Page images
PDF
EPUB
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

John 2. 19.

[merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off 53 And “they led Jesus away to the high priest : his ear.

and with him were assembled all the chief priests 48 And Jesus answered and said unto them, Are and the elders and the Scribes. ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and 54 And Peter followed him afar off, even into the with staves to take me?

palace of the high priest: and he sat with the ser49 I was daily with you in the temple, teaching, vants, and warmed himself at the fire. and ye took me not: but the scriptures must be 55 And the chiet priests and all the council sought fulfilled.

for witness against Jesus, to put him to death; and 50 And they all forsook him, and fled.

found none. 51 And there followed him a certain young man, 56 For 'many bare false witness against him, but having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and their witness agreed not together. the young men laid hold on him:

57 And there arose certain, and bare false witness 52 And he left the linen cloth, and fled from them against him, saying, naked.

58 We heard him say, I will mdestroy this temple Ps. 2. 1, &c. Is. 53. 3, &c. Luke 24. 44. A P. 88. 8. Is. 63. 3. ver. n. k Matt. 26. 57, &c. Luke 22. 54, &c. John 18. 13, &c. 1 P. 35. 11. me. 2. 13. 16.

me. 15. 29. been discovered; nay, these officers of the chief priests, being curiosity to go, and see what the matter was, and was in such retainers to the temple, may be supposed to have heard his ser- haste to inform himself, that he could not stay to dress himself, mons there; (I was with you in the temple ;) and had he not but threw a sheet about him, as if he would appear like a walktaught them excellent doctrine, even his enemies themselves ing ghost, in grave-clothes, to frighten those who had frightened being judges? Were not all ihe words of his mouth in righ- him, and ran among the thickest of them with this question, teousness. Was there any thing froward or perverse in them, What is to do here? Being told, he had a mind to see the Prov. 8. 8. By his fruits he was known to be a good Tree; issue, having, no doubt, heard much of the fame of this Jesus; why then did they come out against him as a thief? 2. That and therefore when all his disciples had quitted him, he conthey came to take him thus privately, whereas he was neither tinued to follow him, desirous to hear what he would say, and ashamed nor afraid to appear publicly in the temple. He was see what he would do. Some think that his having no other none of those evil-doers that hate the light, neither come to the garment than this linen cloth upon his naked body, intimates light, John 3. 20. If their masters had any thing to say to him, that he was one of those Jews who made a greater profession they might meet him any day in the temple, where he was of picty than their neighbours, in token of which, among other ready to answer all challenges, all charges; and there they instances of austerity and mortification of the body, they used might do as they pleased with him, for the priests had the cus no clothes but one linen garment, which, though contrived to be tody of the temple, and the command of the guards about it: modest enough, was thin and cold. But I rather think that this but to come upon him thus at midnight, and in the place of his was not his constant wear. retirement, was base and cowardly. This was to do as David's 2. See how he was frightened into his bed again, when he enemy, that sat in the lurking-places of the villages, to murder was in danger of being made a sharer in Christ's sufferings. the innocent, Ps. 10. 8. But this was not all, 3. They came His own disciples had run away from him; but this young man, with swords and staves, as if he had been in arms against the having no concern for him, thought he might securely attend government, and must have the posse comitatus raised to reduce him, especially being so far from being armed, that he was not him. There was no occasion for those weapons; but they so much as clothed; but the young men, the Roman soldiers, made this ado, (1.) To secure themselves from the rage of who were called to assist, laid hold of him, for all was fish that some; they came armed, because they feared the people ; but thus came to their net. Perhaps they were now vexed at themselves, were they in great fear, where no fear was, Ps. 53.5. (2.) To that they had suffered the disciples to run away, and they being expose him to the rage of others. By coming with swords anl got out of their reach they resolved to seize the first they could slaves to take him, they represented him to the people (who are lay their hands on; though this young man was perhaps one of apt to take impressions this way) as a dangerous turbulent the strictest sect of the Jewish church, yet the Roman soldiers man, and so endeavoured to incense them against him, and made no conscience of abusing him upon this occasion. Findmake them cry out, Crucify him, crucify him, having no other ing himself in danger, he left the linen cloth by which they had way to gain their point.

caught hold of him, and fled away naked. This passage is reVII. He reconciled himself to all this injurious, ignominious corded to show what a barbarous crew this was, that was sent treatment, by referring himself to the Old Testament predic- to seize Christ, and what a narrow escape the disciples had of tions of the Messiah. I am hardly used, but I subunit, for the falling into their hands, out of which nothing could have kept scriptures must be fulfilled, v. 49. 1. See here what a regard them but their Master's care of them; If ye seek me, let these Christ had to the scriptures; he would bear any thing rather go their way, John 18. 8. It also intimates that there is no than that the least jot or tittle of the word of God should fall to hold of those who are led by curiosity only, and not by faith and the ground ; and as he had an eye to them in his sufferings, so conscience, to follow Christ. he has in his glory; for what is Christ doing in the government V. 53–65. We have here Christ's arraignment, trial, convicof the world, but fulfilling the scriptures? 2. See what use we tion, and condemnation, in the ecclesiastical court, before the are to make of the Old Testament; we must search for Christ, great sanhedrim, of which the high priest was president, or the true Treasure hid in that field : as the history of the New judge of the court; the same Caiaphas that had lately adjudged Testament expounds the prophecies of the Old, so the prophe- it expedient he should be put to death, guilty or not guilty, cies of the Old Testament illustrate the history of the New. (John 11. 50,) and who therefore might justly be excepted

