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him to do as he ever done unto them. 9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews ? 10 For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. 11 But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. 12 And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews ? 13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 14 Then Pi late said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. 15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. 16 And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Pretorium; and they call together the whole band.
See the principal events in this chapter explained in notes on Matt. xxvii.
Called Prætorium.' The hall of the prætor, or Roman governor, where he sat to administer justice.* Whole band.' The tenth part of a legion; it consisted commonly of about four hun. dred and twenty soldiers.
17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, 18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews!
With purple.' Matthew says scarlet. See note on Matt. xxvii. 28. Ābout his head. In the form of a garland or diadem. The whole head was not covered, but it was placed in a circle round the temples.
19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. 20 And when they had mocked him, they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. 21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 22 And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a scull.
"Worshipped him’ Mocked him with the appearance of his
mage. The word 'worship’ here denotes the respect and honour shown to princes and kings.
23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh : but he received it not. 24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. 25 And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
Wine mingled, &c. Matthew says vinegar. It was probably wine soured, so that it might be called either. This was the common drink of the Roman soldiers. 'Myrrh.' Myrrh was a balsamic substance, procured from Arabia, used in embalming, and distinguished by its bitterness. Hence its name. Matthew says it was gall, probably meaning a bitter substance only, without denoting what it was. This was a stupifying mixture commonly given to those who were crucified, to blunt the pains of a lingering death. See Prov. xxxi. 6.
26 And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. 27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the one on his right hand, and the other on his left. 28 And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, And he was numbered with the transgressors. 29 | And they that passed by railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross. 31 Likewise also the chief priests mocking said among themselves with the scribes, He saved others; himself he cannot save. 32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him. 33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour. 34 And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani ? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 35 And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. 36 And one ran and filled a sponge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, saying, Let alone ; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. 37 And Jesus
cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. 38 And the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. 39 | And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God. 40 There were also women looking on atar off: among whom was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less and of Joses, and Salome; 41 (Who also, when he was in Galilee, followed him, and ministered unto him ;) and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem.
The superscription. The writing over his head on the cross. * The king of the Jews.' See notes on Matt. xxvii. 37. 'And the scripture was fulfiiled,' &c. This passage of scripture is found in Isaiah liji. 12. This does not mean that he was a transgressor, but simply, that in dying, he had a place with transgressors. Jesus died, the just for the unjust, and in his death, as well as in his life, he was holy, harmless, undefiled.
42 | And now when the even was come, because it was the preparation, that is, the day before the sabbath,
“The even.' The time after three o'clock in the afternoon. "The preparativn,' &c. The following day was to be a day of peculiar solempity, called the great day of the feast. More than ordinary preparation was, therefore, made for that sabbath on the day before. Hence the day was known as a day of preparation. This preparation consisted in getting ready food, &c., to be used on the sabbath.
43 Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor, which also waited for the kingdom of God, came, and went in boldly unto Pilate, and craved the body of Jesus.
* Joseph, an honourable counsellor.' A distinguished man wno probably held a high office among the Jews, as one of their great council or a Jewish senator. The word' honourable' is given in reference to his personal character, as being a man of integrity, and blameless life. "Waited for the kingdom of God.' Waited for, or expected, the coming of the Messiah. It implies that he believed Jesus to be the Messiah, and that he had waited for him to build up the kingdom of God; and this agrees with wliat John says, xix. 38, that he was a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews. He had retained his secret belief in the hope that Jesus would be treated as the Messiah, and then he proposed
openly to acknowledge bis attachment to him. But God called him to a public profession of attachment in a different manner, and gave this distinguished man grace to evince it. So men often delay a profession of attachment to Christ. They cherish a secret love, they indulge a hope in the mercy of God; but they conceal it for fear of man. Whereas God requires that the ai. tachment should be made known. As soon as they have evidence, satisfactory to their own minds, that they are christians. so soon are they bound to profess Christ before men. This is the command of God, and this is the way of peace. None have the prospect of comfort in religion, who do not have respect to all the commandments of God. "Went in boldly unto Pilate.' The disciples of Jesus had fled, and if they had not, they had no influence with Pilate. Unless there had been a special application to Pilate, in behalf of Jesus, his body would have been buried that night in the common grave with the malefactors : for it was a law of the Jews that the body of an executed man should not remain on the cross on the sabbath. At this critical juncture, God inspired Joseph with confidence; he dared to express sympathy for the Saviour; he went in boldly, and begged the body of Jesus. It needed no small measure of courage to do this. Jesus had just been condemned, mocked, epit upon, crucified. To avow attachment for him now was proof of sincere affection; and the Holy Spirit has thought this worthy of special notice. "Craved the body. Begged or asked.
44 And Pilate marvelled if he were already dead • and calling unto him the centurion, he asked him whether he had been any while dead.
And Pilate marvelled if.' Wondered if he was dead; ur wondered that he was so soon dead. It was not common for persons crucified to expire under two or three days, sometimes noo until the sixth or seventh.
45 And when he knew it of the centurion, he gave the body to Joseph
"When he knew it of the centurion. Being informed by the centurion of the fact that he was dead.
46 And he bought fine linen, and took him down, and wrapped him in the linen, and laid him in a sepulchre which was hewn out of a rock, and rolled a stone unto the door of the sepulchre. 47 And Mary Magdalene and Mary the mother of Joses beheld where he was laid.
'Beheld where he was laid.' The affection of these pious females never forsook them in all the trials, contempt, and suffer. ings of their Lord. They followed him to the cross; they watched him, as near to him as they were permitted to come, in his last
inoments; they followed him when taken down, ang laid in the tomb. This is the nature of true love. While professed attachment will abound in prosperity, and live most in sunshine, it is only genuine love that will go into the dark shades of adversity and flourish there. In scenes of poverty, want, affliction, and death, it shows its reality. That which lives there, is genuine. That which turns away from such scenes, is spurious.
CHAPTER XVI. 1 AND when the sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James, and Salome, had bought sweet spices, that they might come and anoint him. 2 And very early in the morning the first day of the week, they came unto the sepulchre at the rising of the sun.
See this passage explained in notes on Matt. xxviii. 1-8. 'Sweet spices.' Aromatics. Substances used in embalming. Many of the substances used for embalming were bitter; and none of them, perhaps, could properly be called sweet. The word 'spices' expresses all that there is in the original. 'Anoint him.' Embalm him. Or apply these spices to his body to keep it from putrefaction. This is proof that they did not suppose he would rise again. And the fact that they did not expect he would rise gives more strength to the evidence for his resurrection.
3. And they said among themselves, Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ? 4 And when they looked, they saw that the stone was rolled away: for it was very great.
'It was very great.' These words belong to the third verse: Who shall roll us away the stone from the door of the sepulchre ?" for, the evangelist adds, it was very great. Sitting on the right side.' As they entered. The sepulchre was large enough to admit persons to go into it; not unlike, in that respect, our vaults.
5 And entering into the sepulchre, they saw a young man sitting on the right side, clothed in a long white garment; and they were affrighted. 6 And he saith unto them, Be not affrighted : ye seek Jesus of Nazareth, which was crucified: he is risen; he is not here: behold the place where they laid him. 7 But go your way, tell his disciples and Peter that he goeth before you into Galilee: there shall ye see him, as he said unto you. 8 And they went out quickly, and tied from