I WON'T BACK DOWN

Friday, May 4, 2018

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapters 27 & 28

These 2 chapters will wrap up the Book of Matthew. From here we will go to study in the Book of Acts, saving the next 3 Gospels: Mark, Luke & John, for another day.


THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO MATTHEW ~ Chapters 27 & 28

At daybreak, all the chief priests and elders of the people met an laid their plans about Yeshua, how to have Him put to death. Si they bound Him, and led Him away and turned Him over to Pontius Pilate, the governor.

When Judas, who had betrayed Him, saw that he was condemned, he was full of remorse He went to the chief priests and elders and gave them back their pieces of silver. He said, ‘I have sinned in betraying innocent blood.’ But they said, ‘What is it to us? It concerns you only.’ He then threw down the money there in the Temple and went out. Then he went away and hanged himself.


The chief priests then took the money, but they said, ‘It is unlawful to put it in the treasury, since it is blood-money.’ After debating the question a while, they used it to buy a potter’s field, as a burial ground for strangers. On that account, it has been called the Field of Blood to this day. In that way the word of the prophet Jeremiah was fulfilled, when he said, “they took the thirty pieces of silver – the price of Him whose price was fixed, fixed by some of the sons of Israel – and bought a potter’s field, as Adonai directed me” (Zechariah 11:13).


Then Yeshua stood before the governor, and the governor asked Him, ‘Are You the King of Jews?’ And Yeshua answered him, “Yes, it is true, as you say.” But when the chief priests and elders accused Him, He made no answer. Pilate then said to Him, ‘Don’t you hear all the things they are saying against You?’ But He did not answer the question by even one word, so the governor was greatly astonished.


It was customary at the festival that the governor would set at liberty some prisoner, of the people’s choice. They had at this time a notorious prisoner called Barabas. So, when the people came together, Pilate asked them, ‘Whom do you want me to set free – Barabas, or Yeshua, Who is called the Christ?’ He well that it was through envy that they had brought Yeshua to him. Moreover, while he was sitting in the judge’s seat, his wife sent him a note, as follows: “have nothing to do with this upright man. I had a dream about Him today and suffered much on the account.” But the chief priests and elders persuaded the gathered crowd to ask that Barabas be freed and that Yeshua be executed. Then the governor asked, ‘Which one if these do you want me to set free?’ They answered, ‘Barabas!’ Then Pilate said to them, ‘But what shall I do, then, with Yeshua, Who is called the Christ?’ They all shouted back, ‘Crucify Him!’ But the governor then asked, ‘But what wrong has He done?’ The mob shouted the louder, saying, ‘CRUCIFY HIM!’ When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, and that there was danger of a riot, he took water and washed his hands before the mob saying, ‘I am innocent of the blood of this righteous man; it is your responsibility.’ And the mob answered, ‘His blood be on us and our children.’ The Pilate set Barabas free for them, but scourged Yeshua, and then gave Him to be crucified.


Next the governor’s soldiers took Yeshua into their armory and gathered the whole company about Him. First, they stripped Him, then put on Him a scarlet robe. After that, they put on His head a crown they had made from thorns, and placed a rod in His right hand, and knelt down before Him in mockery, saying, “Hail, O King of the Jews!” And they spat on Him, and took the rod and struck Him on the head with it. Finally, when they were through with mocking Him, they took off His robe and out His own garments upon Him again. Then they led Him away to be crucified.


As they were on their way they came across a Cyrenian (The people of Cyrene were african people who lived in what is now called Libya) named Simon, whom they forced to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha, which means, Place of the Skull. There they gave HIm some wine mixed with a bitter drug, but when He tasted it, He would not drink. Then they crucified Him, and afterwards divided His garments among them by casting lots. They sat down there and kept guard over Him. And they placed over His head the charge against Him, in writing, "This is Yeshua - King of the Jews". There were crucified with Him also 2 robbers, 1 at the right and 1 at the left. The passersby shook their heads, and mocked HIm. 'You could destroy the temple and then rebuild it in 3 days', they said, 'come, save Yourself! If You are Ben Elohim (the Son of God), come down from the cross!' Also the chief priests, together with the scribes and elders, in like manner, jeered saying, 'He saved others, but Himself He cannot save. He is the King of Israel! If so, let Him come down from the cross and we will believe on Him. He out His trust in Elohei. If Elohei cares for Him, let HIm rescue HIm now, for He said, "I am Elohei". Also the robbers who were crucified with Him reproached Him with the same taunts.


