The Agora
Bible Commentary

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Matthew 27

Mat 27:1

EARLY IN THE MORNING: They were seeking to legalize what had been hastily decided the night before. (The Sanhedrin, by law, was not supposed to meet officially during the night.)

Mat 27:2

The leaders of Israel were leading their own nation to the "hall of judgment"!

The way had been prepared, the day before, with a bribe: "The ruler demands gifts, the judge accepts bribes" (Mic 7:3).

PILATE: Governor of Judea, soldier of Spain, served with Germanicus in Germany. During stay in Rome, married Claudia (illegitimate daughter of Tiberius, and granddaughter of Augustus). This family connection aided him to become procurator. Always a crude and tactless man, as seen in affairs of imperial ensign, Corban money to build aqueducts, etc (HVM 116-118). But he tried Jesus' case generally with fairness, prob influenced by Claudia, who dreamed of "that righteous man" after hearing Pilate's conversation with Caiaphas of the night before. (The dream planted by an angel?) His actions at the trial of Jesus were a total reversal of his previous form: ordinarily, he was anything but a weak, indecisive man!

Mat 27:3

Was it inevitable that Judas would die without forgiveness? Could Jesus have forgiven him? Is any sin unforgivable?

WHEN JUDAS... SAW...: Notice the implication of this word "saw". Had Judas come to the very scene of the trial of Jesus before renouncing his bargain?

HE WAS SEIZED WITH REMORSE: The KJV has "he repented himself", but the word here means to regret, not to change one's ways. Regret alone is not enough.

THIRTY PIECES OF SILVER: How did Matthew know the exact amount? Is this answered by Acts 6:7? "The number of disciples in Jerusalem increased rapidly, and a large number of priests became obedient to the faith." Did one or more of the priests who witnesses this scene later relate it to Matthew and the others?

Mat 27:4

Christ's innocence attested: by Herod (Luk 23:15), by thief (Luk 23:41), by centurion (Luk 23:47), by Judas (Mat 27:4), by Pilate (Mat 27:24), and by Pilate's wife (Mat 27:19).

INNOCENT BLOOD: 2Ki 24:4; Jer 19:4; 26:15; Deu 21:8,9; Isa 59:7; 1Sa 19:5; Psa 94:21; Heb 7:26; 1Pe 1:19.

I HAVE SINNED: There is a radical distinction between natural regret and God-given repentance. The flesh can feel remorse, acknowledge its evil deeds, and be ashamed of itself. However, this sort of disgust with past actions can be quickly shrugged off, and the individual can soon go back to his old wicked ways. None of the marks of true repentance described in 2Co 7:11 are found in his behavior. Out of a list of 11 men in the Bible who said, "I have sinned," poss only five actually repented. They were David (2Sa 12:13; 24:10; 1Ch 21:8; Psa 41:4), Nehemiah (Neh 1:6), Job (Job 42:5,6), Micah (Mic 7:9), and the prodigal son (Luk 15:18). The other (poss less sincere) instances? Pharaoh in Exo 9:27; 10:16; Balaam in Num 22:34; Achan in Jos 7:20; Saul in 1Sa 15:24,30; 26:21; Shimei in 2Sa 19:20; Judas in Mat 27:4.

WHAT IS THAT TO US?: But their own words condemn them, for it should have been something to them. Judas has betrayed innocent blood; they have condemned innocent blood.

THAT'S YOUR RESPONSIBILITY: Lit, "you will see [to it]", as in v 24): a remark correct in content (yes, Judas would bear the responsibility!), but wrong in implying that they were thereby absolved.

Mat 27:5

JUDAS THREW THE MONEY INTO THE TEMPLE: Lit, "into the sanctuary". He intercepted the chief priests in the temple area, on their way to see Pilate in the castle of Antonia. Poss, they retreated into the temple itself, in a vain attempt to escape the unwanted attentions, but he followed them and flung the coins at their feet. Imagine the coins clattering and clanking along the floor, while the priests scurried here and there to gather up and hide the evidence of their own complicity.

Cp the tables of moneychangers -- overturned by Jesus, and the coins falling on the floor (Joh 2:14; Mat 21:12; Mar 11:15; Luk 19:45). In both cases, this was money paid for "sacrifices"!

