Matthew 27:15-31 – March 31
Our online study in the Gospel of Matthew ends April 3. We’ll be doing a 10-day study in the book of James next, starting April 6. Read today’s scripture, journal on it using SOAP, then please share as we encourage one another in this one thing. Below is the NIV version of today’s reading, then below that is a SOAP from one of our study leaders. The Comments section on our website is an open forum for sharing, requesting prayer, and asking questions.
Jesus Before Pilate
15 Now it was the governor’s custom at the festival to release a prisoner chosen by the crowd. 16 At that time they had a well-known prisoner whose name was Jesus Barabbas. 17 So when the crowd had gathered, Pilate asked them, “Which one do you want me to release to you: Jesus Barabbas, or Jesus who is called the Messiah?” 18 For he knew it was out of self-interest that they had handed Jesus over to him.
19 While Pilate was sitting on the judge’s seat, his wife sent him this message: “Don’t have anything to do with that innocent man, for I have suffered a great deal today in a dream because of him.”
20 But the chief priests and the elders persuaded the crowd to ask for Barabbas and to have Jesus executed.
21 “Which of the two do you want me to release to you?” asked the governor.
“Barabbas,” they answered.
22 “What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called the Messiah?” Pilate asked.
They all answered, “Crucify him!”
23 “Why? What crime has he committed?” asked Pilate.
But they shouted all the louder, “Crucify him!”
24 When Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but that instead an uproar was starting, he took water and washed his hands in front of the crowd. “I am innocent of this man’s blood,” he said. “It is your responsibility!”
25 All the people answered, “His blood is on us and on our children!”
26 Then he released Barabbas to them. But he had Jesus flogged, and handed him over to be crucified.
The Soldiers Mock Jesus
27 Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.
From Evilness to Good News | Becky Newman
The words spoken by the crowd in today’s reading are barbaric, monstrous, evil, selfish, murderous, full of hate. It’s as if Satan was in the back of the crowd and whispered it, and it spread like wildfire to a loud roar. At the Catholic Good Friday service, the congregation says these words when the gospel is read. When I was younger and attended these services, this part always scared me. But I spoke it because everyone else spoke it, just like the crowd back then. This is truly us in all of our ugliness and sin, responsible for Jesus having to die. BUT, it doesn’t end there. God takes these ugly words uttered by the crowd in verse 25, “His blood is on us and our children!”, and turns them into good. The Good News to be precise! Because His blood being on us and our children is what washes us as white as snow, our sins forgiven so that we can spend eternity with our Lord in heaven.
Just like You turned the ugliness and evil of the crowd’s words into the Good News, You are capable of turning evil into good now. Prayer is so important in this battle! On my prayer run today, I prayed over my son’s high school as I saw it in the distance, and You showed me a glimpse of the spiritual battle occurring over it and how important prayer is in the fight, and it nearly overwhelmed me before You reminded me of Your strength that can move mountains. This is an intimate moment You gave me today, but I have to write this down because it is too important to forget and just go on as normal and complacent. You tell us that if two or more pray for the same thing, then You will surely answer our prayer. One willing soul is standing up and ready to fight; who will join me?
Rain down the blood of the Lamb who was slain upon us and wash away this evil and sin that is trying to take over! Help me/us to spread Your Good News in our ever-widening circles of influence so that all may know Your love for us. Soften hearts to hear it and accept it and live it. God, protect our homes, our schools and our workplaces, our community. Knowing what Jesus endured for my sin, I stand up as a warrior in this spiritual battle, and I will no longer be silent as Satan tries to gain a foothold in my family.
The Discover One Thing main website continues to follow the Life Journal Reading Plan which covers the whole Bible in one year. Click HERE to check out today’s Discover One Thing post.