The council condemned Jesus to be sentenced to death; blasphemy was a capital offense. The Romans had taken the right to execute criminals away from the Jews, however, so they had to appeal to the imperial authorities in town. Before they did, Matthew returned outside to where he had left Peter and narrated the pathetic account of Peter’s denial, just as Jesus has prophesied. Peter provided a sad contrast with Jesus, who remained stalwart under life-threatening pressure.
Chapter 27 moves quickly to Jesus’ sentence and execution, the even t that occurred on the day that we now call Good Friday. Verses 1-31 unfold His sentencing. In verses 1-2 the Jews, more legally now that morning has broken, confirmed their verdict. They then sent Jesus to Pilate, the Roman governor. Pilate did not care if Jesus had blasphemed God according to Jewish law, but he would take careful notice if the Jews charged Him with treason against Rome (as, for example, if Jesus claimed to be king, verse 11).
Again Matthew interrupted the chronology to sandwich another event that offers a bitter contrast – Judas’ remorse and suicide. Not only did Judas and Jesus dramatically differ, but also Judas and Peter provided instructive contrasts. Both betrayed their master, even in differing ways. Both were deeply grieved afterwards. But Peter apparently demonstrated true repentance, which would permit him to be reinstated, whereas Judas sought absolutely the wrong remedy by taking his own life.
Verses 11-26 proceed with the Roman sentencing of our Lord. Pilate seems to have been convinced that Jesus had committed no crime against the empire but found himself in a delicate position. If the Jews rioted, he could have been in trouble with the emperor for not preserving the peace. What did it matter to him, if the price of peace was the life of one Jewish religious fanatic? Despite his own instincts and warnings from his wife, he acceded to the request of the Jewish leaders and the mob they had whipped up into an irrational frenzy.
Verse 25 climaxes this section with a ringing acceptance of the responsibility for Jesus’ death on the part of the Jewish crowds present. “His blood be on us and on our children,” however, cannot be taken to refer to all Jews of all times. Matthew doubtless envisioned “our children” as the next generation, which was indeed judged by the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. But Jesus’ blood would also be on the heads of Jewish people for good if they turned to Christ for the salvation His shed blood makes possible. Meanwhile, Pilate handed Jesus over to his soldiers, who mocked Him and then prepared to lead Him to His execution.
Credits: Concise Bible Commentary, David S. Dockery, General Editor and Holy Bible, King James Version.
Columbia Prayer Chain
Friday, October 14
In our prayers: Jeannie, Dale and Norma Sessions, Padge Arrington, Donna Hotaling, Meredith Mitchell, Betty Jo, Jerry Callahan, Russ Meyne, April Goodwin, Laura Bushnell, Loretta M. in Cayce, Kody Oswald, Tina Bailey, Oliver Crawford, Edgar Maxwell, Laura Lou Rummans, Elizabeth Adams, Rootie Pope in Leesville, Gene Awtrey in Spring Valley, John Conde, Millie Husbands, Clyde Ireland, Sam King, Bob Whiteside, Chuck Witten, Lindsay Cathcart, Raven Tarpley, Elizabeth F., Steven and Janelle, William Alex McDaniels, Maddie Rosenthal, DuBose Tuller, Nancy, Doris C., Lynn in Camden, John in Forest Acres, Frances R., Chris Johansson in Blythewood, Nancy in West Columbia, John in Forest Acres
In memoriam: Edward “Eddie” McNay Bergeron Jr., Berdie M. Brown, Jacqueline “Jackie” Hardy Elmore, Ricky Bolen, Hunter L. Hornsby, Jason Roy Wood, Gerry Pera, Frank Gutierrez, Quenby Marvin Means Jr., Michael Howe, Mary Calhoun Wise
Our prayers are with: The homeless, the unemployed, all infant victims of abuse, all those fighting breast cancer and all breast cancer survivors, Mandy and all beloved pets, our president and congress and all who serve in the armed forces
Columbia Prayer Chain is open to all residents of greater Columbia who would like to share prayers and receive the prayers of others. Please leave your name in the comment box below or email me to join our Prayer Chain. It is updated daily as prayers are requested.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane In Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located in Columbia.
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