THEN HE WENT AWAY AND HANGED HIMSELF: What is the essential difference between Judas and Peter? Their relative estimations of Jesus. Judas now believed that Jesus was the Messiah. But he could still not believe that he, Judas, might actually be forgiven. (Cp 2Sa 17:23: Ahithophel, Judas' counterpart, hanged himself. Why? Prob because, when his council went unheeded, he knew that David the king would be back, and -- he felt, at least -- that he, Ahithophel, would be condemned without remedy.)

Some years later, Pilate also hanged himself (Eusebius, WGos 745).

Cp Acts 1:18.

Mat 27:6

TREASURY: The "Corban": Mar 7:11.

Mat 27:7

Vv 7-10: Parenthetical. This all happened a good while later.

THE POTTER'S FIELD: "The potter's field, used for the burial of foreigners, probably did not belong to 'the potter' (surely there was more than one potter in Jerusalem) but was a well-known place, perhaps the place where potters had long obtained their clay. If depleted, it might have been offered for sale. There are no reliable early traditions of its location, though Matthew's 'to this day' shows it was well known when he wrote. The best assumption is that it lay in the valley of Hinnom near the juncture with the Kidron" (EBC). Cp Jer 19:1,2n. If this is so, then Judas died at GEHENNA!

A BURIAL PLACE FOR FOREIGNERS: Many of whom -- in the next years -- would be Jewish Christians.

Mat 27:8

FIELD OF BLOOD: Vv 4,6,24,25.

Mat 27:9

SPOKEN BY JEREMIAH: Could have been spoken by Jeremiah, but written by Zechariah: Zec 11:12,13; cp also Jer 19:1-13; 32:6-9. (Some suggest all of Zech 9-14 was originally received by Jeremiah: WGos 746.)

Mat 27:11

ARE YOU THE KING?: Pilate already knew the charges (thus proving an earlier, unrecorded interview with Jewish leaders). But he recognizes this is not the figure nor the conduct of a "real king" (ie a political "pretender").

Mat 27:12

HE GAVE NO ANSWER: " I am like a deaf man, who cannot hear, like a mute, who cannot open his mouth; I have become like a man who does not hear, whose mouth can offer no reply" (Psa 38:13,14). "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence" (Psa 39:1).

Mat 27:14

BUT JESUS MADE NO REPLY: No man ever spoke like this man (Joh 7:46), and no man was ever silent quite like this man! In his silence he showed himself the true lamb of God, silent before its shearers (Act 8:32; Isa 53:7).

Mat 27:16

Barabbas was also a rebel (Luk 23:19) and a robber (Joh 18:40).

Mat 27:18

OUT OF ENVY: The only perfectly loving man brought out hatred in many. Cp Abel (Gen 4:4,5), Joseph (Gen 37:11), Moses (Psa 106:16), Paul (Act 13:45).

Mat 27:19

Christ's innocence attested: by Herod (Luk 23:15), by thief (Luk 23:41), by centurion (Luk 23:47), by Judas (Mat 27:4), by Pilate (Mat 27:24), and by Pilate's wife (Mat 27:19).

By the very delay it caused, the message from Pilate's wife caused the very thing she sought to prevent: see v 20n.

Mat 27:20

The delay caused by Pilate's attending to the message from his wife gave the chief priests and elders the opportunity to convince the rabble to demand the release of Barabbas instead of Jesus.

Mat 27:22

Pilate hoped they would ask for Jesus' release also, with which he would have gladly complied. But by now (v 20) it is too late: the crowd is demanding the release of Barabbas.

Jesus is standing in Pilate's hall,
Friendless, forsaken, betrayed by all.
Hearken, what meaneth the sudden call:
"What will you do with Jesus?"

Jesus is standing on trial still.
You can be false to him, if you will,
Or you can be faithful through good or ill.
"What will YOU do with Jesus?"

"What will you do with Jesus?"
Neutral you cannot be.
Someday your heart will be asking,
"What will HE do with me?"

Mat 27:24

Christ's innocence attested: by Herod (Luk 23:15), by thief (Luk 23:41), by centurion (Luk 23:47), by Judas (Mat 27:4), by Pilate (Mat 27:24), and by Pilate's wife (Mat 27:19).

WASHED HIS HANDS: Pilate (unknowingly) plays the part of the elder of the city nearest to a slain man, who thus shows the "innocence" of the city (Deu 21:5,6).

