Memphis Belle

To log onto UNITYINCHRIST.COM’S BLOG, Click Here
Unity in Christ
About the Author
Does God Exist?

The Book of Acts
the Prophets & Prophecy

Song of Solomon

OT History
Early Church History
Church History
Sabbatarian Heritage
The Worldwide Church Of God
Messianic Believers

America-Modern Romans

Latin-American Poverty

Ministry Principles

Topical Studies
Guest Book
Utility Pages
Share on Facebook
Tell a friend:

Matthew 27:1-26


“When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:  and when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.  Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.  And they said, What is that to us?  see thou to that.  And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.  And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.  And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.  Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.  Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value; and gave them for the potter’s field, as the Lord appointed me.  And Jesus stood before the governor:  and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?  And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.  And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.  Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?  And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.  Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.  And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.  Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you?  Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?  For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.  When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man:  for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.  But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.  The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you?  They said, Barabbas.  Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ?  They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.  And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done?  But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.  When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person:  see ye to it.  Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.  Then released he Barabbas unto them:  and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”


“Thank you for just your grace, Lord.  Thank you for building these stations.  I know, some of us, it’s kept us up at night, wondering how it was going to happen.  And we’ve at times been in seasons where we’ve wondered how things are going to happen.  And yet you’ve graciously done it.  We know God that you’re the builder of your Church, you’re the builder of your Work, you do what you do, and by your grace help us to just tune in and know what you want us to do, Lord.  Help us to sense your leading and be obedient.  Thank you for these stations, we pray you’d use them to your glory, we pray they’d stay on the air, Lord, and touch the lives of many people, and that they’d always be used their entire lives as broadcast facilities giving out the love of Jesus Christ and the Word of God.  And in the parts that we play may we be faithful.  But I just thank you for doing what you’ve done.  The next station to go on the air, work out the other station locally we’re trying to get and get it on the air, and then all the translators, incredible, Lord, what they cover too.  Thanks, Lord.  Now we come to your Word, and we read about real events, historical events, things that you did.  And that’s why we’re here today, that’s why we get to be part of these things, because of what you’ve done for us.  Help us not lose touch and miss the incredible love you have for us.  And all the more just be blown away by your love, that we would just walk closely with you, regardless if even the things we’re involved with, that we would just be in love with you Lord.  Because it’s all about you.  Speak to us Lord, even in your grace bring us back in a sense to these events, so that we can see them for what they are, and maybe in a way we haven’t.  May the Holy Spirit be upon all of ourselves and even me now as we go through your Word, in Jesus name, amen.’


