Jesus before Pilate; Judas' suicide; crucifixion; entombment; resurrection; the Great Commission.
When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death (Matt. 27:1).
Pilate was the Roman procurator (Governor) over Judea and Samaria. His authority was absolute. After considerable deliberation and transferring Christ to Herod, who had jurisdiction over Galilee, Pilate refused to condemn the Lord saying: I, having examined Him before you, have found no fault in this Man . . . No, nor yet Herod . . . nothing worthy of death (Luke 23:14-15).
Pilate was determined to let the Savior go, saying, I find in Him no fault at all (John 18:38). He then sent Jesus to Herod, hoping perhaps that the responsibility would shift to someone else. Pilate's wife added to his fears when she said: Have Thou nothing to do with that just Man (Matt. 27:19).
Pilate, faced with an angry crowd, resorted to the scourge as a means of saving Jesus' life: I will . . . chastise Him, and let Him go (Luke 23:22). This fulfilled two prophecies: I gave my back to the smiters (Is. 50:6) and with His stripes we are healed (53:5). Words can not describe the unbearable agony our Savior suffered.
However, when Pilate's own position was challenged by their next threat, that whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Caesar (John 19:12), Pilate felt too intimidated to release Jesus and 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).
Then came the actual crucifixion — the lingering torture at a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull (Matt. 27:33). Wherefore Jesus also, that He might sanctify the people with His own blood, suffered without the gate (Heb. 13:12). We must remember that it was because of His great love for us that He suffered to rescue us from Hell's eternal prison.
The accumulated guilt of the sins of the world was a burden which He bore that no one else could bear. The constant thought of the cross is a great safeguard against willful sin, ingratitude, murmuring, and complaining.
If you suffer for doing right and are patient beneath the blows, God is pleased with you. Because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow His steps (I Pet. 2:21).
Thought for Today:
Jesus Christ is alive and reigning in the midst of His people today.
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.
27:15 wont, accustomed; 27:16 notable, notorious; 27:24 tumult, uproar, riot; 27:48 straightway, immediately, without delay.
Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to help you teach His Word to your children; it will give guidance and instruction as they go through life (Prov. 6:20-23).
Memory Verse for the Week: Psalms 139:1-2