Mat 27:25

LET HIS BLOOD BE ON US AND ON OUR CHILDREN: Deu 19:10,13; 28:18; Jos 2:19; 2Sa 1:16; 1Ki 2:32; 2Ki 23:3,4; Psa 69:25; 109:10,17; Eze 22:2-4; 24:7-9; Num 35:33. What awful consequences of those words: cp Joh 19:15 (we have no king but Caesar!) How true it was.

Mat 27:26

"The hallmark of the career politician in every age: Act 12:3; 2:27; Exo 32:1" (WGos 761). A riot would endanger his own position, and poss his very position. Some of his past actions already made him suspect in Rome (Luk 13:1) for antagonizing the Jews unnecessarily.

HE HAD JESUS FLOGGED: The scourging of Jesus (cp Isa 50:6; 53:5). See Psa 129:3: notice how Jesus identifies with the very land of Israel -- ravaged and plowed under by its enemies.

"The lash was a long leather thong, often studded with nails and pieces of bone and sharpened pellets of lead. The prisoner was bound to a pillar in such a way that his back was exposed and he was unable to move, and then the lash was laid on. The victims usually lost consciousness under this scourging; many of them emerged from it raving mad; and not a few died under it" (Barclay). When wielded with force, it tore away large chunks of flesh, exposing veins, inner muscles, and sinews. Called by some "the half-way death".

"Hoping that mangling an innocent man with the savage Roman scourge would suffice as a compromise." As though Jesus were half-innocent and half-guilty.

TO BE CRUCIFIED: The practice probably originated in Asia Minor, being adopted by the Persians and Phoenicians -- who also impaled, speared, stoned, strangled, drowned, burned, or boiled victims in oil. Crucifixion reached Europe in 3rd century BC, and was adopted by the Romans as a strong deterrent to crime or rebellion.

The patibulum, or cross-piece, was probably the portion of the cross carried by Christ; it weighed -- alone -- about 100 lbs. The stipes, or upright piece, was probably permanently erected at the site of executions.

Crosspiece laid on ground, then attached to upright stake. Spikes in ankles and wrists. Lifted and jolted into place. Severe pain. Heat. Thirst. Flies. Difficulties in breathing. Dust. Abuse from observers. Shame of nakedness (Mar 15:24; Psa 22:18). Hallucinations? Depression (the "shadow of death")?

A small seat was prob attached to the stipes, so that the crucified man might sit periodically, to relieve the strain and weight put on the arms and shoulders. In this way, and because the will to live would be so strong in most men being executed, the whole process of crucifixion would be considerably lengthened, and the suffering prolonged. Death would come, eventually, by asphyxiation... when it would become too difficult to hold oneself up so as to draw breath.

Mat 27:28

Was the robe at Christ's trial purple (Mark 15:17; John 19:2,5) or scarlet (Mat 27:28)? Many commentators state that the two colors were often confused, and dismiss the matter casually as "purple, or scarlet", as if to say it does not matter. Purple was the color of royalty, whereas the common Roman soldiers' cloak was scarlet (so we are told). Perhaps the cloak initially thrown over Jesus' shoulders was scarlet, belonging to one of the soldiers; but that it was further augmented by a purple scarf or cape, since the intention of his mockers was clearly to portray Jesus as king.

Bible robes: the long robe of pretension (Luk 20:46); the torn robe of sorrow (Job 1:20); the scarlet robe of mockery (Mat 27:28); the best robe of righteousness (Luk 15:22); and the white robe of the redeemed (Rev 7:9).

Mat 27:29

There is a crown of pride (Isa 28:3), which no one should wear. A crown of thorns (Mat 27:29), which no one can wear. And a crown of life (Jam 1:12), which everyone may wear. Also, an incorruptible crown (1Co 9:25), a crown of rejoicing (1Th 2:19), a crown of glory (1Pe 5:4), and a crown to be kept until Christ's coming (Rev 3:11).

A CROWN OF THORNS: "In making fun of the king of the Jews, they were [unknowingly] mocking, not Christ, but their own Caesar, and every Caesar, king or ruler than ever had been, or will be. They were making human power itself a subject of scorn. Thenceforth, for all to see, thorns sprouted under every golden crown, and underneath every royal robe there was stricken and smitten flesh" (M Muggeridge).