Jesus Before Pontius Pilate


Chapter 27:1-2, “When morning came, all the chief priests and elders of the people plotted against Jesus to put him to death.  And when they had bound him, they led him away and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.”   You know, as we read what we do this week, next week, we see all that Jesus endured, we’ve already seen some intense things that he’s endured.  The religious leaders looking for just the opportunity, they wanted to take his life.  So in our last study we saw how they worked it so that they finally were able to get him, and they used one of his own disciples, Judas.  They went in the dark of night and they took him.  And then they brought him through this whole mock trial, just a real joke of a trial, illegal trial in the middle of the night.  And they condemned him in that trial.  And that’s now where it brings us here in chapter 27.  You know it says ‘All the chief priests and elders plotted against him’, and he’s got a lot of people against him.  It’s not easy to have people against you, especially plotting for your life, plotting for your death.  But that’s where he’s at, at this particular time.  Now, they have condemned him in this little joke of a trial they had, illegal trial, but the problem is, they’re not able to perform what they wish to perform, and that is to put him to death.  So they have to involve the Roman government to do that, so here in these verses they bring him to Pontius Pilate who is the governor.  Now it was AD30, about two years before, two years before this event, that the Romans actually took away the Jewish ability to perform capital punishment.  [Comment:  No, the actual year of Jesus crucifixion was AD30, the very year, according to the pastor here, that they lost this ability.  He thinks this is occurring on AD32.  The actual date that the Jews lost their ability to execute capital punishment under Roman rule was sometime between 7 and 11 AD.  See .  See also]  They didn’t allow the Jews after AD30 to perform capital punishment at all, which created a challenge for the Jew, the nation of Israel.  The nation of Israel [Judah], the nation of Israel had the Law, you know from the Law if you’ve read through it, many times there is God saying, you know, there is to be capital punishment for certain crimes, if these are committed in Israel, I want you to, the penalty is death.  And now as a nation they live under the Roman rule, and the Romans have not allowed them to do that.  So that’s the time we find them in at this particular time.  …When this happened, when the Romans did that, the religious leaders, there were a number of them that ran out into the city streets of Jerusalem, tore their clothes, threw dust in the air, as you even see on TV today, and they cried out this, they cried out “God has failed us, God has failed us!”  Some religious leaders that understood certain things.  Why did they do that?  They did that because of Genesis chapter 49, verse 10.  They understood what God said through Jacob, thousands of years before, Jacob to his son Judah.  Jacob said this, prophetically, looking at his son Judah and his descendants, he said “The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh comes.  And to him shall be the obedience of the people.”  God said through Jacob to Judah, ‘You’re descendants will become a tribe, the tribe of Judah, and that community, that tribe, that nation, will have this ability, this sceptre to ‘judiciate’ itself.  And it will remain until the time of the Shiloh.’  What is the Shiloh, who is the Shiloh?  The Shiloh was a name for the Messiah.  It was God speaking of the Messiah, that he would come.  And so when this Roman rule went down and said that the Jews could no longer judiciate themselves in the sense of the death penalty, they understood that in the sense that they lost their Sceptre, their ability to do that.  And there was certainly at this time religious leaders that were looking for the Messiah, and many of them were blinded as to who he was.  But they were looking for him.  And so when suddenly there’s no ability, no sceptre in the nation, God promised that the Shiloh would come, and he’s not here, that’s what they thought.  ‘He hasn’t come.  God hasn’t been true to his Word.’  So they went out to the streets of Jerusalem and showed their grief by throwing the dirt in the air and tearing their clothes.  [And this happened sometime between 7AD and 11AD, and the Shiloh had come, and was working in his step-dad’s carpenter shop.]  It’s amazing they were blinded because God was true to his Word, because he was there.  He was there amongst them, later ministering in Galilee and all around the land.  And the wild thing is, that with many of them, the religious leaders of his time, he’s right there before them, they actually have him in their custody.  They’ve actually arrested him, and are seeking to put him to death.  You know there are a lot of interesting twists in this text as we go through, and interesting angles to the story, as we study the last hours of the life of Jesus.  But it is rather interesting that they are seeking to put somebody to death, yet they don’t have the sceptre, they don’t have the means of capital punishment because of the Roman rule…years before.  But they’re also upset because of Genesis chapter 49, that God has not sent the Shiloh, but yet at the same time, at this time, they’re trying to put to death the Shiloh, but they have this frustration because they don’t have the sceptre.  But they’re actually trying to put to death Shiloh himself, Jesus Christ.  I mean, Matthew has been showing us, chapter after chapter, there’s never been anybody like Jesus.  He’s been showing us he’s the Son of God and he is indeed the Messiah, and he’s fulfilled these prophecies.  And yet they’re blinded to it.  They’re blinded to it, they’re blinded to the Work of God right there below their noses, right there in their very hands, they’re blinded to it.  And that happens often to people, throughout history it happens.  And sometimes it even happens to us as believers, but we’re looking, we’re seeking.  Men are digging for answers, men and women are researching and looking, and seeking to be enlightened, wanting this Work of God whatever it might be.  But yet they’re [these religious leaders] missing God, and he’s right there before them, right there below their very noses, the Work of God, the hand of God, not seeing him.  And that was the religious leaders.  These guys knew the Law, I mean, they examined it so well.  But yet they missed God, they missed God as they did it.  Even Jesus, you know earlier he said that they were so blind, Matthew chapter 22, verse 29 he said, “You are mistaken, not knowing the Scriptures nor the power of God.”  They could quote the Scriptures, but they missed the whole Work of God.  And you can have the same thing, you can come to this church, week after week, you can go to the Bible studies, you can sit in the Sunday school, you can be all religious, and miss God, because of a lack of faith, spiritual eyes, and spiritual ears [which only come by being indwelt by the Holy Spirit].  