Matthew 27

Listen to Matthew 27

Jesus Delivered to Pilate

1 1When morning came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people 2took counsel against Jesus to put him to death.
2 And they bound him and 3led him away and 4delivered him over to 5Pilate the governor.

Judas Hangs Himself

3 Then when 6Judas, his betrayer, saw that Jesus[a] was condemned, 7he changed his mind and brought back 8the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and the elders,
4 saying, "I have sinned by betraying innocent blood." They said, "What is that to us? 9See to it yourself."
5 And throwing down the pieces of silver into the temple, 10he departed, and he went and hanged himself.
6 But the chief priests, taking the pieces of silver, said, "It is not lawful to put them into 11the treasury, since it is blood money."
7 So they took counsel and bought with them the potter's field as a burial place for strangers.
8 Therefore 12that field has been called the Field of Blood 13to this day.
9 14Then was fulfilled what had been spoken by the prophet Jeremiah, saying, 15"And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him on whom a price had been set by some of the sons of Israel,
10 and they gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord directed me."

Jesus Before Pilate

11 16Now Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked him, "Are you 17the King of the Jews?" Jesus said, 18"You have said so."
12 19But when he was accused by the chief priests and elders, he gave no answer.
13 Then Pilate said to him, 20"Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?"
14 But he gave him no answer, not even to a single charge, so that the governor was greatly amazed.

The Crowd Chooses Barabbas

15 21Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to release for the crowd any one prisoner whom they wanted.
16 And they had then a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
17 So when they had gathered, Pilate said to them, "Whom do you want me to release for you: Barabbas, or 22Jesus who is called Christ?"
18 For he knew that it was out 23of envy that they had delivered him up.
19 Besides, while he was sitting on 24the judgment seat, his wife sent word to him, "Have nothing to do with 25that righteous man, for I have suffered much because of him today 26in a dream."
20 Now the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to 27ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.
21 The governor again said to them, "Which of the two do you want me to release for you?" And they said, "Barabbas."
22 Pilate said to them, "Then what shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?"28They all said, "Let him be crucified!"
23 And he said, "Why, 29what evil has he done?" But they shouted all the more, "Let him be crucified!"

Pilate Delivers Jesus to Be Crucified

24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that 30a riot was beginning, he took water and 31washed his hands before the crowd, saying, "I am innocent of 32this man's blood;[b]33see to it yourselves."
25 And all the people answered, 34"His blood be on us and 35on our children!"
26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having 36scourged[c] Jesus, delivered him to be crucified.

Jesus Is Mocked

27 37Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the 38governor's headquarters,[d] and they gathered the whole 39battalion[e] before him.
28 And they stripped him and put 40a scarlet robe on him,
29 and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they 41mocked him, saying, "Hail, 42King of the Jews!"
30 And 43they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head.
31 And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and 44led him away to crucify him.

The Crucifixion

32 As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to 45carry his cross.
33 46And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull),
34 47they offered him wine to drink, mixed with 48gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.
35 And when they had crucified him, 49they divided his garments among them by casting lots.
36 Then they sat down and 50kept watch over him there.
37 And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, "This is Jesus, 51the King of the Jews."
38 Then two 52robbers were crucified with him, 53one on the right and one on the left.
39 And 54those who passed by 55derided him, 56wagging their heads
40 and saying, 57"You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! 58If you are 59the Son of God, come down from the cross."
41 So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying,
42 60"He saved others; 61he cannot save himself. 62He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him.
43 63He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, 'I am the Son of God.'"
44 64And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

The Death of Jesus

45 Now from the sixth hour[f] there was darkness over all the land[g] until the ninth hour.[h]
46 And about the ninth hour Jesus 65cried out with a loud voice, saying, 66"Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?" that is, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
47 And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, "This man is calling Elijah."
48 And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with 67sour wine, and put it on a reed and 68gave it to him to drink.
49 But the others said, "Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him."
50 And Jesus 69cried out again with a loud voice and 70yielded up his spirit.
51 And behold, 71the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And 72the earth shook, and the rocks were split.
52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of 73the saints 74who had fallen asleep were raised,
53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into 75the holy city and appeared to many.
54 76When the centurion and those who were with him, 77keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, 78"Truly this was the Son[i] of God!"
55 There were also 79many women there, looking on 80from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee, 81ministering to him,
56 among whom were 82Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of James and Joseph and 83the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