"The figure of the Crucified invalidates all thought which takes [worldly] success for its standard" (D Bonhoeffer).

From that time forward, every power and every pretension of foolish mankind would be ludicrous alongside the one true crown, the crown of thorns worn by Jesus. From that time forward, the only meaningful power would be that which originated in his suffering.

"Let the crown of thorns make those Christians blush who throw away so much time, pains, and money, in beautifying and adorning a sinful head. Let the world do what it will to render the royalty and mysteries of Christ contemptible, it is my glory to serve a King thus debased; my salvation, to adore that which the world despises; and my redemption, to go unto God through the merits of him who was crowned with thorns. Let us pay our adoration and humble ourselves in silence at the sight of a spectacle which faith alone renders credible, and which our senses would hardly endure. Jesus Christ, in this condition, preaches to the kings of the earth this truth -- that their sceptres are but reeds, with which themselves shall be smitten, bruised, and crushed at his tribunal, if they do not use them here to the advancement of his kingdom" (Quesnel, from Clarke).

Mat 27:30

THEY SPIT ON HIM: According to the Mishna, the Jews spit upon the scapegoat, so as to transfer their sins to it! The spitting in the face would be an intended satire to the kiss of allegiance.

"Do you remember what sort of face it was that these soldiers spit into?... 'My beloved is white... His countenance is lovely' (Song 5:10, etc). It was into this dear face, a coarse, brutal soldiery must void their vile spittle! O Church of Christ! was ever grief like thine, that thy husband should thus be defiled, and that, too, for thy sake? Was ever love like his that he should suffer these indignities for thee? The angels crowd around his throne to catch a glimpse of that fair countenance. When he was born, they came to Bethlehem's manger, that they might gaze upon that face, while he was yet an infant; and all through his devious path of sorrow he was 'seen of angels.' They never turned away their eyes from him, for never had they seen a visage so enchanting. What must they have thought when gathering round their Lord? Surely they would have gladly stretched their wings to have shielded that dear face! What anger must have filled their holy souls, what grief, if grief can be known by beings like themselves, when they saw these wretches, these inhuman creatures, spitting on Perfection! Oh! how they must have grieved when they saw the nasty spittle about that mouth which is 'most sweet,' trickling down from those eyes which are 'like the eyes of doves by rivers of waters,' staining the cheeks which are 'as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers,' and falling on those lips which are 'like lilies, dropping sweet-smelling myrrh' " (CHS).

Mat 27:31

TO CRUCIFY HIM: See Mat 27:26n.

Mat 27:32

A MAN FROM CYRENE, NAMED SIMON: Cp Mar 15:21: Simon was father of Alexander and Rufus (Rom 16:13). So evidently Simon became a follower of Christ (Mat 10:38,39). This day, he began the trip (Mat 5:41) which he continued all the rest of his life. See Lesson, Simon of Cyrene poem.

SIMON: Sig "hearing", first the unwelcome command of the Roman soldier, and then -- later -- the call of Christ.

AND THEY FORCED HIM TO CARRY THE CROSS: "Without the camp, bearing his reproach" (Heb 13:12,13). Simon was "drafted" to go one mile (Mat 5:41). He "volunteered" to go the second mile, to baptism and beyond (Rom 16:13).

Mat 27:33

See Lesson, Golgotha.

Mat 27:34

WINE... GALL: Cp Mar 15:23. By tradition, said to be provided by a woman's society of Jerusalem, a humanitarian gesture to ease the excruciating pains of crucifixion. But he did not take it, because taking drugs would have distorted a sacrifice of intelligent, reasoned obedience (Rom 12:1,2). But he was also offered wine vinegar (alone?) at the end (Joh 19:29,30), which he did take.

AFTER TASTING IT, HE REFUSED TO DRINK IT: God had told Jeremiah that He would make the false prophets to drink poisoned water (Jer 23:15). Is this the real reason Jesus refused the drink of wine mixed with gall on the cross -- because such a drink might "identify" him as a false prophet?

Mat 27:35

The disposal of Jesus' personal effects: his purse to Judas (Joh 13:29), his clothes to soldiers (Mat 27:35; Mar 15:24; Joh 19:23), his mother to John (Joh 19:27), his "spirit" to God (Luk 23:46), and his body to Joseph (Joh 19:38).