And maybe there are some in the room right now, some listening in [or reading this] where that’s true.  You’ve been looking and looking and missing him, but he’s right there before you.  He’s working in your family, he’s been working in your spouse, he’s showing you a work through your kids, and at your workplace, and there’s things all around you, yet you’re not even seeing because of blindness.  These guys are like that.  They were the experts, supposedly, but they were missing the very Work of God.  We read in John chapter 18 that they bring Jesus before Pilate at this time, and presumably, you know the Praetorium, the Palace there, we presume at this time they are both one and the same.  Pilate comes out on the balcony, that seems to be the way it is.  And they don’t want to go in, we read in one of the Gospels, they don’t want to go into the Praetorium because the way the Passover worked, we’ve already seen the Passover with Jesus and his disciples, but because of the calendar, the Roman calendar, the Jewish calendar, there seems to be the Passover happening on multiple days is the way it works out.  [Comment:  the pastor is seeing something here which is real, but he doesn’t quite understand what was going on.  The Jews some time after the time of Ezra and Nehemiah had gone from observing an early 13th/14th Nisan Passover meal, as Exodus 12 was, to observing it 24 hours later, around sunset which would be the 14th/15th Nisan, their days beginning and ending at sunset.  So because Jewish tradition now had them all slaying their lambs on the daylight portion of the 14th Nisan, they would all be sitting down for their Passover meal that evening, as the 15th Nisan drew on, just after the afternoon portion of the 14th Nisan had passed where Jesus had just died on the cross around 3pm.  So Jesus, in reality was dying, being slain, when all the other Passover lambs were being slain.  But Jesus had observed his Passover meal at the proper time, as the 14th Nisan was drawing on, at sunset of the 13th/14th Nisan, the evening before.]  But at this time the chief priests and elders, they don’t want to go into the Praetorium because of the Passover, they want to be able to partake in the Passover, they don’t want to be defiled.  But they’re concerned about the letter of the Law, and yet they’re trying to commit murder.  They’re all into the letter, the religious thing, but they’re missing God, and their hearts are so far from God, their hearts are evil and wicked.  They bring him before Pilate, and Pilate says as he comes out, he says “What accusation do you bring against this man?”  To which they answer, this is John 18, verses 28 and on, “If he were not an evil doer we would not have delivered him up to you Pilate”, to which Pilate responded “You take him and judge him according to your law.”  But the Jews then said to him, they said this, “It’s not lawful for us to put anyone to death.”  ‘You guys changed the law, we can’t do it, we don’t have that sceptre, we can’t put him to death’, clearly showing their motive.  Well, we do know the Romans at times bent a little bit with a rule, a little bit later, Stephen we know, the Jews stone him.  And there’s no indication that the Romans stepped in, so they were a little lenient at times.   But the interesting thing is, generally when the Jews would perform capital punishment, put somebody to death, they would generally stone him.  But here they can’t stone him, they can’t put him to death, so they take him to the Romans to have him put to death, and the Romans don’t stone.  What they did was crucify.  Which is also interesting, because God is working in so many ways, that this is even according to his purpose.  Because it was according to his purpose that Jesus would not be stoned, but that he would be crucified.  Paul told the Galatians this, Galatians chapter 3, verse 13, “Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the Law, having become a curse for us, for it is written, ‘Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree.’”  The law said cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree, so Jesus came himself, according to the purposes of the Law, and according to the purpose of God was put on a cross, so that he would become the curse for us, so that we would be delivered from the curse, and that we’d be free from it.  So, it is interesting, they can’t perform capital punishment, and generally they would have stoned him.  But they can’t, so they bring him to the Romans, and that in the end will mean crucifixion for Jesus.  Which again fulfills the very purposes of God, that his Son would be hung on a tree, that he would become this curse for us, so that I would be delivered from the hideous curse of sin, and be delivered from that and be set free.  John, as he writes about this very moment, in chapter 18, as I already quoted, he then says, as they go back and forth, the Jews say ‘Hey, listen, we can’t do it, you took the law.’  Then John makes this comment, here as he writes about this, “That the saying of Jesus might be fulfilled which he spoke, signifying by what death he would die.”  So John was saying this was according to prophecy that he would then die in the manner that he would die.  Well, we could go on with lots of things, and we’ve only got so much time, if we’re going to get to chapter 28 by Easter [Passover].  But there are some interesting reads, one of the reads I think is interesting that you can get, if you want to study more, these trials, this all happened so quickly in the middle of the night, then you’ve got some quick things that happen in the morning.  It’s early morning at this time, we presume 5 o’clock is probably a good guess.  It seems by about 9 o’clock Jesus is on the cross.  Things go really quick.  And this is capital punishment, this is to put somebody to death, it just goes boom, boom, boom, boom.  And there are theories, how could that possibly happen.  How could the Jews possibly work with the Romans?  And ultimately God is orchestrating the events.  But there is one particular book called “Who Moved the Stone?” by Frank Morrison, I would suggest you read it if you never have.  The interesting thing about that book, I recommend it often, is the author originally did not believe that Jesus rose from the dead.  He really sought to disprove that Jesus rose from the dead, he wanted to prove that he didn’t rise from the dead.  And as this man began to seek and find the answers in research, and he was a pretty reputable man in certain areas of the world, he actually discovered that the facts prove that Jesus rose from the dead.  So he writes this book about that experience.  But as he goes into the trials, he gives interesting insights, and it would seem that Pilate and the religious leaders, it would seem that other meetings were going on in order for this to happen so quickly.  There’s the possibility that there was even some preparatory work that was happening maybe even earlier that we don’t read about in the Gospels, but man it certainly does move quickly.  It’s possible. 


