This is part of a Daily Devotional Orwell Bible Church prepares each week. You can get a copy from our Downloads and Literature page.
Here Matthew tells of Jesus’ trial, condemnation on the basis of false witnesses, crucifixion, and death. Matthew gives more space to these events than the other gospels, and he along relates how these events fulfilled Scripture (vv. 9, 35). This was important for Jews to hear, for the death of their promised Christ and King was not what they expected. And yet, when Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered affirmatively, “It is as you say” (v. 11).
Matthew alone mentions Judas’s suicide and the thirty pieces of silver (vv. 3–10) and the resurrection of saints after Jesus’ resurrection (vv. 53–53). Relating Pilate’s annual release of a prisoner (vv. 15–26), Matthew alone notes that Pilate asked if the Jews wanted “Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” (v. 17) and that in response to Pilate’s plea of innocence in the matter the Jews said, “His blood be on us and on our children” (v. 25).
This account demonstrates to Jews that Jesus, their Christ and King, was unanimously rejected by Jewish religious leaders (v. 1) and the Jewish people (vv. 20–25) fulfilling OT Scriptures. Jesus followed this course in obedience to the Father, voluntarily sacrificed himself for sinners (v. 50), and through his death provided fulfill forgiveness of sins (v. 51) and victory over death (v. 52).
Truths to Nail Down and Meditate On
- Every gospel writer tells of Jesus’ life, death, and resurrection, giving the main points of such. Yet each gospel writer is selective in what they do and do not include to accomplish their purpose in writing. This is why their accounts have both similarities and differences, but no contradictions. Read them carefully, humbly, and thankfully.
- Jesus’ cry “My God, My God, why have you forsaken Me?” (v. 46) did not involve a disruption among or a break in fellowship between the Father and the Son. Jesus’ cry was that of genuine anguish and feeling of desolation for what he had been suffering for six hours. It was his expression of being judged by God. Jesus suffered for sinners.
- Jesus didn’t die as a martyr for a cause but as the perfect sacrifice for sinners. He was innocent and blameless—no legitimate charge could be found against him. His death was that of the perfect, spotless Lamb of God to take away the sins of the world.