November 7 Sermon: Jesus’ Death and Resurrection — Matthew 27:1 – 28:20
Early in the morning, all the chief priests and the elders of the people came to the decision to put Jesus to death. The authorities bound Jesus, led him away and handed him over to Pilate, the governor. . . .
Jesus stood before the governor, and the governor asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied. When Jesus was accused by the chief priests and the elders, he gave no answer. Then Pilate asked him, “Don’t you hear the testimony they are bringing against you?” But Jesus made no reply, not even to a single charge– to the great amazement of the governor.
Now it was the governor’s custom at the Feast to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. At that time they had a notorious prisoner, called Barabbas. So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Barabbas, or Jesus who is called Christ?” For Pilate knew it was out of envy that the religious authorities had handed Jesus over to him. . . .
But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed. “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor. “Barabbas,” the crowd answered. “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?” Pilate asked. They all answered, “Crucify him!” “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!” . . . Then Pilate released Barabbas to them. But Pilate had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. They stripped Jesus and put a scarlet robe on him, and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. The soldiers put a staff in Jesus’ right hand and knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” the soldiers said. They spit on Jesus, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. After they had mocked Jesus, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then the soldiers led Jesus away to crucify him. . . .
They came to a place called Golgotha (which means The Place of the Skull). There the soldiers offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When the soldiers had crucified Jesus, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, the soldiers kept watch over Jesus there. Above his head they placed the written charge against him: THIS IS JESUS, THE KING OF THE JEWS. . . .
From the sixth hour until the ninth hour darkness came over all the land. About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” — which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” . . . And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.
At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. The dead came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.
When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.
As evening approached, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who had himself become a disciple of Jesus. Going to Pilate, Joseph asked for Jesus’ body, and Pilate ordered that it be given to him. Joseph took the body, wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and placed the body in his own new tomb that Joseph had cut out of the rock. Joseph rolled a big stone in front of the entrance to the tomb and went away. . . .
The next day, the one after Preparation Day, the chief priests and the Pharisees went to Pilate.
“Sir,” they said, “we remember that while Jesus was still alive that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise again.’ So give the order for the tomb to be made secure until the third day. Otherwise, his disciples may come and steal the body and tell the people that Jesus has been raised from the dead. This last deception will be worse than the first.” “Take a guard,” Pilate answered. “Go, make the tomb as secure as you know how.” So they went and made the tomb secure by putting a seal on the stone and posting the guard.
After the Sabbath, at dawn on the first day of the week, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to look at the tomb. There was a violent earthquake, for an angel of the Lord came down from heaven and, going to the tomb, rolled back the stone and sat on it. The angel’s appearance was like lightning, and his clothes were white as snow. The guards were so afraid of him that they shook and became like dead men.
The angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you are looking for Jesus, who was crucified. He is not here; he has risen, just as he said. Come and see the place where he lay. Then go quickly and tell his disciples: ‘He has risen from the dead and is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him.’ Now I have told you.”
So the women hurried away from the tomb, afraid yet filled with joy, and ran to tell his disciples.
Suddenly Jesus met them. “Greetings,” he said. The women came to Jesus, clasped his feet and worshiped him. Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid. Go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.” . . .
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. When the disciples saw Jesus, they worshiped him; but some doubted. Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”
What does Jesus dying on the cross mean to you?
What does Jesus’ resurrection mean to you?