The way in which Judas repents


Verses 3-10, “Then Judas, his betrayer, seeing that he had been condemned, was remorseful and brought back the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, ‘I have sinned by betraying innocent blood.’  And they said, ‘What is that to us?  You see to it!  Then he threw down the pieces of silver in the temple and departed, and went and hanged himself.  But the chief priests took the silver pieces and said, ‘It is not lawful to put them into the treasury, because they are the price of blood.’  And they consulted together and bought with them the potter’s field, to bury strangers in.  Therefore the field has been called the Field of Blood to this day.  Then was fulfilled what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet, saying, ‘And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the value of him who was priced, whom they of the children of Israel priced, and gave them for the potter’s field, as the LORD directed me.’”   Now, Judas discerns that Jesus is going to be condemned.  And he’s convinced of it, and then we follow his response to that.  It’s possible he’s maybe from a certain vantage point is able to see some of the trial of the religious leaders and saw them condemn him to death.  It’s also possible he is able to view or has viewed Jesus being taken to the Roman authorities, and he’s just sure at one point, it doesn’t take long, he’s certain that Jesus is going to actually be put to death.  And then his response.  I mean, just a little earlier he was getting money for this deal.  He’s a guy we’ve seen, the Gospels make it clear, he lusted for riches and power, he wanted money.  That was a lot of the reason he was in this whole system, and working with Jesus, he wanted things out of it.  He wanted riches especially, and position.  And potentially discerning it wasn’t going to go his way, he then is given a temptation where he can actually betray Jesus and get some money out of it, 30 pieces of silver, basically four or five months wage today, $10,000, $15,000 worth of money is the way it would be converted to modern-day wage, 100 days worth of pay, 120 days worth of pay.  And so he’s got this, I mean, he lusts for this stuff.  And he just got it a couple hours ago.  And look at his response.  He’s had it just a little bit of time, he’s got what he’s wanted.  And now he’s completely, because he’s sinned, the NIV says he was seized with remorse, he’s overcome with remorse.  There’s an incredible sense of guilt that came upon him, shame that comes upon him.  And it doesn’t look like he’s having too much fun with that money, that’s for sure.  Now you wonder, how did Judas reason earlier, did he reason that ‘Well I know this Jesus, he’s quite a guy, and I’ll betray him, but nobody can hold this guy.’  I mean, he’s seen him do some pretty cool things, you know, the guy’s walked on water, he’s raised the dead, he’s taken demonic men that were just completely evil and delivered them from demons.  And so he’s maybe thought, ‘I can betray him, but nobody’s going to be able to stop him.’  That’s what he reasoned.  Or maybe he never ever thought about the consequences, maybe it was just ‘the money was there, the opportunity, he just went for it.’  And we know ultimately that Satan then consumed him.  He became a pawn in the hand of Satan the devil, and he went and did it.  And so possibly he just didn’t consider the consequences, didn’t think ahead about what it meant, or what it was going to mean in the end, in reality---and he just went for it, the lust just grabbed him, and there he goes.  And now he regrets his decision, and it’s too late.  And isn’t that how sin works?  You know, that’s always how it works.  It has that appeal initially, you know, ‘Here, have fun.’  And yet it just doesn’t work out that way.  And so you’ve got the thirty pieces of silver in your pocket and now you have this sense of guilt and shame because of what you’ve done.  And don’t we all go through that, huh?  Over and over and over, we do.  Sometimes we fool ourselves into thinking that we can dabble in sin and there won’t be any consequences, and later we find out the Word of God is true, and that that’s not the case that we can get away with it.  But the Bible says that “Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”  And so here we then reap it, and we find out that we can’t get away with sin.  And this fruit of sin often includes that sense of shame, and sometimes we can do things that cause us to really have an overwhelming sense of shame, a real heavy shame…It’s not pleasant to have shame.  Although I think it’s by God’s design, it’s a good thing if we’ve done wrong.  When it says he was remorseful, that word is not necessarily a bad word, in that at times it’s used in the Bible for people that were remorseful in a good way.  I mean, that sense of remorse is also translated repent, so it’s not necessarily a bad word when it says ‘he was remorseful.’  But the deal with Judas is it didn’t lead to a change in his life, it didn’t lead to a change in his mind in that sense, or a change in the way he lived.  It didn’t lead to a true repentance.  It wasn’t a godly sorrow.  In 2nd Corinthians chapter 9 Paul tells the church in Corinth that they had a sorrow, remorse, that was godly, it led to a change.  “Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance.  For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us from nothing.”  He says ‘You guys were made sorry, but it was also a godly sorrow, meaning, you did something about it, you changed the way that you lived.’  And interesting, you remember in our last study, that we just saw another man with a real sense of remorse, the end of chapter 26, our last study, last week.  Peter, oh man, he’s weeping bitterly, he’s so ashamed.  He’s overcome with remorse.  But there’s a big difference between Peter and Judas, because Peter’s remorse we know in time will lead him to Christ, will lead him into a greater life for Christ, it will lead him into a changed life.  But Judas, his remorse led him to suicide, it didn’t lead him to the Lord, it didn’t lead him to repentance.  And so today, it’s good to be sorry for a sin, that’s healthy man.  But that sorrow needs to, that remorse needs to lead to a change of the mind and a change of life.  You might be here today, and you might have gone through things.  If you’re here today and you have a sense of guilt, you know, you have it, ‘I’ve done these things, and they are wrong’---and here you are and having that sense of shame, and that’s not bad to have that.  It’s good.  It’s not good to do wrong, but the fact that you’ve done it, and here you are with a sense of shame---but now, the thing is to repent and to change, and to go make it right, the best you can, and to be remorseful in that sense, that’s a godly sorrow.  If you’re here today and you feel bad about things you’ve done, or are doing, and you are yet not going to do anything about it, you’re being like Judas.  You’re doing what Judas was, rather than being like Peter, or having the godly sorrow of the Corinthians.  To just feel bad and not have any sense of change in your life is the life that Judas lived, and we see at the end, that’s what he did.  So if you’re here today and you have done wrong, and there is shame, hey, boy I can relate.  I don’t have to go too long, I can even come on many Sunday mornings and I have a sense of shame or just guilt, because of, I’m a sinner and I do wrong.  [Comment:  Now don’t get this pastor wrong, he’s not living in the sinning lifestyle of the world.  He’s in the sanctification process, walking in the Word, indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  But we all slip up and sin on occasion, many occasions, but that doesn’t mean we’re living in a lifestyle of sin like those in the world.  I know this pastor personally, and can attest to this.  You must take his comment in context with what I said here.]  It’s what we do with it [our godly sorrow], it’s what we do that is important, and what we’re supposed to do is go to Christ, and say “Jesus Christ, please forgive me of my sin, and cleanse me and heal me.”  “But I ask for forgiveness because I’m repentant, I’m going to change.  I’m going to seek with all my heart and by the grace of God through your Spirit I’m going to go and do the right thing now.  I want a changed life, I hate what I did and I don’t want to do it again.”  That’s godly sorrow, and that’s not what Judas had.  Look, he says “I’ve sinned by betraying innocent blood”, I mean, he knew he had sinned and done wrong.  But yet there wasn’t in him the sense of ‘I’m going to go to God and I’m going to make it right, and I’m going to ask him to forgive me, and I’m going to seek to make my life different.’  And that’s what you and I need to do.  Hey, we all do wrong.  And you might be here, loaded up with guilt.  I mean, hey, everybody in this room can relate to that experience, that’s for sure.  But may we go and do the right thing. 


Where a lack of repentance leads, a scary place


Now the challenge is, when I don’t do the right thing.  When I have a sense of guilt and conviction and I don’t do anything about it, the challenge with that is then my heart becomes hard, and my conscience becomes dull.  And if you continue in that state for a long time, you can end up sitting in a church, with a sense of having blood on your hands, and yet not have any [sense or feeling of’] guilt, any sense of shame.  And that’s a scary place to be in.  That’s a scary heart.  And I pray by the grace of God none of us are in that case [or situation], but that we have sensitive hearts, that we feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit, and that we don’t just put it off and put it off.  But instead we fear God and are like ‘Well, I’ve done wrong, and I’m going to go face the consequences and make it right, but God forgive me.’  The amazing thing is, when God forgives us, he forgets.  It’s as if it never happened, and we stand before him as if it never happened, forgiven and cleansed and healed.  He says “I’ve sinned by betraying innocent blood”, he knew he had done wrong.  But there wasn’t within his heart the thing to go do it right and make it right. 