VIII. All Christ's disciples, hereupon, deseried him ; (v.50,) against as partial. They all forsook him, and fled. They were very confident that I. Christ is hurried away to his house, his palace it is called, they should adhere to him; but even good men know not what such state did he live in. And there, though in the dead of the they will do, till they are tried. If it was such a comfort to him, night, all the chief priests, and elders, and Scribes, that were in as he had lately intimated, that they had hitherto continued the secret, were assembled, ready to receive the prey; so sure with him in his lesser trials, (Luke 22. 28,) we may well were they of it. imagine what a grief it was to him, that they deserted him now II. Peter followed at a distance, such a degree of cowardice in the greatesi, when they might have done him some service, was his late courage dwindled into, v. 54. But when he came when he was abused, to protect him, and when accused, to to the high priest's palace, he sneakingly went, and sat with the witness for him. Let not those that suffer for Christ, think it servants, that he might not be suspected to belong to Christ, strange, if they be thus deserted, and if all the herd 'shun the The high priest's fireside was no proper place, nor his servants wounded deer; they are not better than their Master, nor can proper company, for Peter, but it was his entrance into a temptaexpect to be better used cither by their enemies or by their tion. friends. When St. Paul was in peril, none stood by him, but III. Great diligence was used to procure, for love or money, all men forsook him, 2 Tim. 4. 16.

false witnesses against Christ. They had seized him as a IX. The noise disturbed the neighbourhood, and some of the malefactor, and now they had him they had no indictment to neighbours were brought into danger by the riot, v. 51, 52. prefer against him, no crime to lay to his charge, but they sought This passage of story we have not in any other of the evange for witnesses against him; pumped some with insnaring queslists. Here is an account of a certain young man, who, as it tions, offered bribes to others, if they would accuse him, and enshould seem, was no disciple of Christ, nor, as some have ima- deavoured to frighten others, if they would not, v. 55, 56. The gined, a servant of the house wherein Christ had eaten the chief priests and elders were by the law intrusted with the propassover, who followed him to see what would become of him, secuting and punishing of false witnesses, (Deut. 19. 16;) yet (as the sons of the prophets, when they understood that Elijah those were now ringleaders in a crime that tends to the overwas to be taken up, went to view afar off, 2 Kings 2. 7,) but throw of all justice. It is time to cry, Help, Lord, when the somo young man that lived near the garden, perhaps in the physicians of a land are its troublers, and those thai should be house to which the garden belonged. Now observe concerning the conservators of peace and equity, are the corrupters of him,

both, 1. How he was frightened out of his bed, to be a spectator of IV. He was at length charged with words spoken some Christ's sufferings. Such a multitude, so armed, and coming years ago, which, as they were represented, seemed to threaten with so much fury, and in the dead of the night, and in a quiet the temple, which they had made no better than an idol of, village, could not but produce a great stir; this alarmed our (v. 57, 58;) but the witnesses to this matter did not agree, young man, who perhaps thought there was some tumult or (v. 59,) for one swore that he said, I am able to destroy the rising in the city, some uproar among the people, and had the temple of God, and to build it in three days, (so it is in Matthew ;)

Matt. 26. 62, c.

Dan. 7. 13. Matt.

P. 39. 9. 19. 53. 7. 1 Pet. 2. 23.

Is. 37, 1.

2.7.

that is made with hands, and within three days I 66 And Sas Peter was beneath in the palace, there will build another made without hands.

cometh one of the maids of the high priest: 59 But neither so did their witness agree together. 67 And when she saw Peter warming himself, she 60 And the high priest stood up in the midst, looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? Jesus of Nazareth. What is it which these witness against thee? 68 But he denied,' saying, I know not, neither

61 But he held his peace, and answered nothing. understand I what thou sayest. And he went out Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, into the porch; and the cock crew. Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed?

69 And a maid saw him again, and began to say 62 And Jesus said, I am: and pye shall see the to them that stood by, This is one of them. Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and 70 And he denied it again. And a little aster, coming in the clouds of heaven.

they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou 63 Then the high priest rent his clothes, and art one of them for thou art a Galilean," and thy saith, What need we any further witnesses ? speech agreeth thereto.

6+ Ye have heard the blasphemy: what think 71 But he began to curse and to swear, saying, ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of I know not this man of whom ye speak. death.

72 And the second time the cock crew. And 65 And some began to spit ron him, and to cover Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, him, Before the cock crow twice thou shalt deny Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he palms of their hands.

wept." 21. 30. 28. SA. 1. 2. 69. Rev. 1. 7.

* Matt. 26. 69, &c. Luke 22.55, &c. John 18. 16, &c. 1 2 Tim. 2. 12, 13. # Acta is.30. 6. 2. 15. 19.

• or, he wep! abundantly; or, he began to weep. v 2 Cor. 7, 10. the other swore that he said, I will destroy this temple, that is gave judgment first, who, as president of the court, ought to made with hands, and within three days, I will build not it, but have voted last. So they all condemned him to be guilty of another made without hands; now these two differ much from death; what friends he had in the great Sanhedrims did not each other; çüčè ich in haprupla-their testimony was not appear, it is probable that they had not notice., suthcieni, nor equal to the charge of a capital crime; so Dr. IX. They set themselves to abuse him, and, as the PhilisHammond: they did not accuse him of that upon which a tines with Samson, to make sport with him, v. 65. It should sentence of death might be founded, no not by the utmost stretch seem that some of the priests themselves that had condemned of their law.

