the obligation to correct the wrongly acquired, to give back. Luke 19:8-9 is a clear example of this: the unbeliever who comes to faith, repents and compensated the stolen goods to the rightful owner.
The shedding of innocent blood is a very serious wrongdoing in the O.T. The process should be reopened, because otherwise not only the traitor is guilty, but also the judges who have judged the condemnation. But the judges do not respect their own laws and answered with: What is that to us? Those who are pretending to respect and maintain the laws of Moses, are the ones who inactive the law.
Lesson: How dangerous is it when minorities, want to impose their will on the majority. The minority who want to change laws and regrettably succeed to enrol their will into laws (which go against God's commandments and the statutes), so that the majority has to obey. Think thereby of allowing sex with children and animals, sentecing to prison of people who warning against homosexuality, no longer a difference between boys and girls. The population should be vigilant and without tolerance, protest against these laws which the Government wish to accept, buying no more products from companies which promote these.
Verse 5 Now the Chief priests and elders do not wish to take back the blood money, Judas has a problem, he should return it in one way or another. The chief priests and elders are gathered in the Court of the Gentiles or in the Palace of Caiaphas. So Judas goes to the temple (where the sacrifices took place) and throws the money into the temple. What we have to imagine by this, we do not know. Were the thirty pieces of silver in a bag whereby the cord was not attracted? He swung the bag to the temple building and the pieces of silver rolled out of the bag into the temple (the Holy)? In any case, a pollution of the temple by the blood money. Thereby Zach. 11:11 and 13 are fulfilled.
What a sad ending, Judas went away and hanged himself. How this is compatible with Acts 1:18 that his intestines came out, we do not know. One possibility is that the string broke and he scattered off a cliff?
Let this be a lesson for the believer. God desires to forgive and asks for remorse and repentance. He does not ask for our death and our condemnation to the Lake of Fire, but to come to faith in Jesus Christ for the remission of sin. And if possible to undo our faulty acts (Luke 19:8). How heavy our sins are, with God forgiveness is possible for him or her who acknowledges guilt and sin. In Jesus Christ, forgiveness is possible.
Verse 6 The serving priests in the temple see what is happening. To their horror they see rolling the blood money in the temple. This serving priests in the temple were aware of what happened in the night and the decisions of the chief priests (Luke 1:23)? They informed the chief priests, who now have a problem. The money cannot be put in the treasury, because as to their own words it is blood money (which is money as a reward obtained for murder) that neither the hire of a harlot should be brought into the temple (Deut. 23:18), thereby confessing that they knowingly committed murder.
Verses 7-8 They decide to buy a field for the cemetery of foreigners, for pagan visitors to Jerusalem: money for an unclean place for unclean people. Was this field a place where clay was won for the potter and now no more clay was present and so a useless piece of field which could be purchased for a low price? In the future, the field (Acts 1:19) would be called blood field, which until today is still present in the Valley of Hinnom, South Jerusalem.
Verses 9-10 Fulfilled are the prophecies in Jeremiah 18 and 19, and Zechariah 11. Matthieu does not used literally the texts, but clearly are the estimated value of thirty pieces of silver and the sale of the land of the potter are fulfilled here.
Verse 11-14 Jesus is brought to Pilate the governor, not with the accusation of the Chief priests of blasphemy, but with the accusation of riot: King of the Jews. Pilate was not sympathetic to the Jews. To him is brought a man who claims to be the King of the Jews. For him politically, that had a totally different meaning than for the Jews. The extent to which Pilate was familiar with Judaism about the Messiah, we do not know. On one hand, Pilate wish do justice and do not wish to condemn an innocent man, but his own position as governor he finds more important and is thus willing to sacrifice Jesus.
With Jesus' answer: "You have said so" (John 18:37 You say that I am a king) does not help Pilate, because it is not a confession. Pilate is surprised, for him, in front of him stands a person at who many accusations are brought, and Jesus is not defending Himself and remains silent. What should he do with this person? Obviously Jesus is above the situation. He has the situation under His control and is not afraid. He knows that Pilate has no power. John 18:36 My kingship is not from the world. Jesus knows that He is going to be crucified.
How is it with us as believer, we are going into defence against the many (false) accusations that the unbelievers inserts to us, or we remain quiet and give the Holy Spirit the chance to our defence and sometimes totally do not respond to the false accusations and we remain silent? Paul allowed his scourging and after the scourging, he appealed that he was Roman (Acts 16:22-23, 36-37).
Pilate allows himself not to be put off by the chief priests. For him stands the King of the Jews which remains silent. The King of the Jews can endanger his position, rebellion and riot, in order to liberate the Jews from the Roman yoke. But he is aware that the accusation should be false, because the Jewish people want to crucify their own King. A strange thing. According to the chief priest, a freedom fighter who is to accused of riots, while in front of him is a silent and peaceful person. A huge contradiction, from which Pilate concludes that the matters do not match. Pilate is shy with the case and wants to get rig off the case and sends Jesus to Herod (Luke 23:8-12). But Herod gives the case back to Pilate.
Verses 15-18 It was the custom of the governor to free someone at the choice of the people. If this custom was common, we do not know, if this only occurred at Passover or more often. In any case, it had already happened before and the governor used it to please to the Jewish people. With that it reduced the hate against the Roman occupiers and could reduce the tensions with the so many Jews from around during the Passover. Today this habit to grant amnesty, sometimes we it also occurring by the president of a country.
