Matthew 27: Crucifixion of Jesus

If Jewish leaders had already judged Jesus guilty, to be put to death, why did they need to meet again?

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Matthew 27:1 At dawn, the chief priests and Jewish leaders again met, to decide how to put Jesus to death.
King James
Matthew 27:1 When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:

Why was Jesus taken to Pontius Pilate?

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Matthew 27:2 They led Jesus away, his hands tied, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate, the governor.
King James
Matthew 27:2 And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.

How did Judas’s betrayal of Jesus compare with Peter’s denial?

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Matthew 26:74–75 With cursing and swearing, Peter denied any connection with Jesus. “I tell you, I do not know this man.” Immediately, a rooster crowed, and he remembered what Jesus had said: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny me three times.”
He went outside and broke down crying.
27:3–5 When Judas, the traitor, saw that Jesus had been condemned, he was sorry for his actions. So he took the thirty pieces of silver back to the chief priests and Jewish leaders.
“I have sinned,” he said, “by betraying an innocent man.”
“What does that have to do with us?” they said. “That is your problem.”
He flung the silver across the Temple floor, left, and hanged himself.
King James
Matthew 26:74–75 Then began he to curse and to swear, saying, I know not the man. And immediately the cock crew. And Peter remembered the word of Jesus, which said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And he went out, and wept bitterly.
27:3–5 Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.

If Judas was paid out of the Temple treasury, why couldn’t it be returned to the treasury?

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Matthew 27:6–10 The chief priests gathered the pieces of silver but questioned what to do with them. “This is blood money, so we cannot put it in the Temple treasury.” After further discussion, they used the money to buy the potter’s field as a burial place for strangers. That is why the place became known as The Field of Blood.
This fulfilled the words of Jeremiah the prophet: They took the thirty pieces of silver, the value that Israel’s people placed on him, and bought the potter’s field as God commanded.
King James
Matthew 27:6–10 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.

Why did Pilate ask Jesus if he was the king of the Jews?

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Matthew 27:11 Pilate questioned Jesus as he stood before him. “Are you the king of the Jews?”
Jesus said, “Yes, you could say that.”
King James
Matthew 27:11 And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.

Why didn’t Jesus defend himself against the Jewish accusations?

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Matthew 27:12–14 When the chief priests and Jewish leaders brought accusations against him, he said nothing.
“Haven’t you heard all their accusations?” Pilate said.
Jesus gave no response, not the slightest word, so the governor was greatly impressed.
King James
Matthew 27:12–14 And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

Why did Pilate offer the release of either Jesus or Barabbas?

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Matthew 27:15–18 At every Passover feast, the governor would release one prisoner to the people, anyone they wanted. A notoriously bad criminal named Barabbas was in prison at the time, so when the people had gathered, Pilate said to them, “Which one do you want me to release to you—Barabbas, or Jesus, who is called the Messiah?” He knew the Jewish leaders had condemned Jesus because they envied his popularity with the people.
King James
Matthew 27:15–18 Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ? For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.

Why did Pilate’s wife send a warning about Jesus?

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Matthew 27:19 While judging the case, he received a message from his wife that said, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man. Last night, I had a terrible nightmare about him.”
King James
Matthew 27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.

What reasons did the crowd have to ask for the release of Barabbas and not Jesus?

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Matthew 27:20–23 The chief priests and leaders had persuaded the people to ask for the release of Barabbas and for Jesus to be crucified.
Again, Pilate said to the crowd, “Which of the two shall I release to you?”
“Barabbas,” they said.
“What shall I do with Jesus the Messiah?”
They all shouted, “Crucify him!”
“Why? What crime has he committed?”
But the crowd roared. “Crucify him!”
King James
Matthew 27:20–23 But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

Why did Pilate wash his hands before the people?

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Matthew 27:24 When Pilate realized that his attempt to bring peace was near to causing a riot, he took a bowl of water and washed his hands before the people. “I am not to blame for this righteous person’s death. This is your decision.”
King James
Matthew 27:24 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.

What does the crowd’s response say about the attitude of the people present?

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Matthew 27:25 “Let his death be our responsibility,” the people said, “and our children’s.”
King James
Matthew 27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.