Jesus Is Buried

57 84When it was evening, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who also was a disciple of Jesus.
58 He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Then Pilate ordered it to be given to him.
59 And Joseph took the body and wrapped it in a clean linen shroud
60 and 85laid it in his own new tomb, 86which he had cut in the rock. And he rolled 87a great stone to the entrance of the tomb and went away.
61 Mary Magdalene and 88the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.

The Guard at the Tomb

62 The next day, that is, after the day of 89Preparation, the chief priests and the Pharisees gathered before Pilate
63 and said, "Sir, we remember how 90that impostor said, while he was still alive, 91'After three days I will rise.'
64 Therefore order the tomb to be made secure until the third day, 92lest his disciples go and steal him away and tell the people, 'He has risen from the dead,' and the last fraud will be worse than the first."
65 Pilate said to them, "You have 93a guard[j] of soldiers. Go, make it as secure as you can."
66 So they went and made the tomb secure by 94sealing the stone and setting a guard.

Matthew 27 Commentary

Chapter 27

Christ delivered to Pilate, The despair of Judas. (1-10) Christ before Pilate. (11-25) Barabbas loosed, Christ mocked. (26-30) Christ led to be crucified. (31-34) He is crucified. (35-44) The death of Christ. (45-50) Events at the crucifixion. (51-56) The burial of Christ. (57-61) The sepulchre secured. (62-66)

Verses 1-10 Wicked men see little of the consequences of their crimes when they commit them, but they must answer for them all. In the fullest manner Judas acknowledged to the chief priests that he had sinned, and betrayed an innocent person. This was full testimony to the character of Christ; but the rulers were hardened. Casting down the money, Judas departed, and went and hanged himself, not being able to bear the terror of Divine wrath, and the anguish of despair. There is little doubt but that the death of Judas was before that of our blessed Lord. But was it nothing to them that they had thirsted after this blood, and hired Judas to betray it, and had condemned it to be shed unjustly? Thus do fools make a mock at sin. Thus many make light of Christ crucified. And it is a common instance of the deceitfulness of our hearts, to make light of our own sin by dwelling upon other people's sins. But the judgment of God is according to truth. Many apply this passage of the buying the piece of ground, with the money Judas brought back, to signify the favour intended by the blood of Christ to strangers, and sinners of the Gentiles. It fulfilled a prophecy, ( Zechariah 11:12 ) . Judas went far toward repentance, yet it was not to salvation. He confessed, but not to God; he did not go to him, and say, I have sinned, Father, against heaven. Let none be satisfied with such partial convictions as a man may have, and yet remain full of pride, enmity, and rebellion.

Verses 11-25 Having no malice against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, and laboured to get him discharged. The message from his wife was a warning. God has many ways of giving checks to sinners, in their sinful pursuits, and it is a great mercy to have such checks from Providence, from faithful friends, and from our own consciences. O do not this abominable thing which the Lord hates! is what we may hear said to us, when we are entering into temptation, if we will but regard it. Being overruled by the priests, the people made choice of Barabbas. Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions. The Jews were so bent upon the death of Christ, that Pilate thought it would be dangerous to refuse. And this struggle shows the power of conscience even on the worst men. Yet all was so ordered to make it evident that Christ suffered for no fault of his own, but for the sins of his people. How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect! The Jews' curse upon themselves has been awfully answered in the sufferings of their nation. None could bear the sin of others, except Him that had no sin of his own to answer for. And are we not all concerned? Is not Barabbas preferred to Jesus, when sinners reject salvation that they may retain their darling sins, which rob God of his glory, and murder their souls? The blood of Christ is now upon us for good, through mercy, by the Jews' rejection of it. O let us flee to it for refuge!