him, so far forgot the dignity, as well as duty, of their place, V. He was urged to be his own accuser ; (v. 60,) The high and the gravity which became them, that they helped their priest woord up in a heat, and said, Answerest thou nothing? servants in playing the fool with a condemned prisoner. This This he said under pretence of justice and fair dealing, but they made their diversion, while they waited for the morning, really, with a design to insnare him, that they might accuse to complete their villany. That night of observations (as the hina, Luke 11. 53, 54.-20. 20. We may well imagine with passover night was called) they made a merry night of., If what an air of banghtinesss and disdain this proud high priest they did not think it below them to abuse Christ, shall we think brought our Lord Jesus to this question ; "Come you, the any thing below us, by which we may do him honour? prisoner at the bar, you hear what is sworn against you; what V. 66-72. We have here the story of Peter's denying have you now to say for yourself?” Pleased to think that he Christ. seemed silent, who had so often silenced those that picked 1. It began in keeping at a distance from him. Peter had quarrels with him. Still Christ answered nothing, that he might followed afar off, (v. 54,) and now was beneath in the palace, at set us an example, 1. Of patience under calumnies and false the lower end of the hall

. Those that are shy of Christ, are accusations; when we are reviled, let us not revile again, 1 Pet. in a fair way to deny him, that are shy of attending on holy 2. 2. And, 2. of prudence, when a man shall be made an ordinances, shy of the communion of the faithful, and loath to offrader for a word, (Is. 29. 21,) and our defence made an of- be seen on the side of despised godliness. fenre; it is an evil time indeed when the prudent shall keep 2. It was occasioned by his associating with the high priest's aleace, (lest they make bad worse,) and commit their cause to him servants, and sitting among them. They that think it danHat jurgeth righteously. But,

gerous to be in company with Christ's disciples, because thence VI. When he was asked whether he was the Christ, he con- they may be drawn in to suffer for him, will find it inuch more fessed, and denied not, that he was, v. 61, 62. He asked, Art dangerous to be in company with his enemies, because there thru the Son of the Blessed? that is, the Son of God? for, as they may be drawn in to sin against him. Dr. Hannond observes, the Jews, when they named God, 3. The temptation was, his being charged as a disciple of generally added, blessed for ever; and thence the Blessed is the Christ; Thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth, v. 67. This title of God, a peculiar title, and applied to Christ, Rom. 9.5. is one of them, (v. 69,) for thou art a Galilean, one may know And for the proof of his being the Son of God he binds them that by thy speaking broad, v. 70. It doth not appear that he over to bis second coming; “ Ye shall see the Son of man sitting was challenged upon it, or in danger of being prosecuted as a on the righe hand of power; that Son of man that now appears criminal for it

, but only bantered upon it, and in danger of mean and despicable, whom you see and trample upon, being ridiculed as a fool for it. While the chief priests were (1s. 53.

2, 3,) you shall shortly see and tremble before.Now, abusing the Master, the servants were abusing the disciples. ore would think that such a word as this which our Lord Jesus Sometimes the cause of Christ seems to fall so much on the seems to have spoken with a grandeur and majesty not agree- losing side, that every body has a stone to throw at it, and even aldr to his present appearance, (for through the thickest cloud the abjects gather themselves together against it. When Job of his humiliation some rays of glory were still darted forth,), was on the dunghill, he was had in derision of those that were should have started the court, and at least, in the opinion of the children of base men, Job 30.8. Yet, all things considered, somer of them, should have amounted to a demurrer, or arrest the temptation could not be called formidable; it was only a ef judgment, and that they should have stayed process till they maid that casually cast her eyo upon him, and, for aught that hat considered further of it; when Paul at the bar reasoned of appears, without design of giving him any trouble, said, Thou th- judgment to come, the judge trembled, and adjourned the art one of them, to which he needed not to have made any trial, Acts 24. 25. But these chief priests were so miserably reply, or might have said, “ And if I be, I hope that is no blinded with malice and rage, that, like the horse rushing into

treason." the battle, they mocked at fear, and were not affrighted, neither 4. The sin was very great; he denied Christ before men, at belvered thy that it was the sound of the trumpet, Job 39. 22, 23. a time when he ought to have confessed and owned him, and Ai see Job 15. 25, 26.

to have appeared in court a witness for him. Christ had often VII, The High Priest, upon this confession of his, convicted given notice to his disciples of his own sufferings; yet, when him as a Blasphemer; (v. 63,) He rent his clothes— Xırūvas avrov. they came, they were to Peter as great a surprise and terror Some think that the word significs his pontifical vestments, as if he had never heard of them before. He had often told which, for the greater state, he had put on, though in the night, them that they must suffer for him, must take up their cross, op a this occasion. As before, in his enmity to Christ, he said and follow him; and yet Peter is so terribly afraid of suffering, he knew not whal, (John 11. 51, 52,) so now he did he knew upon the very first alarm of it, that he will lie, and swear, and not what if Saul's rending of Samuel's mantle was made to do any thing, to avoid it. When Christ was admired and signify the rending of the kingdom from him, (1 Sam. 15. 27, flocked after, he could readily own him; but now that he is 2.) rouch more did Caiaphas's rending of his own clothes deserted, and despised, and run down, he is ashamed of him, nmnfy the rending of the priesthood from him, as the rending and will own no relation to him. of the vail, at Christ's death, signified the throwing of all open. 5. His repentance was very speedy. He repeated his denial Christ's clothes, even when he was crucified, were kept entire, thrice, and the third was worst of all

, for then he cursed and and not rent; for when the Levitical priesthood was rent in swote, to confirm his denial; and that third blow, which, one perps and done away, This Man, because he continues ever, would think, should have stunned him, and knocked him down, hwan unchangeable priesthood.

startled him, and roused him up. Then the cock crew the second VIII. They agreed that he was a Blasphemer, and, as such, time, which put him in mind of his Master's words, the warning was guilty of a capital crime, v. 64. The question seemed to he had given him, with that particular circumstance of the bus pait fairly, What think ye? But it was really prejudged, for cock crowing twice; by recollecting that, he was made sensible the high priest had said, Ye have heard the blasphemy; he of his sin and the aggravations of it; and when he thought

( 295 )

1

VIL Reviled tion.

