Summary: A reflection for Easter of Jesus on the Cross
THE CHRIST ON THE CROSS
MATTHEW 27: 15-44
INTRODUCTION… Christ The Lamb by Robert E. Coleman. found in The Book of Jesus.
Calvin Miller, ed. NY: Simon & Schuster. 1996. pg. 405.
I. THE INNOCENT MAN CONDEMNED (V. 15-26)
READ MATTHEW 27:15-26
A. Pontus Pilate is not a dumb man or someone ignorant of the situation. He knows that
the Jews have handed Jesus over “because of envy” (v. 18).
1) Pilate was impressed with Jesus (v. 14) and could not understand why Jesus
would not refute the charges made against Him.
2) Pilate makes a decision to try and calm the people by releasing a prisoner at
this time. He gives the people the option of notorious Barabbas or Jesus. I
believe Pilate was surprised by the level of hatred coming from the Jews.
B. Pontius Pilate finds no fault with Jesus.
1) Verse 19 records a message from Pilate’s wife (co-pilot / co-Pilate). She even
knows that Jesus is innocent and sends a message that Pilate should have nothing
to do with this man Jesus.
2) Verse 23 Pilate confesses that he cannot find any evil that Jesus has done.
3) Verse 24 (KJV) Pilate states that he is not guilty of shedding the blood of this
Just Person. He knew that Jesus was innocent and yet he did nothing.
C. Jesus, the innocent man is condemned. What is He condemned to? He is condemned
to death on the cross… what was called crucifixion. This is why the people just kept
shouting, “crucify Him!”
D. Other Scriptural Passages speaking to Jesus’ innocence:
1) 2 Corinthians 5:21= Jesus knew no sin and became sin for us…
2) Hebrews 9:13-14 = Jesus offered Himself without spot to purify us…
3) 1 Peter 1:18-19 = Jesus was without blemish or spot and redeemed us…
II. THE INNOCENT MAN SUFFERS (V. 27-44)
READ MATTHEW 27:27-44
A. Jesus first suffered at the hands of the Roman guards. Jesus was surrounded by
hundreds of soldiers who mocked, humiliated, and physically hurt Him.
1) Jesus’ clothes were taken from Him and a robe put on.
2) The crown of thorns was placed on His head and they beat that into Him with a stick and pounded the thorns in deeper.
3) They spat on Him.
4) Jesus hauled His cross through the streets and was so weak He could not do it and needed help.
B. Jesus secondly suffered through being placed on the cross.
1) Those sentenced to death on a cross in the Roman period were usually beaten
with leather lashes- a procedure that often resulted in severe loss of blood.
Victims were then made to carry the upper crossbeam to the execution site,
where the center beam was already set.
2) After being fastened to the cross beam on the ground with ropes or nails
through the wrist, the naked victim was then hoisted with the crossbeam against
the vertical beam. The feet were then tied or nailed to the stake.
C. Jesus thirdly suffered scorn from on-lookers. People walked by and could see all that
Jesus had went through. They could see Him on the cross in pain.
1) Those who passed by, the chief priests and elders, robbers
2) The people passing by asked Jesus to come down off the cross if He were the
Son of God. What they did not realize was that BECAUSE He was the Son of
God He could not come down.
3) The people passing by said that if He came down they would believe in Him. Yet, they had already seen the lame walk, the blind see, the mute speak, and the hungry fed and they did not believe.
III. THE INNOCENT MAN SAVES US ALL (V. 45-56)
READ MATTHEW 27:45-56
A. Darkness covered the land and Jesus became sin for us. During this time, Jesus is
separated from God because He is taking on the sins of the world.
1) Remember 2 Corinthians 5:21
2) In the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus asked that the “cup be passed.” What
could be worse that being separated from God for the Son of God?
B. Verse 50 states that Jesus cried out in a loud voice and we know from the other
Gospels that He said, “It is finished!.”
1) The sin debt was now paid.
2) The purpose for Jesus coming was to die for you and for me. Jesus Atoned for
our sins. Atonement means the covering of sin through the payment of blood.
C. Verses 51-53 records a series of events and miracles that emphasize what had just
1) The curtain in the temple was torn and we now have direct access to God
through the blood and sacrifice of Jesus.
2) The lifting of the darkness, the earthquakes, and the resurrections were signs