Matthew 27:35–50 (NKJV, also appearing in Mark 15:23–37; Luke 23:33–46; John 19:18–24, 28-30)
35 Then they crucified Him, and divided His garments, casting lots, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet:
“They divided My garments among them,
And for My clothing they cast lots.”
36 Sitting down, they kept watch over Him there. 37 And they put up over His head the accusation written against Him:
THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWSMatthew 27:35-37
This passage and its parallels in the other gospels gives a picture of many of the actions, words, and responses that came during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. A prophecy was fulfilled when the soldiers gambled for His garments. They also put the inscription over His head that Jesus was the King of the Jews. In the John passage, the chief priests argued with Pilate about the title ascribed to Christ in the inscription. However, Pilate refused to change it. In Luke, it is recorded that Jesus prayed for the Father to forgive the soldiers and the people in their ignorance of the plan of God.
38 Then two robbers were crucified with Him, one on the right and another on the left.Matthew 27:38-44
39 And those who passed by blasphemed Him, wagging their heads 40 and saying, “You who destroy the temple and build it in three days, save Yourself! If You are the Son of God, come down from the cross.”
41 Likewise the chief priests also, mocking with the scribes and elders, said, 42 “He saved others; Himself He cannot save. If He is the King of Israel, let Him now come down from the cross, and we will believe Him. 43 He trusted in God; let Him deliver Him now if He will have Him; for He said, ‘I am the Son of God.’ ”
44 Even the robbers who were crucified with Him reviled Him with the same thing.
In this section, Jesus is accosted by two thieves being crucified on crosses on either side of Him. He is also mocked by the Jews who remind Him of His prophecy that He would destroy the temple and rebuild it in three days. They challenged Him to come down from the cross, and surmised that He could not save Himself. In the end, though, according to Luke’s account, one of the thieves asked Him for forgiveness and sought to be with Him in paradise after they died. Jesus offered Him that very blessing.
45 Now from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. 46 And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”Matthew 27:45-50
47 Some of those who stood there, when they heard that, said, “This Man is calling for Elijah!” 48 Immediately one of them ran and took a sponge, filled it with sour wine and put it on a reed, and offered it to Him to drink.
49 The rest said, “Let Him alone; let us see if Elijah will come to save Him.”
50 And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit.
From noon until 3:00 pm, darkness covered Golgotha and all of the known land. Jesus gave out a tortured cry that translates basically to “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” They thought He was calling for Elijah and the religious people said to wait and see if Elijah came to save Him. In Luke it is recorded that Jesus said to Father God “into thy hands I commit my Spirit.” In John, Jesus said, “I thirst,” and they offered Jesus sour wine. Finally, He uttered the Aramaic phrase “Tetelestai,” meaning “it is finished.” Then Matthew records that Jesus yielded up His spirit.
This powerful exchange between Jesus and the people, Jesus and the religious leaders, Jesus and the soldiers, Jesus and His followers, shows His emotions, the disdain of the leaders for Him, and the terror of many around Him. Jesus was in the darkest hour of His human life. He had no effective allies. His enemies controlled His very life, yet He had the power to destroy them all and be free, yet He chose to go all the way to death to save the souls of men and women. The crucifixion was the first half of the great act of Christ’s passion and the redemption of mankind. Now, the wait begins for the second half to unfold.