Read Psalm 22 before you read this section!
- V26 – I never got this. If Pilate really thought Jesus was innocent, why did he have Him whipped?
- V27-31 – It’s like the soldiers were putting on a show with Jesus as the entertainment. Some day they really will kneel in worship before Him and confess Him as King. (
- V32 – I’m sure we’ve all seen pictures/movies of the torture Jesus was put through before His crucifixion but I want to take a moment to appreciate that Jesus, a strong carpenter, was so injured and abused that He couldn’t carry his 30-40 pound cross (weight estimations according to my ESV). The fact that Matthew knew Simon’s name suggests to me that Simon may have later joined Jesus’ followers.
- V34 – Most translations agree this is a mild pain reliever, plus Jesus had said He wouldn’t drink wine again until He drank it with the disciples in His Father’s kingdom (26:29).
- V35 – Seriously, if you haven’t read Psalm 22 yet, you should.
- V37 – Whether they did this as a joke or because it was the official charge brought against Him, the reality was, again, that in their mockery they hit upon the truth.
- V39-44 – The misquoted charge against Him must have really spread among the crowds. This must have been agonizing for Jesus on so many levels. Obviously He could have “come down from the cross” and saved Himself.The thing is, He chose not to save Himself so He could save others. The bit about “Let God deliver Him now” would have been especially hard to withstand because, somewhere in His heart, He was probably still hoping that would happen (26:39).
- V45 – My ESV says this was “not a solar eclipse, since Passover occurred during a full moon, and a solar eclipse can occur only during a new moon; rather, it is a supernatural act of God, displaying his displeasure and judgment upon humanity for crucifying his Son.”
- V46 – Here’s the ESV note on “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?” – “”Some of the most profoundly mysterious words in the entire Bible. In some sense Jesus had to be cut off from the favor of and fellowship with the Father that had been his eternally, because he was bearing the sins of his people and therefore enduring God’s wrath (Isa. 53:6, 10; Hab. 1:13; Rom. 3:25; 2 Cor. 5:21; Gal 3:13; 1 John 2:2). And yet, in quoting Ps 22:1 Jesus probably has in mind the remainder of the psalm as well, which moves onto a cry of victory (Ps 22:21-31); and he expresses faith, calling God “my God.” Surely he knows why he is dying, for this was the purpose of his coming to earth (Matt. 16:21; 20:18-19, 28). And surely his cry, uttered with a loud voice, is expressing, not bewilderment at his plight, but witness to the bystanders, and through them to the world, that he was experiencing God-forsakeness not for anything in himself but for the salvation of others…”
- V47-49 – Once last note from the ESV: “Jesus’ call to God in Aramaic (Eli, Eli) sounds similar to the Hebrew name for Elijah (Eliyahu), which the bystanders misunderstand as a summons to the prophet.” (Since Elijah never died, the Jews were expecting him to come back to rescue them from great trouble (Malachi 4:5). What with the weird darkness, people were ready for anything.
- V51 – No more separation of man from God.
- V52-53 – Weird. I’m struggling with the timeline here. It makes sense the tombs were opened during the earthquake and the bodies were raised but they didn’t come out until after Jesus’ resurrection. Maybe they hung out in the cemetery until then…
- V54 – These Romans were convinced by the miraculous events but the religious leaders, who had already witnessed plenty of miracles, and demanded more (12:38) would not have their hearts changed no matter what they saw.
Wrap up your quiet time by praying through the following questions:
- Based on this passage of Scripture, what can I thank God for?
- What do these verses tell me about God and His character?
- Based on this passage, is there anything I need to confess to God and ask forgiveness for?
- What do these verses remind me to pray for others?
- What do these verses move me to pray for myself?