Barabbas was a freedom fighter, who was in prison because of murder (Luke 23:19), and waiting for his trial. Pilate is aware (knew=èidei) that Jesus has been handed down from envy (=dia phthonon) (verse 18). Pilate is aware that in front of him is an innocent man, who he cannot condemn. But he is afraid of riot and he tries to get Jesus free by proposing to grant amnesty to a notorious killer. In the hope that the people who not choose for release of this killer. Unfortunately for Pilate, his plan failed. Pilate had resorted to let the people made a choice. Pilate had his authority and as governor he should exercise clearly and ready have said, I find no fault in him and released Jesus, that was the perfectly responsible of Pilate.
How is it with us as believer, we take our resort to list or we Sermon the word of God accurately and truthfully?
Verse 19 While Pilate was sitting on the judgment seat waiting to hear the decision of the people, comes the message of his wife: In a dream I have suffered this righteous man. That women of influential directors have much impact on their man, is not an unknown phenomenon.
According to apocryphal story, Pilate would have told to the Jews and have said to them: You know that my wife is God-fearing and complies with the Jewish faith, and lives in union with you. And the people answered with: Yes, we know that. After this answer he would have told his wife's message. And then the people answered: It is a demonic dream which Jesus as evil wizard has sent to her. In this way, this woman would be at the side of the devil. What an accusation! For Pilate, it must have been clear that the people wanted to get rid of Jesus at any price.
If this apocryphal story is true or not, for Pilate it should have been a huge warning. A dream inspired by God through Divine revelation, this man is just, so totally innocent. Best man, do not listen to this, you are governor, do not get in with innocent blood shedding, order a righteous judgment.
Lesson for those who have to judge people (judges, lawyers, etc.) do they think of their own particular interests and own benefit, or they stand up for the innocent and help the innocent?
Verse 20 They are the chief priests and elders who persuaded the people. What a responsibility of religious people, who claim to worship and serve God. Now how do we not see this back at political leaders, who deceive the people for their own welfare with falsities and private (hidden) goals. The purpose of the Jewish leaders was the death of Jesus. The population is completely blinded. In front of them, stands their future King Jesus, the Liberator of sin and satan, the Forgiver of sins, the Healer of diseases and demons. They are blind and ask for His death, stirred up by their (blind) leaders.
Verse 21 The people replied: Barabbas. It should have been easy task for the chief priests and elders to persuade the multitudes. Barabbas was the freedom fighter who rebelled against Roman rule and yoke. He wanted to liberate Judea and this Jesus spoke only about sin and repentance. In the eyes of the people he did not fulfil his messianic task of liberation of the Romans.
Verse 22 Pilate has put the decision in the hands of the Jewish people and with their answer, now he is in trouble. Now with the question to the people: what should I do with Jesus? According to John 19:6 were the chief priests and their servants who shouted first: Crucify him. John 19:6-12 gives a more extensive report. According to the people, Jesus had said that He is the son of God. Pilate became even more afraid. He is going to crucify the Son of God? Vengeance of the gods soon will be places upon him. Pilate responded correctly to Jesus that he had the power to let Him loose.
The Chief priests are responsible for organizing these people's anger, but that does not relieve the people of their participation and complicity. Lesson: Beware of leaders of minority groups, they have only their own goals and their own interests. Take care of that one is not misled and go against God's laws. Believers should be vigilant and investigate the true goals, in order not to be accomplices and be guilty before God.
Pilate is responsible for the death of Jesus
Verses 23-25 Pilate is a coward, he is JUDGE. He is COMPLETELY as Roman (pagan) authority and governor responsible. However, he fears more for a rebellion and to be put out of his power by the Emperor in Rome. He takes his refuge in washing his hands from the case, which was very well known for the Jews, see Deut. 21:6-7. Clear to the chief priests, elders and the people is that Pilate declared Jesus innocent: I am innocent of his blood, but you see what comes of it. That is a falsehood. If anyone knows someone plants a murder, and you do not stop this person or person does not warn the person to be killed, then one is complicit and responsible. The main culprit to death is the pagan, the judge and authority governor Pilate who allows that Jesus is crucified. Therefore, we cannot say that the Jewish people as a whole (a minority of the population was present for Pilate) is guilty of the death of Jesus and their pronunciation: his blood be on us and our children, applies to the Chief priests, elders and the people that where present there and not as a total of the Jewish Covenant people. The pagan Pilate is main responsible!
"Christians" who by this proclamation argue that the crucifixion of Jesus, thus the Jewish people has declared the wrath of God upon themselves, overlook the responsibility of the pagan Pilate. But more importantly, it was God and Jesus Himself, Who gave power to the crucifixion of Jesus.The Christian must understand that without the crucifixion, there is no forgiveness of sin possible.
The crucifixion of Jesus was a bitter necessity for the forgiveness of sin.
Every Christian should have awareness of sin and realize that he/she has condemned Jesus to the death of Him on the cross. By your sins, you have condemned Jesus to the crucifixion. Jesus is He Who has taken away your punishment on sin, providing you believe in Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour.
Scourging of Jesus
Verse 26 Pilate gives in and let Barabbas free. The scourging was a Roman use which preceded the crucifixion. The Roman scourge consisted of a short wooden stick to which different belts were attached. Each leather belt had pieces of lead or copper with a sharp point. The victim had to bent. Usually one soldier stood a on the right side and the other on the left side of the victim, so that the blows penetrated deep into the meat, often the veins broken. The captain counted the number of strokes and gave the order to the stroke. A few times the victim already died under this scourging, therefore the limitation was a maximum of 40 strokes.