If Pilate knew that Jesus was guilty of nothing that deserved death, why did he release a notorious criminal and order the crucifixion of Jesus?

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Matthew 27:26 So Pilate released Barabbas to the people and ordered the flogging and crucifixion of Jesus.
King James
Matthew 27:26 Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.

Luke reports Jesus similarly abused by Herod’s soldiers. Why might we think both records are true and not a misunderstanding of what actually happened?

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Matthew 27:27–31 The governor’s soldiers took Jesus into their headquarters, where they assembled the entire regiment. After stripping off his clothes, they dressed him in a scarlet robe, placed a woven crown of thorns on his head, and put a staff in his right hand. They knelt before him and mocked him, saying, “Hail, king of the Jews.” They spat on him and used his staff to strike him on the head. When they tired of mocking him, they removed the robe, dressed him in his own clothes, and took him to be crucified.
Luke 23:11 Herod and his soldiers made fun of Jesus, taunting and mocking him. They dressed him in a kingly robe and sent him back to Pilate.
King James
Matthew 27:27–31 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him.
Luke 23:11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Who was Simon of Cyrene? Why was he forced to carry Jesus’ cross?

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Matthew 27:32 On the way, they met Simon, a native of Cyrene, and forced him to carry Jesus’ cross.
King James
Matthew 27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.

Was the crucifixion site named because of the many deaths there or because of the skull shape of that location? Why?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 27:33–34 At Golgotha, which means “skull,” they offered to Jesus wine mixed with a bitter drug. After tasting it, he refused the drink.
King James
Matthew 27:33–34 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Before being nailed to the cross, why did Jesus refuse the wine that was offered?

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Psalm 69:21 They gave me bitterness for food and sour wine to drink.
Matthew 27:33–34 At Golgotha, which means “skull,” they offered to Jesus wine mixed with a bitter drug. After tasting it, he refused the drink.
King James
Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Matthew 27:33–34 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, they gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

Why were Jesus’ clothes judged so valuable that Roman soldiers cast lots to determine who would own them?

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Matthew 27:35 After the soldiers nailed Jesus to the cross, they threw dice for the fair dividing of his clothes.
King James
Matthew 27:35 And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, they parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

Why did the crucified have to be guarded?

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Matthew 27:36 They sat down to keep guard over him.
King James
Matthew 27:36 And sitting down they watched him there;

What crime was described on Jesus’ cross? Why wasn’t something else written?

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Matthew 27:37 Above his head, they had posted a sign to show the charge against him: “This is Jesus, king of the Jews.”
John 19:21–22 The chief priests said to Pilate. “You should not have written, ‘The king of the Jews,’ but rather, ‘He claimed to be king of the Jews.'”
Pilate said, “What I have written, I have written.”
King James
Matthew 27:37 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
John 19:21–22 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

Why was Jesus’ cross set between two criminals and not to one end or the other?

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Matthew 27:38 Two criminals were crucified with him, one on the right, the other on the left.
King James
Matthew 27:38 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

Why did passers-by insult Jesus?

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Matthew 27:39–40 People who walked by insulted him and shook their heads. “You said you could tear down the Temple and rebuild it in three days. If you have such power, save yourself. If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
King James
Matthew 27:39–40 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.

How did the insults by Jewish leaders differ from what others said?

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Matthew 27:41–43 In a similar manner, the chief priests, teachers of the Law, and other Jewish leaders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said. “Let’s see if he can save himself. If he is the king of Israel, let him come down from the cross. Then we will believe he is who he says he is. He trusted God, so let God deliver him now if he cares anything about him. He said he was the Son of God.”
King James
Matthew 27:41–43 Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.

Write the question here.

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Matthew 27:44 The criminals who were crucified with him joined in the mockery.
King James
Matthew 27:44 The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

What caused the three hours of darkness during the middle of the day?

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Matthew 27:45 From noon until three o’clock, darkness covered the land.
King James
Matthew 27:45 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

What do you think Jesus meant when people thought he was calling for Elijah?

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Matthew 27:46–47 At three o’clock, Jesus screamed, “Eloi, Eloi, lema sabachthani,” which means “My God, my God, for this I was born.”
Some of those standing there said, “He calls for Elijah.”
King James
Matthew 27:46–47 VAnd about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.