At noon, darkness came upon the whole land, lasting until 3 o’clock. Then, about 3 o’clock, Yeshua cried out with a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” That means, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” On hearing this, some of the bystanders said, ‘This man is calling upon Elijah’. And immediately someone ran and took a sponge, filled with vinegar, put it on a stick and held it up to Him for a drink. ‘Leave Him alone,’ said the others, ‘But let us see if Elijah comes to save Him.’ Then Yeshua gave another loud outcry and gave up His spirit.


And, all at once, the curtain in the Temple was torn in two from top to bottom, the earth quaked and the rocks split apart. Graves were opened, and many bodies of saints who had fallen asleep rose up. After His resurrection, these left their graves and went into the Holy City, showing themselves to many. But when the army captain and his men who were guarding Yeshua swathe earthquake and what took place with it, they were terribly frightened.

Some women who had followed Yeshua from Galilee to wait on Him, were watching from a distance. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary – the mother of James & Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons. A rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, came that evening. He, too, was a follower of Yeshua. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Yeshua. Pilate then gave orders to give it to him. Joseph accordingly took the body and wrapped it in a piece of clean linen cloth. He then placed it in his own tomb that he had hewn out of the rock. Next, he rolled a huge stone in front of the door to the tomb, and departed. But Mary Magdalene and the other Mary stayed on, sitting opposite the tomb.

On the next day – the day after the Preparation – the chief priests and the Pharisees went in a body to Pilate. ‘Sir’, they said, ‘we recall that this imposter, while alive, said, ‘After 3 days, I shall rise again’. Give an order, therefore, to have the tomb made secure until the 3rd day, lest His disciples should come by night and steal Him away and then tell the people, “He has risen from the dead”. This last fraud would thus be even worse than the first’. ‘You may have a guard of soldiers’, said Pilate, ‘and, by all means, go and make it as secure as you know how.’ They then went and made the tomb safe. They sealed the stone, and set a guard to watch it.

Now, late on the Sabbath (Saturday dawning into Sunday), as dawn was appearing on the first day of the week (Sunday, the Lord’s Day), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to look after the tomb. And there was an earthquake just as an angel of Adonai came down from heaven. He rolled the stone back and sat down on it. His face was as bright as lightening and his clothing as white as snow. The guards trembled with fear and dropped down like dead men. The angel then spoke to the women, “Don’t be afraid. Of course, I know that you are here to look for Yeshua, the Crucified One. He is not here. He has risen, as He said He would. Come and see the place where He laid. Now hurry! Go tell His disciples that He has risen from the dead, and, behold! He will go before you into Galilee. You will see Him there. See! Now I have told you”. They left the tomb in haste, both in fear and in great joy, and ran to tell the news to His disciples.


Then, as they were on their way to His disciples, all at once Yeshua met them and greeted them. They came near Him, clasping His feet as they worshipped Him. “Don’t be afraid”, said Yeshua to them. “Go and tell the disciples to go back to Galilee, and there they will see Me.”


When they were on their way, some of the soldiers of the guard went into the city and reported to the chief priests everything that had happened. Then these met together with the elders to take counsel, and they decided to give the soldiers a large bribe. They said to them, ‘You must say that His disciples came and stole His body while you were asleep. And if the governor gets to hear this, we shall make it right with him, so you need not be worried.’ So the soldiers took the money and did as they were told. And this is the tale that has gone out among the Jews down to the present day.

Then the 11 disciples went back to Galilee, to the mountain to which Yeshua had directed them. They fell down to worship Him when they saw Him, but some were somewhat skeptical. Then Yeshua came near and spoke to them these words, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given Me. Go, therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the Name of Elohim (Father), Ben Elohim (the Son), and the Ruach (Holy Ghost). And teach them to keep every rule that I have given you. And I shall always be with you … every day to the ends of the world.”