Verses 27-30 What is meant with the praetorium, is not clear. In any case, this building was designated to a whole battalion (500-600 soldiers). The soldiers started with a horrible mockery. They draw his own clothing and gave him a scarlet (dark red to purple colour) robe and a crown. Jesus Who would be the King of the Jews (such as the indictment in verse 11 had sounded), is humiliated in a horrible way and giving a royal robe with a crown of thorns. The red cloak that the Roman soldiers wore, is used here as quase royal robe. A wreath of acanthus leaves, a spiky plant that grew a lot in Judea, is fought. How tough it must have been for Jesus not to show His power, but undergoing this mockery calmly. Jesus could have called a legion of angels to punish these soldiers, but he continued to persist in the will of His Father. Mocking worshipping and falling one by one on the knees, speaking: thou King of the Jews. In other words where is your power, where are your soldiers, we are the ones who have power over you. At the same time, each soldier spat Him in the face and beat with the cane the thorns deeper into the flesh of Jesus' head. The blood had to flown over his head and into his eyes. The Roman soldiers, who often fell in ambushes of Jewish freedom fighters, take their opportunity to cool all their anger, hatred and aggression on the Jew, the King of the Jews, Jesus.
What the soldiers unwittingly did, was hugely significant. The crown of thorns symbolizes lively the curse of sin that was placed on Jesus' head. This refers back to Genesis 3:18 (SIN has brought into the world, the curse of thorns and thistles) and reminds us why Jesus went to the cross, to the penalty on sin as our Substitute!
Verse 31 After this cruel game, Jesus is led away to be crucified. John 19:4-16 gives an interlude between the game of the soldiers and the crucifixion. Pilate was not present at this taunt by the soldiers, so that he could make an end to it? John told that Jesus is brought to Pilate again and mocked and bloodied Jesus appeared again to the chief priests and the officers. Pilate scares when the people calls: he must die because he has made himself the Son of God. Pilate spoke to Jesus.
We can remember the words of Jesus, Who spoke about His traitor Judas: woe to the man who betrays Me? We can draw to this to Pilate, who had all the power not to crucify Jesus? And Woe unto the Chief priests!
But Pilate is a coward, after the crowd calls: If you release this man, you are not Caesar's friend. Pilate has a huge fear for the Emperor, who can punish and kill him. But his fear should have been much bigger for God who will punish him and kill.
The crucifixion of Jesus
Verse 32 Possible the Roman soldiers were afraid that Jesus by exhaustion would not be able to carry the cross to Golgotha. Then they would not be able to perform the judgment of crucifixion. Possible for this the reason, that is why they sought someone to carry the cross. Their eye fell on Simon. How heavy the crossbar was, is unknown.
Verses 33-36 Golgotha (Hebrew) was possibly a rock in the shape of a skull. However, the right place is controversial. According to Jewish use, Jesus was given wine mixed with gall to stun. Jesus wished not to drink, possible to completely to do the will of his father and to undergo the full suffering on the cross in full consciousness.
(source: Wikipedia) Nowadays it is assumed that the taping of the limbs with a rope was the most commonly used method: riveting would be reserved for the most serious cases. At crucifixion, there were several possible causes of death: usually the victim eventually died by choking, because the full body weight hangs on the arms and they are straight up, it becomes increasingly difficult to breathe. Perhaps also a victim could die from cardiac arrest, a physical shock or dehydration. The blood lost by riveting is minor. It was started with a good whacking to weaken the muscles. The victim got tied the cross beam of the cross onto the shoulders and had to walk to the execution place. After arriving at the execution place, the cross bar was placed on the stand. Over time, by the weight, the body slumped still further forward and down. This made the breathing very difficult, and moisture hoped up in the lungs. The victim prevented choking by pushing up with his legs. However, this took a lot of power and was particularly painful, making it over time less and less successful. When the pushing up, no longer worked, the victim suffocated. Depending on the condition of the victim, the method in which the victim was crucified and external factors, the death occurred within hours but sometimes taking a few days.
According to Jewish law (Deuteronomy 21:23) a victim was not allowed to hang overnight. The two criminals who were crucified according to the New Testament together with Jesus, were killed at the end of the day by breaking their legs so that they could no longer push up and suffocated (Jesus Himself was already dead).
If a victim was not tied with rope to the cross, he was affixed with nails on the cross. These nails could have been 13 to 18 centimetres in length and a square centimetre wide. Contrary to popular thought (and also is pictured on many paintings and crucifixes), these nails were not put through the palm of the hand, but through the wrist. Tests on corpses showed several centuries ago, that someone would tear off the cross if the nails would have been beaten through the palm. Later research by National Geographic Channel on the other hand, seems to show that it is possible that the pierced feet carries so much body weight, that the palms without risk of schism and the victim thus suffered as much as possible pain. The nails, if through the wrist, were passed along the nerves, making pulling up very painful because the nails chafed right along the nerves (end source).
Jesus' clothes are distributed in accordance with Psalm 22. This means that Jesus was crucified without clothes, according to the then valid custom. The pole was placed straight into the ground, to which the crossbar was attached. Hanging on a tree, was according to Deut. 21:22-23 for a God-damned and his body was not allowed to hang during the night. When the Crucifixion was not shortened, the death could take many hours, sometimes days. Remember in addition to the physical efforts of suffering also the blazing sun, to which the hanged man was exposed. According to Mark 15:25 the crucifixion began on the third hour, which is nine hours in the morning, and Jesus gave his life on the sixth hour (Mark 15:33), which is at twelve o'clock in the afternoon.
A guard of soldiers guarding Jesus to prevent his friends or supporters would pick Him from the cross.