THEY DIVIDED UP HIS CLOTHES BY CASTING LOTS: AV and other translations add: "that the word spoken by the prophet might be fulfilled: 'They divided my garments among themselves and cast lots for my clothing' (Psa 22:18)." The one garment // one body: John 10:16; 17:11,20,21.

Mat 27:37

See Lesson, Superscription on cross, the.

Four handwritings:
Upon the stone (Exo 20:2);
Upon the wall (Dan 5:24);
Upon the ground (John 8:6);
Upon the cross (Mat 27:37; Mar 15:26; Luk 23:38; John 19:19).

Mat 27:38

TWO ROBBERS: More detail in Luk 23:32,39-43.

Mat 27:39

A public road ran nearby, and there would be many travelers that day. Cp Psa 22:8,13-17.

Mat 27:40

YOU WHO ARE GOING TO DESTROY THE TEMPLE: Mat 26:61; Luk 14:29,30; Joh 2:19-22.

Mat 27:43

IF HE WANTS HIM: "If God wants such as this... this miserable, battered, crucified body!"

Mat 27:44

But one thief began to change his mind... Luk 23:40-42.

Mat 27:45

Natural signs at Jesus' birth, and thus also natural signs at his death. Sig that the "light of the world" (Joh 8:12) was being taken away.

Cp Gen 15:12: a horror of great darkness, in Abraham's day, at the typical confirmation of the covenant (Eur 1:14).

NINTH HOUR: Prayers answered at the 9th hour: 1Ki 18:36-38; Dan 9:21; Acts 3:1; 10:30,31.

Mat 27:46

See Lesson, Sayings from the cross.

WHY?: "Eis tis" = "unto what"? "for what purpose"? Cp Mar 15:34.

FORSAKEN: "Enkataleipo" = to leave, withdraw.

WHY HAVE YOU FORSAKEN ME?: (1) Withdrawal of Holy Spirit; (2) ever since Gethsemane, no angels; (3) feelings of doubt and fear, but quickly dispelled as Jesus prayed (Psa 22:2-4,19,21,22,25,28...). See Lesson, Forsaken?

Mat 27:47

THEY SAID, "HE'S CALLING ELIJAH": Christ's dry, chapped, swollen lips (Psa 22:15) make speech difficult to comprehend.

Mat 27:48

AND OFFERED IT TO JESUS TO DRINK: Why? "I thirst" (Joh 19:28).

Mat 27:49

Mg note in RV, RSV: "Many ancient authorities add, 'And another took a spear and pierced his side and out came water and blood.'" Suggests that Jesus died from the spear thrust: "a loud voice" (Mat 27:50).

Mat 27:50

A LOUD VOICE: Inconsistent with death from exhaustion. Perhaps Jesus died from the spear thrust (see Mat 27:49n). Or did Christ consciously surrender his life (Joh 10:18; Luk 23:46), voluntarily giving in, at last, to exhaustion and asphyxiation?

HE GAVE UP HIS SPIRIT: See, generally, Heb 9:7,8; 10:20; Eph 2:13,14.

Mat 27:51

THE CURTAIN OF THE TEMPLE WAS TORN: Under the Law the evidence of the sacrifice was always to be brought before the Lord -- blood poured out at the base of the altar of burnt-offering, blood on the horns of the altar of incense, blood before the veil, blood on the mercy-seat itself. In the death of Jesus, this supreme sacrifice could not be brought into the temple, so instead the veil was rent and the Glory of the Lord came to Jesus! Furthermore, the hidden things of the old dispensation (cp 2Co 3:13) could now be seen: the mercy seat and the evident Glory of God -- through Christ life and immortality were now brought to light (2Ti 1:10).

FROM TOP TO BOTTOM: As done by the hand of God, and not of man. No small space opened, but a wide entrance opened up -- so that with confidence or boldness man might approach to God (Heb 10:19,20).

Would this account for the conversion of many priests (Act 6:7)?

Mat 27:52

The inevitability of such a miracle: the God of creation and nature was incapable of doing anything by "halves" (WGos 785). Cp Rom 3:25; Heb 9:15.

Mat 27:53

Cp Samuel's appearance to Saul (1Sa 28). Christ's death freed men (Col 2:13; Rom 3:25; Heb 9:15), but they will rise only after 3 symbolic days. Also, may ref Jews (Hos 6:1-3).