Verses 26-30 Crucifixion was a death used only among the Romans; it was very terrible and miserable. A cross was laid on the ground, to which the hands and feet were nailed, it was then lifted up and fixed upright, so that the weight of the body hung on the nails, till the sufferer died in agony. Christ thus answered the type of the brazen serpent raised on a pole. Christ underwent all the misery and shame here related, that he might purchase for us everlasting life, and joy, and glory.

Verses 31-34 Christ was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, as a Sacrifice to the altar. Even the mercies of the wicked are really cruel. Taking the cross from him, they compelled one Simon to bear it. Make us ready, O Lord, to bear the cross thou hast appointed us, and daily to take it up with cheerfulness, following thee. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? And when we behold what manner of death he died, let us in that behold with what manner of love he loved us. As if death, so painful a death, were not enough, they added to its bitterness and terror in several ways.

Verses 35-44 It was usual to put shame upon malefactors, by a writing to notify the crime for which they suffered. So they set up one over Christ's head. This they designed for his reproach, but God so overruled it, that even his accusation was to his honour. There were crucified with him at the same time, two robbers. He was, at his death, numbered among the transgressors, that we, at our death, might be numbered among the saints. The taunts and jeers he received are here recorded. The enemies of Christ labour to make others believe that of religion and of the people of God, which they themselves know to be false. The chief priests and scribes, and the elders, upbraid Jesus with being the King of Israel. Many people could like the King of Israel well enough, if he would but come down from the cross; if they could but have his kingdom without the tribulation through which they must enter into it. But if no cross, then no Christ, no crown. Those that would reign with him, must be willing to suffer with him. Thus our Lord Jesus, having undertaken to satisfy the justice of God, did it, by submitting to the punishment of the worst of men. And in every minute particular recorded about the sufferings of Christ, we find some prediction in the Prophets or the Psalms fulfilled.

Verses 45-50 During the three hours which the darkness continued, Jesus was in agony, wrestling with the powers of darkness, and suffering his Father's displeasure against the sin of man, for which he was now making his soul an offering. Never were there three such hours since the day God created man upon the earth, never such a dark and awful scene; it was the turning point of that great affair, man's redemption and salvation. Jesus uttered a complaint from ( Psalms 22:1 ) . Hereby he teaches of what use the word of God is to direct us in prayer, and recommends the use of Scripture expressions in prayer. The believer may have tasted some drops of bitterness, but he can only form a very feeble idea of the greatness of Christ's sufferings. Yet, hence he learns something of the Saviour's love to sinners; hence he gets deeper conviction of the vileness and evil of sin, and of what he owes to Christ, who delivers him from the wrath to come. His enemies wickedly ridiculed his complaint. Many of the reproaches cast upon the word of God and the people of God, arise, as here, from gross mistakes. Christ, just before he expired, spake in his full strength, to show that his life was not forced from him, but was freely delivered into his Father's hands. He had strength to bid defiance to the powers of death: and to show that by the eternal Spirit he offered himself, being the Priest as well as the Sacrifice, he cried with a loud voice. Then he yielded up the ghost. The Son of God upon the cross, did die by the violence of the pain he was put to. His soul was separated from his body, and so his body was left really and truly dead. It was certain that Christ did die, for it was needful that he should die. He had undertaken to make himself an offering for sin, and he did it when he willingly gave up his life.

