Matthew Chapter Twenty-seven
I. Content of the Chapter
The Lord’s Being Judged, Suffering and Crucifixion and Burial
I. The Lord was judged before Pontius Pilate:
A. He was delivered to Pontius Pilate (v.1-2).
B. The ending of Judas (v.3-10).
C. He was judged and condemned (v.11-26).
II. He suffered and was crucified:
A. He was mocked and humiliated (v.27-31).
B. Simon was compelled to bear His cross (v.32).
C. He was crucified and girt (v.33-44).
D. He was forsaken by God (v.45-50).
E. The effect of the death of the cross (v.51-54).
F. Women who followed until the cross (v.55-56).
III. His burial:
A. He was buried in the new tomb of a rich man (v.57-61).
B. Soldiers guarded the tomb (v.62-66).
II. Verse by Verse commentary
Matt. 27:1 “When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put Him to death.”
YLT: “And morning having come, all the chief priests and the elders of the people took counsel against Jesus, so as to put him to death;”
that time, the Jews were under the dominion of the
Literal Meaning: “when morning came” It indicated the morning on Friday. It was illegal for the council to hold a meeting at night and therefore purposely they held a meeting in the morning and officially condemned the death of Jesus (See Matt. 26:66).
“To put Him to death” shows that they purposed to put Jesus to death.
Matt. 27:2 “And when they had bound Him, they led Him away and delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.”
YLT: “and having bound him, they did lead away, and delivered him up to Pontius Pilate, the governor.”
Background: “Pontius Pilate” was
the fifth governor who was stationed in the
Literal Meaning: “they delivered Him to Pontius Pilate the governor.” “Governor” indicates the viceroy or the chief person of a province. In order to achieve the aim of “putting Him to death” (See v.1), the council had to deliver Him to Pontius Pilate the governor and let him condemn Him and executed the death penalty according to the Law of the Roman Empire.
Matt. 27:3 “Then Judas, His betrayer, seeing that He had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,”
YLT: “Then Judas he who delivered him up having seen that he was condemned, having repented, brought back the thirty silverlings to the chief priests, and to the elders, saying,”
Literal Meaning: “remorseful” or “fell remorse” (See Matt. 21:29) is to be remorseful towards his own behavior; it is different from “repent” which is stressed on in the New Testament.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The “repentance” which leads men to be saved is not only “being remorseful” to one’s own behavior but also turning one’s mind to God (See Matt. 3:2).
2) The “sorrow” of the world works death, however, grief according to God works repentance to salvation, never to be regretted (See 2Cor. 7:10).
Matt. 27:4 “saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’ And they said, ‘What is that to us? You see to it!’”
YLT: “`I did sin, having delivered up innocent blood;’ and they said, `What to us? thou shalt see!’”
Literal Meaning: “innocent” means “sinless” or “not knowing sin” (See 2Cor. 5:21). Apparently, the Lord Jesus was condemned as death. Actually, Judas who betrayed the Lord and the Jewish leaders were condemned by God. Their consciousness bore witness that the Lord Jesus was “innocent” and they themselves were sinful. They were unwilling to bear the consequence of sins and therefore they were unwilling to receive “the thirty pieces of silver” (See v.3), i.e. the price to betray the Lord (See Matt. 26:15).
Matt. 27:5 “Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.”
YLT: “and having cast down the silverlings in the sanctuary, he departed, and having gone away, he did strangle himself.”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “Hanged” is to hang in the air. He is neither in heaven nor on earth and he had gained nothing both in heaven or on earth. We should never be Christians hanging in the air.
2) Any Christian who seeks something besides Christ won’t have heavenly or earthly gain finally.
Matt. 27:6 “But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.’”
YLT: “And the chief priests having taken the silverlings, said, `It is not lawful to put them to the treasury, seeing it is the price of blood;’”
Literal Meaning: “they are the price of blood” “the price of blood” is the cost that betraying the Lord Jesus and shedding the blood of the innocent.
“It is not lawful to put them into the
treasury.” “Treasury” indicates the case or place in the
Matt. 27:7 “And they consulted together and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.”
YLT: “and having taken counsel, they bought with them the field of the potter, for the burial of strangers;”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Even “the price of blood” of the Lord’s being betrayed is showing kindness to others------they bought with them the potter’s field, to bury “strangers” who are scattered and hopeless. His everything is for us.
2) The potter’s field is originally for supplying clay which is used to make useful vessels, however, if it deviates from the right way, it has to be changed to bury bodies; the Jews were originally materials of vessels unto honor. Today they unexpectedly suffer the eternal death because they are greedy for money.
3) Believers are God’s husbandry (See 1Cor. 3:9). We should let God’s life grow well and we should never become waste and be full of death because of a momentary slip.
Matt. 27:8 “Therefore that field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.”
YLT: “therefore was that field called, `Field of blood,’ unto this day.”
Literal Meaning: “the Field of Blood” was named because it was bought by “the price of blood” (See v.6) of the Lord’s being betrayed. Someone believed that it was named because Judas burst asunder in the midst and his blood splashed that place (See Acts. 1:18-19).
