4 I have glorified you on the earth by completing the work you gave me to do.
Matthew 26:57-68, 27:1-61
57 Those who had arrested Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had convened. 58 Peter was following him at a distance right to the high priest’s courtyard. He went in and was sitting with the servants to see the outcome.
59 The chief priests and the whole Sanhedrin were looking for false testimony against Jesus so that they could put him to death, 60 but they could not find any, even though many false witnesses came forward.a]">[a] Finally, twob]">[b] who came forward 61 stated, “This man said, ‘I can destroy the temple of God and rebuild it in three days.’”
62 The high priest stood up and said to him, “Don’t you have an answer to what these men are testifying against you?” 63 But Jesus kept silent. The high priest said to him, “I charge you under oath by the living God: Tell us if you are the Messiah, the Son of God.”
65 Then the high priest tore his robes and said, “He has blasphemed! Why do we still need witnesses? See, now you’ve heard the blasphemy. 66 What is your decision?”
They answered, “He deserves death!” 67 Then they spat in his face and beat him; others slapped him 68 and said, “Prophesy to us, Messiah! Who was it that hit you?”
When daybreak came, all the chief priests and the elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put him to death. 2 After tying him up, they led him away and handed him over to Pilate,a]">[a] the governor.
3 Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that Jesus had been condemned, was full of remorse and returned the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders. 4 “I have sinned by betraying innocent blood,” he said.
“What’s that to us?” they said. “See to it yourself!” 5 So he threw the silver into the temple and departed. Then he went and hanged himself.
6 The chief priests took the silver and said, “It’s not permitted to put it into the temple treasury, since it is blood money.” 7 They conferred together and bought the potter’s field with it as a burial place for foreigners. 8 Therefore that field has been called “Field of Blood” to this day. 9 Then what was spoken through the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled: They tookb]">[b] the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him whose price was set by the Israelites, 10 and they gavec]">[c] them for the potter’s field, as the Lord directed me.d]">[d]
11 Now Jesus stood before the governor. “Are you the king of the Jews?” the governor asked him.
Jesus answered, “You say so.” 12 While he was being accused by the chief priests and elders, he didn’t answer.
13 Then Pilate said to him, “Don’t you hear how much they are testifying against you?” 14 But he didn’t answer him on even one charge, so that the governor was quite amazed.
15 At the festival the governor’s custom was to release to the crowd a prisoner they wanted. 16 At that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.e]">[e] 17 So when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, “Who is it you want me to release for you—Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” 18 For he knew it was because of envy that they had handed him over.
19 While he was sitting on the judge’s bench, his wife sent word to him, “Have nothing to do with that righteous man, for today I’ve suffered terribly in a dream because of him.”
20 The chief priests and the elders, however, persuaded the crowds to ask for Barabbas and to execute Jesus. 21 The governor asked them, “Which of the two do you want me to release for you?”
“Barabbas!” they answered.
22 Pilate asked them, “What should I do then with Jesus, who is called Christ?”
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 Then he said, “Why? What has he done wrong?”
But they kept shouting all the more, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that a riot was starting instead, he took some water, washed his hands in front of the crowd, and said, “I am innocent of this man’s blood.f]">[f] See to it yourselves!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released Barabbas to them and, after having Jesus flogged, handed him over to be crucified.
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the governor’s residence and gathered the whole companyg]">[g] around him. 28 They stripped him and dressed him in a scarlet robe. 29 They twisted together a crown of thorns, put it on his head, and placed a staff in his right hand. And they knelt down before him and mocked him: “Hail, king of the Jews!” 30 Then they spat on him, took the staff, and kept hitting him on the head. 31 After they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe, put his own clothes on him, and led him away to crucify him.
32 As they were going out, they found a Cyrenian man named Simon. They forced him to carry his cross. 33 When they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of the Skull), 34 they gave him wineh]">[h] mixed with gall to drink. But when he tasted it, he refused to drink it. 35 After crucifying him, they divided his clothes by casting lots.i]">[i] 36 Then they sat down and were guarding him there. 37 Above his head they put up the charge against him in writing: This Is Jesus, the King of the Jews.
38 Then two criminalsj]">[j] were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 Those who passed by were yelling insults atk]">[k] him, shaking their heads 40 and saying, “You who would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save yourself! If you are the Son of God, come down from the cross!” 41 In the same way the chief priests, with the scribes and elders,l]">[l] mocked him and said, 42 “He saved others, but he cannot save himself! He is the King of Israel! Let himm]">[m] come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43 He trusts in God; let God rescue him now—if he takes pleasure in him!n]">[n] For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44 In the same way even the criminals who were crucified with him taunted him.
45 From noon until three in the afternoon,o]">[o] darkness came over the whole land.p]">[p] 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Elí, Elí, lemáq]">[q] sabachtháni?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”r]">[r]
47 When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling for Elijah.”
48 Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge, filled it with sour wine, put it on a stick, and offered him a drink. 49 But the rest said, “Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”
50 But Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and gave up his spirit. 51 Suddenly, the curtain of the sanctuary was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were also opened and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised. 53 And they came out of the tombs after his resurrection, entered the holy city, and appeared to many.
54 When the centurion and those with him, who were keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they were terrified and said, “Truly this man was the Son of God!”
55 Many women who had followed Jesus from Galilee and looked after him were there, watching from a distance. 56 Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
57 When it was evening, a rich man from Arimathea named Joseph came, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus. 58 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Then Pilate ordered that its]">[s] be released. 59 So Joseph took the body, wrapped it in clean, fine linen, 60 and placed it in his new tomb, which he had cut into the rock. He left after rolling a great stone against the entrance of the tomb. 61 Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were seated there, facing the tomb.
The death of Jesus Christ is the fulfillment in history of the very mind and intent of God. There is no place for seeing Jesus Christ as a martyr. His death was not something that happened to Him—something that might have been prevented. His death was the very reason He came.
Never build your case for forgiveness on the idea that God is our Father and He will forgive us because He loves us. That contradicts the revealed truth of God in Jesus Christ. It makes the Cross unnecessary, and the redemption “much ado about nothing.” God forgives sin only because of the death of Christ. God could forgive people in no other way than by the death of His Son, and Jesus is exalted as Savior because of His death. “We see Jesus . . . for the suffering of death crowned with glory and honor” (Hebrews 2:9). The greatest note of triumph ever sounded in the ears of a startled universe was that sounded on the Cross of Christ—“It is finished!” (John 19:30). That is the final word in the redemption of humankind.
Anything that lessens or completely obliterates the holiness of God, through a false view of His love, contradicts the truth of God as revealed by Jesus Christ. Never allow yourself to believe that Jesus Christ stands with us, and against God, out of pity and compassion, or that He became a curse for us out of sympathy for us. Jesus Christ became a curse for us by divine decree. Our part in realizing the tremendous meaning of His curse is the conviction of sin. Conviction is given to us as a gift of shame and repentance; it is the great mercy of God. Jesus Christ hates the sin in people, and Calvary is the measure of His hatred.
Published on Friday, April 2, 2021 @ 5:23 AM CDT