Highlights In Today's Reading:
Pilate's question — what will you do with Jesus (27:22)? The horrifying crucifixion of our Lord, His death (27:32-65), and His resurrection (28:1-15). Go . . . teach . . . them to observe all things (28:18-20) .
Pilate was the Roman governor over Judea and Samaria. Judicial responsibilities were granted to the Jewish Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, but only Rome could impose the death sentence. When the Sanhedrin demanded death for Jesus (Mark 14:64; 15:1), they shouted: We found this Fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ a King (Luke 23:2). These charges were not even the ones for which He was condemned to death.
Pilate sent Jesus to Herod, tetrarch of Galilee, who put a royal purple robe on Him and sent Him back to Pilate. Pilate once again met with the chief priests and said: I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man . . . No, nor yet Herod . . . nothing worthy of death (23:14-15).
Pilate was determined to let the Savior go, saying: I find in Him no fault at all (John 18:38; Acts 3:13). He (Pilate) knew that for envy they had delivered Him (Matt. 27:18).
Though acquittal was the only right decision, Pilate faced a hostile crowd. So he resorted to the scourge to save face and yet hopefully preserve Jesus' life: I will therefore chastise Him, and let Him go (Luke 23:22).
However, Pilate's own position was attacked by the next threat, that whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar (John 19:12). Pilate then felt too intimidated to release Jesus, so 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 (Matt. 27:24).
Our loving Savior suffered unbearable physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual agony in our stead.
The accumulated guilt of the sins of all the world was a burden which only the sinless Jesus could bear as our substitute. The cross testifies to the exceedingly great love our Savior and Lord has for us. It was our many sins which brought that agony upon Him. Remembering the cross should be a great safeguard against our willful sin, ingratitude, or complaining.
The Holy Spirit now indwells every believer; so we need to patiently suffer for Jesus' sake: Even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us . . . an example, that ye should follow His steps (I Pet. 2:18-24).
Thought for Today:
And all thy children shall be taught of the Lord; and great shall be the peace of thy children (Is. 54:13).
27:15 wont =accustomed; 27:16 notable =notorious; 27:24 tumult =uproar, riot; 27:48 straightway =immediately, without delay.
For Matt. 27:5-10: See Zech. 11:12-13. Matt. 27:34: See Ps. 69:21. Matt. 27:35: See Ps. 22:18. Matt. 27:39: See Job 16:4; Ps. 109:25; Lam. 2:15. Matt. 27:43: See Ps. 22:8. Matt. 27:46: See Ps. 22:1.
Pray for English International Shortwave Broadcasts in memory of Letha Hash • Executive Director of the IBRA in our Washington DC Branch: Reverend Michael Hall • Government Officials: Rep. Steve Austria (OH), Gov. Dave Freundenthal (WY), and Rep. Edward Royce (CA) • Country: Germany (82 million) in north-central Europe • Major language: German • Religious freedom • 33.8% Evangelical (Lutheran); 33.6% Catholic; 3.4% Muslim; 1% Orthodox; 1% Other Christian; .2% Other; 27% None • Prayer Suggestion: Lift up your prayers with a spirit of thankfulness and praise to the Lord (Ps. 79:13).
Memory Verse for the Week: Matthew 15:9