Matthew 27 Questions and Answers
1. Read Matthew 27:1-10. What was the verdict of the "trial" and how did they go about making it happen?
- The verdict of the chief priest and the elders of the people was that Jesus was worthy of death because of blasphemy. Matthew 26:65-66
- Early in the morning they made their plans on how to have Jesus killed. Their first step was to bind Jesus and take him to Pilate the governor because they couldn't give the death penalty - only a Roman governor could do that. They knew that Pilate wouldn't listen if they said the charge against Jesus was blasphemy so in Luke 23:2 it says they gave Pilate 3 political charges against Jesus.
- This man has been leading our people astray
- Telling them not to pay their taxes to the Roman government
- Claiming he is the Messiah, a king.
2. What did Judas do when he saw that Jesus was condemned to die?
- He was filled with remorse and returned the 30 pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. Actually he flung it at them for Judas wouldn't have been able to go into the area of the chief priests and since they wouldn't take it he had to throw it at them. He said he had sinned for he had betrayed an innocent man.
- His plan had gone wrong and so he went and hung himself. It appears he had wanted to Jesus come forth as a conqueror but instead he drove Jesus to the cross and that shattered Judas' life.
3. What did the chief priests do with the money? What was the significance of what they did?
- Since it was against the law to put blood money into the treasury, they used it to buy the potter's field as a burial place for unclean foreigners. They called the place Field of Blood.
- It fulfilled Jeremiah's prophecy (Zechariah 11:12-13, Jer 32:6-9). "They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter's field, as the Lord commanded me."
4. What can we learn about sin from the story of Judas for our own lives?
- You can't turn the clock back once we have done the deed. We can't undo what we have done so that should cause us to be very careful about how we act.
- What Judas wanted (money) ended up not satisfying him and being what he wanted to get rid of. If he also wanted to be part of a conquering Messiah group, he also went about it the wrong way and didn't get what he wanted. Sounds like the story of Ammon loving Tamar, raping her and then hating her.
- Sin always costs more than you bargained for.
5. Read Matthew 27:11-26. Jesus only answered one question that the chief priests asked him, did he answer any questions that Pilate asked him?
- Jesus answered Pilate when he asked Him if He was the king of the Jews. He said he was.
- However, Jesus gave no answer when He was accused by the chief priests and the elders. This amazed the governor.
6. What options did Pilate give the chief priests? Why did he even give them an option? Which one did they choose?
- It was the governor's custom at the Passover festival to release to the crowd a prisoner they chose. This year he offered them Barabbas or Jesus who is called the Messiah.
- Pilate knew that the chief priests had arrested Jesus out of envy.
- Didn't Pilate have the power to rule in the favor of justice rather than trying to please a religious leader? Couldn't he have thrown the case out as being unreasonable? He could have, but he feared an uproar.
- The chief priests chose Barabbas. And they persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
7. What do you know about the man the people chose to release over Jesus? (Mark 15:7)
- A man called Barabbas was in prison with the insurrectionists who had committed murder in the uprising.
8. What ominous warning did Pilate receive and from whom?
- Pilate's wife warned him not to have anything to do with that innocent man. She had suffered a great deal in a dream because of Him.
9. Do you think Pilate wanted to have Jesus crucified? Based on what evidence?
- He was impressed with Jesus & His dignified silence - he knew Jesus wasn't a revolutionary
- He may have been concerned about the message he got from his wife. Did Pilate really believe Jesus was the Messiah or was he rubbing it in when he called Jesus "Christ"? Perhaps he was differentiating between Jesus Barabbas and Jesus who is called the Christ.
- He knew Jesus was innocent - brought in out of envy. That is not grounds for a crucifixion.
- Pilate was looking for a way of escape so he was giving them an opportunity to choose to release Jesus, especially after all the good things & miracles He had done for the Jewish people.
- He asked for clarification as to what crime Jesus had done. All he got was "Crucify Him". So the people chose the violent criminal over the man of love.
- He finally washed his hands in front of the crowd and told the people that he was innocent of Jesus' blood and it was their responsibility. The people said they were willing to have His blood on them and their children. (Are they still paying for that?)
10. What did Pilate do in the end?
- He released Barabbas
- Had Jesus flogged and handed Him handed over to be crucified. Roman flogging was terrible torture. The person was stripped, his hands were tied behind him, and he was tied to a post exposing his back to the lash. The lash was a long leather thong, which had intervals of sharpened pieces of bone and pellets of lead. It reduced the naked body to strips of raw flesh, becoming inflamed and bleeding. Men died under it, or lost their reason under it. Only a few remained conscience to the end of it.
11. Read Matthew 27:27-31. If Pilate knew Jesus was innocent, why did he have Jesus flogged and hand him over to be crucified? Why did he let Jesus be treated so cruelly? Is that justice? What are some of the other cruel things they did to Jesus?
- The soldiers stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on him and set a crown of thorns on his head. They put a staff in his right hand and then mocked him by kneeling in front of him saying "Hail King of the Jews.
- They spit on him, struck him on the head with the staff. These soldiers however did not know Jesus, they were bodyguards of Pilate so they roughed Jesus up, but unlike the Jews and Pilate, they acted in ignorance, not out of hatred for Jesus.
- Then they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to be crucified.