Verse 37 According to Roman usage, the reason of the crucifixion was written on a white plate. John 19:19-22 it is Pilate who let write in Hebrew, in Latin, and in Greek the text: Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews.
Verse 38 Isaiah 53:12 comes true: He was numbered with the transgressors (criminals). Possible first Jesus was crucified and then the robbers with the King of the Jews as a setting with the captain in the middle, a gruesome mockery. Two robbers (lèistès), possibly being two freedom fighters.
Verses 39-43 The bystanders (many from inside and outside Judea) mock Jesus together with the members of the Sanhedrin. What a great temptation for Jesus not to respond to their taunts. A great temptation during three hours (Mark 15:25 it was the third hour that Jesus crucified until sixth hour (Mt 27:45). The first Adam failed and ate of the forbidden fruit, the second Adam, the Lord Jesus, resists all temptations and taunts, hung on a cross. But as well as the temptations in and after the desert (Mt. 4:1-11), Jesus does not give in to his enemies. Jesus resists the human temptations and the ones of satan. Satan would have done his utmost to get Jesus from the cross, so that Jesus would be disobedient to His Father and the command of His Father. Possible Satan knew that with the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, came an end to his dominion over the earth (Mt. 4:8-9).
Jesus' words are played out against Him by the Sanhedrin: He saved others, let Him save Himself now. What a temptation to not get off the cross or call for a legion of angels. Jesus remains obedient. He does not tempt the Lord, your God (Mt. 4:7).
The Sanhedrin challenges Jesus to prove to be Messiah and to prove that He is God's Son. Because then they will believe in Him. If He is the son of God, let God deliver Him then, because otherwise it is clearly proven that He is lying and God has no pleasure in Him.
The mockery of the bystanders can be a result of their disappointment as the Messiah that they previously had brought into Jerusalem on the foal.
Verse 44 Here Matthieu is short. The third mockery, this time by the robbers. If this is indeed were freedom fighters, then their spot is logical. They fought for the liberation of Judea, their spot was that the captain was hung in the middle, He was not in a position to do what is expected of Him, free them from the Roman yoke.
It is good to go to Luke 23:39-43, which gives a more extensive report. In verse 41 one criminal recognizes, we correctly receive for what we have done. While the other mocked with Jesus: Are you not the Christ? This one does not like to know of any admission of guilt. Contrary one confesses debt. So it is today with people. One person recognizes to be a sinner and accept Jesus Christ as Saviour. The other wishes through good works and a good life, to know of no acknowledgement and rejects Jesus Christ.
Verse 42 shows the faith of the criminal who recognizes debt. What a faith, he believes in life after death: remember me when you come into your Kingdom. He knows that Jesus and he are going to die, but believes that this is not an obstacle and that Jesus' Kingdom WILL COME in spite of everything.
The following is a very important statement of Jesus in verse 43: Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise. That means that after the death of Jesus and this debt acknowledging criminal, they both enter paradise. After the death on the cross, Jesus went for three days to paradise and NOT to Heaven. The return to Heaven, follows in Luke 24:48-51. The paradise where the dead people in Jesus Christ stays until the first Coming of Christ. Why Jesus has gone to paradise, the Bible does not inform. To present to the believing Jews (Lazarus and the rich) that He, Jesus, has completed His work. Has He Sermoned the Gospel? It is clear that He not went to hell to Sermon there salvation and to repent. Once without repentance, there is no repentance possible after death, as with the rich. In hell, for the dead wait on God's final penalty at the second death (Revelation 20:11-15).
Verse 45 Starting from the sixth hour, that is twelve hours in the afternoon, until the ninth hour, that is three hours in the afternoon, there comes a darkness over all the land (the world?). When the Sun is at its highest point, Israel is just about at the equator, it is completely dark for three hours. Some claim that this was Eclipse, however this could not be the case, because the Passover was celebrated in the time of a full moon and solar eclipse then is impossible. Amos 8:9 says: And on that day," says the Lord GOD, "I will make the sun go down at noon, and darken the earth in broad daylight" an apocalyptic sign, which will be repeated in the future. It is clear that this is an event is by God's hand, see verse 54. Despite this, the Sanhedrin and the multitudes do not recognize that one has to do with the Son of God. Despite all the signs.
Verse 46 Jesus undergoes God's wrath on the sin of man, during these three hours (sixth hour until the ninth hour)? And calls (aneboèsen) in the direction of God with a loud voice: my God, my God, why have you forsaken me? These are the words of Psalm 22:2. On the "why" there comes no answer. Here, Jesus makes the psalm to His words that speak about the hidden God. God who never would let down His people, and yes put to the test, now it seems to abandon His own Son. God remains silent in all languages and allows His own Son to be put to the test.
How often does the believer not pass through a deep valley of darkness and does not experience the presence of God. Yet the Father and Jesus are present in the ordeal and difficulties and watches over us.
Verses 47-49 Jesus has spoken words that sounded as if He called Elijah, who the Jews expect to come before the Messiah, verse 49.
The sour wine was a cheap wine, which by farmers and soldiers was drunken and in the warm climate worked refreshing and thirst-quenching. It could have been out of pity that the sponge with sour wine was presented to Jesus.
The mockery from the verses 40-42 "He can not save Himself", turns here in let us see if Elijah comes to rescue Him. Elia would come first and then the Messiah. However Elijah is not coming.
