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unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also 9. hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of 10. Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue 11. should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
The Gospel. Matt. xxvii. 1. WHEN the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death. when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the Governor. Then Judas, which had betrayed 3. him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented (o) himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders, saying, "I have sin- 4. "ned in that I have betrayed "the innocent blood." And they said, "What is that to us? see "thou to that." And he cast 5. down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went
(o)" Repented." Judas must have v.3.
known had our Saviour been an enthusiast or an impostor; and his repentance shews he thought him neither: had he been either, Judas would have been warranted in betraying him; and he would naturally have stated that as his justification. 2 Port. Lect. Our Saviour might have fixed upon Judas as an apostle, though he foreknew he would betray him, for the very purpose that his subsequent repentance might be used as an argument for the truth of Christianity.
6. and (p) hanged himself. And
the chief priests pieces, and said,
took the silver "It is not lawful for to put them into the "treasury, because it is the price 7. "of blood." And they took
counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury stran8. gers in. Wherefore that field
was called, "The field of blood, 9. unto this day." Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by (q) Jeremy the prophet, saying, "And they took the thirty "pieces of silver, the price of "him that was valued, whom "they of the children of Israel 10. " did value; and gave them for
"the potter's field, as the Lord 11. " appointed me." And Jesus stood before the governor and the governor asked him, saying, "Art thou the King of the "Jews?" And Jesus said unto 12. him, "Thou sayest." And when
he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing. 13. Then saith Pilate unto him,
"Hearest thou not how many "things they witness against 14. " thee?" And he answered him
to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly. 15. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they 16. would. And they had then
(p) "Hanged himself." See ante 80. note on Acts i. 18.
(q)" Jeremy," &c. The passage is not in any part of Jeremiah now extant. In Zech. xi. 12, 13. is this passage: "They weighed for my price thirty pieces "of silver. And the Lord said unto "me, Cast it unto the potter: a goodly "price that I was priced at of them. "And I took the thirty pieces of silver, " and cast them to the potter in the
a notable (r) prisoner, called Barabbas. Therefore, when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, “Whom will ye that "I release unto you? Barabbas, "or Jesus, which is called "Christ?" for he knew that for 18. envy they had delivered him. When he was set down on the 19 judgement-seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, "Have thou no"thing to do with that just man; "for I have suffered many "things this day in a dream "because of him." But the chief 20. priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. The governor answered and said 21. unto them, "Whether of the "twain will ye that I release
unto you?" They said, “Bar"abbas." Pilate saith unto 22 them, "What shall I do then "with Jesus, which is called "Christ?" They all say unto him, "Let him be crucified." And the governor said, “Why? 23. "what evil hath he done?" But they cried out the more, saying, "Let him be crucified." When 24 Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the mul titude, saying, "I am innocent "of the blood of this just per
bear his cross. And when they 33.
"son: see ye to it." Then name: him they compelled to answered all the people, and said, "His (s) blood be on us, and on "our children." Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged (t) Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand : and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, "Hail, King of "the Jews!" And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and . smote him on the head. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. . And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by
25. ()" His blood be on us, and on our
parted my garments among "them, and upon my vesture "did they cast lots." And sit 36. ting down they watched him there; and set up over his head 37. his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS. Then were there two 38. thieves crucified with him; one on the right hand, and another on the left. And they that 39. passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, "Thou 40. "that (z) destroyest the temple, "and buildest it in three days,
ferings of crucifixion: but this is con-
(x)"That it might be," i. e. so that v.35.
(y)" The prophet," i. e. the writer v. 35. of Ps. xxii. The passage there, v. 17. 18, is," They pierced my hands and
my feet; I may tell all my bones; "they stand staring and looking upon me; they part my garments among "them, and cast lots upon my vesture."
(x)" That destroyest," &c. According to John ii. 19. when the Jews asked of our Saviour a sign, he answered and said unto them, "Destroy this temple, "and in three days I will raise it up." But he spake of the temple of his body; and it is to this saying of his that they here referred. St. Matthew and St. Mark mention this saying as one of the grounds
save thyself. "Son of God, "the cross."
If thou be the
come down from Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with 42. the scribes and elders, said, "He "saved others, himself he can"not save. If he be the King "of Israel, let him now come "down from the cross, and we " will believe him. He (a) trust"ed in God; let him deliver "him now, if he will have him : "for he said, I am the Son of "God." The (b) thieves also, which were crucified with him, 45. cast the same in his teeth. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto 46. the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a
of accusation against our Saviour. Matt. xxvi. 61. Mark xiv. 58.
(a)" He trusted," &c. How exactly does this correspond with the prophetic declaration in Psalm xxii. 7, 8?
All they that see me, laugh me to scorn: they shoot out their lips, and "shake their heads, saying, " He trust"ed in God that he would deliver him; "let him deliver him, if he will have him."
