Teacher Notes

Bible Stories for Adults

Jesus is Crucified

Matthew 27:11-61

Welcome and Announcements
    Next Week - Absalom's Rebellion (2 Samuel 13-18)
    Bible Words to Remember:
      May I never boast, except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been sacrificed to me, and I to the world. Galatians 6:14

Opening Prayer

After Gethsemane (Matthew 26)
    Where did Jesus go after his Last Supper to pray about his upcoming death?
      Matthew 26:36 = Garden of Gethsemane (means oil press) on Mount of Olives
    What happened to Jesus after he was arrested in Gethsemane? = Needed two witnesses to agree
      Matthew 26:57-60 = Tried by church leaders to find something to charge him with
    What happened in the courtyard while Jesus was being tried by the elders?
      Matthew 26:69-75 = Peter disowned Jesus 3 times; A rooster crowed (daybreak)

Jesus' Last Day (Matthew 27)
    Where did the church leaders take Jesus around 6:00 am (0 hour)? = Only govt could execute
      Matthew 27:1-2 = To be tried by Pontius Pilate, the governor
    Did Jesus receive a speedy trial?
      Mark 15:25 = Jesus nailed to the cross 3 hours later (9:00 am)
    What significant event happened at 12:00 noon (6th hour)?
      Matthew 27:45 = Darkness covered the land for 3 hours (Jesus dying)
    Why did that happen? = To fulfill prophesy; the darkness of sin and death being taken by Jesus
      Amos 8:9 = I will make the sun go down at noon & darken the earth in broad daylight
    What time did Jesus die?
      Matthew 27:46, 50 = About the 9th hour (3:00 pm)
    What happened before the day officially ended at 6:00 pm (12th hour)?
      Matthew 27:57-60 = He was buried in a new tomb

The Silence of the Lamb (Matthew 27:11-14)
    What charge against Jesus had the elders selected?
      Matthew 27:11 = Calls himself the King of the Jews
    How did Jesus respond to the accusations before Pilate?
      Matthew 27:12-14 = He kept silent
    Why didn't he defend himself?
      Isaiah 53:7 = Fulfilled prophesy of staying silent as a lamb before its slaughter
    Has your life been changed forever by the Silence of the Lamb?

Pilate's Verdict (Matthew 27:15-25)
    Why did Pilate offer the choice of releasing Jesus or Barabbas?
      Matthew 27:15-21 = He thought they'd take innocent Jesus over murderer Barabbas
    What punishment did the church elders want for Jesus?
      Matthew 27:22 = Death by crucifixion
    Did Pilate feel this was proper punishment?
      Matthew 27:23 = No, he believed Jesus was innocent, there was no crime
    Did Pilate fulfill his duty to uphold justice?
      Matthew 27:24-25 = No, he sentenced Jesus to death & passed the blame

Jesus' Roman Crucifixion (Matthew 27:26-38)
    Cicero: the most cruel and hideous of punishments
    Only the worst crimes:
      Murder, rebels against Rome, delinquent slaves
    Roman citizens were never crucified
    Very slow and extremely painful death

    Prisoner first stripped and whipped at least 39 times with a flagrum
      Thongs of flagrum held lead balls and broken sheep bones to cut flesh
    Blood loss, pain & circulatory shock would result in near death
      Intended to shorten the time on the cross
    Matthew 27:26, 30 = Jesus was flogged & hit in the head by mocking soldiers
      Jesus also had anguish of Gethsemane & sleepless night

    Prisoner had to carry crossbeam (patibulum) to execution site
      About 6 feet long and 125 lbs
      Further exhausted prisoner & made show for spectators
    Matthew 27:31-33 = Jesus started carrying cross, stranger enlisted when Jesus couldn't
      Golgotha - Hill shaped like a skull = means Place of the Skull

    At the execution site, prisoner's wrists were nailed to the patibulum
      Median nerve damage was very painful
    Patibulum lifted & fit on top of stipes (permanent upright beam)
      Prisoner's feet nailed to stipes or to a foot rest (suppedaneum)
      Sign (titulus) attached to top of cross giving name and crime
    Prisoner's clothes were given to the presiding soldiers
      Matthew 27:35-38 = Soldiers cast lots for clothes; Jesus, King of the Jews

    During crucifixion, nerve damage and muscle cramps caused great pain
    Thirst would become unbearable as the body dehydrated
      Prisoners given wine mixed with a mild sedative (myrrh)
    Matthew 27:34 = Jesus offered wine with gall, he refused it