The hard hearts of the priests---We can’t be that way


They [the Leviticus priests] said to him, their hearts, man, they say “What is that to us?  You see to it.”  ‘Basically, that’s your problem, it’s your problem at this point, it’s not our problem.’  And isn’t that an ugly heart, to be that way?  I mean, these religious leaders kind of helped the whole deal go down, didn’t they?  I mean, this is ultimately what they wanted, they paid him the money, they helped offer the temptation.  And he’s a guy that’s actually remorseful for what he’s done, and he’s like ‘This is awful, I’ve done hideous things’, and they’re like, ‘That’s your problem.  You see to it.’  Oh man, oh what an ugly heart, what an ugly heart.  But often that is the heart of man.  I find it intriguing though, they say that in verse 4.  But what does Pilate say to them in just a little while, the same day, just a couple hours later?  Pilate says to them, verse 24, if you look at the very end in the New King James, the Greek is almost exact, they say to Judas ‘You see to it.’  Pilate a moment later is saying the same to them, verse 24, “You see to it” in another situation.  ‘Your problem, not mine’, basically.  He’s not going to stand for what’s right and true, ‘Your problem, not mine.’  And that’s kind of the way they are with Judas, ‘Your problem, not mine.’  The American way can be that way in our culture, and I guess it’s the human way.  If it effects me, then it’s important to me.  But if it doesn’t effect me, then it’s not important to me, it’s your problem.  ‘Hey, you’re having a hard time, group or society, people over there, ah, friend, neighbor, Gosh, too bad.  That’s your problem.  It ain’t my problem.’  And sometimes we can even be doing something that isn’t necessarily the best, and we can go, ‘Oh that’s their problem, if it’s a problem to them.  That’s their problem.  I do what I do, and ah, I’m just going to live my life.  And that’s their problem if they’re bothered by it or whatever, and if you stumble by what I do, that’s your problem.’  [i.e. too bad for my neighbors if I play my music in the middle of the night too loud]  That is often the human heart, it’s certainly the American Way, where we are as a nation, ‘right in our own eyes,’---you know what I mean?  ‘What’s good for you, do it’ is the principle, and we don’t concern ourselves so much with others in society.  But a person of character, a person that has the heart of God, and says ‘I am concerned about what I do if it effects you, I am concerned about you even if what I do doesn’t effect you, but you’re having an issue.  I’m concerned about the culture, I’m concerned about the community, I’m concerned about this State, I love righteousness, and I stand for righteousness.’  That’s a person of character.  And, these guys are not like that.  You know, ‘That’s your problem.’  Oh man, what a [dark] heart, what a heart.  Now consider if they were people of character.  Now we know, God is in charge, and he’s orchestrating all of this according to his purposes.  But they’re still accountable.  Consider if they were people of character, what should they do?  They’re the priests.  You have somebody coming to you saying ‘I’ve done wrong!’  Now what do you expect a pastor to do, right?  ‘That’s your problem.’  End of counseling.  No!  You expect, ‘Oh man, what can we do to help?’  And these guys, maybe they could have even done something.  You know, of course God is orchestrating this, so that it’s not going to change.  But theoretically they could have done something to try to stop it, and then try to make it right.  And then, ‘Judas, man, dude, we want to help restore you man, you’ve done wrong, but listen’, and taking him through the Bible.  But no, they say ‘That’s your problem, that’s your problem.’  Oh man, ‘You see to it.’  I pray that you and I are not that way, I pray that there is indeed a sincere conviction in our life, that we care, man, we love, and I care about you.  For example, there’s the principle of men and women living together, you know.  It’s so common in our culture, so it becomes a challenge in the church, but lots of people are living together that aren’t married in our culture, let’s face it.  It’s only going to get worse, and happen more and more.  And so you have people that are living together, they don’t know better, so they come to a church and they never know better, that’s what the society does.  So now they’re in a church, and they’re learning about God, and then so often what happens, ‘I become a Christian, and now I’m realizing, now wait a minute, purity, that’s important, I can’t be impure.’  So here’s a man, and here’s a woman, so they’re like ‘We’ve got to be pure, so we’re not going to do this anymore.’  But we’re going to continue to live together, because economically we can’t afford any other option, so we’re going to be pure.’  But then, I sit down and talk to them, I’m like, ‘Wait a minute, wait a minute.  It’s not just you, it’s your neighbors, and it’s the young people, and you’re saying you’re a believer, but what about your witness?’  And I’ve sat down with folks, and they’re like ‘Well that’s their problem if they think we’re doing it.  We’re not doing anything wrong.  We learned this as Christians, we just have the same address, man.  And we’re not doing anything wrong.’  But then, wait a minute.  It’s no different than this attitude the Levitical priesthood had, ‘That’s their problem.’  No, I want to live a life where I don’t stumble anybody.  Because the heart of Christ is our love for others.  So sometimes it’s hard, I’ve got to make changes, I’ve got to make things right.  And I do that because I have the love of Christ in my heart. Well, ‘That’s your problem’, that’s the way they are, but that’s the heart of man, and we can be there as believers.  And yet, boy, may God convict us when we are, and may we just humble ourselves and fear God, and do things as he would have us do for them. 


