Matthew 27 – The Nazarene’s Commentary: The Final Hours: Trial, Execution and Burial – #7 Matthew 27:32-37 – Executed at Golgotha
|| Mark 15:21-26; Luke 23:26-34, 38; John 19:17-24
MT27:32 Now as they were on their way they found a Cyrenian named Simon. They forced this one into service so that he might carry the instrument of execution. MT27:33 Upon reaching the placed called Golgotha (also named ‘Skull Rock’) MT27:34 they gave to Jesus a drink of wine mixed with gall but tasting it he refused to drink it. MT27:35 After they placed him on the instrument of execution they distributed his garments by casting lots. MT27:36 They all sat there and watched Jesus. MT27:37 And then they posted above his head the written charge against him: “This is Jesus – King of the Jews.”
 A Cyrenian named Simon: Mark 15:21 adds, “… the father of Alexander and Rufus.” These are possibly Christians named later in the Bible.
 The instrument of execution: As it is called by the Dictionary of New Testament Theology. The Greek is STAURON. According to Vine’s Expository: denotes, primarily, “an upright pale or stake.” On such malefactors were nailed for execution. Both the noun and the verb stauroo, “to fasten to a stake or pale,” are originally to be distinguished from the ecclesiastical form of a two beamed “cross.” The shape of the latter had its origin in ancient Chaldea, and was used as the symbol of the god Tammuz (being in the shape of the mystic Tau, the initial of his name) in that country and in adjacent lands, including Egypt. By the middle of the 3rd cent. A.D. the churches had either departed from, or had travestied, certain doctrines of the Christian faith. In order to increase the prestige of the apostate ecclesiastical system pagans were received into the churches apart from regeneration by faith, and were permitted largely to retain their pagan signs and symbols. Hence the Tau or T, in its most frequent form, with the cross-piece lowered, was adopted to stand for the “cross” of Christ.
 Golgotha: It is also called “Calvary” (Luke 23:33, KJV, Dy). For details read, Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1986, p. 50; Biblical Archaeology Review (May/June 1986, p. 38)
 Wine mixed with gall: Or, PME: mixed with some bitter drug. This was a painkiller and Jesus refused it. It would seem he wanted his mind open to experience this suffering as the Father willed.
 They distributed his garments by casting lots: In fulfillment of Psalm 22:18, “They apportion my garments among themselves, and upon my clothing they cast lots.” John 19:23, 24 adds, “Now when the soldiers had impaled Jesus, they took his outer garments and made four parts, for each soldier a part, and the inner garment. But the inner garment was without a seam, being woven from the top throughout its length. Therefore they said to one another: ‘Let us not tear it, but let us determine by lots over it whose it will be.’ This was that the scripture might be fulfilled: ‘They apportioned my outer garments among themselves, and upon my apparel they cast lots.’ And so the soldiers really did these things.” (See the KJV on Matthew 27:35)
 This is Jesus – King of the Jews: John 19:19-22 adds, Pilate wrote a title also and put it on the torture stake. It was written: “Jesus the Nazarene the King of the Jews.” Therefore many of the Jews read this title, because the place where Jesus was impaled was near the city; and it was written in Hebrew, in Latin, in Greek. However, the chief priests of the Jews began to say to Pilate: “Do not write ‘The King of the Jews,’ but that he said, ‘I am King of the Jews.’” Pilate answered: “What I have written I have written.”
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