1

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][merged small][ocr errors]

. Acus 3. 14.

bls. 53. 7. John 19. 9.

c Matt. 27. 15. Luke 23. 17. John 18. 30.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

CHAPTER XV.

5 But"Jesus yet answered nothing ; so that Pilate

marvelled.
What we read of the sufferinps of Christ, in the foregoing chapter, was but the pro 6 Now cat that feast he released unto them one

logue or introduction: here we have the completing of them. We left him con.
deined by the chief priests; but they could only show their teeth, they could not prisoner, whomsoever they desired.
bite. Here we have him, I. Arraigned and accused bere Plate the Roman

7 And there was one named Barabbas, which lay
governor, v. 1-5. 11. Cried out against by the common people, at the instiga.
Gion of the priests, v. 6–19. II. Condemned to be crucified immediately. 15 bound with them that had made insurrection with
V. Led out to the place of execution with all presible ignominy and disgrace; him, who had committed murder in the insurrec-
v. 21-24. VI. Nailed to the cross between two thieves, v. 25-28
and abused by all that passed by, v. 29–32. VIII. Forsaken for a ume by his
Father, v. 33–36. IX. Dying, and rending the vail, v. 37, 38. X. Allested 8 And the multitude, crying aloud, began to de-
and witnessed to by the centurwn and others, *. 39–41. XI. Buried in the sire him to do as he had ever done unto them.
sepulchre of Joseph of Arimathea, v. 42–47.

9 But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that held a consultation with the elders and Scribes

10 (For he knew that the chief priests had deand the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried livered him for envy.). him away, and delivered him to Pilate.

11 But the chief priests moved the people, that 2 And Pilate asked him, Art thou the king of the he should rather release. Barabbas unto them. Jews? And he, answering, said unto him, Thou 12 And Pilate answered, and said again unto sayest it.

them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him 3 And the chief priests accused him of many whom ye call the King (of the Jews ? things : but he answered nothing.

13 And they cried out again, Crucify him. 4 And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest 14 Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil thou nothing? behold how many things they witness shath he done? And they cried out the more exagainst thee.

ceedingly, Crucify him. a Ps. 2. 2. Matt. 27. 1, &c. Luke 23. I, &c. Jobo 18. 29, &c. Acts 3. 13. 4. 26. d Prov. 27.4. Ec. 4.4. Acts 13. 45. Tit. 3. 3.

Ps. 2. 6. Jer.

23.5. Acts 5. 31. & Is. 53. 9. thereon, he wept. Some observe that this evangelist, who his silence under the charge and accusation. The chief priests wrote, as some have thought, by St. Peter's direction, speaks forgot the dignity of their place, when they turned informers, as fully of Peter's sin as any of them, but more brictly of his and did in person accuse Christ of many things, (v.3,) and wita sorrow, which Peter, in modesty, would nol have to be mag-ness against him, v. 4. Many of the Old Testament prophets nified, and because he thought he could never sorrow enough charge the priests of their times with great wickedness, in for so great a sin. His repentance here is thus expressed, which well did they prophesy of their priests ; see Ez. 22. 26. drußalwv ixhais, where something must be supplied. He Hos. 5. 1.-6. 9. Mic. 3. 11. Zeph. 3. 4. Mal. 1.6.-2.8. added to weep, so some; making it a Hebraism; he wept, and The destruction of Jerusalem by the Chaldeans is said to be the more he thought of it, the more he wept; he continued for the iniquity of the priests that shed the blood of the just, Lam. weeping; he flung out, and wept; burst out into tears; threw 4. 13. Note, Wicked priests are generally the worst of men. himself down, and wept; he covered his face, and wept, so The better any thing is, the worse it is when it is corrupted. some ; cast his garment about his head, that he might not be Lay-persecutors have been generally found more compassionseen to weep; he cast his eyes upon his Master, who turned, ate than ecclesiastics. These priests were very eager and and looked upon him, so Dr. Hammond supplies it, and it is a noisy in their accusation; but Christ answered nothing, v. 3. probable conjecture. Or, as we understand it, firing his mind When Pilate urged him to clear himself, and was desirous he upon il, he wept. It is not a transient thought of that which should, (v. 4,) yet still he stood mute, (v. 5,) he answered is humbling that will suffice, but we must dwell upon it. Or, nothing, which Pilate thought very strange. He gave Pilate a what if this word should mean his laying load upon himself, direct answer, (v.2,) but would not answer the prosecutors and throwing confusion into his own face; he did as the publican witnesses, because the things they alleged were notoriously that smote his breast, in sorrow for sin, and this amounts to false, and he knew Pilate himself was convinced they were so. his weeping bilterly,

Note, As Christ spake to admiration, so he kept silence to

admiration. NOTES TO CHAPTER XV.

