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Come, Follow Me — New Testament Study and Teaching Helps
Lesson 26, June 19 — 25
Matthew 27; Mark 15; Luke 23; John 19
“It Is Finished”

Matthew 27:3-10 Judas’s Death

After Jesus’s third trial appearance, Judas took his own life. After seeing that Jesus was condemned to die, Judas “repented himself” and tried to return the thirty pieces of ransom coin, but they rejected him (Matthew 27:3-4). Read Matthew 27:5-10 to see the fulfillment of prophecy that followed, as pointed out by Matthew.

Matthew 27:2, 11-14; Mark 15:1-5; Luke 23:1-7 Jesus’s Fourth Trial Appearance (Pilate; see also John 18:28-38)

Last week we considered Jesus’s fourth trial (with Pontius Pilate), but we only looked at the verses in John. Let’s see what was added by Matthew, Mark, and Luke:

  • When Jesus “was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing” (Matthew 27:12; see also Mark 15:3).
  • This prompted Pilate to ask Jesus, “Answerest thou nothing? Behold how many things they witness against thee” (Mark 15:4; see also Matthew 27:13). But again, “Jesus yet answered nothing; so that Pilate marvelled” (Mark 15:5; see also Matthew 27:14).
  • Perhaps Jesus chose not to say anything at this point, because He knew that Pilate considered Him innocent, and would let Him go free. Earlier, Jesus had said, “To this end was I born” (John 18:37) and He was determined to perform the “infinite and eternal sacrifice” (see D&C 19:19; Alma 34:10).
  • So what did the perplexed Pilate do? He sent Jesus to be examined by Herod, a Jewish ruler (Luke 23:5-7).

Luke 23:8-12 Jesus’s Fifth Trial Appearance (Herod)

In his weakness and desire to be free from this controversy, Pilate dodged responsibility. Luke 23:7 tells us that “as soon as [Pilate] knew that [Jesus] belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction [being from Galilee] he sent him to Herod.” Herod Antipas was an evil man who had put to death John the Baptist; his father having killed the babes of Bethlehem a generation earlier.

According to verse 8, why was Herod “exceeding glad” to see Jesus? How did Jesus react to him? Note the mocking and maltreatment that followed, in verses 10-11, and the odd outcome in verse 12. Sometimes it is better not to speak.

Luke 23:13-22; Matthew 27:15-23, 27-30 Jesus’s Sixth Trial Appearance (Pilate Again; see also Mark 15:6-19; John 18:39-40; 19:1-3)

Pilate did not believe that Jesus was guilty of any crime, and he affirmed this three times (see Luke 23:4, 14-16, 22). And, Pilate had the authority and power to release Jesus. However,

  • As Jesus went before Pilate a second time, what did Pilate do and say, in Luke 23:13-14?
  • It was a tradition at Passover to release a prisoner, and Pilate tried once again to escape responsibility for Jesus’s fate by proposing that Jesus be the one to be released (Matthew 27:15-18; Mark 15:6-10; Luke 23:17; John 18:39).
  • Barabbas—an insurrectionist, robber, and murderer—was also brought forth as a potential candidate for release; Pilate evidently thinking that the multitude of people would surely have pity and choose Jesus, rather than Barabbas (Matthew 27:16-18; Mark 15:7-10; John 18:39).
  • According to Matthew 27:19, what most interesting interjection occurred at this critical moment?
  • What happened next, according to Matthew 27:20-23? Note also that in Mark 15:12, Pilate, in a further attempt to persuade the people, reminded them that they had called Jesus “the King of the Jews”; note also that in Luke 23:22, Pilate stated his intention to merely “chastise” Jesus and then let Him go, but Pilate turns out too weak to follow through.
  • One of the many lessons we can see in this farcical charade is the power of peer pressure, and our need to recognize and reject it, when not in accord with the will of God.
  • While still under Pilate’s jurisdiction and control, Jesus is taken by Pilate’s Roman soldiers. What happens next, in Matthew 27:27-30 and John 19:1? (see also Mark 15:16-19; to “scourge” means to be severely beaten, likely with a whip).

John 19:4-42; Matthew 27:23-26, 31-51, 54-61; Mark 15:14-15, 20-47; Luke 23:23-56 Jesus Is Sent to Die

As difficult as it can be to study these horrific events, this exercise can be used to increase our testimony of, love for, and devotion to the Savior. Read and contemplate the following:

  • John 19:1-6 (Pilate presents a bruised and bloodied Jesus, perhaps in hopes of provoking pity.)
  • John 19:7-15 (Pilate questions Jesus, “Whence art thou?”; note the irony in the Jews’ declaration that Jesus should die because He spoke against Caesar; they despised Caesar!)
  • Matthew 27:24-26, 31-44; Luke 23:27-31; John 19:17-24 (Pilate washes his hands, frees Barabbas, and delivers Jesus to be crucified; Jesus is scourged and mocked, speaks to the daughters of Jerusalem, carries His cross, and is crucified; He asks His Father to “forgive them,” and speaks to the thief at His side.)
  • John 19:25-27; Mark 15:33-41; John 19:28-30 (Jesus speaks to His mother and John; darkness comes; His final words and His death; the temple veil is torn; witnesses at the cross; note the symbolism of the temple veil being torn open, allowing all to enter into the Holy of Holies and enjoy God’s presence, because of the Atonement now fulfilled by Jesus Christ.)
  • John 19:31-37; Mark 15:42-47; Luke 23:50-56; John 19:38-42 (Jesus’s side is pierced; His body is taken down and buried; note that the wealthy Joseph of Arimathea, who took down Jesus’s body from the cross, “was Jesus’ disciple” [Matthew 27:57] even though he was a member of the Jewish Sanhedrin; also, Joseph was “a good man [who] had not consented to the counsel and deed” of the rest of the Sanhedrin; for he had “waited for the kingdom of God” [Luke 23:50-51]; also, John 19:39 informs us that Joseph of Arimathea was assisted in this loving act by Nicodemus, another member of the Sanhedrin, who in John 3 had come to Jesus by night to ask of His doctrine.)

The horrors of Friday are now passed, and it is Saturday:

  • Matthew 27:62-66 (The Jewish chief priests and Pharisees now participate in one last self-delusional act, at the same time revealing their own fear that Jesus’s prophecies of His resurrection will actually come true.)

Jesus’s Words from the Cross

Much has been said and written about the significance of the things Jesus spoke as He hung from the cross. Consider these “utterances” and think about principles or personal lessons you can draw from them:

  1. To His Father: “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). Note that the Joseph Smith Translation clarifies that in this request, Jesus is referring to the soldiers who crucified Him.
  2. To the thief at His side: “To day shalt thou be with me in paradise” (Luke 23:43). Joseph Smith taught that Jesus actually said to the thief, “This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits; then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, p. 309).
  3. To His mother, Mary, and to His apostle, John the Beloved: “Woman, behold thy son!” and “Behold thy mother!” (John 19:26-27).
  4. To His Father: “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46; Mark 15:34).
  5. To those nearby: “I thirst” (John 19:28).
  6. To His Father: “It is finished” (John 19:30). The JST renders this saying, “Father, it is finished, thy will is done.”
  7. To His Father: “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” (Luke 23:46).

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