Jesus' Roman Crucifixion (Matthew 27:57-60)
    Prisoner died by asphyxiation (not enough oxygen, too much carbon dioxide)
      Difficult to exhale while hanging on cross
    Legs of hardy prisoners were broken to speed death
      Prisoner unable to push himself up to help him breathe
    John 19:31-37 = Broke legs of others, Jesus already died, stuck with sword, fulfilled prophesies

    Dead bodies were often left to decompose on the cross as a warning
      In Palestine, bodies were taken down and disposed of
      Deuteronomy 21:22-23 = Don't leave body on a tree overnight, bury same day
      Matthew 27:57-60 = Jesus' body buried by Joseph of A, a silent disciple, Council member

Psalm 22 (Matthew 27:39-49)
    Recited by Jews when catastrophes threatened

    What are the only words that Matthew records Jesus saying on the cross?
      Matthew 27:46 = My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?
    How would the Jews that Matthew targeted with his gospel understand this?
      Psalm 22:1 = Jesus began reciting Psalm 22 as he died
    How did the spectators understand these words?
      Matthew 27:47-49 = They thought he was calling Elijah for help

    How would the Messiah be treated according to Psalm 22?
      Psalm 22:6-8 = Scorned, despised, mocked & insulted; let God save him
    How are these verses fulfilled on the cross in Matthew's account?
      Matthew 27:39-40 = Those who passed by hurled insults, shook heads
      Matthew 27:41-43 = Priests, scribes & elders mocked: let God save
      Matthew 27:44 = Even the robbers heaped insults
    How does Matthew show this scorn & mockery preceding the crucifixion?
      Matthew 26:65-68 = Priests & elders spit, hit, slapped & mocked
      Matthew 26:73-74 = Scorned by Peter's curses at others who said he was with Jesus
      Matthew 27:27-30 = Soldiers mocked him as king, spit on & hit him

    What other prophesies in Psalm 22 were fulfilled with Jesus' crucifixion?
      Psalm 22:14 = Blood poured out with water, joints stretched
      Psalm 22:15 = Lost strength, very thirsty, dying
      Psalm 22:16 = Surrounded by sinners, nails through hands & feet
      Psalm 22:17-18 = Bones not broken, soldiers watched over Jesus, cast lots for clothes

    What are some other direct prophesies from Psalms of Jesus' crucifixion?
      Psalm 69:21 = Given vinegar with gall to drink
      Psalm 38:11 = My friends & companions avoid me because of wounds
      Matthew 27:55-56 = Women watched from a distance

Jesus Dies (Matthew 27:51-54)
    What happened the moment Jesus died? = Power over sin, earth & death
      Matthew 27:51-53 = Temple veil split, earthquake, saints raised
    What impact did these events have on spectators?
      Matthew 27:54 = Soldiers said, "Surely he was the Son of God!"

    What was the purpose of the temple curtain? = High priest made sacrifices for sins there
      Hebrews 9:3, 7-8 = Separated people from Most Holy Place
    What was significant about the tearing of the temple curtain? = No longer need priest to mediate
      Hebrews 10:19-20 = We can enter Most Holy Place through blood of Jesus
    How does Jesus fill the role of the high priest?
      Hebrews 7:27 = Offered himself as the great sacrifice, once & for all
    How does Jesus' crucifixion outside the city point to the eternal city?
      Hebrews 13:11-14 = Bodies of sacrifices burned outside camp; look to the new city

    What was significant about the earthquake?
      Galatians 6:14 = The world has been crucified to us & us to the world
    What was significant about the raising of the saints?
      2 Timothy 1:10 = Jesus destroyed death

Closing Prayer

Silence of The Lamb

A man had worked for a meat packing firm for many years. He had cut the throats of animals. He had heard the cattle bellow, the fowl squawk, the pigs squeal.

One day a farmer brought a lamb to be slaughtered. With business as usual, the man took his sharp knife and cut the lamb's throat. The lamb did not squawk, squall, or flounder like other livestock did. It did not bellow and then slump like the cattle.

The little lamb just silently stood before the man. With blood flowing from its throat, the lamb tottered toward its executioner, licked the blood from his hands, and began to totter from side to side. Then the lamb silently slumped and slipped into death.

The death of that lamb changed the life of the man forever. Within two weeks he quit the job never to return.

Copyright © 1997 by Kurt Rosenhagen

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