V. The proposal Pilate made to the people, to have Jesus V.1-14. Here we have,

released to them, since it was the custom of the feast to grace I. A consultation held by the great sanhedrim for the effectual the solemnity with the release of one prisoner. The people prosecution of our Lord Jesus. They met early in the morning expected and demanded that he should do as he had ever done about it, and went into a grand committee, to find out ways and to them, (v. 8:) it was an ill usage, but they would have it kept means to get him put to death; they lost no time, but followed Now Pilate perceived that the chief priests delivered up their blow in good earnest, lest there should be an uproar among Jesus for envy, because he had got such a reputation among the people. The unwearied industry of wicked people in doing the people as eclipsed theirs, v. 10. It was easy to see, comthat which is evil, should shame us for our backwardness and paring the eagerness of the persecutors with the slenderness of slothfulness in that which is good. They that war against the proofs, that it was not his guill, but his goodness, not any Christ and thy soul, are up early; How long then wilt thou thing mischievous or scandalous, but something meritorious and sleep, 0 sluggard ?

glorious, that they were provoked at. And therefore, hearing II. The delivering of him up a Prisoner to Pilate; they bound how much he was the Darling of the crowd, he thought that he him. He was to be the great Sacrifice, and sacrifices must be might safely appeal from the priests to the people, and that bound with cords, Ps. 118. 27. Christ was bound, to make they would be proud of rescuing him out of the priests' hands; bonds easy to us, and enable us, as Paul and Silas, to sing in and he proposed an expedient for their doing it without danger bonds. It is good for us ofien to remember the bonds of the of an uproar; let them demand him to be released, and Pilate Lord Jesus, as bound with him who was bound for us. They will readily do it, and stop the mouths of the priests with illed him through the streets of Jerusalem, to expose him to con- that the people insisted upon his release. There was indeed tempt, who, while he taught in the temple, but a day or two another prisoner, one Barabbas, that had an interest, and would before, was had in veneration; and we may well imagine how have some voles'; but he questioned not but Jesus would outmiserably he looked after such a night's usage as he had had; poll him. so buffeted, spit upon, and abused. Their delivering of him VI. The unanimous outrageous clamours of the people to to the Roman power, was a type of the ruin of their church, have Christ put lo death, and particularly to have him crucified. which hereby they merited, and brought upon themselves; it It was a great surprise to Pilate, when he found the people so signified thai the promise, the covenant, and the oracles of much under the influence of the priests, that they all agreed to God, and the visible church state, which were the glory of desire that Barabbas might be released, v. 11. Pilate opposed Israel, and had been

so long in their possession, should now be it all he could; “What will ye that I shall do to him whom ye delivered up to the Gentiles. By delivering up the King they call the King of the Jeu's? Would not ye then have him do, in effect, deliver up the kingdom of God, which is there, released too?” . 12. No, say they, Crucify him. The priests fore, as it were, by their own consent, taken from them, and having put that in their mouths, they insist upon it; when Pilate given to another nation. If they had delivered up Christ, to objected, Why, what evil has he done? (a very material quesgratify the desires of the Romans, or to satisfy any jealousies tion in such a case,) they do not pretend to answer it, but of theirs concerning him, it had been another matter; but they cried out the more exceedingly, as they were more and more voluntarily betrayed him that was Israel's Crown, to them that instigated and irritated by the priests, Crucify him, crucify were Israel's yoke. III. The examining or him by Pilate upon interrogatories; selves and their creatures among the mob, to keep up the cry,

him. Now the priests, who were very busy dispersing them(v.2,)“Art thou the king of the Jews? Dost thou pretend to be promised themselves that it would influence Pilate iwo ways so, to be that Messiah whom the Jews expect as a temporal to condemn him. 1. It might incline him to believe Christ prince ?” “Yea," saith Christ, “it is as thou sayest, I am guilty, when there was so general an outcry against him. that Messiah, but not such a one as they expect.” He is the "Surely," might Pilate think, "he must needs be a bad man, King that rules and protects his Israel according to the Spirit, whom all the world is weary of.” He would now conclude that who are Jews inwardly by the circumcision of the Spirit, and he had been misinformed, when he was told what an interest he the King that will restrain and punish the carnal Jews, who had in the people, and that the matter was not so. But the continue in unbelief.

priests had hurried on the prosecution with so much expediIV. The articles of impeachment exhibited against him, and I tion, that we may suppose that they who were Christ's friends,

up.

15 And so Pilate, willing to content the people, 20 And when they had mocked Whim, they took released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on when he had scourged him, to be crucified. him, and led him out to crucily him.

16 And "the soldiers led him away into the hall 21 And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who called Pretorium; and they call together the whole passed by, coming out of the country, the father of band.

Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. 17 And they clothed him with purple, and platted 22 And 'they bring him unto the place Golgotha, a crown of thorns, and put it about his head; which is, being interpreted, The place of a skull.

18 And began to salute him, Hail, King of the 23 And they gave him to drink wine mingled with Jews!

myrrh: but he received it not. 19 And they smote him on the head with a reed, 24 And when they had crucified him, theym parted and did spit upon him, and, bowing their knees, his garments, casting lots upon them, what every worshipped him.

man should take.

I Matt. 27. 33, &c. Luke 23. 33, &c. John 19. 17, &c. m Ps. 22. 18. Matt. 27.

A Matt. 27. 07. John 18, 29, 33. 19. 9. ic. 14. 65. k Job 13. 9. Ps. 35. 16. Matt. 2. 19. c. 10. 31. Luke 22. 63. 23. 11, 36.

