Study Guide

Gospel of Matthew Chapter 27

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Chapter 27

Arrest and Death

  • In the morning, Jesus is handed over to the governor, Pilate.
  • Unable to forgive himself for betraying Jesus, Judas returns the 30 pieces of silver (too late) and hangs himself. 
  • Pilate asks Jesus if he is the king of the Jews and Jesus responds with his classic "if you say so" line. Despite the continuing questions, Jesus doesn't say anything else.
  • Because of a festival, Pilate offers to pardon one prisoner chosen by the people. The contestants for Who Wants to Be a Freed Man? are our main man Jesus and this other guy named, er, Jesus. Well, his full name is Jesus Barabbas and he is a notorious prisoner.
  • So, who does the crowd choose to release? [Drum roll please…] Barabbas! 
  • Wait…what?!
  • Yep, they want the guy with "notorious" right in his description over the guy who heals people. #whatisgoingon
  • Pilate gets that this is all sorts of wrong and asks the crowd what they want him to do with Jesus. The people cry out to have Jesus crucified. Riots begin, and eventually Pilate hands Jesus over to be crucified. 
  • Jesus is mocked, beaten, and spit upon. The soldiers even weave a crown made of thorns and force it on his head. And on the way to the crucifixion site, they make Simon of Cyrene help Jesus carry the cross. 
  • Eventually the whole crowd comes to Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull) where Jesus is being crucified.
  • Some soldiers divide Jesus's clothing, and people passing by taunt him—"if you're the Son of God, then save yourself!" style. 
  • Even the two criminals crucified beside Jesus verbally abuse him.
  • At noon, darkness comes over the entire land for three hours until Jesus cries out, "my God, my God, why have you forsaken me?" (27:46).
  • With that, Jesus dies.
  • Immediately, there are earthquakes and splitting of rocks and the veil in the sanctuary of the temple tears in two.
  • That night, Pilate gives the okay for a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph to take Jesus's body down from the cross and lay it in a new tomb.
  • The next day, the priests and Pharisees request that the tomb be sealed and guarded so no one can come and steal the body, making it look like Jesus was resurrected.

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