Jesus yields His spirit. Jesus has completed His work (It is finished)
Verse 50 This is a very important verse, where one often overlooks: JESUS YIELDED HIS SPIRIT. Jesus takes his life into His own hands and yields His spirit, he dies. He is Lord and master over death and life. Not the crucifixion kills Him, but Jesus gives his life for the sinful man. Luke 23:46 Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit! John 19:30 it IS finished! And he bowed the head and gave up His spirit. As Jesus had said in John 10:18 I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again; this charge I have received from my Father. Here on the cross Jesus fulfils these words: He gives His life and takes it back after three days.
Satan has lost, Jesus has completed His work on earth, dying for the sin of man.
- The work of Jesus on earth. He has proclaimed the Kingdom of Heaven: Show repentance of your sin, acknowledge that you are a sinner, and believe in Me as your Saviour of sin.
- Jesus has NOT given in to any temptations of Satan. Adam had fallen prey to satan and had eaten the forbidden fruit. Through him, sin had come into the world. Jesus was exposed to several temptations of satan and had not given in to any temptation.
- The greatest test was on the last day: Showing to the Jewish and Roman people that He is the King of the Jews. And thereby NOT dying for the sin of men. He resisted to the Jewish leaders and to the Cross despite all the challenges, He did not call in the help of the angels
- At the cross, Jesus took upon Himself the sins of man and the wrath of God the Father over the sins of man
- Jesus had accomplished this all to the end. The commissioned work of the Father to the Son was accomplished. And with that, Jesus could lay down His Life and give the Spirit. Death was the last judgment upon sin. Voluntary Jesus laid down His Life. And with this, all was completed.
Verse 51 It is finished, the death of Adam and Eve, by eating of the forbidden fruit, has ended: the separation between God and man, whereby the spirit, with which he could communicate with God, was taken away (the death). The curtain of the Holy of Holies which the high priest was allowed to pass only once per year, torn from top to bottom in two pieces. Not a man who stood at the bottom and torn it. No, by the finished work of Jesus, God Himself torn the curtain in the temple: by the new eternal High Priest the road was open for EVER to God, the Father. Never more a no access, but now an eternal access. The spirit of man could return and communicate through the Holy Spirit with God. The death of Adam and Eve, was restored and the spirit could returned by the finished work of Jesus Christ, for a each who believes in Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour.
The on-duty priests in the Holy must have seen to the tearing of the curtain and reported it to the Sanhedrin. Nevertheless, they persist themselves and do not come to repentance and acknowledgement. What a lesson for the man, who persists in his/her sin and unbelief.
Verses 51-54 The earth shook and the rocks splitted. How all this must have been impressive, first the extraordinary darkness for three hours at the afternoon followed by the earthquake. Surely this can only be of God! Nevertheless, the people and the Sanhedrin not to repent and consciousness.
In the rocks, the graves were carved and the access covered by a stone. By the earthquake, these stones could have rolled away and God could rise the dead ones (saints: faithful Jews of the Old Testament?) out of their tombs. What happened later with them, the Bible does not mentioned. The resurrected ones appear in the Holy City, Jerusalem. A further proof of God's actions and that Jesus is the Son of God, such as the headman recognises in verse 54. Why he is very afraid and recognized as Gentile, a Roman Chief and his soldiers (those who were with him) the deeds of God and recognized Jesus as Son of God, while Gods own people persists in denying? Lesson: The world sees the deeds of God, the power of God in natural disasters (caused by the poor management over the earth by environmental pollution), see the evidence from archaeological discoveries, scientific evidence, however, man denies the existence of God and does not wish to know that one is a sinner.
Verses 55-56 Specifically now called that the women from Galilee, which followed Jesus, looking on from afar. Some are called by names. Why from afar, they were afraid of the members of the Sanhedrin or for the Roman soldiers? In any case, they were present and saw the suffering of their Lord. Where were the eleven disciples? Only John 19:26 mentioned the disciple whom loved Jesus, standing at the cross.
Three days and three nights in the grave
Verses 57, 62 Jesus died on the day of Preparation (Mark 15:42), which is the pre-Sabbath. On the basis of Deuteronomy 21:23 that same day, the body of Jesus (and the criminals) had to buried.
But we see in Lev. 23 something important. The law does not know only the weekly Sabbath, the seventh day as a day of rest (Lev. 23:3), but the law still has a number of Sabbaths, associated with the feasts of the Lord, or as Lev. 23:4 calls them: "the appointed feasts of the Lord". The day of the Passover is no fixed day, it is a fixed date, namely, the 14th of the month of Nisan. This means that the Passover can fall on a different day every year. After the Passover begins on the 15th of Nisan the feast of unleavened bread. This Festival lasts for seven days, the first day is a Sabbath according to verse 7: "On the first day you shall have a holy convocation; you shall do no laborious work". The same applies to the seventh day (Lev. 23:8). That this days of rest are Sabbaths too, it turns out, among others, of what is written about the day of Atonement (Lev. 23:27). Also this celebration is on a fixed date, on the tenth day of this seventh month is the day of atonement, and therefore falls each year on another day, but the day of Atonement, which put a "time of the Lord", Lev. 23:32 quite clearly "a Sabbath of solemn rest". When speaking for a feast during a week-long, such as the Passover and the feast of unleavened bread, then it may be that within one week there are multiple days of rest, more than one Sabbath. This is very important to stick to. We have now seen that in a week-long series, as the feast of unleavened bread, can appear in multiple Sabbaths! The Sabbath, which came, after the crucifixion of the Lord Jesus, was the high day Sabbath of the 15th Nisan, of the feast of Unleavened Bread! Why was that these Sabbath? Because the Lord Jesus the night before the crucifixion celebrated together with his disciples the Passover. In Mat. 26:17 we read: "Now on the first day of Unleavened Bread, the disciples came to Jesus, saying, "Where will you have us prepare for you to eat the Passover?"". And then we read in verse 20: "When it was evening, he sat at table with the twelve disciples". The fact that the Lord Jesus celebrated on that evening of the day the Passover, means that at that time the 14th of Nisan, the Jewish Passover of the law, had arrived! The last supper was held this evening, that same evening He was taken prisoner (Mat. 26:21–75), and led Him the next morning to Pilate (Mat. 27:1-2). From there, the Lord Jesus was crucified (Mat. 27:33–56). The burial of the Lord Jesus is described in Mat. 27:57-61, John 19:31–42 gives the extra information, that Jesus had to be buried, for that Sabbath was a high day Sabbath. In verse 31: "the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away", so that the bodies would not remain on the cross on the Sabbath day. And after the funeral in verse 42: "So because of the Jewish day of Preparation, as the tomb was close at hand, they laid Jesus there". Jesus Christ was laid in the tomb still that same day, for the evening, before the Sabbath began. All this has played during the day, the day after the evening meal. It is still the same Jewish day according to God's law: the 14th of Nisan. In Mark 16:1, we read the following: "And when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, so that they might go and anoint Him". In Jesus' time, the dead were anointed, and there were spices in the tomb. The body was not buried, and in this way, the strong air of corruption was counteracted. Since just before the Sabbath Jesus' body was buried, the women could not buy spices. This they did after the Sabbath!