Spiritual Meaning: “the Field of Blood” spiritually meant that the Lord Jesus who did not know sin had been made to be sin for us (2Cor. 5:21) and He shed His blood, gave His life and paid the price of life to make us the Gentiles (the meaning of “strangers” in the original) die, be buried, and be raised up with Him to be vessels unto honor in the hands of potter (See Rom. 9:21).
Matt. 27:9 “Then was fulfilled what
was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘And
they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of Him who was priced, whom
they of the children of
YLT: “Then was fulfilled
that spoken through Jeremiah the prophet, saying, `And I took the thirty
silverlings, the price of him who hath been priced, whom they of the sons of
Literal Meaning: the prophet’s words in v.9 to v.10 were quoted from Zech. 11:13. There are two reasons for Matthew the author of this book to firmly believe that the words were spoken by Jeremiah:
a) The Jews separated the Old Testament into three parts in the days of old and the third part is the prophets. The book of Jeremiah was the first book in the arrangement of order and therefore the book of Jeremiah represents the prophets.
b) The prophet Jeremiah had visited the potter (See Jer. 18:2-4) and bought a field (See Jer. 32:6-15). Matthew may purposely quote the words in Zechariah to explain the spiritual meaning of Jeremiah’s acts (Please see the spiritual meaning below).
Spiritual Meaning: every scripture is given by inspiration of God (2Tim. 3:16). The Holy Spirit inspired Matthew to mention Jeremiah the prophet with His purpose. Zechariah said to cast it unto the potter: a godly price that He was priced at of them and it is related to the prophecy of Jeremiah:
a) God’s people
b) However, God will make a new covenant
with the house of
c) Today blindness in part in happened
Matt. 27:10 “and gave them for the potter's field, as the LORD directed me.’”
YLT: “and gave them for the field of the potter, as the Lord did appoint to me.’”
Matt. 27:11 “Now Jesus stood before the governor. And the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’”
YLT: “And Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor did question him, saying, ‘Art thou the king of the Jews!’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Thou sayest.’”
Literal Meaning: “Are You the King of the Jews?” Pontius Pilate was the Roman governor and he usually did not show concern to religious disputes of the Jews as long as they did not involve the Roman regime. Therefore the council framed the political crime on Him before Pontius Pilate and they did not accuse Jesus with the religious crime (See Matt. 26:59-66). If Jesus presented Himself as the king of the Jews, it would indicate that He was against the Roman Government and therefore Pontius Pilate asked this question.
“It is as you say.” Jesus admitted that He is the king, however, it shows that His kingdom is not of this world (See John. 18:33-38).
Matt. 27:12 “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, He answered nothing.”
YLT: “And in his being accused by the chief priests and the elders, he did not answer any thing,”
Literal Meaning: please see the note in Matt. 26:62.
Matt. 27:13 “Then Pilate said to Him, ‘Do You not hear how many things they testify against You?’”
YLT: “then saith Pilate to him, ‘Dost thou not hear how many things they witness against thee?’”
Matt. 27:14 “But He answered him not one word, so that the governor marveled greatly.”
YLT: “And he did not answer him, not even to one word, so that the governor did wonder greatly.”
Literal Meaning: Who, when He was reviled, did not revile again; when He suffered, he did not threaten; but committed Himself to God that judges righteously (See 1Pet. 2:23). This is the example of the Lord for us.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) If one clearly knows the will and guidance of God and trusts in God, he will have rest before God and do not defend himself under any difficult circumstance.
2) Believers should bridle their tongues and do not say meaningless words, as it becomes saints.
Matt. 27:15 “Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.”
YLT: “And at the feast the governor had been accustomed to release one to the multitude, a prisoner, whom they willed,”
Literal Meaning: this was the convention of “special amnesty” at that time.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Since we have inherited sin from the father the devil, we are servants of sin (See John. 8:34), and shall die in our sins (See John. 8:21, 24). However, the Son of God the Father in heaven Jesus came to “release” us and gave us the real free (See John. 8:36).
2) We are “released” because the Lord was crucified for us.
Matt. 27:16 “And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.”
YLT: “and they had then a noted prisoner, called Barabbas,”
Meaning of Words: “notorious”: remarkable, notable; “Barabbas”: son of father, son of Abba.
Literal Meaning: “Barabbas” was the murder in the insurrection at that time (See Mark. 15:7).
Spiritual Meaning: “Barabbas” typifies that sinners were originally of their father the devil which was a murderer from the beginning and was a liar, and the father of it (John. 8:44).
Matt. 27:17 “Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release to you? Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’”
YLT: “they therefore having been gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom will ye I shall release to you? Barabbas or Jesus who is called Christ?’”
Literal Meaning: Pilate knew perfectly well that Jesus was sinless (See v.18) and he still asked this question, showing his unrighteousness.
Matt. 27:18 “For he knew that they had handed Him over because of envy.”
YLT: “for he had known that because of envy they had delivered him up.”
Meaning of Words: “handed over”: deliver.