12. Read Matthew 27:32-44. What kind of physical condition would Jesus be in by now? How would that have affected His ability to carry his own cross to Golgotha?
- After being examined all night he was physically exhausted
- After being flogged, and struck on the head when they put a crown of thorns on his head I'm sure Jesus was in a lot of pain and weak from the blood He would have lost.
- No wonder Jesus couldn't carry his own cross and so they forced Simon from Cyrene, North Africa to do it.
13. What an appropriate name for the place where people were crucified. What does Golgotha mean?
- Place of the skull - it was shaped like a skull
- Since the crucifixion is the most terrible and cruel torture and death, it was a terrible way to die, but that is what Jesus willingly suffered for us.
14. What did the soldiers offer Jesus? Did He accept it?
- They offered wine mixed with gall (vinegar) - In order to deaden the pain the criminal was given a drink of drugged wine.
- He tasted it but refused to drink it. He was determined to accept death at its bitterest and grimmest and to not avoid any of the pain.
15. What did the soldiers do after they put Jesus on the cross?
- They divided up his clothes by casting lots. A criminal was crucified naked except for a loin cloth. The criminal's clothes became the property of the soldiers.
- They sat down and watched over him
- They put a sign above this head that said: "This is Jesus, the King of the Jews
16. How did those who viewed Jesus respond to Him? (Read also Luke 23:36-37, 39-43)
- Those who were passing by hurled insults at Him, shaking their heads. They said, "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!"
- The chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. "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. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if He wants Him, for He said, 'I am the Son of God.'
- The soldiers mocked Him. They offered Him wine vinegar and said, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself. (Luke 23:36-37)
- The 2 rebels/thieves/criminals who were crucified with Jesus also heaped insults on Him. According to Luke only one criminal was insulting Jesus. The other criminal rebuked Him. "Don't you fear God? We are punished justly for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. Then he asked Jesus to remember him when He went into His Kingdom. Jesus told the criminal that he would be in paradise with Jesus that day.
- Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for His needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee's sons (Salome - Mark 15:40).
- The centurion and those who were guarding Jesus came to the conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God.
- All the taunts that were sent toward Jesus centred around His claims and His apparent helplessness on the cross. The Jews could see God only in power, but Jesus showed God's sacrificial love.
17. Read Matthew 27:45-56. What all happened while Jesus was on the cross that caused the centurion to come to the conclusion that Jesus was the Son of God?
- Jesus was nailed to the cross at 9 am (Mark 15:25 - 3rd hour)
- From noon (6th hour) until three in the afternoon (9th hour) darkness came over all the land.
- About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Eli, Eli,[c] lema sabachthani?" (which means "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"). They thought Jesus was calling for Elijah, so they gave him wine vinegar. Jesus was on the cross for 6 hours. That was a mercifully brief amount of time for sometimes criminals hung on their crosses for days before death came to them.
- The moment Jesus died at 3 pm after He cried with a loud voice "Father into your hands I commit my spirit" (Luke 23:46) the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. That was the veil that covered the Holy of Holies which no one could enter except the High Priest.
- John states that Jesus shouted, "It is finished" before He died. In Greek the word is a Victor's shout, the cry of a person who has completed his task and had a victor's shout on his lips.
- The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life.
- 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!"
18. What is your response to the Jesus who was nailed to the cross because of the sins of all people?
19. With the way you are living now, will you be able to, like Jesus, on your death bed be able to give the victor's shout that you have finished the work God gave you to do?
20. In Matthew 27:52-53 what amazing event occurred? When did others find out?
- The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life but they stayed in the tombs until after Jesus was resurrected from the dead and then went into the holy city and appeared to many people
- Because of Jesus' life, death and resurrection, the grave and death had lost its fear, power, terror and tragedy.
21. Read Matthew 27:57-61. What happened to Jesus' dead body?
- A rich man named Joseph, who was a disciple of Jesus went to Pilate and asked for Jesus' body. Pilate allowed him to have it.
- Joseph took Jesus' body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth and placed it in his own new tomb that he had cut out of the rock. He rolled a stone in front of the entrance and left.
22. Who was watching what Joseph was doing to Jesus' body?
- Mary Magdalene and another Mary were sitting opposite the tomb.
- The disciples fled but the women remained because they had nothing to fear. The public position of women was so low that no one would take notice of women followers. They wouldn't have been attacked or taken prisoner like the disciples might have because they were women. But even more than that, they were there because of their love for Jesus and perfect love casts out fear.
23. Read Matthew 27:62-66. What concern did the chief priests and the Pharisees have in regard to Jesus' burial? What did they do about it?
- They were concerned about something that Jesus had said about rising again after 3 days.
- They asked Pilate to make the tomb secure until the third day, otherwise the disciples may come and steal and body and tell the people that he had been raised from the dead.
- Pilate gave them a guard and told them to make it as secure as they knew how. They made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard. If anyone would have broken the seal, that would have been grounds for execution - tampering with the governors authority.
- It is curious as to when the chief priests and Pharisees talked to Pilate. Jesus died on Friday and the Sabbath was on Saturday (actually from 6 pm Friday - 6 pm Saturday). So that means that the chief priests and Pharisees approached Pilate on the Sabbath with their request. If they did that, they radically broke the Sabbath Law and shows how desperate they were to make certain Jesus was out of the way.
24. What do you think Jesus wants you to learn and understand from this chapter?