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The soldiers insulted Jesus 27:27-31

v27 Then the *Roman rulers soldiers took Jesus into the rulers palace. All the rest of the soldiers gathered round him as well. v28 They took off his clothes and put a bright red coat on him. v29 Then they wound *thorns together to make a crown. They placed the crown on his head, and they put a stick in his right hand. Then they bent down on their knees in front of him and they laughed at him. Welcome, king of the *Jews! they said. v30 They *spat on him. They took the stick and they hit him on the head many times. v31 After they had finished laughing at him, they took off the coat. They put his own clothes on him again. Then they led him away to fix him on a *cross. Verse 27 The soldiers who belonged to Pilate lived in the rulers palace with him. Verses 28-29 The *Jews had accused Jesus of being a king. The soldiers knew that, so they laughed at him. They pretended to give him honour as a king. A soldier wore a red coat that looked like the kings clothes. So they put a red coat on Jesus. They made the crown from *thorns, which were the very sharp small branches of a tree. The *Roman rulers wore crowns. Perhaps the soldiers wanted their crown to look like the *Roman crown. The pictures on *Roman coins show crowns. They had beams of light like the sun. Instead of light, Jesus crown had sharp *thorns which hurt him. The stick looked like the special stick that a king carried. It showed that he had authority. The soldiers would have given a welcome to the great king in Rome. So they pretended to give Jesus a welcome in the same way. People bent down on their knees to show respect to important officials. The soldiers knew that the *Jews did not have a king. So they insulted and joked about both Jesus and the *Jews. Verse 30 Then the soldiers became more cruel. They *spat at Jesus and they hit him with the stick.

They kill Jesus on a *cross 27:32-44

v32 As they were going along, they met a man. He came from the place called Cyrene. And his name was Simon. The soldiers forced him to carry the *cross for Jesus. v33 They came to a place called Golgotha. (Golgotha means the Place of the *Skull). v34 There, they offered Jesus a mixture of some wine and a drug for the pain. But after he had tasted it, Jesus refused to drink it. v35 Then the soldiers fixed Jesus to the *cross. The authorities allowed the soldiers to keep the clothes from people on the *cross. So they played a game to see who would win Jesus clothes as the prizes. v36 Then they sat down to guard him. v37 Above his head they placed a sign. It said why they had fixed him to the *cross. This is Jesus, the King of the *Jews, they had written on it. v38 They killed two criminals on *cross at the same time as Jesus. One was on a *cross at his right side and the other one was on a *cross at his left side. v39 The people who passed by the *cross shouted insults at Jesus. They shook their heads at him. v40 So, you are going to destroy the *Temple! And you said that you would build it again in three days! Then save yourself! Come down from the *cross, if you are the Son of God! v41 In the same way, the chief *priests, the men who taught the *Law and the other leaders insulted him. v42 He saved other people, they said, but he cannot save himself! If he is Israels king, let him come down now from that *cross! Then we will believe him. v43 He trusts God. I am the Son of God, he said. So let God rescue him now, if God really wants him. v44 The criminals, who were dying on *cross next to him, also insulted him in the same way.