Literal Meaning: “they had handed Him over because of envy” This is religious envy. The leaders of the council deeply felt that the words and deeds of Jesus threatened their rights.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The greatest feature of religious believers is “envy” and there is strife because of envy (See 1Cor. 3:3). Therefore envy is the foundation of divisions (See 2Cor. 12:20).
2) Envy may also lead to murder (See Gal. 5:21; James. 4:2). Cain was the initiator of religion and he was the typical religious believer who killed his brother because of envy (See Gen. 4:3-8).
Matt. 27:19 “While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.’”
YLT: “And as he is sitting on the tribunal, his wife sent unto him, saying, ‘Nothing to thee and to that righteous one, for many things did I suffer to-day in a dream because of him.’”
Literal Meaning: “that just Man” “Just Man” means the innocent man.
Spiritual Meaning: “I have suffered
many things in a dream because of Him.” “In a dream” is specially related to
angels (See Matt. 1:20; 2:12; 13; 19). When the Lord Jesus was judged by men
with political power on earth (“while he was sitting on that judgment seat”),
angels in heaven testified to Him that He is the just
Matt. 27:20 “But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.”
YLT: “And the chief priests and the elders did persuade the multitudes that they might ask for themselves Barabbas, and might destroy Jesus;”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “They should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.” If Jesus was not destroyed, Barabbas won’t be released. Thank God, because the Lord Jesus was destroyed for us, we, the sinners (Barabbas), will be released.
2) Religious believers would rather ask for the murder and robber (See Mark. 15:7; John. 18:40) than ask for the Lord Jesus. This exposes the darkness of religion. Today, many people are zealous religionists (including extreme Christians) and they often disregard morality and do not have witness of life.
Matt. 27:21 “The governor answered and said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’ They said, ‘Barabbas!’”
YLT: “and the governor answering said to them, ‘Which of the two will ye [that] I shall release to you?’ And they said, `Barabbas.’”
Matt. 27:22 “Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all said to him, ‘Let Him be crucified!’”
YLT: “Pilate saith to them, `What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’ They all say to him, `Let be crucified!’”
Background: “Crucifixion” was
the cruel torture used by the
Literal Meaning: “Jesus who is called Christ” Pilate called the Lord as “Jesus who is called Christ” again and again, showing that He suffered death for this.
“Let Him be crucified!” This fulfilled the prophecy that the Lord had said previously (See Matt. 20:19; 26:2).
Matt. 27:23 “Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has He done?’ But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let Him be crucified!’”
YLT: “And the governor said, `Why, what evil did he?’ and they were crying out the more, saying, ‘Let be crucified.’”
Literal Meaning: “what evil has He done?” The governor asked this at the end of the judgment. It is equivalent to show that he could not inquire any sin of the Lord and admitted His innocence, proving that He is the “innocent man” (See v.4).
Matt. 27:24 “When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.’”
YLT: “And Pilate having seen that it profiteth nothing, but rather a tumult is made, having taken water, he did wash the hands before the multitude, saying, `I am innocent from the blood of this righteous one; ye---ye shall see;’”
Literal Meaning: “he took water and washed his hands before the multitude” “Washing his hands” is to show that he was unrelated to shedding the blood of Jesus; it was the Jewish religious ceremony to wash one’s hands to declare one’s innocence (See Deut. 21:6-7; Ps. 26:6). It was not the custom of Romans.
The end of judgment for the Lord Jesus was that men on earth said that He was “innocent” (See v.4) and angels in heaven said that He was “Just” (See the note of v.19). Not only men in the circle of religion could not find His blemish (See Matt. 26:59-66), but also Pontius Pilate who represented the power on earth declared that He was “innocent”. He was innocent, however, He was shed by men, showing men’s unrighteousness. Pilate washed his hands only to cheat his consciousness, but he could not wash the fact of his unrighteousness. The Lord’s righteousness is in sharp contrast with men’s unrighteousness and the Lord’s not answering one word (See v.14) is in sharp contrast with men’s explanation and prevarication.
Matt. 27:25 “And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’”
YLT: “and all the people answering said, `His blood [is] upon us, and upon our children!’”
Literal Meaning: this answer that they were willing to bear the curse brings bitter tragedy to the Jews from generation to generation. Because they were willing to bear the debt of blood, their offsprings suffered persecution and slaughter ceaselessly from that time on.
Enlightenment in the Word: the righteous God is not mocked! And the Son of God is not offended!
Matt. 27:26 “Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.”
YLT: “Then did he release to them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, he delivered [him] up that he may be crucified;”
The Background: whips which were used by Romans to scourge criminals were made of leather belt on which there were small bones or metal. The whips could make those who were scourged bruised and lacerated.
Literal Meaning: “he delivered Him to be crucified.” Pontius Pilate made the Lord Jesus be crucified. This made both the Lord’s own words that how He would die and the prophecies in the Old Testament be fulfilled (See Deut. 21:23; Num. 21:8-9; Gal. 3:13).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The deeds of Pontius Pilate are the classic representative of the world (especially political men)------they confused right and wrong, ignored the truth and only sought that they should not let “the tumult rise” apparently (See v.24).