After refusing the wine earlier, why did Jesus accept the drink?

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Psalm 69:21 They gave me bitterness for food and sour wine to drink.
Matthew 27:48–49 One of them ran to fill a sponge with sour wine and lifted the sponge on the end of a branch so Jesus could drink.
The others said, “Wait. Let’s see if Elijah will come to save him.”
John 19:28 Later, after everything was finished, he said, “I am thirsty,” so the scripture would be fulfilled.
King James
Psalm 69:21 They gave me also gall for my meat; and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
Matthew 27:48–49 And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
John 19:28 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.

What do you think Jesus screamed the second time?

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Matthew 27:50 After Jesus screamed again, he quit breathing.
King James
Matthew 27:50 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

What caused the Temple veil to be ripped and the earthquake?

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Matthew 27:51 The earth shook. Rocky cliffs broke apart. The Temple veil ripped in two, from top to bottom.
King James
Matthew 27:51 And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

Why did godly men and women rise from the dead? What kind of bodies did they have?

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Matthew 27:52–53 Tombs were opened, and many godly men and women rose from the dead. After Jesus’ resurrection, they left their graves, entered Jerusalem, and were seen by many people.
King James
Matthew 27:52–53 And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.

After the earthquake, what did the Roman soldiers think about Jesus? How did their view differ from Jesus’ followers? From the religious leaders?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 27:54 When the centurion and his guards felt the earthquake and saw all that had happened, they feared for their lives and said, “This man really was the Son of God.”
King James
Matthew 27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.

How far away from the cross were some of Jesus followers? Where were his close friends, Mary and Martha from Bethany?

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Matthew 27:55–56 Many women who had followed from Galilee to serve Jesus were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of James and John, sons of Zebedee.
John 19:25–27 Jesus’ mother, his mother’s sister, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the wife of Clopas stood near the cross.
When Jesus saw his mother standing next to his beloved disciple, he said, “Woman, he is your son.” To the disciple, he said, “She is your mother.”
From that moment, the disciple took her to live in his own home.
King James
Matthew 27:55–56 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s children.
John 19:25–27 Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Who was Joseph of Arimathea? Why did he ask for Jesus’ body and bury him in his own tomb?

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Matthew 27:57–60 In the late afternoon, Joseph, a rich man from Arimathea and a disciple of Jesus, asked Pilate for the body of Jesus, and his request was granted. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it in his own unused tomb that was cut into the rock. He rolled a huge stone to close the entrance and left.
King James
Matthew 27:57–60 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus’ disciple: He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.

Who was present at Jesus’ burial? Where were Peter, John, and the other disciples?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 27:59–61 Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean linen, and laid it in his own unused tomb that was cut into the rock. He rolled a huge stone to close the entrance and left. Mary Magdalene and the other Mary sat near the tomb.
John 19:39 Nicodemus, the one who had come to Jesus by night, went with Joseph and carried about seventy-five pounds of a mixture of myrrh and aloes.
King James
Matthew 27:59–61 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
John 19:39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.

Why didn’t Jewish leaders set their own guards at Jesus’ tomb?

Author’s Thoughts
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Matthew 27:62–66 After sundown that ended the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate.
“Sir, while that deceiver was alive, he said, ‘After three days, I will rise from the dead.’ Therefore, the tomb must be closely guarded or his disciples will steal his body and tell the people he has risen. If that happens, conditions will be worse than before.”
“You may have the guards,” Pilate said. “Make it as secure as you can.”
So they sealed the tomb and posted guards.
King James
Matthew 27:62–66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.

Why did Jewish leaders think conditions would worsen if the disciples stole Jesus’ body?

Author’s Thoughts
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Author’s Paraphrase
Matthew 27:62–66 After sundown that ended the day of preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees went to see Pilate.
“Sir, while that deceiver was alive, he said, ‘After three days, I will rise from the dead.’ Therefore, the tomb must be closely guarded or his disciples will steal his body and tell the people he has risen. If that happens, conditions will be worse than before.”
“You may have the guards,” Pilate said. “Make it as secure as you can.”
So they sealed the tomb and posted guards.
King James
Matthew 27:62–66 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.