35, 36.

and would have opposed this cry, were at the other end of the their adorning, 1 Pet. 3. 4. Shall a purple or scarlet robe be town, and knew nothing of the matter. Note, It has been the matter of pride to a Christian, which was matter of reproach common artifice of Satan, to put Christ and his religion into an and shame to Christ? 2. Dokings wear crowns? They planted ill name, and so to run them down. When once this sect, as a crown of thorns, and put it on his head. A crown of straw, or they called it, comes to be every where spoken against, though rushes, would have been banter enough; but this was pain also. without cause, then that is looked upon as caure enough to con He wore the crown of thorns which we had deserved, that we demn it. But let us judge of persons and things by their merits, might wear the crown of glory which he merited. Let us be and the standard of God's word, and not prejudge by common taught by these thorns, as Gideon taught the men of Succoth, to fame and the cry of the country. 2. It might induce him to hate sin, and be uneasy under it, and to be in love with Jesus condemn Christ, to please the people, and indeed for fear of Christ, who is here a Lily among thorns. If we be at any time displeasing them. Though he was not so weak as to be afflicted with a thorn in the flesh, let it be our comfort, that our governed by their opinion, to believe him guilty, yet he was so great High Priest is touched with the feeling of our infirmities, wicked as to be swayed by their outrage, to condemn him, having himself known what thorns in the flesh meant. 3. Aru though he believed him innocent; induced thereunto by reasons kings attended with the acclamations of their subjects, O king, of state, and the wisdom of this world. Our Lord Jesus dying live for ever? That also is mimicked; they saluted him with, as a Sacrifice for the sins of many, he fell a sacrifice to the “Hail, King of the Jews; such a Prince, and such a people, rage of many.

even good enough for one another." 4. Kings have sceptres put V. 15--21. Here,

into their hand, marks of dominion, as the crown is of dignity; I. Pilate, to gratify the Jews' malice, delivers Christ to be to resemble that, they put a reed in his right hand. Those who crucified, v. 15. Willing to content the people, to do enough for despise the authority of the Lord Jesus, as not to be observed them, (so the word is,) and make them easy, that he might and obeyed, who regard not either the precepts of his word, or keep them quiet, he releused Barabbas unto them, who was the the threatenings of his wrath, do, in effect, put a reed in his scandal and plague of their nation, and delivered Jesus to be cru- hand; nay, and, as these here, smite him on the head with it, cified, who was the Glory and Blessing of their nation. Though such is the indignity they do him. 5. Subjects, when they he had scourged him before, hoping that would content them, and swear allegiance, were wont to kiss their sovereign; and this then not designing to crucify him, yet he went on to that; for, they offered to do, but instead of that, spit upon him. 6. Kings no wonder that he who could persuade himself to chastise one used to be addressed upon the knee; and this also they brought that was innocent, (Luke 23. 16,) could by degrees persuade into the jest, they bowed the knee and worshipped him; this they himself to crucify him.

did in scorn, to make themselves and one another laugh. We Christ was crucified, for that was, 1. A bloody death, and were by sin become liable to everlasting shame and contempt, to urithout blood no remission, Heb. 9. 22. The blood is the life, deliver us from which, our Lord Jesus submitted to this shame (Gen. 9. 4;) it is the vehicle of the animal spirits, which con and contempt for us. He was thus mocked, not in his own nect the soul and body, so that the exhausting of the blood is the clothes, but in another's, to signify that he suffered not for his exhausting of the life. Christ was to lay down his life for us, own sin; the crime was ours, the shame his. Those who preand therefore shed his blood. Blood made atonement for the tend subjection to Christ, but at the same time give themselves soul, (Lev. 17. 11,) and therefore in every sacrifice of propitia- up to the service of the world and the flesh, do, in effect, the tion special order was given for the pouring out of the blood, same that they did, who bowed the knee to him in mockery, and and the sprinkling of that before the Lord. Now, that Christ abused him with, Hail, King of the Jews, when they said, 'We might answer all these types, he shed his blood. 2. It was a have no king but Casar. Those that bow the knee to Christ, puinful death; the pains were exquisite and acute, for death but do not bow the soul, that draw nigh to him with their mouths, made its assaults upon the vitals by the exterior parts, which and honour him with their lips, but their hearts are far from him, are quickest of sense. Christ died, so as that he might feel him- put the same affront upon him that these here did. self die, because he was to be both the Priest and the Sacrifice; III. The soldiers, at the hour appointed, led him away from so that he might be active in dying, because he was to make his Pilate's judgment-hall to the place of execution, (v. 20,) as a soul an offering for sin. Tully calls crucifixion, Teterrimum Sheep to the slaughter; he was led forth with the workers of inisupplicium- A most tremendous punishment : Christ would meet quity, though he did no sin. But lest his death under the load of death in its greatest terror, and so conquer it. 3. It was a his cross, which he was to carry, should prevent the further crushameful death, the death of slaves, and the vilest male- elties they intended, they compelled one Simon of Cyrene to factors; so it was accounted among the Romans. The cross carry his cross for him. He passed by, coming out of the country and the shame are put together. God having been injured in or out of the fields, not thinking of any such matter. Note, We his honour by the sin of man, it is in his honour that Christ must not think it strange, if crosses come upon us suddenly, and makes him satisfaction, not only by denying himself in, and die we be surprised by them. The cross was a very troublesome vesting himself of, the honours due to his divine nature, for a unwieldy load; but he that carried it a few minutes, had the time, but by submitting to the greatest reproach and ignominy honour to have his name upon record in the book of God, though the human nature was capable of being loaded with. Yet this otherwise an obscure person; so that, wherever this Gospel is was not the worst. 4. It was a cursed death; thus it was preached, there shall this be told for a memorial of him: in like branded by the Jewish law; (Deut. 21. 23,) He that is hanged manner, though no atsliction, no cross, for the present, be joyous, is accursed of God, is under a particular mark of God's displea- but grievous, yet afterward' it yields a crown of glory io them