2) Thank the Lord. We, the condemned prisoners, are able to be “released” because He was “delivered”. With His stripes we are healed (See Is. 53:5). What salvation!
Matt. 27:27 “Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole garrison around Him.”
YLT: “then the soldiers of the governor having taken Jesus to the Praetorium, did gather to him all the band;”
Literal Meaning: “took Jesus into the
Praetorium” “Praetorium” was the official mansion of the governor in
Spiritual Meaning: “gathered the whole garrison around Him” This symbolizes the gathering of the forces of darkness and they started the deathful attack to the Lord Jesus.
Matt. 27:28 “And they stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him.”
YLT: “and having unclothed him, they put around him a crimson cloak,”
Literal Meaning: “put a scarlet robe on Him” “Scarlet robe” was original the robe of Roman soldiers. The scarlet is close to the purple which royalty wear and therefore they use the robe to act temporarily as the imperial gown. They dressed Him up as the king of the Jews to mock and humiliate Him.
Spiritual Meaning: “put a scarlet robe
on Him” “Scarlet” is the color of sin (See Is. 1:18) and therefore here it symbolizes
that the Lord put on the likeness of sinful flesh (See
Matt. 27:29 “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on 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!’”
YLT: “and having plaited him a crown out of thorns they put [it] on his head, and a reed in his right hand, and having kneeled before him, they were mocking him, saying, `Hail, the king of the Jews.’”
Literal Meaning: They dressed Jesus as the king of the Jews, with a crown of thorns to replace the royal crown and a reed to replace the mace of king, in order to mock Him.
Spiritual Meaning: “they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head” “Thorns” are the sign of being cursed by God (See Gen. 3:17-18). They put thorns on His head, symbolizing that He was cursed on the cross.
“A reed in His right hand” “Reed” is the sign of weakness (See Matt. 12:20); the reed as the mace symbolizes that He experienced pain of weak life.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) “When they had twisted a crown of thorns, they put it on His head.” The Lord Jesus was made a curse for us on the cross (See Gal. 3:13).
2) Red robe (See v.28), crown and mace are all sings of king, however, they became the sign of humiliation on the cross. Because the Lord was humiliated, we unexpectedly are exalted. Oh! The cross He bore is glory to us, though shame to the Lord.
Matt. 27:30 “Then they spat on Him, and took the reed and struck Him on the head.”
YLT: “And having spit on him, they took the reed, and were smiting on his head;”
Spiritual Meaning: “they spat on Him” “Face” symbolizes men’s honor; “spat on Him” symbolizes the extreme humiliation.
“Took the reed and struck Him on the head.” “Head” symbolizes men’s power; “took the reed and struck Him on the head” shows the extreme insult.
Matt. 27:31 “And when they had mocked Him, they took the robe off Him, put His own clothes on Him, and led Him away to be crucified.”
YLT: “and when they had mocked him, they took off from him the cloak, and put on him his own garments, and led him away to crucify [him].”
Background: it is said that when
the Jews killed the lamb of the Passover in old days, they tied the four limbs
of the lamb on the wooden framework of the cross and made it shed and be dried
up unto death. Therefore the Lord was “crucified” and this completely fulfilled
that He is the type of the lamb of the Passover (See Is. 53:7-8; 1Cor. 5:7;
John. 1:29). The cruel torture of the cross was only used for a short time
around the time when the Lord Jesus was on the world in the history of the
Matt. 27:32 “Now as they came out,
they found a man of
YLT: “And coming forth, they found a man, a Cyrenian, by name Simon: him they impressed that he might bear his cross;”
Literal Meaning: “they found a man of
“Him they compelled” “Compelled” means to force one to serve by threatening ways.
“To bear His cross.” Usually the cross is taken by the prisoner himself. Probably, Jesus was too weak to bear the cross at that time.
Spiritual Meaning: “bear Jesus’ cross” means to have communion with His suffering and fill up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in the flesh (See Col. 1:24).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Simon of Cyrene is the father of Rufus (See Mark. 15:21). The whole family was unexpectedly saved because he took the cross of the Lord (See Rom. 16:13). Believers were compelled to take the cross under God’s dominating arrangements, however, the “compel” is the way of blessing.
2) “Being compelled” indicates to fight against our likes, interests, natural feelings and etc. However, precious lessons are usually hidden in many things that are not welcome.
Matt. 27:33 “And when they had come to
a place called
YLT: “and having come to
a place called
Meaning of Words: “
is a Hebrew name and it means “the place of a skull” (See John. 19:17); it was
called Calvary (Luke. 23:33, KJV) and it was translated from Latin and it had
the same meaning with
Enlightenment in the Word: Our natural minds and old concepts are “the skulls
of dead ones” and we should crucify them in the massif of “
Matt. 27:34 “they gave Him sour wine mingled with gall to drink. But when He had tasted it, He would not drink.”
YLT: “they gave him to drink vinegar mixed with gall, and having tasted, he would not drink.”