(b)" The thieves." According to Luke xxiii. 40. one of them rebuked the other for reviling him; this is therefore either an affirmation as to the two, though only true as to one; or both might at first revile, and one might be struck with some part of our Saviour's conduct, and then rebuke his companion.
(c) "My God," &c. This is the beginning of Psalm xxii. which is considered as written prophetically of the Messiah; and our Saviour might use this exclamation, to draw to their consideration how this prophecy was fulfilling in what he suffered. See the notes on v. 35. 40.
(d)" Vinegar." See the note on 7.34. This may shew their temper: it was usual to give the convicts what would • deaden their sense of pain; vinegar was calculated to awaken it. In Ps. lxix. 22. which probably referred prophetically to
loud voice, saying, "Eli, Eli, "lama sabachthani ?" that is to
say, My God, (c) my God, "why hast thou forsaken me?" Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, "This 66 man calleth for Elias." And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with (d) vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink. The rest said, "Let be, let us see "whether (e) Elias will come to
the Messiah, it is said, "they gave me gall to eat, and when I was thirsty, "they gave me vinegar to drink."
(e) "Whether Elias," &c. This v probably was said with a sneer; the Jews expected from the prophecy in Mal. iv. 5. that Elijah was to come in person before the Messiah appeared; they did not understand that John the Baptist, by coming in the spirit and power of Elijah, had fulfilled this prophecy. The prophecy is, "Behold I "send you Elijah the prophet before "the coming of the great and dreadful "day of the Lord: and he shall turn "the heart of the fathers to the chil"dren, and the heart of the children to "the fathers, lest I come and smite the "earth with a curse." Ante 33. note on John i. 21.
(f) "Cried," &c. St. Luke has re- v corded what he said: "Father, into thy "hands I commend my spirit."
(g)"The veil," &c. The veil se- .! parated the holy place from the holy of holies, which was considered a type heaven, and into which none but the high priest could enter, and that only once a year. Abp. Kidder considers this rending it in twain as importing that now, through Christ, the Holy of Holies, that is, the kingdom of Heaven, is laid open, not to the high priest only, but'
52. and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which 53. slept, arose, and came out of the
graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and ap54. peared unto many. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, "Truly (b) this was the "Son of God."
Monday before Easter.
For the Epistle. Isaiah lxiii. 1. (i) WHO is this that cometh from
to all people, and not once in a year only, but at all times. See an admirable reading upon this chapter, z Porteus's Lectures, 266. Lecture 22.
(b) "Truly," &c. This exclamation was drawn from the Roman soldier, an impartial spectator, not only by the earthquake, &c. but by considering the conduct of our Saviour whilst upon the cross, and his last words, commending his spirit into the hands of God. Saint Mark xv. 39. says, when the centurion saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, "truly," &c. attributing his exclamation to that act of resignation and devotion in our Saviour. The celebrated Rousseau, after contrasting the life and death of our Saviour with those of Socrates, concludes the comparison with this sentence: "Yes, if the life and "death of Socrates are those of a sage, "the life and death of Jesus are those of a God." 2 Port. Lect. 298. (i) A prophetic dialogue between the Messiah and the Israelites, looking forward to a time of extraordinary vengeance upon his enemies, and of redemption and deliverance to his faithful servants, perhaps the time of the detruction of Jerusalem. In the 1st and 2d verses the questions are put, Who is it that is making the desolation, and what is the cause of it? The answers are at the end of verse 1, and in the 3d, 4th, 5th, and 6th verses. The rest of the chapter is in the mouth of the people, and calls to mind what God had in for
Edom, with dyed garments from Bozrah (k)? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength? ()" I that speak in righteousness, Wherefore 2. "mighty to save." art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine-fat? "I have 3. "trodden the wine-press alone; "and of the people there was "none with me: for I (m) will "tread them in mine anger, and "trample them in my fury; and "their blood shall be sprinkled 66 upon my garments, and I will "stain all my raiment. For the 4.
mer times done for the Israelites, and prays anxiously for deliverance.
(k)" Bosrah," the chief city of Edom. v.1. Bosrah is supposed to have had its name from the number of wine-presses. Edom and Bosrah are probably named, as being often at war with the Israelites, and are therefore put for any enemies. In Isaiah xxxiv. 6. where the prophet is perhaps referring to the same period as here, he names the same place: "The Lord hath a sacrifice in Bozrah, and a great "slaughter in the land of Idumea," (i. e. Edom.
(1) I," &c. i. e. (probably) the v.1. Messiah, the righteous Saviour. In Rev. xix. 11. 13. 15, 16. is a description of our Saviour, strongly corresponding with this chapter: "I saw heaven opened, and "behold a white horse: and he that sat
press of the fierceness and wrath of "Almighty God."
(m) For" will tread," "trample," v.3. "shall be sprinkled," and "will stain,” the reading should be "trod," " tram"pled," ," "was sprinkled," and "stain"ed;" he is speaking of it as already. past.