They buy the potter’s field, fulfilling another prophecy about Jesus the Messiah


You know, he throws down the pieces of silver in the Temple and he runs out, and he hangs himself.  The guy’s despondent, he’s done wrong and you know, he hangs himself.  They didn’t have any answers for him.  The chief priests then take the silver, and they’re like, ‘OK, this is blood money, not lawful for us to put it into the Temple treasury, this is blood money. So we’re going to use it for something else.’  Again, they’re concerned with just the letter of the Law.  The Law said in Deuteronomy “You shall not bring the wages of a harlot…[tape switchover, some text lost]…to extortion, for murder, I mean, they’re so legalistic, missing the heart of God.  Well, they consult, they buy the potter’s field to bury strangers in, and we presume the potter’s field was this field, you know, when you have a potter, he’s working with clay or she’s working with clay, and when things don’t go so well and it doesn’t work out, you end up with pieces that aren’t usable, at least for now, so they would toss them out into the field in that area near the building, and you’d have a lot of that if you were doing this for a fulltime business, you’d end up with a lot of pieces of pottery.  And maybe in time you could get a furnace hot enough and reuse some of that, but you’d have this area around the potter that was just covered with pieces of pottery and generally not very usable. So they go out and buy a potter’s field, and that seems to be the reasoning, and they’re going to bury strangers in it, going, ‘OK, we’re being true to the letter of the Law.’  But, at the same time they’re fulfilling the prophecy, Matthew tells us that this is what Jeremiah prophecied, and Matthew writes what Jeremiah prophecied.  Now the challenge with this is, if you go to those exact words, the prophecy is actually in Zechariah.  It’s Zechariah that said that, Zechariah chapter 11, verse 12.  And so then you have critics who say ‘Wait a minute, it says Jeremiah, it’s Zechariah.  Obviously a mistake, Matthew didn’t know the Bible very well, or somebody got it wrong.’  Well you go to Jeremiah then, and you find though that Jeremiah was told to go to the potter’s house, in Jeremiah 18.  Interestingly too, Jeremiah was also told to go and buy a field, in Jeremiah 32.  So there are things that Jeremiah was doing that also alluded to this, and so what Matthew is doing is he just uses Jeremiah’s part but he doesn’t chose at this time to mention Zechariah.  And we notice that at other times.  Mark chapter 1, verse 2, all we have is Isaiah being quoted, but the truth is, is the quotation is in both Malachi and Isaiah.  At times the writers will do that, they’ll give you one, or what to them is the more prominent, they don’t necessarily…If they wrote down everything we’d be in Matthew for a year and a half, man, we’d be, just imagine if Matthew had quoted everything, we’d never get there.  So that’s why they did that.  Now, we should know, he hangs himself.  They buy the Field of Blood.  You turn to Acts chapter 1, it says that Judas fell headlong and died.  And that he fell in this field that he had actually purchased, it’s called the Field of Blood.  You’re like, ‘Wait a minute, there’s another thing.’  And you know, is what we find in the Bible is that we must get all the details of the story and we put them together.  What seems to have happened is Judas hung himself, and either the rope broke or the rope slipped, which is not uncommon when you try to hang yourself, and he hung himself next to a field which he had purchased, and he fell into the field.  That’s evidently the story of what happened, different commentators giving us different pieces. Evidently he bought the field, and then it would seem, possibly, what Matthew says here, that they [the priesthood] purchased the field later.  I mean, Judas is dead, and then they purchase it for their use.  That’s one way to reconcile it, and that’s all we do with the Bible is, we’re given a little bit of new sources and we have to put it together to get all of the events.  So, Judas hangs himself.  Now, he hangs himself presumably on a tree.  And we should know one other thing which is interesting, and that is Deuteronomy chapter 19, and it says, if somebody bears a false witness against somebody, you go out and lie about somebody, and you bear false witness in court or whatever, and that person now suffers because you said some things that are not true, and they suffer as a result, the Law said, that person that did that needs to be punished according to the way that that other person suffered.  Same punishment, you lied about him, and now he got in trouble and had to go to jail, you go to jail for the same time he went to jail.  Now, Judas hangs himself on a tree.  We just noted that in the Old Testament that everyone that hangs on a tree, Jesus was put on a tree to fulfill that.  It is interesting that Judas dies in a similar way that Jesus dies.  And Judas lied about Jesus.  And because of his lies, because of his false witness in the sense that he set him up, because of that, this man Jesus obviously suffered because of what he [Judas] did, and the interesting way he had a similar fate, as if God were making sure the Law was fulfilled. 


Jesus Before Pontius Pilate


Verses 11-14, “Now Jesus stood before the governor.  And the governor asked him, saying, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’  Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’  And while he was being accused by the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.  Then Pilate said to him, ‘Do you not hear how many things they testify against you?’  but he answered him not a word, so that the governor marveled greatly.”  Oh, they had this mock trial before, and they were trying to get accusations against him, trying to just get these testimonies against him, and none of them agreed.  But here we read in Matthew, that now they’ve been saying things, they accused him of all sorts of things, so much so that even Pilate said to him, ‘They’re saying all kinds of things about you.’  Luke 23, verse 2, ‘Then it says they began to accuse him, saying, ‘We found this fellow perverting the nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that he himself is the Christ, the King.’  So they were saying, ‘Ah, he doesn’t want us to pay taxes, he wants us to, he says he’s king…’  So with that he says to Jesus, ‘Are you the King of the Jews?’  And he says, ‘It is as you say.’  And they went on and on, in this little moment.  There they are, he’s probably on the balcony, Jesus behind him, in the room.  It seems that Pilate goes back and forth to talk to the religious leaders and back to Jesus.  And all this stuff is going on, and Jesus doesn’t say anything, he’s just quiet, doesn’t respond.  The Greek, when it says he doesn’t respond, it’s so precise, it’s in the double negative, it’s that “he did not reply to him, up to not even one word.”  That’s how it is in the Greek, he did not even give a little whisper, he didn’t even give an indication, he was completely quiet.  They accused, he sat quietly…also because of what the prophecies said, and the prophecy in the Old Testament, I mean, he had the heart of God and wasn’t going to defend himself.  But even Isaiah said long before, “He was oppressed and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth.  He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth” (Isaiah 53:7)  Fulfilling Isaiah, suffering Messiah, Isaiah 53, he didn’t say a word.  And we know, we have scrolls today that date before Christ, of Isaiah that date before Christ, from the Dead Sea Scrolls, that we know date before that time, that say exactly that, Isaiah 53. 