Literal Meaning: “sour wine mingled with gall” “wine” is “vinegar” in the original. It was similar to the narcotic and it could help men to ease pain.
“When He had tasted it, He would not drink.” It means that He was willing to bear the pain of the punishment of sins until death (See Ps. 69:21).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The Lord Jesus bore the suffering of the cross Himself and refused any help and comfort from men. Those who truly take the cross should never seek any help or comfort besides God.
2) Anyone who feels painful in themselves and need others’ comfort is not the one who takes up the cross.
3) The Lord Himself had tasted the suffering for us and therefore He is able to be touched with our feelings (See Heb. 4:15).
Matt. 27:35 “Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet: ‘They divided My garments among them, And for My clothing they cast lots.’”
YLT: “And having crucified him, they divided his garments, casting a lot, that it might be fulfilled that was spoken by the prophet, `They divided my garments to themselves, and over my vesture they cast a lot;’”
Literal Meaning: “they divided His garments, casting lots”. The prophet in Ps. 28:18 was fulfilled.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) The world usually stresses on good works of the Lord Jesus (“divided His garments”) and is unwilling to receive the life of Christ (“they crucified Him”).
2) Believers always attend to trifles and neglect the essentials. They are fervent in searching the Bible, however, they are unwilling to come to the Lord to have life (See John. 5:39-40).
Matt. 27:36 “Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there.”
YLT: “and sitting down, they were watching him there,”
Matt. 27:37 “And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him: THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
YLT: “and they put up over his head, his accusation written, `This is Jesus, the king of the Jews.’”
Literal Meaning: “the accusation written against Him” According to the records in the Book of John, the words of the accusation was written in Hebrew, and Greek and Latin.
“THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” In men’s sight, the accusation is a kind of mock both to the Lord and the Jews (See John. 19:21), however, it shows that He was crucified for this.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Only through the death of the cross will the life of king be manifested.
2) The way of the world to be king is to attack cities and capture territories, however, the way for believers to reign in life (See Rom. 5:17) is through the death of the cross.
Matt. 27:38 “Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.”
YLT: “Then crucified with him are two robbers, one on the right hand, and one on the left,”
Literal Meaning: this verse shows that: a) the prophecy is fulfilled that “He was numbered with the transgressors” (Is. 53:12); b) He was on the tree with the position of a sinner and therefore He His own self bore our sins (See 1Pet. 2:24).
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christ crucified is the center of mankind and all and He will draw all to Him (See John. 12:32).
2) Men’s fates depend on Christ crucified. If one receives Him, he will be saved and have eternal life; if one refuses Him, he will perish and enter the everlasting fire.
3) He, on the cross, destroyed, through death, him that had the power of death, that is, the devil and deliver them who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage (i.e. robbers) (See Heb. 2:14-15).
Matt. 27:39 “And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads”
YLT: “and those passing by were speaking evil of him, wagging their heads,”
Literal Meaning: “wagging their heads” is the posture of the Jews to mock others.
Matt. 27:40 “and saying, ‘You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.’”
YLT: “and saying, `Thou that art throwing down the sanctuary, and in three days building [it], save thyself; if Son thou art of God, come down from the cross.’”
Literal Meaning: “you who destroy the temple and build it in three days.” This word shows that they misused the words of the Lord because they did not understand the words (See John. 2:19-21).
“If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.” This indicates that they do not understand the principle with which God works and they think that the Son of God could walk at will (See John. 8:28). They do not know it is the clear proof of the Son of God that the Lord did not come down from the cross (See Rom. 1:4).
Matt. 27:41 “Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said,”
YLT: “And in like manner also the chief priests mocking, with the scribes and elders, said,”
Matt. 27:42 “‘He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him.”
YLT: “`Others he saved; himself he is not able to save! If he be King of Israel, let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe him;”
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) God’s will is to achieve His plan of salvation through the death of the cross. Those who are held by God in His will always “save others and themselves they cannot save”. And only those who do not save themselves are able to save others. If He saves Himself, He could not save us.
2) The death of the cross is the way to lead to resurrection------supply life through death------if death works in us, life will work in others (See 2Cor. 4:11-12).
3) The cross is to deny oneself (See Matt. 16:24) and therefore the meaning of the cross is to save others and not save oneself; anyone who is self-centered needs to receive the dealing of the cross.
Matt. 27:43 “He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’”
YLT: “he hath trusted on God, let Him now deliver him, if He wish him, because he said Son of God I am;’”
Literal Meaning: “let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him.” This shows men’s natural religious concepts that God will save and deliver someone from outward harm and suffering if God likes him.
The Lord was mocked on the cross by those who passed by (See v.39), the chief priests, the scribes and elders (See v.41), and the robbers who were crucified with Him (See v.44); the key of their mocks is that if He indeed is the Son of God, He must have the power to save Himself and at least God won’t sit by and watch His Son being crucified unto death.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Though believers are daughters of God, He does not always deliver us from sufferings; Paul the apostle deeply pleased God, however, he suffered much more than us.
