Matthew 27

The leaders of the Jews had made up their minds — Jesus had to die, and they would make it happen (v.1), even if it meant calling for the release of that “notorious prisoner called Barabbas” (v.16). Jesus must die, and in the most painful and humiliating manner possible: “Let Him be crucified!” (v.22-23)

Judas, the betrayer, had changed his mind — he didn’t want to be a part of killing Jesus, but it was too late to undo what he had done.

Jesus had set His mind on complete obedience and surrender to His Father’s will. He would not stop short of the cross. He would not summon an angel-army destroy His captors (see 26:53). He would not defend Himself before His judges (v.11-14).

Because He was determined to die for my sins, consider what Jesus willingly endured:

The pain of the “scourge” (v.26), a brutal beating that left the victim bleeding and half-dead.

The humiliation of the soldiers as they stripped Him, dressed Him in a crude costume of royalty, and mocked Him to His face (v.27-31).

The piercing of a thorn-crown, the spitting, and the striking of His head (v.29-30).

The excruciation of crucifixion, in which His hands and feet were nailed — think of it! Nailed! — to a cross (v.35).

The indignity of public execution, in full view of head-wagging haters and sharp-tongued hypocrites (v.39-43).

The supernatural phenomena associated with the crucifixion indicate the significance of Jesus’ death (v.45-52): three hours of darkness, the tearing of the temple veil, the rock-splitting earthquake, and the rising of long-dead saints.

Nowhere in Scripture is there a more poignant scene than is described in verse 46. The bloody Savior, hanging on a cross by the nails in His feet and hands, is bearing the sins of the world alone. In a startling act of holy judgment, His Father turns from His Son, allowing Him to suffer the consequences of sin. This prompted the question, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”

The only answer to that question is, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16).

Jesus “cried out and yielded up His spirit” (v.50). His dead body was unfastened from the cross, wrapped in a shroud, and laid in a tomb. The Pharisees sealed the stone at the tomb’s entrance and posted a guard.

Jesus is dead. Is this the end?

Spoiler alert: It’s Friday, but Sunday’s coming!