When we now look at Luke 23:55–56, then something stands out: "The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed, and saw the tomb, and how His body was laid; then they returned, and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment". Here is written so that they prepared spices before the Sabbath and then rested! We are dealing with two Sabbaths. One weekly Sabbath, and one annual high day Sabbath! When we merge Mark 16 and Luke 23, we have to come to the conclusion that the women were interested in the spices after the high day Sabbath (what Mark says), they prepared, and then they rested on the weekly Sabbath (which Lucas says). The two Sabbaths are so separated by one working day! And after that weekly Sabbath they discovered that the tomb was open (Luke 24:2). What we now know, is that on the first day of the week (Sunday) the tomb is empty. The day before, it was Sabbath. The day before (Friday) was a working day, on which the spices were bought and prepared. The Thursday before that it was the high day Sabbath. And the day before (Wednesday!!!) was Jesus crucified and buried! The last supper was held on a Tuesday night! And now we also see that God's Word is true to the letter, because now there are three days and three nights, that the Lord Jesus was in the tomb and in the heart of the earth!
God's Word is correct: three days and three nights!
Wednesday night night=1. Thursday=day 1.
Thursday night=night 2. Friday=day 2.
Friday night=night 3. Saturday=day 3. (end source)
Verses 57-61 A disciple of Jesus, a rich man from Arimathea, Mark 15:43 a respected member of the Council, and Luke 23:50-51 who had not consented to their purpose and deed of death of Jesus, goes to Pilate to ask for permission to bury the body of Jesus.
Marcus 15:44-45 the centurion confirmed that Jesus had died. John 19:33-34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and at once there came out blood and water.
(source http://www.ontdekislam.nl)The Romans had a lot of experience in killing and crucifying people. If they so stated that Jesus was dead, then there is no reason to doubt.
Below a medical report of the crucifixion:
The physical and mental sufferings of Jesus Christ began at Gethsemane. This begins with the blood sweating; He had it extremely difficult; He looked terribly against upto undergo such an ordeal. He prayed all night and sweat drops of blood dropped unto the ground. The blood sweating is a medically proven fact and is also called the phenomenon hematidrose. It almost never happens, only in very extreme emotional stress. Thereby the smallest blood vessels burst in the sweat glands. The sweat and blood are mixed and this creates great weakness and a shock.
After Jesus was betrayed and sentenced, followed the scourging. He was tied with his hands above his head to a pole and was struck with a flagrum. This is a short whip with a number of leather stripes where a few lead balls were attached and combined with glass. The heavy stripes open after a few strokes all the epidermis. Then flogs are slain into the subcutaneous connective tissue. Finally, also the muscles and arteries are hit causing the skin going to violently bleeding.
After dozens of strokes, the damage is no longer to overlook and there is a large bloody mass. Only when the centurion, in charge, thinks that the prisoner is near death, the scourging stops. After the scourging, Jesus was unconscious. When He recovered the soldiers continued by giving Him a mantle and a crown of thorns on His head. He was seriously wounded by this crown of thorns. This led to profuse bleeding. The soldiers beat Him on his head so that the thorns even went further in His scalp. Finally, they have enough of their cruel game and teared the mantle of His back. This was baked to the blood clots in the wound fluid (medical report). The rough removal rips the inner part open and causes intense pain that is similar to the prior scourging.
On the journey to Golgotha, Jesus had to bear the top bar of His cross. This weighed about 50 kilos. Because Jesus was very weak, had a shock and a lot of blood loss, He stumbled and the bar of fifty kilos pressed the torn muscles and skin from the shoulders. He could not get up because his limbs no longer functioned well. Therefore, the centurion took out from the watching crowd a sturdily built North-African (Simon of Cyrene) to wear the bar for Jesus.
Arrived at the cross, Jesus was stripped of his clothing. He was thrown with His shoulders against the lying cross causing it to shatter. A legionnaire hit a square wrought iron nail between the carpal bones in the wrist of Jesus' hands.