Pilate Tries to get Jesus Freed, but he is a weak leader


Verses 15-26, “Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.  And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.  Therefore, when they had gathered together, Pilate said to them, ‘Whom do you want me to release to you?  Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?’  For he knew that they had handed him over because of envy.  While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, ‘Have nothing to do with that just man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of him.’  But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.  The governor answered and said to them, ‘Which of the two do you want me to release to you?’  They said, ‘Barabbas!’  Pilate said to them, ‘What then shall I do with Jesus who is called Christ?’  They all said to him, ‘Let him be crucified!’  Then the governor said, ‘Why, what evil has he done?’  But they cried out all the more, saying, ‘Let him be crucified!’  When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this just Person.  You see to it.’  And all the people answered and said, ‘His blood be on us and on our children.’  Then he released Barabbas to them and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.”  Well the governor has this custom.  It seems when you put all the Gospels together, very clearly, Pilate doesn’t want to have Jesus crucified.  But he’s a weak man, he’s not a man of character, and we’ll talk briefly about that.  But he tries to work to free Jesus.  But there’s this custom at the Feast where a prisoner would be released to appease the Jews, he’d have a prisoner, maybe a political prisoner, he would release him to the Jews.  Well, it is clear from the Gospels that he does this hoping that they’re going to ask for Jesus, and he can release Jesus. He’s thinking this is the way he can get out of this situation.  He knows that the religious leaders, it says they’ve handed Jesus over because of envy.  He’s able to discern that’s the real deal in their hearts here.  This man hasn’t done anything wrong, and they’re envious of him, and they’ve handed him over for that reason.  But he comes to this custom, ‘Hey, who do you want me to release?’  [And Pilate wasn’t dumb either, he must have thought he could succeed here.  Why?  He was well aware that Jesus was very popular with the average Jewish citizen.  But little did Pilate realize that the chief priest and elders had “stacked the deck” in that most of the people in this “crowd” before Pilate at this early hour (estimated to be around 6am) were people in the direct employ of the Temple and high priest.  Remember in the last sermon transcript how many ‘temple police’ they had sent along with Judas to capture Jesus at Gethsemane?  It was over 600.  This was definitely a “stacked deck” as Jim Bishop showed in his book.  See The Day Christ Died, by Jim Bishop (]  He’s got a guy named Barabbas.  Barabbas means “son of father.”  You know, bar, son, abba, father.  It is interesting that some of the texts, ancient texts have his name Jesus Barabbas, it’s possible his name is Jesus Barabbas [Yeshua, or Joshua Barabbas].  So he has Barabbas, and he says ‘What do you want, Barabbas or Jesus Christ?’  It is possible he actually said, Jesus Barabbas, ‘Do you want Jesus Barabbas, or do you want Jesus Christ?’  Which is interesting.  Some of the texts actually have that, because you have this incredible contrast. 


Jesus or Barabbas, who do you choose?---In reality it is God who chooses us


You have men, do you choose Jesus Christ, or do you choose this leader, this guy, thing you want, this other option?’  And we know that man, all along, you’re here today, we’re all faced with a choice when it comes to Jesus, I mean, that’s the choice, every man, what are you going to do with Jesus?  Are you going to choose something else?  Are you going to choose another religion?  Are you going to choose another path, are you going to choose another thing?  Or are you going to choose Jesus, and follow him and make him the Lord of your life?  And that is interesting, what do you want?  This Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus the Christ?  They have the choice.  It is interesting to me that God actually set it up that way, that we would have a choice.  He’s the Creator and we’re his creation, he actually gave us the ability as the creation to deny him the Creator.  And I don’t know about you, but when people don’t like me, when people deny me, especially people I care about, when they kind of give me the cold shoulder, I can remember, young, especially in elementary school, high school, I can remember having friends, a few friends I hung out with, for whatever reason, I was probably a knucklehead, they just chose, ‘Steve isn’t in our group anymore, we don’t want to play with Steve.’  [chuckles]  And I can remember, looking out the window going, ‘Oh man, they’re playing over there, and they don’t want me to play with them.’  And I can remember just feeling miserable, just so awful.  And God actually had it set up so that we could reject him and deny him.  And he loves us.  And so here they are, and the religious leaders work the crowd, and so the crowd is now yelling, ‘We want Barabbas.’  And Pilate says, ‘Well what do you want me to do with Jesus?’  ‘Crucify him!  Crucify him!’  It’s an amazing thing.  I can’t look down upon these people, because I recognize that I am in this group in a sense, in that I really didn’t choose Christ.  Yes I made a choice, and I did choose him, but let’s face it, his love drew me [cf. John 6:44, No man can come to me, unless the Father draw him…” ], if it wasn’t for his love and his grace, I would be in a pretty pitiful place, man.  I would never choose good, but I chose him because his love drew me.  And he chose me first.  I mean, he loved me, he loved me first, the Bible says.  But yet I had a choice to make.  And he actually allows us to deny him.  But yet, he loves us, he loves us, willing to go through that.  But here’s man, never content, I want it another way, I want another deal, and so man rejects and rejects.  Pilate in Luke 23, verse 16 says, you know, as he’s discerning, and they’re like ‘We want Jesus crucified, we want Barabbas,’ Pilate then reasons, ‘OK, this isn’t going to work.’  He then discerns that he’s going to have him scourged and chastised, is the way to get out of it [this trap the high priest has put him in].  “I will therefore chastise him, and release him.”  And a moment later in Luke 23, verse 20, “therefore Pilate wishing to release Jesus again called out to them”, he wanted him released, so he’s thinking, ‘OK, I’ll have him scourged.’  Now scourging was so brutal, and when you read in the other Gospels when he presents Jesus to them after he’s been scourged, and he’s got this scarlet robe on, and he’s got the thorns, Jesus is brutally brutalized, and he says “Echi Homo, behold the man” there’s no doubt he’s thinking, ‘he’s a mess, guys, he’s a mess.  Let’s go, no more, you know.’  He wants out of it, but he’s not able to get out of it.  Well he could have tried anyway, and stood for principle all the way, but he doesn’t because he lacks character.  They cry out, “Barabbas, Barabbas, crucify him!”. 