2) Natural men do not know the spiritual principle: the greatest power of those who are of spirit is to control oneself and restrict oneself; those who are truly of spirit could do all things through Christ who strengthens them (See Pill. 4:13), however, they do not do many things because they do not seek their own profit, but the profit of others (See 1Cor. 10:23-24, 33).
3) It is the manifestation of the Son of God that He does not do what He is “able to do” (See John. 5:19, 30; 8:28). Moreover, those who truly believe in God not only believe that God will do something for them but also believe that God always does not do something for them; the greatest faith is to entrust oneself to God and believe that whether God does something or not depends on God Himself. We merely thank God for His goodwill (See Matt. 11:25-27; 1Thess. 5:18).
Matt. 27:44 “Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.”
YLT: “with the same also the robbers, who were crucified with him, were reproaching him.”
Matt. 27:45 “Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land.”
YLT: “And from the sixth hour darkness came over all the land unto the ninth hour,”
Literal Meaning: “from the sixth hour until the ninth hour” indicates from twelve o’clock at noon to three o’clock in the afternoon.
The Lord Jesus was crucified at the third hour (nine o’clock in the morning) (See Mark. 15:25) and therefore there are six hours from the third hour to the ninth hour; in the first three hour, He suffered the pain of being persecuted and mocked and in the next three hour, He suffered the pain of being judged and forsaken.
Spiritual Meaning: “there was darkness over all the land.” “Darkness” symbolizes that God hid His face from Him and forsook Him; the Lord Jesus was forsaken by God because He bore sins of men. It shows how horrible the sins that He bore are.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Wish believers realize the horribleness of sins and preciousness of God’s presence in His countenance.
2) “There was darkness over all the land.” It shows our sin, sins and all dark and negative things were judged and dealt with by God with the Lord on the cross.
Matt. 27:46 “And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, ‘Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, ‘My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?’”
YLT: “and about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a great voice, saying, `Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?’ that is, `My God, my God, why didst Thou forsake me?’”
Literal Meaning: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” “Eli, Eli” is Hebrew and “lama sabachthani” is Aramaic.
“My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” Jesus, standing in the position of a sinner on the cross at that time, bore our sins (See 1Pet. 2:24; Is. 53:6) and was made to be sin for us (See 2Cor. 5:21). Therefore the righteous God had to forsake Him (See Ps. 22:19). The Lord Jesus was with God all His life and was forsaken by God in the three hours. This was the extreme pain of the Son of God and therefore He gave such a blood curdling scream.
Matt. 27:47 “Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, ‘This Man is calling for Elijah!’”
YLT: “And certain of those standing there having heard, said `Elijah he doth call;’”
Literal Meaning: “This Man is calling for Elijah!” “Elijah” was the forerunner of the Messiah in the hearts of the Jews; those who were present heard Jesus call “Eli” and misunderstood that He was calling “Elijah”.
Matt. 27:48 “Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.”
YLT: “and immediately, one of them having run, and having taken a spunge, having filled [it] with vinegar, and having put [it] on a reed, was giving him to drink,”
Literal Meaning: they showed their mocks towards Him to offer the reed filled with sour wine to Jesus (See Luke. 23:36). Unexpectedly, their behavior made the prophecy of the Old Testament be fulfilled (See Ps. 69:21; John. 19:28-29). On the last moment before the Lord Jesus breathed His last, He was still mocked and derided by men. It shows that men’s words and deeds are in God’s foreknowledge and predestination.
Matt. 27:49 “The rest said, ‘Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.’”
YLT: “but the rest said, `Let alone, let us see if Elijah doth come about to save him.’”
Matt. 27:50 “And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.”
YLT: “And Jesus having again cried with a great voice, yielded the spirit;”
Literal Meaning: “yielded up His spirit.” The wording in the original intentionally indicates that the death of Jesus was different from the death of being killed or suicide and His death was a behavior to sacrifice His life (See John. 10:18; 19:30).
Matt. 27:51 “Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split,”
YLT: “and lo, the vail of the sanctuary was rent in two from top unto bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks were rent,”
The Background: the veil of the temple is the veil of inner layer that divides the holy place and the most holy (See Exod. 26:33).
Spiritual Meaning: “the veil of the temple was torn in two” typified that the flesh of the Lord was broken for us and therefore He opened a new and living way so that we could have boldness to enter into the holiest by Him and come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (See Heb. 10:19-20; 4:16).
“From top to bottom” shows that the death of the cross was done by God from above; the fact that we have died with the Lord has already been done perfectly by God.
“The earth quaked, and the rocks were
split.” It symbolizes that Christ quaked the earthly
“The rocks were split” also symbolizes that Christ the Rock (See 1Cor. 10:4) was smitten by God on the cross and He was broken up and water of life came out (See Exod. 17:6; John. 19:34) for our thirst.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christ is our way (See John. 14:6); only through Him are we able to come to God.
2) Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear (Heb. 12:28).
Matt. 27:52 “and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised;”
YLT: “and the tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who have fallen asleep, arose,”
Literal Meaning: “the saints who had fallen asleep” indicate the dead saints (See 1Cor. 11:30; 15:18-20).