The left foot is pressed against the right foot to backwards, both feet extended. A nail is struck by both feet at the height of the arch, with both knees in a slight bended position. The victim is now crucified. He slowly drops down with more weight onto the nails in the wrists. This gives a fierce, intense pain by the fingers and the arms upto in the head. The nails in the wrists pressing on the nerves in the arm. To avoid this pain by stretching he presses Himself up thereby putting his full weight on the nail in His feet. This displays intense pain because the nail damage the nerves between the metatarsal bones (written by Dr. Pierre Barbet, French surgeon who has done a profound, historical, and experimental medical research for the medical approach to the passion of Jesus Christ).
Over time Jesus' arms were tired and his muscles started cramping. This gave a deep throbbing pain. Exhaling was almost impossible. During the last hours there is talking of inhuman pain, severe muscle cramps, partial suffocation, pain shoots through the broken back and then followed the death struggle. There is a deep chest pain, feeling like he is crushed, the membrane around the heart (the pericardium) that slowly fills up with fluid exceeding from the tissues and the heart is pressed together (Dr. Pierre Barbet).
The loss of fluid from the tissues accelerate very quickly. The heart was in a really bad state because it was compressed, tried with all force to pump still the little viscous blood through the body. Lots of tissues dried out terrible and sent stimuli to the brain. This also explains for the fact that Jesus said, 'I thirst'. The lungs still received just a little bit of air. His body was almost died when He said: "It is finished".
After this, Jesus died. The soldier wanted to make sure that Jesus was dead and he pierced with his spear through the space between the fifth and sixth rib by the pericardium of the heart. At once there came out blood and water. This indicated that He really was dead.
From this prior medical report on the agony of Jesus Christ, is very clear that the medically it is absolutely impossible to survive an ordeal like this.
The soldiers break the bones of the criminals so that they die, however when the soldier comes to Jesus and sees that Jesus has already died and he does not break the bones of Jesus, with which the Scripture is fulfilled that not a bone of Him will be shattered, Psalm 34:21.
To Pilate is confirmed by the captain that Jesus is indeed dead, Pilate gave permission to give Jesus' body to Joseph and be buried. It is a new grave and as usual, carved into the rock. A large stone was placed in front of the tomb. Under the supervision of Joseph, everything is carried out and convinces the good order of business, this faithful disciple, after administering the latest benefit to his master. John 19:39 also mentioned that Nicodemus was present with myrrh and Aloe, worth about a hundred pounds. John 19:41 mentioned that "Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden, and in the garden a new tomb where no one had ever been laid". Two Maria's have watched everything and continued to sit by the tomb.
Verse 62-66 The next day, after the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees went to Pilate. How well have they listened to Jesus' words after three days I will rise again (and how bad have Jesus' own disciples believe in Jesus' words). They are afraid that the seducer Jesus, his disciples would come to steal His body and going proclaiming that Jesus rose from the dead. Which deception of the nation would be even worse.
Pilate authorizes to seal the tomb and for all a security, a guard is posted at Jesus' tomb to guard day and night. The guard with the chief priests and Pharisees go together to the tomb to seal.
Verse 1 The beginning of Mat. 2:22 starts with Joseph go to Galilee and closes with the end of Mat. 28:7, 10 go to Galilee there they will see Me.
Now after the Sabbath, that is for the Jews and for us the night from Saturday to Sunday, where Sunday is the first day of the week. The two Maria go toward the dawn to see the grave (John 20:1 while it was still dark). Marcus 16:2 mentions that they went when the sun had risen.
Verses 2-3 A major earthquake happens and an Angel of the Lord descents from Heaven. It is God Who reigns and God Who has achieved the victory on satan. The large tombstone in front of the grave and sealed by the chief priests, is rolled away by the angel. Jesus can get up and come out of the grave, He has conquered death. At Luke 24:2-4, there are two men in shiny robe, so two angels. The appearance of the angel is like a lightning, so a great light, and his clothing white as snow. White which speaks of perfectly cleanness and without sin.
Verse 4-6 The Roman soldiers are frightened by the great earthquake and seeing the Angel, their hearts trembled and became like dead men. Here God appears for them, here they experience God's power and they see the radiant angel as lightning. The living who had to guard a dead, became themselves like dead. And the dead who had to be guarded, raise from the dead. Whether they have seen Jesus when He came out of the grave, the Bible does not mention. How can lightning terrify us human's beings greatly. But that is only a flash of single seconds. Here it is continuous, during (dozens of) minutes? No wonder the soldiers were like dead. The angel speaks reassuringly to the women: do not fear and leads them into the grave to confirm that Jesus Christ is no longer in the tomb and already rose again from the dead. They are the first eyewitnesses of the empty tomb. John 20:6-7 Jesus' body is not stolen by people because the linen cloths and napkin (with which Jesus was buried in) are not lying in the grave. If the body would have been stolen, then could the linen cloths and napkin also would not be present in the grave. Jesus Christ is no longer present in the tomb guarded by soldiers. The man and the chief priests have their human thought, God is above all and rules over life and death. He is the Sovereign.
Verse 7 Just as at the beginning of Matthieu, Joseph received a message by an angel, at the end of Matthieu, the women receive a message by an angel: Jesus is raised from the dead, and you will see Him in Galilee, message this to the disciples.
Verse 8 The women do not remain in the grave in order to convince themselves more. They comply with the command of the angel and go away from the grave to tell the message to the eleven disciples. No respite, with hurry to tell the joyous news.
How are we as a believer? We procrastinate to tell to the unbeliever the good news of the liberation from sin and resurrection from the dead and new eternal life? Unfortunately the world is not willing to listen to our good news and seeks his pleasure rather in the world with rock festivals, sex and drugs, which all leads to eternal death.