Pilate was afraid of losing his job


And so he goes, ultimately against his own intuition and conviction, and he gives into the demands of the crowd.  And why does he do that?  Well he lacks character.  You know, he’s actually concerned about his job at this point.  He’s in hot water with Caesar.  There have been historical things that have happened.  Josephus the Historian tells us that when Pilate initially came into Jerusalem, his first day on the job basically, he comes into Jerusalem, goes into the Temple area, he’s got his soldiers with him, but on top of their Standards they had these golden eagle type of things, and here they are standing in the Temple, and the religious Jews looked at these eagle things, and they saw that as idolatry.  First day on the job, Pilate comes in, and starts a big riot.  In order to show them (his bosses in Rome) that he’s a good leader, he then ordered the riotous Jews to be taken into an amphitheater, and he says, ‘I’m going to kill you all unless you repent.’  They in turn respond and put their heads on the ground and say ‘Slaughter us, chop off our heads, but there will be 10,000 more to come behind us.’  And so he backed off, and the word got back to Caesar.  Two years later he built an aqueduct trying to make things a little bit better with the Jews, to bring water from the north into Jerusalem, good thing, but what he did then, is that he went to the Temple treasury to get the money to pay for it.  The Jews rioted, and people actually died.  A few months prior to this, he ordered new shields to be made for his soldiers.  They included on the face of the shield the face of the Emperor Tiberias.  [And Roman Emperors were considered to be Deities, lower-level gods by the Romans.]  The religious Jews saw that as idolatry and they rioted again, and it was a mess.  So when that happened word got back to Caesar, and Caesar said, ‘Pilate, you’re on thin ice, man.  Basically if this happens again, you’re out of a job.’  We know he ultimately lost the position when he ordered the cavalry to attack the Samaritans who had assembled at Mount Gerizim on a religious quest, and that was only a year later.  So he’s on thin ice.  And it’s because of that, he sees a mob rising up, he sees this tumult, so he’s like, ‘Gonna lose my job.’  And I tell you what, I’d rather lose my job, I hope I’d rather lose my job, than compromise my principles.  And I thank God there are people in this church, I’ve witnessed many people that decided ‘I’m quitting my job because my employer, I’ve had this job for 30 years, but they want me to go and do these things now, and that’s not right and I’m not going to do it.’ They won’t back down.  And so they quit their job.  And I’ve watched multiple people do that.  My wife and I say, ‘Our name is so valuable, and there’s no price-tag we’re going to put on our name.’  Her name, my name, our family, I pray that there’s no price-tag on that name, that that name can’t be bought for anything, and what that name means.  And Pilate wasn’t that way at all, there was a price-tag in a sense that he could be bought.  So he didn’t want to lose his job, so he gives in, he washes his hands.  And it seems that what he does, is he does what the Jews would have done in a similar situation, Deuteronomy 21, verse 6, God said if a man was found murdered outside the city, God told them, ‘If you find a dead body outside the city, what you need to do is get a heifer, kill it, break it’s neck, bring it to that place, the owners of that city that’s nearest, and have the elders wash their hands above that heifer, signifying that they’re innocent of that blood.’  And it seems that’s kind of what he does, he goes to their Law and actually washes his hands, as if he’s innocent.  But the deal is, you can wash your hands all day, but it ain’t going to do anything for your conscience unless you do what is right.  And his conscience ain’t going to be dealt with, that’s for sure.  There is this medieval folklore, I don’t necessarily believe this is true, in fact I don’t, but there is a medieval folklore that is intriguing, that the body of Pontius Pilate, a year later, he actually loses his job, he goes to Gaul, which is modern-day Germany [eastern France and western Germany], and we know from historians, Eusebius, 4th century historian, that he committed suicide while living in Gaul.  But there’s this medieval folklore that the body of Pontius Pilate was then thrown into a small lake in what is called Mount Polidas which is in Switzerland, just a little bit below Luzerne, that the body was thrown there.  And then there’s this tradition, a legend that tells us that in storms on Mount Polidas, in the clouds, the ghost of Pilate comes out, and in the clouds you can see him washing his hands, as if he’s going to be doing it forever, because he didn’t actually get it right and repent.  And I’m telling you today, if you’ve done wrong, God will forgive you, if you come to him and repent.  You can’t ignore it.  He tried to ignore it.  He tried to think he could just let it go and wash his hands, you can’t do that.  And the only way to find healing and to get that stuff, guilt removed, no matter what you’ve done, is to go to God and ask him to forgive you, and then make it right.  Sometimes to make it right, there are hard things that you’ve got to do.  Sometimes you’ve got to go tell your spouse certain things, sometimes you’ve got to go tell your employer, sometimes you’ve got to go tell the police in this North Central city in this State, because of things that you’ve done in the past that you’ve been hiding, that you think is undercover, and maybe in the past you’ve been like that, but you know it’s not like that, and you are still here trying to get that feeling to go away.  And what you do is repent, and go make it right.  And when you do, man, the grace of God will be there with you.  I’ve watched people that have gone to make things right, and they’re like, ‘Oh man, I’m in so much trouble’, and then we watch God graciously work in the situation.  Well, we’ve come to the end of our time. 


Pilate has Jesus scourged


He has him scourged.  Scourging was brutal, you saw the movie, The Passion of the Christ, many of you, it was brutal.  It was called the half-way death, the idea would be, there would be a scribe there that would write down any confessions, and the Romans actually solved a lot of unsolved mysteries I guess.  But a person would be there, a man would be held a few feet off the ground, or a woman, and they would be scourged with this flagellum that had the nails, and the metals and the broken pieces of glass imbedded in this whip called a flagellum and they would be whipped 39 times.  And what would generally often happen is somebody would be hanging there, and they’d start confessing all of the things that they did, and so a scribe would be there to write it down.  And if you did, they would stop.  Well Jesus is scourged the whole time, because he had nothing to confess.  Isaiah 50, verse 6, “I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheek to them that plucked off the hair:  I hid not my face from shame and spitting.”  Isaiah 53, verse 5, “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”  [Also, to see how far this scourging went, Isaiah 52:14-15, “As many as were astonied at thee; his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men:  So shall he sprinkle many nations; the kings shall shut their mouths at him:  for that which had not been told them shall they see; and that which they had not heard shall they consider.”]  Let’s stand together…[transcript of a connective expository sermon given on Matthew 27:1-26 somewhere in New England]


Related links:


The Last Six Days of Jesus.  See:


The Old Testament Passover, a review of the events:


Prophecies of Jesus’ 1st coming:


Click to Print


content Editor Peter Benson -- no copyright, except where noted.  Please feel free to use this material for instruction and edification
Questions or problems with the web site contact the WebServant - Hosted and Maintained by CMWH, Located in the Holy Land