Verse 32 Jesus was on his way to die on a *cross. So he had to carry the *cross himself. Jesus had spent the night with the *Jewish leaders and then with Pilate. The soldiers had beaten him so much that his back was very painful. For these reasons, he was too weak to continue to carry his *cross. So the soldiers forced Simon to carry it for him. Simon was a foreigner. He came from Cyrene, which is in North Africa. Mark tells us that Simon was the father of Alexander and Rufus (Mark 15:21). Paul mentions someone called Rufus in Romans 6:13. This may be the same person as Simons son. So, in later years, people in Rome may have known these men who had become Christians after Jesus died. And Simon may be the same person as Simon Niger that Luke mentions in Acts 13:1. He had seen Jesus die. So perhaps he had become a Christian then. He was a leader in the church at Antioch. Verse 34 Some women in Jerusalem provided a drink for the men who were going to die. It was wine that contained a drug. It would make the pain a little less terrible. They offered it to a person before the soldiers fixed him to a *cross with nails. But Jesus refused it. He wanted to be aware of what was happening to the very end. He needed to show how much he loved other people. Verses 35-36 The soldiers kept the dying mens clothes. Matthews readers would remember the words in Psalm 22:18, They shared my clothes among them. They played a game to win my clothes. The soldiers had to stay there to guard the *cross. T hey waited until the person on the *cross had died. They prevented any friends from trying to rescue him from the *cross. Verse 37 The notice over Jesus *cross said, This is Jesus, the King of the *Jews. The *priests complained to Pilate about this. They wanted to change the words. They did not like, the King of the *Jews. Instead, they wanted the words, He said that he was the King of the *Jews (John 19:21-22). Pilate refused to change the words. So the sign remained, and it showed the truth. Jesus was really a king. The *Jews were his own people, although they had refused to accept him. Verse 38 Jesus had always been a friend to *sinners. Now he was with two *sinners, two criminals. This made the words of Isaiah come true. He had said that Gods Suf fering Servant would be among those who were criminals (Isaiah 53:12). James and John had asked for places of honour next to Jesus (Matthew 20:20-23). Now the thieves were in those places, but nobody gave honour to those thieves. Verses 39-44 record the different ways in which people insulted Jesus. The cruel insults show how wicked people can be. But they also show what was true about Jesus. 1. Verses 39-40 The people who were passing by accused him. He had said that people would destroy the *temple. They thought that he himself would destroy the *Temple. And he had said that he could build it again. If he could do that, he could certainly save himself, they said. If he was the Son of God, he could come down from the *cross. Their insults remind readers about Psalm 22:7-8. But Jesus was really Gods Son. He talked about his body as the *temple. And he would build it again after the *Jews had destroyed it. They did not understand what he meant. He built his body again when he became alive again. 2. Verses 41-43 The *religious leaders spoke the truth, but they did not believe it. He saved other people, they said. Jesus had rescued people from disease, from *sin and from death. They also said that Jesus could not save himself, which was not true. Jesus could have saved himself, but he refused to do that. It was because of his painful death that he was able to save other people. The *priests said that a *miracle would make them believe him. They would even believe that he was the *Messiah. Because Jesus did not come down from the *cross, those important people threw away their opportunity to believe him. But many people have believed him since then and have become Christians. Jesus suffered. But this showed how much God loves everyone.

3. Verse 44 The two criminals next to Jesus also insulted him. Luke records that one man changed. He asked Jesus to remember him later. He believed that Jesus was the King (Luke 23:39-43). So even when Jesus was suffering painfully, he cared about the people with him. He promised a believer life for ever with him. So he separated the believer from someone who refused to accept him.

Jesus dies 27:45-56

v45 From noon until three oclock, darkness came over the whole land. v46 At about three oclock, Jesus cried out with a loud voice, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? This means, My God, my God, why have you left me completely alone? v47 Some of the people who were standing there heard this. He is calling Elijah, they said. v48 Immediately, one of them ran and got a *sponge. He filled it with sour wine and he put it on a stick. Then he offered it to Jesus to drink. v49 But the rest of the people did not help. Leave him alone. We want to see if Elijah will come to save him, they said. v50 Jesus cried out again with a loud voice. Then he died. v51 At that moment, the big curtain in the *Temple tore from the top to the bottom. Then it was in two parts. The earth shook, and the rocks split apart too. v52 Graves broke open. And many *holy people who had died became alive again. v53 They came out of their graves. And after Jesus became alive again, they went into the holy city. Many people saw them there. v54 The *Roman officer and the men with him were guarding Jesus. They saw the *earthquake and all that happened. So they were very frightened. He really was the Gods Son! they said. v55 Not very far away, many women were watching. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to take care of him. v56 Mary Magdalene was among them, and also Mary, who was Jamess and Josephs mother. And Zebedees wife was there too. Verse 45 The darkness may have had a natural cause. It may have been a sudden dust storm. But it could not have been the moon hiding the sun. That could not happen at *Passover time because there was a full moon at night. In the *Old Testament, darkness was a sign to show Gods judgement. In Egypt, the ruler would not let the *Israelites leave his country. There was darkness for three days (Exodus 10:22). Amos also wrote about Gods judgement. At that time I will make the sun go down at noon. The earth will become dark in the middle of the day, (Amos 8:9). Jesus had said that he was the Light of the World (John 8:12). The darkness was a sign of Gods judgement because people *sinned. So Jesus had taken our place. Paul explains this in 2 Corinthians 5:21. Christ never *sinned. But for our benefit, God punished him as if he had *sinned, Paul wrote. Verses 46-49 Jesus cried out from the *cross in Aramaic. (This was the language that his family spoke.) He was saying the first verse of Psalm 22. Jesus had lost the sense that God was with him. He still said my God. But he felt completely alone and in despair. Jesus understands every emotion that people feel. His *disciples had run away and left him alone. Now he felt that God was not with him any more. The people who heard Jesus words did not understand them. The *Jews thought that he was calling Elijah. They believed that Gods servant from long ago would come to them. He would come to help people in trouble. The *Roman soldiers may have thought that he was calling out to the sun god, called Helios. Then someone brought him some sour wine in a *sponge. Perhaps Matthew thought about the words from Psalm 69:21. I was *thirsty. So they gave me sour wine to drink, the psalm says. Other people were curious. They wanted to know whether Elijah really would return to help Jesus.