|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
15:22-32 The place where our Lord Jesus was crucified, was called the place of a scull; it was the common place of execution; for he was in all respects numbered with the transgressors. Whenever we look unto Christ crucified, we must remember what was written over his head; he is a King, and we must give up ourselves to be his subjects, as Israelites indeed. They crucified two thieves with him, and him in the midst; they thereby intended him great dishonour. But it was foretold that he should be numbered with the transgressors, because he was made sin for us. Even those who passed by railed at him. They told him to come down from the cross, and they would believe; but they did not believe, though he gave them a more convincing sign when he came up from the grave. With what earnestness will the man who firmly believes the truth, as made known by the sufferings of Christ, seek for salvation! With what gratitude will he receive the dawning hope of forgiveness and eternal life, as purchased for him by the sufferings and death of the Son of God! and with what godly sorrow will he mourn over the sins which crucified the Lord of glory!
Verse 26. - And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. This would probably be the shortest form of inscription, and in Latin, "Rex Judaeorum." All the evangelists mention the inscription; but no two of them in precisely the same words. It appears by comparison of them that the whole title was, "This is Jesus of Nazareth, the King of the Jews." In the case of remarkable prisoners the accusation was written on a white tablet, and carried before them as they went to the place of execution. It was then placed over their heads when the cross was erected. St. John tells us that our Lord's title was written in three languages - Hebrew, Latin, and Greek. Such appears to be the proper order of the words, namely, the national, the official, and the common dialect. St. Mark, writing at Rome, would naturally mention the Latin title. It is quite possible that the superscription may have varied in the different renderings in which it was given. It is evident from St. John (John 21:19-22) that the title was much canvassed by the Jews and the chief priests. Bode says that this title was fitly placed over his head, because, although he was crucified in weakness for us, yet he shone with the majesty of a King above his cross. The title proclaimed that he was after all a King; and that from henceforth he began to reign from his cross over the Jews. And therefore Pilate was divinely restrained from making any alteration in the title, so that it should mean anything less than this.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the superscription of his accusation,.... Or "the cause of his death", as the Syriac and Persic versions read; the crime for which he suffered:
was written; over his head, upon the cross, to which it was fastened; the sum of which was,
the king of the Jews; See Gill on Matthew 27:37.
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