It was the death that Saul's sons were put to, when the that are exercised thereby. guilt of their father's bloody house was to be expiated, 2 Sam. V. 22-32. We have here the crucifixion of our Lord Jesus. 21, 6. Haman and his sons were hanged, Esth. 7. 10.-9. 13. I. The place where he was crucified; it was called GolgothaWe do not read of any of the prophets of the Old Testament the place of a skull: some think, because of the heads of malethat were hanged; but now that Christ has submitted to be factors that were there cut off; it was the common place of exhanged upon a tree, the reproach and curse of that kind of death ecution, as Tyburn, for he was in all respects numbered with are quite rolled away, so that it ought not to be any hinderance the transgressors. I know not how to give any credit to it, but to the comfort of those who die either innocently or penitently, divers of the ancients mention it as a current tradition, that in por any diminution from, but rather an addition to, the glory of this place our first father Adam was buried, and they think it those who die martyrs for Christ, to be, as he was, hanged upon highly congruous that there Christ should be crucified; for as in

Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive. Tertullian, 1!. Pilate, to gratify the gay humour of his Roman soldiers, Origen, Chrysostom, and Epiphanius, (great names,) take nodelivered him to them, to be abused and spitefully treated, while tice of it; nay, Cyprian adds, Creditur à piis-Many good peothey were preparing for the execution. They called together ple believe that the blood of Christ crucified did trickle down the whole regiment that was then in waiting, and they went into upon the skull of Adam, who was buried in the same place. an inner hall, where they ignominiously abused our Lord Jesus, Something more credible is the tradition, that this mount Calas a King, just as in the high priest's hall his servants had vary was that mountain in the land of Moriah, (and in the land ignominiously abused him as a Prophet and Saviour. 1. Do of Moriah it certainly was, for so the country about Jerusalem kings wear robes of purple or scarlet? They clothed him with was called,) on which Isaac was to be offered; and the ram was purple. This abuse done to Christ in his apparel should be an offered

instead of him; and then

Abraham had an eye to this day intimation to Christians, not to make the putting on of apparel of Christ, when he called the place Jehovah-jireh- The Lord YOL. III.-33

( 297 )

sure.

a tree,

1

Matt. 27. 45. Luke 23. 44.

n Is. 53. 12.

[ocr errors]

sale.

us,

25 And it was the third hour; and they crucified 30 Save thyself, and come down from the cross. him.

31 Likewise also the chief priests, mocking, said 26 And the superscription of his accusation was among theniselves with the Scribes, He saved written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. others ; himself he cannot save.

27 And with him they crucify two thieves; the 32 Let Christ the King of Israel descend now one on his right hand, and the other on his leit. from the cross, that we may see, and believe. And

28 And the scripture "was fulfilled, which saith, they that were crucified with him reviled him. And he was numbered with the transgressors.

33 And when the sixth hour was come, there 29 And they that passed by railed on him, wag- was darkness over the whole land, until the winth ging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou Pthat de- hour. stroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, 31 And at the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud o Ps. 22. 7. pc. 14. 58. John 2. 19.

9 Rom. 3. 3. 2 Tim. 2. 13. will provide, expecting that so it would be seen in the mount of sarcasms into their mouths, Thou that destroyest the temple, and the Lord.

buildest it in three days, now, if thou canst, sate thyself, and II. The time when he was crucified; it was the third houer, come down from the cross. They triumph as if, now that they v. 25. He was brought before Pilate about the sixth hour, (John had got him to the cross, there were no danger of his destroying 19. 14,) according to the Roman way of reckoning, which John the temple; whereas the temple of which he spake, he was now uses, with which ours at this day agrees, that is at six o'clock destroying, and did within three days build it up; and the temin the morning; and then, at the thurd hour, according to the ple of which they spake, he did by men, that were his sword Jews' way of reckoning, that is, about nine of the clock in the and his hand, destroy not many years after. When secure morning, or soon after, they nailed him to the cross. Dr. inners think the danger is over, it is then most ready to seize Lightfoot thinks the third hour is here mentioned, to intimate them: the day of the Lord comes as a thief upon those that an aggravation of the wickedness of the priests, that they were deny his coming, and say, Where is the promise of it? much here prosecuting Christ to the death, though it was after the more upon those that defy his coming, and say, Let him make third hour, when they ought to have been attending the service speed, and hasten his work. of the temple, and offering the peace-offerings; it being the first (2.) Even the chief priests, who, being taken from among day of the feast of unleavened bread, when there was to be a holy men, and ordained for men, should have compassion even on convocation. At that very time, when they should have been, those that are out of the way, should be tender of those that according to the duty of their place, presiding in the public de are suffering and dying, (Heb.5.1,2,) yet they poured vinegar, votions, were they here venting their malice against the Lord instead of oil, into his wounds, they talked to the grief of Jesus ; yet these were the men that seemed so zealous for the him whom God had smitten, (Ps. 69. 26,) they mocked him, temple, and condemned Christ for speaking against it. Note, they said, He saved others, healed and helped them, but now it There are many who pretend to be for the church, who yet care appears that it was not by his own power, for himself he cannot not how seldom they go to church.