Verses 51-56 The rending of the veil signified that Christ, by his death, opened a way to God. We have an open way through Christ to the throne of grace, or mercy-seat now, and to the throne of glory hereafter. When we duly consider Christ's death, our hard and rocky hearts should be rent; the heart, and not the garments. That heart is harder than a rock that will not yield, that will not melt, where Jesus Christ is plainly set forth crucified. The graves were opened, and many bodies of saints which slept, arose. To whom they appeared, in what manner, and how they disappeared, we are not told; and we must not desire to be wise above what is written. The dreadful appearances of God in his providence, sometimes work strangely for the conviction and awakening of sinners. This was expressed in the terror that fell upon the centurion and the Roman soldiers. We may reflect with comfort on the abundant testimonies given to the character of Jesus; and, seeking to give no just cause of offence, we may leave it to the Lord to clear our characters, if we live to Him. Let us, with an eye of faith, behold Christ and him crucified, and be affected with that great love wherewith he loved us. But his friends could give no more than a look; they beheld him, but could not help him. Never were the horrid nature and effects of sin so tremendously displayed, as on that day when the beloved Son of the Father hung upon the cross, suffering for sin, the Just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God. Let us yield ourselves willingly to his service.

Verses 57-61 In the burial of Christ was nothing of pomp or solemnity. As Christ had not a house of his own, wherein to lay his head, while he lived, so he had not a grave of his own, wherein to lay his body, when he was dead. Our Lord Jesus, who had no sin of his own, had no grave of his own. The Jews designed that he should have made his grave with the wicked, should have been buried with the thieves with whom he was crucified, but God overruled it, so that he should make it with the rich in his death, ( Isaiah 53:9 ) . And although to the eye of man the beholding a funeral may cause terror, yet if we remember how Christ by his burial has changed the nature of the grave to believers, it should make us rejoice. And we are ever to imitate Christ's burial in being continually occupied in the spiritual burial of our sins.

Verses 62-66 On the Jewish sabbath, the chief priests and Pharisees, when they should have been at their devotions, were dealing with Pilate about securing the sepulchre. This was permitted that there might be certain proof of our Lord's resurrection. Pilate told them that they might secure the sepulchre as carefully as they could. They sealed the stone, and set a guard, and were satisfied that all needful care was taken. But to guard the sepulchre against the poor weak disciples was folly, because needless; while to think to guard it against the power of God, was folly, because fruitless, and to no purpose; yet they thought they dealt wisely. But the Lord took the wise in their own craftiness. Thus shall all the rage and the plans of Christ's enemies be made to promote his glory.