Verse 9 The women see Jesus, recognize Him and grabbing His feet and worship Him. Here is clearly not a spirit. They recognize and grab His feet, so Jesus Christ, the risen Lord, with a truly (incorruptible) BODY. This corresponds to 1 Cor. 15:51-54 The believers in Jesus Christ will be changed, the perishable (our body here on earth) will be changed into imperishable (which is a heavenly and immortal (=eternal) body, a body for Heaven. A body without sins, because no sinful body can live in the presence of God, the Father, in Heaven. Jesus did not appear as a spirit, in Heaven the believer will not be a spirit, but with a physical body. The man is spirit, soul and body. Jesus was recognized in His body, so we will recognize our fellow believers in Heaven.
Verse 10 After the Angel had said, do not be afraid, Jesus Christ (Christ=the resurrected from the dead) confirm the women, do not be afraid, I am here, alive and well I stand before you and you have be able to touched MY BODY. Jesus repeats the message of the angel, bring to the disciples, the news of my resurrection and that you have seen Me in person. And tell that they have to go to Galilee, because there I will appear for them.
Verse 11 Some of the guard, seemingly only a few have the guts to tell the happening to the chief priests. Just remember that the soldiers have a very big problem. The soldiers have failed their duty and a heavy punishment awaits them (see Acts 16:27-28 the keeper wants to deprive himself of life), possibly a gruesome death penalty.
Verses 12-15 The chief priests call a meeting. Have they believe the soldiers or dismissed as a ridiculous story? The plan of the Sanhedrin so smartly put together to place a guard at the tomb to avoid lies, now turns with the soldiers as living witnesses. How hard is their unbelief! But now they have a big problem, Jesus they have condemned to death, is raised by God from dead, the Jewish people will have no faith and trust in them. They have lost all their credibility and possible that the people would stone them. The meeting should serve to bring a solution, because the soldiers wait for a heavy penalty. The solution comes by the soldiers to offer a large sum of money and making it in order with Pilate that he will not punish these soldiers. The soldiers have to say that they were sleping and Jesus' disciples have stolen the body. A great lie that comes from the mouth of the spiritual leaders. Strange that the Jews believed this lie. First, soldiers were trained to stay awake and not to sleep. All (12?) guards slept in a very deep sleep, a sleep so deep that they were not awake by the sound of the rolling away stone, which was very heavy and sealed? That should have awaked through the ado. Second, they claim it were Jesus' disciples. How can they know if they were sleeping? If they awake at that time, why does a guard or the guardians did not try to stop them? Third, how is it that the guardians are still in liberty, are still alive, the Jews knew the heavy penalty in case of default (=sleeping) of their service? How can they speak freely, that they fell asleep, without to be punished?
At the time that this Gospel was written, this story was still believe by the Jews, but also today the Jews and many non-believer believe this story of the soldiers. While if one think reasonably about these three points, this story must seem like unbelievable.
Verse 16-17 The disciples comply with the command and leave for Galilee. Which mountain we do not know, undoubtedly for the disciples should have been a well-known mountain, where Jesus often Sermoned. All see Jesus and worship, however, when there is some doubt. Luke 24:36-43 they thought seeing a spirit, upon which Jesus showed His pierced hands and feet with the words see and grab. A spirit does not have flesh and bones as you SEE that I HAVE. And in front of all, Jesus ate the fried fish. John 20:24-27 at the first appearance, Thomas was not present and persisted in his disbelief of what the 10 disciples had told him. Then Jesus also appears to Thomas and let him stick his finger in the side of Jesus.
How hard is often not the disbelief of believers and non-believers. We see with our own eyes the facts, but persist in unbelief.
Verse 18 Jesus' work is completed (It is finished), and thereby came an end to the power of satan and demons, Mat. 4:9. With the finished work and the resurrection from the dead, by God, the Father, all power in Heaven (over all angels, including the fallen angels) and on earth, is given to Jesus. He is Who will judge the living (believers) and the dead (unbelievers). Daniel 7:14 has been carried out and will be fulfilled in the future after the Great Tribulation and after the millennial Kingdom of Jesus.
Verse 19 Go therefore, the command of Jesus to proclaim to the Gospel: the good news of the work of Jesus Christ, the liberation from sin and eternal life in Heaven.
to ALL NATIONS, the Jews and Gentile, no one on the earth excepted, everyone in the world must be reached, for everyone the Gospel is intended, no one excluded.
make them to MY DISCIPLES, not just only to believers who believe in Jesus as personal Saviour, but to disciples, that is followers of Jesus, who do Jesus' commandments and show Jesus' deeds in their daily life, full of the Holy Spirit, proclaiming the Gospel.
BAPTIZING them in the name of the (Trinity) of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Baptism is a confirmation of the sinner, that he/she recognises to be a sinner and only receives the forgiveness of sins through faith in Jesus Christ. But also confirms to want to be a disciple of Jesus in keeping Jesus commandments and His way of living. Baptism is not a frivolous something and can only be done by a person, aware of his or her actions (a mature person (from 10-13 year?)). Making a conscious choice to want to follow Jesus Christ.
teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. The Christian life is NOT of optional nature, it is an obligation to teach of all what Jesus has taught (the Old and the New Testament), it is an obligation to demonstrate this in the everyday life. Letting go of living in the world, and start a new life under the guidance of the Holy Spirit. In doing the will of God.
Verse 20 Here is the promise of Jesus Christ that He is with us. Not only during the life of His disciples, but also with each believer/disciple who lives after these disciples, Jesus remains with each until the end of the world, also in the Great Tribulation.