THE CRUCIFIXION - MATTHEW 27:27-54

 

THE CRUCIFIXION – MATTHEW 27:27-54

27Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the governor’s headquarters, and they gathered the whole battalion before him.

28And they stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29and twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on his head and put a reed in his right hand. And kneeling before him, they mocked him, saying, “Hail, King of the Jews!” 30And they spit on him and took the reed and struck him on the head. 31And when they had mocked him, they stripped him of the robe and put his own clothes on him and led him away to crucify him.

32As they went out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name. They compelled this man to carry his cross. 33And when they came to a place called Golgotha (which means Place of a Skull), 34they offered him wine to drink, mixed with gall, but when he tasted it, he would not drink it.

35And when they had crucified him, they divided his garments among them by casting lots. 36Then they sat down and kept watch over him there. 37And over his head they put the charge against him, which read, “This is Jesus, the King of the Jews.”

38Then two robbers were crucified with him, one on the right and one on the left.

39And those who passed by derided him, wagging their heads 40and 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.” 41So also the chief priests, with the scribes and elders, mocked him, saying, 42“He saved others; he cannot save himself. He is the King of Israel; let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. 43He trusts in God; let God deliver him now, if he desires him. For he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” 44And the robbers who were crucified with him also reviled him in the same way.

45Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour. 46And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

47And some of the bystanders, hearing it, said, “This man is calling Elijah.” 48And one of them at once ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine, and put it on a reed and gave it to him to drink. 49But the others said, “Wait, let us see whether Elijah will come to save him.”

50And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

51And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

52The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

54When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

COMMENTARY

The gospels are radical when speaking about important events. Some not so important are only mentioned in one book, or two, but the very important aspects of the faith, are mentioned in the four gospels, reflecting thus, the vitality of the point they are making. And one of them, is the crucifixion of Jesus.

It is also less likely that someone may record in a chronicle, any shameful or defeating incident that may discredit the heroes of the story, or the author himself.

However, the four gospels write in detail the torture and execution of Jesus of Nazareth, an apparent shameful and defeating act, without any care to obscure major details to safeguard the person of their leader. But later it is all crowned, by the powerful resurrection from the death, of this same Jesus who suffered all these horrors. And not only Him, but also a number of saints who had died prior, and resurrected after Him on the Sunday that followed (Matthew 27:52-53).

Jesus underwent all of this humiliation knowing that it would take place in detail (Matthew 20:18-19) well in advance. But He went to it willingly. He requested to his Father, YHWH, to pass this suffering from Him, if it was possible (Matthew 26:39), but it did not, because, it was not possible.

Jesus, in order to fulfill his mission and save humanity, had to necessarily pay on our behalf for all the sins the world had committed, committing and will commit, all the way from Adam and Eve, to the last man and woman who have not been born yet.

To point out this necessity, demanded by the perfect nature of the Divinity, is that the sacrificial system got installed by God, in the world since the time of Adam (Genesis 4:4; Hebrews 9:22). It is impossible for the perfect justice of God to just ‘forget’ the evil done, but his justice demands payment for wrong doings. And Jesus paid this ransom for us, so that if we truly believe and Him, and repent, we don’t have to be punished, and would be able to receive God’s forgiveness freely.

So, the cup of suffering and death could not be passed, and Lord Jesus suffered it all, willingly, out of love for us.

Jesus was humiliated by the soldiers, but He suffered no sexual abuse as some demented devil possessed think. Neither He was crucified in full exposure of his private parts as many assume wrongly.

Jesus could have stayed in the grave four days, or longer, until started decaying, and expelling bad smell. His Glory would have been greater is He had recovered from being a decaying corpse to life again. This would have stopped the Jews rumors that He was moved, or that He never died as the Muslims says (Matthew 28:13-15). But that never happened.

God did not allow dishonor to happen to his beloved Son.
Jesus was born and lived a peaceful and holy life as example to all, and then gave his life as a sacrifice for sin, by Jews and non-Jews, redeeming the whole of humanity, but He did not have to be humiliated to extreme, neither dishonored in excess. The honor and integrity of Jesus was protected by God, that is why He resurrected before He decomposed, and so was He protected in his body, from which no bone was broken (John 19:33). The same way He was not morally, neither sexually abused, and his private parts were not exposed to public, not exposed to public. The minds of his executioners were clouded, and did not do to Him, the things they most probably did to others.

A convert gentile helped Him to carry the cross beam that elevated his body on the wooden pole where He was hanged, representing the sympathetic Jews and Gentiles who were with Christ that day and after.

Then Jesus refuses the sour wine mix they offered Him first, to dull his pain, because He needed to be sober and in control during every second of agony, He suffered. He went to the cross in the most virile and manly way, not crying, not screaming or asking for forgiveness, having clear in his mind, his mission, and looked only to his Father God for support.

Before He gave his life willingly, He redeemed one of the thieves that were initially insulting Him. When the repentant thief saw Jesus praying for his executioners, He felt dirty, and in repentance rebuked his companion, accepting his sinful condition and asked Jesus for forgiveness (Luke 23:32-42).

After the whole process was terminated, Jesus saved his last man in this world on his Earthly life, and at the moment He chose, freely, said “IT IS COMPLETED” (John 19:30), and gave up his spirit to his Father (Luke 23:46).

Our atonement was completed.

Omar Flores.  

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