Cross References 94

  • 1. Mark 15:1; Luke 22:66
  • 2. See Matthew 26:4
  • 3. Luke 23:1; John 18:28
  • 4. See Matthew 20:19
  • 5. Luke 3:1; Luke 13:1; Acts 3:13; Acts 4:27; 1 Timothy 6:13
  • 6. See Matthew 26:14
  • 7. Matthew 21:29
  • 8. Matthew 26:15
  • 9. ver. 24
  • 10. [2 Samuel 17:23; Acts 1:18]
  • 11. Mark 12:41, 43; Luke 21:1; John 8:20
  • 12. Acts 1:19
  • 13. Matthew 28:15
  • 14. See Matthew 1:22
  • 15. Cited from Zechariah 11:13
  • 16. For ver. 11-14, see Mark 15:2-5; Luke 23:2, 3; John 18:29-38
  • 17. ver. 29, 37; Matthew 2:2; John 18:39; John 19:3; [ver. 42]
  • 18. [1 Timothy 6:13]; See Luke 22:70
  • 19. See Matthew 26:63
  • 20. John 19:10
  • 21. For ver. 15-26, see Mark 15:6-15; Luke 23:18-25; John 18:39, 40; John 19:16
  • 22. ver. 22
  • 23. [John 12:19]
  • 24. John 19:13
  • 25. ver. 24; [Luke 23:47]
  • 26. See Matthew 2:12
  • 27. Acts 3:14
  • 28. Acts 13:28
  • 29. [Luke 23:41; John 8:46]
  • 30. Matthew 26:5
  • 31. [Deuteronomy 21:6-8; Psalms 26:6; Psalms 73:13]
  • 32. ver. 19
  • 33. ver. 4
  • 34. [Matthew 23:35, 36; Joshua 2:19; Acts 5:28]
  • 35. [Exodus 20:5; Lamentations 5:7]
  • 36. Matthew 20:19; Isaiah 50:6; Isaiah 53:5; [Luke 23:16; John 19:1]
  • 37. For ver. 27-31, see Mark 15:16-20; John 19:2, 3
  • 38. John 18:28, 33; John 19:9; Acts 23:35; Philippians 1:13(Gk.)
  • 39. See Acts 10:1(Gk.)
  • 40. Revelation 18:12, 16; [Luke 23:11]
  • 41. Matthew 20:19
  • 42. See ver. 11
  • 43. See Matthew 26:67
  • 44. Isaiah 53:7
  • 45. Mark 15:21; Luke 23:26; [John 19:17]
  • 46. For ver. 33-51, see Mark 15:22-38; Luke 23:32-38, 44-46; John 19:17-19, 23, 24, 28-30
  • 47. [Psalms 69:21]
  • 48. Acts 8:23
  • 49. Psalms 22:18
  • 50. ver. 54; [Psalms 22:17]
  • 51. ver. 11, 29
  • 52. [John 18:40]
  • 53. [Matthew 20:21]
  • 54. Psalms 22:7; Psalms 109:25; [Lamentations 1:12]
  • 55. Luke 22:65; Luke 23:39; [James 2:7]
  • 56. Job 16:4; Isaiah 37:22; Jeremiah 18:16; Lamentations 2:15
  • 57. Matthew 26:61
  • 58. Matthew 4:3, 6
  • 59. ver. 43; Matthew 26:63; See Matthew 14:33
  • 60. [Luke 4:23]
  • 61. [Matthew 26:53, 54; John 10:18]
  • 62. John 1:49; John 12:13; [ver. 37]
  • 63. Cited from Psalms 22:8
  • 64. [Luke 23:39-43]
  • 65. [Hebrews 5:7]
  • 66. Cited from Psalms 22:1
  • 67. Ruth 2:14
  • 68. Psalms 69:21
  • 69. ver. 46
  • 70. [John 10:18]
  • 71. Exodus 26:31-33; 2 Chronicles 3:14
  • 72. ver. 54
  • 73. [Daniel 7:18, 22]
  • 74. John 11:11-13; Acts 7:60; Acts 13:36; 1 Cor. 15:6, 18, 20; 1 Thessalonians 4:13-15; 2 Peter 3:4
  • 75. See Matthew 4:5
  • 76. For ver. 54-56, see Mark 15:39-41; Luke 23:47, 49
  • 77. ver. 36
  • 78. ver. 43
  • 79. John 19:25
  • 80. Psalms 38:11
  • 81. See Luke 8:2, 3
  • 82. [See ver. 55 above]
  • 83. Matthew 20:20; [Mark 15:40]
  • 84. For ver. 57-61, see Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42
  • 85. [Isaiah 53:9]
  • 86. Isaiah 22:16
  • 87. Mark 16:4; [John 11:38]
  • 88. ver. 56; Matthew 28:1
  • 89. Mark 15:42; Luke 23:54; John 19:14, 31, 42
  • 90. [ver. 64; John 7:12]
  • 91. Matthew 16:21; Matthew 17:23; Matthew 20:19; Matthew 28:6; Mark 8:31; Mark 10:34; Luke 9:22; Luke 18:33; Luke 24:6, 7; [Matthew 26:61; John 2:19]
  • 92. [Matthew 28:13]
  • 93. Matthew 28:11
  • 94. Daniel 6:17

Footnotes 10

  • [a]. Greek he
  • [b]. Some manuscripts this righteous blood, or this righteous man's blood
  • [c]. A Roman judicial penalty, consisting of a severe beating with a multi-lashed whip containing imbedded pieces of bone and metal
  • [d]. Greek the praetorium
  • [e]. Greek cohort; a tenth of a Roman legion, usually about 600 men
  • [f]. That is, noon
  • [g]. Or earth
  • [h]. That is, 3 p.m.
  • [i]. Or a son
  • [j]. Or Take a guard

Matthew 27 Commentaries