Matthew 27 Bible Commentary

The Geneva Study Bible

(Read all of Matthew 27)
27:3 1 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,

(1) An example of the horrible judgment of God upon those who sell Christ as opposed to those who buy Christ.

27:5 And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and a departed, and went and hanged himself.

(a) Out of the sight of men.

27:6 And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the b treasury, because it is the price c of blood.

(b) The treasury of the temple.
(c) Of life and death.

27:7 And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury d strangers in.

(d) Strangers and guests, whom the Jews could not endure to be joined with even after they were dead.

27:9 Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by e Jeremy the prophet, saying, f And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;

(e) As this prophecy is found in (Zechariah 11:12) it cannot be denied that Jeremy's name slipped into the text either through the fault of the Scribe, or by someone else's ignorance: it may also be that it came out of the margin by means of the abbreviation on one of the letters, the one being "yod" and the other being "zayin", which are very similar: But in the Syrian text the Prophet's name is not written down at all.
(f) The evangelist does not follow the prophet's words, but instead he follows the prophet's meaning, which he shows to have been fulfilled.

27:11 2 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.

(2) Christ holds his peace when he is accused in order that we may not be accused: acknowledging our guiltiness, and at the same time his own innocence.

27:15 3 Now at [that] feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.

(3) Christ is first acquitted by the same judge who condemns him, that we might see how the just dies for the unjust.

27:24 4 When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but [that] rather a tumult was made, he took water, and g washed [his] hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the h blood of this just person: see ye [to it].

(4) Christ being acquitted by the testimony of the judge himself is nonetheless condemned by him, in order to acquit us before God.
(g) It was a custom in ancient times that when any man was murdered, or there were other slaughters, to wash their hands in water to declare themselves guiltless.
(h) Of the murder; a Hebrew idiom.

27:25 Then answered all the people, and said, i His blood [be] on us, and on our children.

(i) If there is any offence committed in slaying him, let us and our posterity suffer for it.

27:28 5 And they stripped him, and k put on him a l scarlet robe.

(5) Christ endures that reproach which was due to our sins; meanwhile, in spite of this, by the secret providence of God he is entitled king by those who did him that reproach.
(k) They threw a cloak about him and wrapped it around him, for it did not have any sleeves.
(l) John and Mark also mention a purple robe, which is also a very pleasant red. But these profane and impudently disrespectful soldiers clad Jesus in this array to make an additional mockery of him, this one who was indeed a true King.

27:32 And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they m compelled to bear his cross.

(m) They compelled Simon to bear his burdensome cross, by which it appears that Jesus was so poorly handled before that he fainted along the way, and was not able to bear his cross the whole distance: for John writes that he did bear the cross, that is, at the beginning.

27:33 6 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,

(6) He is led out of the city so that we might be brought into the heavenly kingdom.

27:34 7 They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted [thereof], he would not drink.

(7) Christ found no comfort anywhere, that in him we might be filled with comfort.

27:35 8 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.

(8) He is made a curse, so that in him we may be blessed: his garments are taken from him so that we might be enriched by his nakedness.

27:37 9 And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

(9) He is pronounced the true Messiah, even by those who reject him.

27:38 10 Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.

(10) Christ then began to judge the world, when after his judgment he hung between two thieves.

27:39 11 And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,

(11) To make full satisfaction for us, Christ suffered and overcame not only the torments of the body, but also the most horrible torments of the mind.

27:44 The n thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

(n) This is spoken using the figure of speech called synecdoche, for only one of the thieves reviled him.

27:45 12 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.

(12) Heaven itself is darkened for very horror, and Jesus cries out from the depth of hell, and all during this time he is being mocked.

27:46 And 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 o forsaken me?

(o) That is, in this misery: And this crying out is a natural part of his humanity, which, even though it was void of sin, still felt the wrath of God, the wrath which is due to our sins.

27:47 Some of them that stood there, when they heard [that], said, This [man] calleth for p Elias.

(p) They allude to Elias' name, not because they did not understand what he said, but because of a profane impudence and disrespect, and he repeated those words so that this repetition of the name might be understood.

27:50 13 Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.

(13) Christ, after he had overcome other enemies, at length provokes and attacks death itself.

27:51 14 And, behold, the q veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;

(14) Christ, when he is dead, shows himself to be God Almighty, and even his enemies confess the same.
(q) Which separated the holiest of all.

27:52 And the r graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,

(r) That is to say, the stones broke apart, and the graves opened themselves to show by this act that death was overcome: and the resurrection of the dead followed the resurrection of Christ, as the next verse indicates (Matthew 27:53).

27:57 15 When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:

(15) Christ is buried, not privately or by stealth, but with the governor's consent, by a famous man, in a place not far distant, in a new tomb, so that his death cannot be doubted.

27:62 16 Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,

(16) The keeping of the tomb is committed to Christ's own murderers, so that there might be no doubt of his resurrection.

27:65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a f watch: go your way, make [it] as sure as ye can.

(f) The soldiers of the garrison who were appointed to guard the temple.