Sunday, October 09, 2011

Matthew 27:27-56


27 Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole Roman cohort around Him. 28 They stripped Him and put a scarlet robe on Him. 29 And after twisting together a crown of thorns, they put it on His head, and a reed in His right hand; and they knelt down before Him and mocked Him, saying, "Hail, King of the Jews!'' 30 They spat on Him, and took the reed and began to beat Him on the head. 31 After they had mocked Him, they took the scarlet robe off Him and put His own garments back on Him, and led Him away to crucify Him. 32 As they were coming out, they found a man of Cyrene named Simon, whom they pressed into service to bear His cross.

33 And when they came to a place called Golgotha, which means Place of a Skull, 34 they gave Him wine to drink mixed with gall; and after tasting it, He was unwilling, to drink. 35 And when they had crucified Him, they divided up His garments among themselves by casting lots . 36 And sitting down, they began to keep watch over Him there. 37 And above His head they put up the charge against Him which read, "THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.'' 38 At that time two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and one on the left. 39 And those passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, "You who are going to destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.'' 41 In the same way the chief priests also, along with the scribes and elders, were mocking Him and saying, 42 "He saved others; He cannot, save Himself. He is the King of Israel; let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe in Him. 43 "HE TRUSTS IN GOD; LET GOD RESCUE Him now, IF HE DELIGHTS IN HIM; for He said, 'I am the Son of God.' '' 44 The robbers who had been crucified with Him were also insulting Him with the same words.

45 Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour. 46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?'' that is, "MY GOD, MY GOD, WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?'' 47 And some of those who were standing there, when they heard it, began saying, "This man is calling for Elijah.'' 48 Immediately one of them ran, and taking a sponge, he filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and gave Him a drink. 49 But the rest of them said, "Let us see whether Elijah will come to save Him .'' 50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. 51 And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many. 54 Now the centurion, and those who were with him keeping guard over Jesus, when they saw the earthquake and the things that were happening, became very frightened and said, "Truly this was the Son of God!'' 55 Many women were there looking on from a distance, who had followed Jesus from Galilee while ministering to Him. 56 Among them was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of the sons of Zebedee.

What a horrendous scene! Jesus is separated from His Father. Jesus was sent to die as THE LAMB OF GOD who takes away the sins of the world

NOTE two things that happened away from the cross experience: FIRST-The Temple veil was torn from top to bottom. Since the Lamb of God was sacrificed on the cross, the veil of the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The veil separated the people from the presence of God. Once it was torn, there no longer is a separation between God and man. AND NOW the very presence of God lives in those who believe. That was the veil beyond which no man could penetrate, except the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. It was the veil where the Spirit of God dwelt! NOW that same Spirit dwells in those who believe and trust in Jesus.

SECOND-The tombs were opened. The symbolism of this is that Jesus conquered death. In dying and in rising again he destroyed the power of the grave. Because of his life, his death and his resurrection, the tomb has lost its power, and the grave has lost its terror-death has lost its ultimate tragedy!

NOTE the witness of the centurion! When Christ is lifted up (Jesus says), I will draw all kinds of men to Me. Here is a most unlikely one-a Roman soldier! The religious were repulsed by Jesus and made to feel uncomfortable with His teachings. The non-religious Roman soldier is attracted to Jesus. This is the same thing we find today.

The religious don't want Jesus to mess with their traditions and doctrinal teachings. Oh, by the way, note all the disciples had split, but the women remained.

There is one more significant observation here. Jesus spoke in Aramaic. This is why Mel Gibson shot his movie, "The Passion", all in Aramaic. The Aramaic Jesus spoke on the cross, "ELI, ELI, LAMA SABACHTHANI?'', has been mistranslated in the Greek New Testament and has caused lots of difficulty for those who are trying to get their brains around who this Jesus is. The question usually arises, "Why is it that God forsook Jesus, when God promises never to forsake?" The Aramaic says this phrase in a totally different way. Jesus is really saying, "My God, My God, this is my final destiny!" He is speaking consistently with His struggle in the garden, when He was praying, "Not my will, but yours be done." This changes the meaning dramatically. This is a good example of how we have passed things down year after year without ever questioning its veracity.

Now even though I have heard and taught this passage all my life in the traditional way, I am eager to learn more so that I can understand Jesus better. To me, this is a great insight by the use of the tool of the Aramaic language for us to get a little closer to what Jesus said and intended for us to understand. Don't be afraid to be a learner and not one whose mind is already made up. Remember, Jesus is the way, the truth and the life. He didn't say your translation or your understanding of your translation is the way, the truth and the life. This is how friends, colleagues and denominations end up in division. In Jesus all can be united. In our differing translations and understandings there is division. Stick with Jesus.