- Centering prayer— Pray for illumination, “Lord, open my heart and mind by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and remain in silence.
- Read slowly, keeping any words or phrase that come to your mind, and mark on them.
- Close eyes and meditate on what you read.
- Take a note if you have question, inspiration.
Read Matthew 27
At Jerusalem— Death of Jesus.
Judas hangs himself (1-10) – Juda Iscariot who betrayed Jesus remorse what he did, “I have sinned,” (v.4), but he did not repent, instead he dealt with guilty feeling by himself to lead him to hang himself. Thirty silver also was cursed and neither Judas nor chief priest accepted it. It became a bloody money only to buy the land for foreigners’ burial site.
Jesus before Pilate (11-26) – “are you the king of Israel?” was the question that Pilate asked. His concern was political based on Roman law rather than religious based on Jewish faith. Therefore, he released Barabbas in fear of riot of the crowd who shouted, “Barabbas,” (v21), even though he knew that Jesus was innocent politically. Pilot did not act on the truth to save his position.
The Soldiers mock Jesus (27-31) — Scarlet or purple is the color of kings and crown is the symbol of kingship. But soldiers ridiculed Jesus by putting a scarlet robe and crown of thorn on Jesus.
The Crucifixion (32-44) — Simon of Cyrene did by force what disciples are called to do (Matthew 16:24). Suffering of Jesus in verses 33-37 echoes lament psalm concerning the suffering and vindication of a righteous person (Psalm 22, 69). There were three groups of people who mocked Jesus, passers-by, chief priests, the teachers of the law, and the robbers. Each of them insulted Jesus by accusing him of his teaching, his identity.
The death of Jesus (45-56) — “the sixth hour,” is noon in modern time and ninth hour is three in the afternoon. Jesus was crucified in the third hour, nine in the morning, and he was on the cross for six hours. “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” is one of the last seven words of Jesus on the cross.
Matthew witnessed resurrection of the dead when Jesus died (v.52). Cosmic signs with a new temple, earthquake, and raised bodies, signal the in-breaking of God’s kingdom in Jesus’ death, as in his life. “The curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom,” (v.51) is the sign of demolishing the wall between God and God’s people, symbolic act of God’s redemption completed through the death of Jesus Christ. The centurion and other solders with him saw this sign and confessed Jesus as the Son of God.
The burial of Jesus (57-66) — The body of Jesus was buried. The women and Joseph from Arimathea are faithful but Jesus’ disciples have disappeared. The chief priests still resist to believe Jesus and his prediction of resurrection.
After Reading —- Reflection and prayer.
- Reflect on this question, “What does God speak to me today in this chapter?
- Pray that God’s word today be the way, the life, and the truth to you.
- Live it out through the day.