The King of The Jews – Matthew 27

The chief priest and the elders started making plans to have Jesus executed. They bound Him and handed him over to the Roman governor Pilate, as executions were under Roman jurisdiction. When Judas saw that Jesus was condemned and he was suddenly filled with guilt. He went to the chief priest and the elders to return the money he had taken to betray Jesus to clear his conscience.

“I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.” “What is that to us?” they replied. “That’s your responsibility.” So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.

Matthew 27:4-5

The man who betrayed Jesus whom he had followed diligently for the better part of the last three years was suddenly feeling guilty. His eyes that had been blinded by satan were now open and he could see the repercussions of his act of betrayal. This is how satan works, once his purpose is accomplished and that the person has fallen, he leaves the person to get engulfed in their own guilt.

Though Judas was seized with remorse, he did not go back to Jesus and ask for forgiveness, instead he went and committed suicide. Similarly, when our eyes are finally opened to realize our mistakes, satan time and time again reminds us how unworthy we are and tries to deceive us by telling us that we are not worthy of God’s forgiveness. This entirely defeats the purpose of Jesus’s coming into this world.

The chief priests used the silver coins to buy a burial place for foreigners as putting the money into the treasury was against the law since it was blood money and the words spoken by the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled. The Jewish leaders very well knew that what they did was not something pleasing in God’s sight, yet satan had blinded their eyes to the extent that they were ready to kill Jesus at any cost.

Jesus Before Pilate

Jesus stayed silent to the accusations made against Him which amazed Pilate. There was a custom that was followed during each Passover festival where the Roman governor would release a prisoner chosen by the crowd.

At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?”

Matthew 27:16-17

Pilate was aware of what the Jewish leaders were planning and had the added pressure of his wife being perturbed by the dream she had regarding the innocence of Jesus. Yet Pilate had to go by what the crowd desired who were being coaxed by the Jewish leaders to release the notorious criminal Jesus Barabbas and execute Jesus of Nazareth. He simply washed his hands clear of innocent blood and putting it on the crowd. However the people’s response was astounding.

All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”

Matthew 27:25

They people were determined to crucify Jesus to the extent that they didn’t bother getting blood on their hands or even more, on their children and gladly accepted it. Satan had held them so strongly in his clutch that the people couldn’t even recognize what they were saying or doing. Often, we are blinded in a similar way by satan and end up doing something so hastily that we can’t even imagine us doing. We can only stay clear of such things if we align ourselves with God and allow Him to work in our lives.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

Pilate handed over Jesus to be flogged and subsequently crucified. His soldiers took Jesus, put a scarlet robe on Him, twisted a crown of thorns on His head, spat on Him, struck Him and mocked Him. While taking Jesus for crucifixion to Golgotha, a man named Simon, who hailed from Cyrene, was passing through the area and was forced to carry Jesus’s cross.

Jesus was left all alone, all His disciples had deserted Him. Jesus was probably weak and not in a physical condition to carry the heavy log. Hence the Roman’s just picked someone to carry His cross to the place of crucifixion. However, this was not just a random act, when Simon Peter (who claimed to be ready to die for Jesus if needed) was not there for Jesus, God sent another Simon to fulfill His purpose. God does not depend on human beings. He is well versed with the characteristics of all humans and has it all planned. We might think that certain situations might not let the purpose of God be fulfilled, but let us be clear that God has His unfathomable ways to fulfill His purpose.

After crucifying Jesus, His clothes were divided by casting lots and a sign saying “This is jesus, the king of the jews” was placed above His head. Everyone who passed by hurled insults at Him, asking Him to rescue Himself from the cross if He were who He claimed to be. And thus the King of Jews was hung on a cross to die without His accusers fully comprehending the purpose of His Mission.

Discussion Questions

Why did Judas feel sudden remorse?
Why did the people want Barabbas out?
Why was Simon of Cyrene forced to carry the cross?

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