Spiritual Meaning: “the graves were opened” symbolizes that Christ, through the death of the cross, collapsed the power of death and Hades (See 1Cor. 15:55; Rev. 1:18).
“Many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” It symbolizes that Christ, through the death of the cross, released the life of resurrection.
Enlightenment in the Word: since believers have received Christ’s life of resurrection, they should manifest it at that time.
Matt. 27:53 “and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many.”
YLT: “and having come forth out of the tombs after his rising, they went into the holy city, and appeared to many.”
Literal Meaning: please note that: graves were opened when the Lord Jesus yielded up His spirit. However, “after His resurrection”, the events that dead ones “came out of the graves” and “appeared to” many took place.
Spiritual Meaning: Christ Himself was “the first-fruits” of resurrection (See 1Cor. 15:20), however, in the Old Testament, “the first-fruits of the harvest” is not an ear of wheat but a sheaf of wheat (See Lev. 23:10-11). This shows that “the first-fruit of the harvest” not only typify Christ of resurrection but also typify the saints who also resurrect in Christ that whom this scripture represents.
Enlightenment in the Word:
1) Christ is the first-born from the dead (See Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5). Since Christ has resurrected, those who believe in Him shall resurrect (See John. 11:25).
2) If we only know the death of the Lord, we have been quickened, however, we are still tied up in tombs and we are not free. However, until we know the resurrection of Christ, we are able to come out of tombs, be delivered from death, binding and control, enter the everlasting will of God (“the holy city”) and bear glorious witness towards men (“appeared to many”).
Matt. 27:54 “So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, ‘Truly this was the Son of God!’”
YLT: “And the centurion, and those with him watching Jesus, having seen the earthquake, and the things that were done, were exceedingly afraid, saying, `Truly this was God’s Son.’”
Enlightenment in the Word: the centurion and those with him represent the Gentile unbelievers. Because they saw the effect of the Lord’s death and resurrection, they have to admit that, “truly this was the Son of God.” The most effective way for believers to preach the glad tidings is to display the fact that the cross of Christ had done on us to everybody. If men see “the marks of the Lord Jesus” in our bodies (See Gal. 6:17), naturally they will see that, “truly this was the Son of God.”
Matt. 27:55 “And many women who
followed Jesus from
YLT: “And there were
there many women beholding from afar, who did follow Jesus from
Enlightenment in the Word: these women represent common and weak believers who are despised by others. They usually followed and served the Lord quietly and when other disciples forsook the Lord and fled (See Matt. 26:56), they kept following the Lord until the cross, i.e. following the Lord until the deathtrap. Therefore they could bear witness to His death and resurrection (See Acts. 3:15). If we want to be the Lord’s witnesses, we have to follow Him until the deathtrap.
Matt. 27:56 “among whom were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's sons.”
YLT: “among whom was Mary the Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and of Joses, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.”
Literal Meaning: “Mary the mother of James and Joses” It was Mary the mother of Jesus (See Matt. 13:55).
“And the mother of Zebedee’s sons” Her name may be Salome (See Mark. 16:1). It is said that she was the sister of Mary the mother of Jesus (See John. 19:25).
Matt. 27:57 “Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.”
YLT: “And evening having come, there came a rich man, from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was discipled to Jesus,”
Literal Meaning: “when evening had come” “Evening” in the originally indicates the time from dark to sunset and the Sabbath is from six o’clock after the sunset of that day (Friday) to six o’clock after the sunset of the next day (Saturday). Therefore this day could be counted as “the day before the Sabbath” (See Mark. 15:42).
“From Arimathea” “Arimathea” was a small
town on the side of
“Who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.” Joseph, like Nicodemus, was a disciple of Jesus secretly (See John. 3:19:38-39). He was courageous to show his identity because he was moved by the love of the Lord who died for us on the cross. Here it specially stated that he was “a rich man”, by this proving that even the burial of the Lord Jesus was to make the prophecy that “He was with the rich in His death” be fulfilled (See Is. 53:9).
Matt. 27:58 “This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be given to him.”
YLT: “he having gone near to Pilate, asked for himself the body of Jesus; then Pilate commanded the body to be given back.”
Matt. 27:59 “When Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,”
YLT: “And having taken the body, Joseph wrapped it in clean linen,”
Enlightenment in the Word: “he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth.” Believers’ behavior should be clean, holy, gentle and well-balanced and we should not let sin reign in our mortal body (See Rom. 6:12).
Matt. 27:60 “and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.”
YLT: “and laid it in his new tomb, that he hewed in the rock, and having rolled a great stone to the door of the tomb, he went away;”
Literal Meaning: “which he had hewn out of the rock.” This tomb was not hewn under the earth but hew out of the rock.
tomb which was used to bury the Lord was originally hewn by Joseph for himself.
This typifies that the old men of believers had been crucified with the Lord
Jesus and buried into death by baptism (See
Rolling a large stone against the door
of the tomb means that do not let the dead old men behave (See Eph. 4:22;
Matt. 27:61 “And Mary Magdalene was there, and the other Mary, sitting opposite the tomb.”
