Matthew 27 32-55
The Crucifixion of Jesus
32 As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. 33 They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). 34 There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. 35 When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. 36 And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. 37 Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS.
38 Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. 39 Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. 42 “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if he wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.
And that is how he died–amid a cacophany of insults; his head, hands, feet and back aching from their multiple wounds; delirious from hunger, thirst, sleeplessness and blood loss; almost suffocating. It had to be an excruciating death, to be an expiation in full for the sins of the world.
They divide my garments among them and cast lots for my clothing. Psalm 22:18
45 From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land.
ESV A supernatural act of God declaring his displeasure with humanity for crucifying his son.
46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).
Jesus maintains an exhausted and noble silence, speaking 7 brief sentences in 3 hours or so. In this sentence, his sense of utter abandonment by his father bursts forth from him.
ESV In some sense, Jesus had to be cut off from the favor of and fellowship with the Father that had been his eternally, because he was bearing the suns of the people and therefore enduring God’s wrath.
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. 49 The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
51 At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.
The curtain which separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. The tearing of the curtain signified Christ’s making it possible for believers to go directly into God’s presence.
The curtain between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place was an elaborately woven fabric of 72 twisted plaits of 24 threads each. It was 60 feet high and 30 feet wide. No one was allowed to enter the Most Holy Place behind the curtain except the High Priest, and he only once a year, on the Day of Atonement.
The earth shook, the rocks split 52 and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. 53 They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection ande]”>[e] went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
ESV–Palestine sits on a major seismic rift, so earthquakes were not uncommon, but the splitting of rocks, and the opening of tombs make this a major testimony to the meaning of Jesus’ resurrection.
54 When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!”
The centurion and his guards were accustomed to seeing crucifixions, but these cataclysmic events, coupled with the extraordinary self-control, purity and love shown by Jesus in his death made the centurion realize that there was something very special indeed about Jesus.
ESV–A series of testimonies–from the temple, the dead and Gentiles–indicate the historical and theological impact of the death of Jesus.
55 Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
Women played a significant role in the ministry of Jesus and his disciples.
These women accompanied Jesus as his disciples, witnessed the crucifixion, and will be the first witnesses to the resurrection.
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