They challenge him to come doun from the cross, if he III. The indignities that were done him, when he was nailed could, v. 32. Let them but see that, and they would believe ; to the cross; as if that had not been ignominious enough, they whereas they would not believe, when he gave them a more added several things to the ignominy of it.

convincing sign than that, when he came up from the grave. 1. It being the custom to give wine to persons that were to be These chief priests, one would think, might now have found put to death, they mingled his with myrrh, which was bitter, themselves other work to do: if they would not go to do their and made it nauseous ; he tasted it, but would not drink it; was duly in the temple, yet they might have been employed in an willing to admit the bitterness of it, but not the benefit of it. office not foreign to their profession; though they would not

2. The garments of those that were crucified being, as with offer any counsel or comfort to the Lord Jesus, yei they might

the executioner's fee, the soldiers cast lots upon his garments, have given some help to the thieves in their dying moments ; (v. 24,) threw dice (as our soldiers do upon a drum-head) for (the monks and priesis in Popish countries are very officious them : 80 making themselves merry with his misery, and sitting about criminals broken upon the wheel, a death much like that at their sport while he was hanging in pain.

of the cross ;) but they did not think that their business.
3. They set a superscription over his head, by which they in (3.) Even they that were crucified with him, reviled him,
tended to reproach him, but really did him both justice and (v. 32 ;) one of them did, so wretchedly was his heart hardened
honour. The King of the Jews, v. 26. Here was no crime al even in the depth of misery, and at the door of eternity.
leged, but his sovereignty owned. Perhaps Pilate meant to V.33—41. Here we have an account of Christ's dying, how
cast disgrace upon Christ as a bailled King, or upon the Jews, his enemies abused him, and God honoured him at his death.
who by their importunity had forced him, against his conscience, I. There was a thick darkness over the whole land, (some
to condemn Christ, as a people that deserved no better a King | think over the whole earth,) for three hours, from noon till three
than he seemed to be: however, God intended it to be the of the clock. Now the scripture was fulfilled, (Am. 8. 9,) I
proclaiming even of Christ upon the cross, the King of Israel; I will cause the sun to go down at noon, and will darken the earth
ihough Pilate knew not what he wrote, any more than Caiaphas in the clear day; and Jer. 15. 9, Her sun is gone doun while it
what he said, John 11, 51. Christ crucified is King of his was yet day. The Jews had often demanded of Christ a sign
church, his spiritual Israel ; and even then when he hung on the from heaven; and now they had one, but such a one as signihed
cross, he was like a king, conquering his and his people's ene the blinding of their eyes. It was a sign of the darkness that
mies, and triumphing over them, Col. 2. 15. Now he was writ was come, and coming, upon the Jewish church and nation.
ing his laws in his own blood, and preparing his favours for his They were doing their utmost to extinguish the Sun of righ-
subjects. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must teousness, which was now setting, and the rising again of which
remember the inscription over his head, that he is a King, and they would never own; and what then might be expected
we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. among them but a worse than Egyptian darkness? This inti-

4. They crucified two thieves with him, one on his right hand, mated to them, that the things which belonged to their peace
the other on his left, and him in the midst as the worst of the were now hid from their eyes, and that the day of the Lord was
three, (v. 27;) so great a degree of dishonour did they hereby at hand, which should be to them a day of darkness and gloomi-
intend him. And, no doubt, it gave him disturbance too. Some ness, Joel 2. 1, 2. It was the power of darkness ihat they were
that have been imprisoned in the common jails, for the testi- now under, the works of darkness that they were now doing ;
mony of Jesus, have complained of the company of cursing, and such as this should their doom justly be, who loved dark-
swearing prisoners, more than of any other of the grievances of ness rather than light,
their prison. Now, in the midst of such our Lord Jesus was II. Toward the close of this darkness, our Lord Jesus, in the
crucified; while he lived he had, as there was occasion, as80 agony of his soul, cried out, My God, my God, why hast thou
cicded with sinners, to do them good; and now when he died, he forsaken me? v. 34. The darkness signified the present cloud
was for the same purpose joined with them, for he came into the which the human soul of Christ was under, when he was making
world, and went out of it, to save sinners, even the chief. But it an offering for sin. Mr. Fox, in his Acts and Monuments,
this evangelist takes particular notice of the fulllling of the (vol. 3, p. 100,) tells of one Mr. Hunter, a martyr in queen
scriptures in it, v. 28. In that famous prediction of Christ's Mary's time, who, being fastened to the stake, to be burned, put
sufferings, (Is. 53. 12,) it was foretold that he should be num up this short prayer, Son of God, shine upon me; and imme-
bered with the transgressors, because he was made Sin for us. diately the sun in the firmament shone oul of a dark cloud, so

5. The spectators, that is, the generality of them, instead of full in his face, that he was forced to look another way, which
condoling with him in his misery, added to it by insulting over was very comfortable to him. But our Lord Jesus on the con-
him. Surely never was such an instance of barbarous inhu- trary, was denied the light of the sun, when he was in his suf-
manity toward the vilest malefactor: but thus the devil showed ferings, to signify the withdrawing of the light of God's coun-
the utmost rage against him, and thus he submitted to the

And this he complained of more than any thing; he greatest dishonours that could be done him.

did not complain of his disciples' forsaking him, but of his $1,) Even they that passed by, that were no way concerned, Father's, 1. Because this wounded his spirit; and that is a railed on him, v. 29. If their hearts were so hardened, that thing hard to bear, (Prov. 18. 14 :) this brought the waters into their compassions were not moved with such a spectacle, yet his soul, Ps. 69. 1—3. 2. Because in this especially he was they should have thought it enough to have their curiosity made Sin for us; our iniquities had deserved indignation and gratified; but that will not serve: as if they were not only wrath upon the soul, (Rom. 2. 7,) and therefore, Christ, being divested of all humanity, but were devils in human shape, they made a Sacrifice, underwent as much of it as he was capable taunted him, and expressed themselves with the utmost detesta- of; and it could not but bear hard indeed upon him who had tion of him, and indignation at him, and shor thick at him their lain in the bosom of the Father from cternity, and was always arrows, even bitter words. The chief priests, no doubt, put these his Delight. These symptoms of divine wrath, which Christ

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

tenance.

« PreviousContinue »