Mitch, Curtis & Edward Sri. The Gospel of Matthew. Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2010. Kindle Electronic Edition.
“The Climax of the Cross (Matthew 27:1-66)” pp. 348-365.
Mitch sees Matthew 27 as the chapter where Jesus is presented as the true Son of God (Mitch 2010, 348). The trial of Jesus is still in progress at the start of the chapter (Mitch 2010, 349). Because the Sanhedrin wishes Jesus to be executed they bind him to look dangerous and take him to the Romans. Meanwhile, Judas admits his guilt and hangs himself in despair as the priests refuse forgiveness (Mitch 2010, 349). The money, which is now ritually unclean, is used to buy an unclean place (Mitch 2010, 350). Matthew observes this as yet another prophecy fulfilled.
When tried before the Roman governor, Jesus is introduced as one who calls himself a king, thus committing treason (Mitch 2010, 352). Jesus’ silence in his case would be taken by the court as an admission of guilt. The governor offers to release a prisoner, putting forth one Barabbas, whose name, Mitch observes, means “son of the father” (Mitch 2010, 353). The two different prisoners may represent two responses - peace and war. Both Pilate and his wife are convinced of Jesus’ innocence. The Jewish leaders have to provoke the crowds to demonstration (Mitch 2010, 353). Eventually Pilate hands Jesus over for scourging and execution (Mitch 2010, 355).
Jesus is mocked by a group of soldiers, an event which Matthew ties to prophecies. Mitch sees the irony that the soldiers do call Jesus the king of the Jews (Mitch 2010, 356).
The death of Jesus takes place at a location called “the skull.” Mitch does not settle on a reason for the name, either after the shape of the land or due to the deaths which occurred there (Mitch 2010, 358). Mitch also observes the “gall” mixed with the wine offered to Jesus may have represented poison or a further mocking (Mitch 2010, 358). The charges against Jesus are posted above him, and he is crucified between two criminals (Mitch 2010, 359). The Jews join in the mockery of Jesus (Mitch 2010, 359). Many of the events are seen in Psalm 22, which Jesus quotes while on the cross (Mitch 2010, 360). Mitch references many other passages of Scripture which describe the event in detail. Several miracles follow the death of Jesus (Mitch 2010, 361). The death of Jesus is witnessed by the guards and some women (Mitch 2010, 362).
Jesus is laid in a tomb belonging to a rich man (Mitch 2010, 363). The tomb is sealed and guarded, facts which Mitch points out as evidence that people knew the location (Mitch 2010, 363).