Mat 27:54

Every NT ref shows centurions in a good light: Luk 7:1-10; 23:47; Act 10:1,2; 22:25,26; 23:17,18; 27:43.

Christ's innocence attested: by Herod (Luk 23:15), by thief (Luk 23:41), by centurion (Luk 23:47), by Judas (Mat 27:4), by Pilate (Mat 27:24), and by Pilate's wife (Mat 27:19).

THE CENTURION: By tradition, Longinus, bishop of Cappadocia, and martyr for Christ (Stalker 280).

THE SON OF GOD: AND a righteous man (Luk 23:47).

Mat 27:55

WATCHING FROM A DISTANCE: They first came near to minister (John 19:25,26), but then -- through shock and modesty at the nakedness (or because the soldiers drove them away) -- they removed further away.

The Roman historian Tacitus states that family or friends were forbidden to show open grief or approach very near the cross where a loved one is being crucified; those who continued to violate this law could be themselves crucified!

Mat 27:56

"After the suffering of his soul, he will see the light of life [or 'the result of the suffering of his soul'] and be satisfied; by his knowledge [or 'by knowledge of him'] my righteous servant will justify many, and he will bear their iniquities" (Isa 53:11).

THE MOTHER OF ZEBEDEE'S SONS: Salome, Mary's sister, aunt of Jesus: cp Mar 15:40; 16:1; Joh 19:25.

Mat 27:57

JOSEPH OF ARIMATHEA: An "honorable counsellor" (Mar 15:43), ie one of the 14 priests forming a standing committee just below the High Priest, who regulated everything connected with Temple worship (Temple 100). A Joseph -- a just man -- at the beginning, to care for Jesus. A Joseph -- a just man -- at the end, to care for Jesus.

Mat 27:58

The disposal of Jesus' personal effects: his purse to Judas (Joh 13:29), his clothes to soldiers (Joh 19:23), his mother to John (Joh 19:27), his "spirit" to God (Luk 23:46), and his body to Joseph (Joh 19:38).

HE ASKED FOR JESUS' BODY: A courageous gesture -- to identify oneself with Jesus publicly. (The Sanhedrin made provision for the brothers of an executed criminal to claim the body. Where was James?)

Mat 27:59

WRAPPED IT IN A CLEAN LINEN CLOTH: With a great deal of spices (Joh 19:39,40).

Mat 27:60

HIS OWN NEW TOMB: "In which no one had ever been laid": cp Joh 19:41. From a virgin womb to a "virgin" tomb: see Psa 139:13-19. Such a tomb would be uncommon in Palestine, where one tomb-cave usually sufficed for a whole family. But here Christ, when raised, will "see no corruption" (Psa 16:10). Also, no one could later produce bones out of this tomb, trying to refute the claim of the resurrection.

A BIG STONE: Codex Beza adds: "a stone which 20 men could scarcely roll" (Dobson 76).

Mat 27:61

WERE SITTING THERE OPPOSITE THE TOMB: So that they might return, after Sabbath, to complete the anointing for burial.

Mat 27:62

THE NEXT DAY, THE ONE AFTER PREPARATION DAY: This may be a way to avoid using the word "Sabbath", which can be ambiguous during a feast, since it could refer to the last day of the week or to a feast-Sabbath -- which could fall on some other day of the week.

Mat 27:63

HE... THAT DECEIVER: Never do they call him "Jesus" (= Savior). Even in death, he is hated!

Mat 27:65

During the feasts, a detachment of Roman soldiers was assigned to the chief priests in case of emergency, and for crowd control. Some of these had already been on duty for Christ's arrest and trial.

AS SECURE AS YOU KNOW HOW: Pilate's last words, expressing doubt: 'Can you ever make it secure enough?'

Furthermore, Pilate is refusing any responsibility for the corpse; when Joseph of Arimathea is granted the body, the Romans are now free of duty in the matter -- it is thereafter a Jewish concern.

Mat 27:66

A somber weekend: the disciples fleeing and hiding in fear, confused. The women alone, weeping, grieving. The Jewish leaders, vaguely worried even in "victory". The common people, bewildered and angry. And in a new tomb, dark and damp, behind a huge stone, a body (scarcely cold) lies wrapped in grave clothes. The evening air grows chilly... the night falls...


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