YLT: “and there were there Mary the Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over-against the sepulchre.”
Literal Meaning: “the other Mary” Someone said that the one here indicated “Mary the wife of Cleophas” (See John. 19:25), however, Matthew had not mentioned her previously and therefore the one probably indicates Mary the mother of Jesus (See v.56); “the other” means the exclusive and special one.
Matt. 27:62 “On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate,”
YLT: “And on the morrow that is after the preparation, were gathered together the chief priests, and the Pharisees, unto Pilate,”
Literal Meaning: “the next day” indicates Saturday, i.e. the Sabbath.
“Which followed the Day of Preparation” “The Day of Preparation” indicates the day to prepare for the Passover (See Matt. 26:19; John. 19:14) which is from the sunset of Thursday to the sunset of Friday and therefore Saturday is counted as the day that followed the Day of Preparation.
Matt. 27:63 “saying, ‘Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.'”
YLT: “saying, `Sir, we have remembered that that deceiver said while yet living, After three days I do rise;”
Spiritual Meaning: the power of darkness of Satan greatly was afraid of the witness of life of resurrection and therefore they used up religious ways (what the chief priests and the scribes stand for) and political power (what Pontius Pilate stands for) to lock the Lord and those who are of the Lord in death, however, it was impossible that He should be held of death (See Acts. 2:24).
Matt. 27:64 “Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.' So the last deception will be worse than the first.’”
YLT: “command, then, the sepulchre to be made secure till the third day, lest his disciples, having come by night, may steal him away, and may say to the people, He rose from the dead, and the last deceit shall be worse than the first.’”
Literal Meaning: “so the last deception will be worse than the first.” “The first deception” indicates that Jesus is the Messiah; “the last deception” indicates that He arose from the dead.
The constant trick of the enemy is the lie and deception (See John. 8:44; 2Cor. 11:13-14) and therefore its subordinates specially keep a look out others’ deceptions.
Matt. 27:65 “Pilate said to them, ‘You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.’”
YLT: “And Pilate said to them, ‘Ye have a watch, go away, make secure as ye have known;’”
Literal Meaning: “You have a guard.” means that “I give you a guard”.
Matt. 27:66 “So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.”
YLT: “and they, having gone, did make the sepulchre secure, having sealed the stone, together with the watch.”
Literal Meaning: the enemy used three kinds of strict measures: the large stone, the seal and soldiers to guard the body of the Lord Jesus. So it shows the trueness and uniqueness of His resurrection more clearly. As it is recorded in the Bible, the Lord takes the wise in their own craftiness (See 1Cor. 3:19).
III. Outlines of the Spiritual Lessons
The Death of King
I. He received the judgment of death:
A. The reason why the Lord was delivered to the governor------it was not lawful for the council to put any man to death (v.1-2).
B. The ending of Judas showed that the innocent Lord was made to be sin for sinners (v.3-10).
C. We the prisoners of death are released because He was appointed to death (v.11-26).
II. He received the punishment of death:
A. He bore the humiliation of the cross (v.27-30).
B. Filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in the flesh (v.31-32).
C. He experienced the suffering of the cross (v.33-36).
D. He was mocked by men on the cross (v.37-44).
E. He was forsaken by God on the cross (v.45-50).
III. The effect and testimony of the Lord’s death:
A. The effect of the Lord’s death:
1. He opened an access to God for us (v.51a).
2. All creatures die with Christ (v.51a).
3. His death shook and collapsed the power of death (v.51b-52a).
4. He released and manifested the life of resurrection (v.52b-53).
B. The testimony of the effect of the Lord’s death (v.54-56).
IV. The Lord’s being buried:
A. Its meaning on one side------we were buried with the Lord (v.57-61).
B. Its meaning on the other------death tried its best to lock the life of resurrection (v.62-66).
Men’s Treatment towards the Lord
II. Judas (the disciple) betrayed Him (v.3-10).
III. The Roman government disregarded Him (v.11-26).
IV. Soldiers mocked Him (v.27-31).
Five Kinds of Men under the Cross
II. Those who merely had intents instead of minds------soldiers who gave Him sour wine mingled with gall (v.34).
III. Those who merely had eyes instead of abilities------soldiers who divided His garments, casting lots and kept watch over Him (v.35-36).
IV. The one who wrote the accusation but did not have consciousness------Pontius Pilate who wrote the accusation of the Lord (v.37).
V. Those who did not know that they had said------all kinds of people who mocked the Lord (v.38-44).
The Supernatural Scenes when the Lord Was Crucified
II. The veil of the temple was torn------an access to God was opened (v.51b).
III. The earth quaked------He overcame the earthly power (v.51b).
IV. The graves were opened------He overcame the power of death and Hades (v.52a).
V. The saints were raised and went into the holy cities------the life of resurrection is shown (v.52b-53).
── Caleb Huang《Christian Digest Bible Commentary Series》
Translated by Sharon Ren