Matthew, Chapter 27  


Matt. 27:54-56

Matt. 27:54 "Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God. 55 And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him: 56 Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children."


Truly, the events that surrounded the crucifixion of Christ were amazing events. The fact that there was darkness over all the earth for three hours, the fact there was an earthquake, and the rocks were rent were all things the people present were witnesses of. No wonder the centurion said, "Truly this was the Son of God." Yet the understanding of the significance of these events escaped notice of all mankind until after the resurrection of Christ.


The women who are specifically mentioned and those not mentioned who were present at the crucifixion of Christ were no doubt greatly saddened at the death of Jesus. Their love for him was great and now (according to the thinking at that time) he was gone from them forever. Little did they know that their sorrow would be turned into great joy three days later.


I point out that Mary, the mother of James and Joses, is also the same Mary that gave birth to Jesus: Mat 13:55 "Is not this the carpenter's son? is not his mother called Mary? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas?" Please note that after the death and resurrection of Christ he is no longer known as the son of man, but rather as the Son of God. As the Son of God, Mary is not the mother, but the Sonship of Christ is eternal.

Matt. 27:57-61

Matt. 27:57 "When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: 58 He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. 59 And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, 60 And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed. 61 And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre."


Mk. 15:43 "Joseph of Arimathaea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus. 44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead: and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead. 45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph."


Joseph was a rich man and he was an honourable counselor. He also waited for the kingdom of God. Joseph had a new tomb in which no man had lain. Joseph went to the governor and begged the body of Jesus. After that Pilate conferred with the centurion to be assured that Jesus was dead and was satisfied, he gave the body to Joseph who took the body and wrapped it in a clean cloth and laid it in the new tomb and rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulcher.


The women, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary, sat over against the sepulcher no doubt mourning and waiting to be able to anoint the body of Jesus.


Jesus was placed in a new tomb. This was a borrowed tomb as he only intended to stay here three days and three nights.

Matt. 27:62-66

Matt. 27:62 "Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate, 63 Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again. 64 Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first. 65 Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can. 66 So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch."


The cunning devices of men backfire when they clash with the will of God. The chief priests and Pharisees wanted a watch of Roman soldiers to guard the tomb of Jesus as they said, "lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first." They got what they requested from Pilate, yet because they got what they requested, their lie, which they rumored later, that the disciples came and stole away the body of Jesus, is made unbelievable because they got the requested guard from Pilate.


The Roman guard of valiant soldiers would never allow the disciples to come and steal away the body of Jesus. However, the Roman guard was powerless against the will and power of Almighty God. The actions of the chief priests and Pharisees resulted in further incontrovertible evidence of the resurrection of Christ. This is certainly not what they intended.

Pilate and Herod's Verdicts

Both Pilate and Herod had heard the accusations and testimony of the chief priests and elders and both concluded that there was nothing worthy of death in Jesus:


1. Lk. 23:13 "And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 14 Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. 16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him."
2. John 19:4 "Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him."

The Third Trial

After Pilate had examined Jesus he sent him to King Herod: Lk. 23:7 "And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time. 8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him. 9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. 11 And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate. 12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves."


Herod was a name that was given to the king who ruled over that portion of the Roman Empire kingdom. There were several Herods mentioned in the scriptures. This was probably the second Herod to be mentioned. Herod examined Jesus and, as we will see, he found no cause for putting him to death. We are also are told of the wicked treatment that Jesus received at the hands of the Roman soldiers under Herod.