Matthew Chapter 27 Part B
CHAPTER 27When it became late, a rich man, named Joseph of Arimathea, who was himself a disciple of Jesus, came;
When it became late, The sun had apparently returned
a rich man, named Joseph of Arimathea, who was himself a disciple of Jesus, came; We are now introduced to a secret disciple of Jesus— Joseph of Arimathea. He does what the other disciples will not do, comes forward to claim the body of Jesus. We know that he belonged to the Sanhedrin (Mark 15:43) and that he had not yet revealed publicly that he was a disciple of Jesus (John 19:38).
Matt. 27:58 This man approached Pilate and requested the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded Him to be given.
This man approached Pilate and requested the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded Him to be given. Pilate grants his request for the body of Jesus.
Matt. 27:59 Joseph took the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
Joseph took the body of Jesus, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, John provides more details of Jesus' burial telling us that Nicodemus helped in the burial preparations.
Matt. 27:60 and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. And when he had rolled a large stone at the door of the tomb, he went away.
and placed it in his own new tomb, which he had cut in the rock. The tomb that Jesus was buried looked like the present Garden Tomb in the city of Jerusalem—which may indeed be the correct site.
And when he had rolled a large stone at the door of the tomb, he went away. The stone was a boulder that was run down a steep incline. Matt. 27:61 Now Mary Magdalene and the other Mary were there, sitting opposite the tomb.
And there was Mary Magdalene and the other Mary opposite the tomb. This statement shows they knew which tomb to come back to refuting the theory that somehow they went to the wrong tomb on Easter Sunday.
The Guard Is Placed At The Tomb (27:62-66)
The religious leaders ask Pilate for a guard.
Matt. 27:62 And the next day, that is after the Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together with Pilate,
And the next day, This would be Saturday.
that is after the Preparation Day, The preparation day for the Sabbath, not for the Passover.
the chief priests and the Pharisees were gathered together with Pilate, Pilate now receives another request but this time from the religious leaders.
Matt. 27:63 saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was alive, 'After three days I will rise.'
saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while He was alive, 'After three days I will rise.' They remember Jesus claims that He will rise.
Matt. 27:64 Command therefore to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first.
Command therefore to secure the tomb until the third day. Otherwise His disciples may come and steal Him and say to the people, 'He has been raised from the dead,' and the last deception will be worse than the first. They do not believe that He will rise, they merely want to stop the disciples from stealing the body so they won't make that claim.
Matt. 27:65 Pilate said to them, Take a guard; go, make it as secure as you know.
Pilate said to them, Take a guard; go, make it as secure as you know. These words of Pilate are open to different interpretation. He could be telling them that they already have a guard in the temple police and so they are to use them. Or he could be commanding the Roman guard to be used temporarily at the tomb of Jesus. The best answer seems to be that he provided the Roman guard.
Matt. 27:66 And they went away and made the tomb secure, having sealed the stone, together with the guard.
And they went away and made the tomb secure, having sealed the stone, together with the guard. The securing of the tomb would have involved placing the imperial stamp of Rome on the tomb tied with a rope or large cord. The seal would speak of the power and authority of Rome. Anyone breaking the seal would be punished. Therefore with the large stone, the presence of the Roman guard, and the imperial seal, all possible grave robbers would seemingly be deterred.
However, there was one thing that had not crossed their mind, that Jesus Himself would be raised from the dead!
Summary to Chapter 27
Though innocent of any crime, nevertheless Jesus is brought before Pontius Pilate. Though guilty of no charge, Pilate delivers Him over to be crucified after the crowd rejects His release in favor of Barabbas.
After being flogged, beaten, and ridiculed by the Roman soldiers, Jesus is led away to crucifixion. He is crucified between two criminals where He is further insulted and taunted by the religious leaders.
Upon His death, Jesus' body is taken by a secret disciple—Joseph of Arimathea—and placed in his new tomb.
The religious leaders come to Pilate the next day and ask him to secure the tomb, seeing that Jesus had predicted His resurrection. Pilate agrees with their request.
The chapter ends with the tomb guarded by a large stone, the imperial seal of Rome, and the Roman guard. The religious leaders assumed that this would be enough to keep any grave robbers away. There is, however, one thing they did not consider, the possibility that He would rise from the dead!
Questions for Chapter 27 Question: Did Matthew wrongly attribute a prophecy to Jeremiah?
One of the passages in Matthew that has caused commentators difficulty concerns the prophecy of Matthew 27. There is a prophecy attributed to Jeremiah that seemingly was made by the prophet Jeremiah.
Many solutions have been offered:
1. Mistake of Matthew's Memory. This is the view of Augustine and also Alford who wrote: The citation is not from Jeremiah, and is probably quoted from memory and unprecisely (Alford, p. ).
2. Purposely wrote wrong name. Matthew purposely put in the wrong name (Jeremiah for Zechariah) in order to teach us that we should not depend upon the prophets who were mere channels of the divine truth rather than the source.
3. Transmission Error. The reading Jeremiah is believed to be an early error in the transmission of the text and not original with Matthew.
4. Lost Work of Jeremiah. The Church Father Origen argued that is came form a work of Jeremiah which has now been lost.
5. Deleted Passage in Jeremiah. The Church Father Eusebius believed that this passage was in Jeremiah but was taken out by the Jews.
6. Jeremiah represented Latter Prophets. In the Talmud and in some manuscripts the Book of Jeremiah begins the section on the latter prophets. Therefore his name is representative of the whole body of writing and would represent anything written in that section.
7. Zechariah had spirit of Jeremiah. Some argue that the mistake arose from Jewish tradition that stated that Zechariah had the spirit of Jeremiah.
8. Spoken by Jeremiah but not written down. The prophecy was something that Jeremiah said but was not written down. Not every prophecy that was spoken was written down and not every prophecy that was written down was spoken.
9. He Is Citing Jeremiah. A final possibility is that Matthew is actually citing the passage in Jeremiah and not Zechariah. Therefore there is nothing to harmonize.