|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:31-34 Christ was led as a Lamb to the slaughter, as a Sacrifice to the altar. Even the mercies of the wicked are really cruel. Taking the cross from him, they compelled one Simon to bear it. Make us ready, O Lord, to bear the cross thou hast appointed us, and daily to take it up with cheerfulness, following thee. Was ever sorrow like unto his sorrow? And when we behold what manner of death he died, let us in that behold with what manner of love he loved us. As if death, so painful a death, were not enough, they added to its bitterness and terror in several ways.
Verses 31-33. - Jesus is led to crucifixion. Via dolorosa. (Mark 15:20-23; Luke 23:26-33; John 19:16, 17.) In these accounts, those of Matthew and Mark are most alike, though varied in expression and in some details; that of Luke is the fullest; that of John distinct from the rest. Verse 31. - St. Matthew, omitting some details, hurries to the final scene. Took the robe off from him; i.e. the scarlet robe with which they had arrayed him (ver. 28). Whether they removed the crown of thorns is uncertain. The Lord is always depicted wearing it upon the cross. His own raiment (τὰ ἱμάτια αὐττοῦ, his garments). The term would include the outer and inner garments, especially the seamless tunic for which the soldiers cast lots (John 19:23; Psalm 22:18). Thus unknowingly they were preparing to fulfil prophecy. Led him away to crucify him. This must have been about 9 a.m. Executions took place outside the city walls (see Numbers 15:35, 36; Acts 7:58). "The bodies of those beasts, whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the priest for sin, are burned without the camp. Wherefore Jesus also, that he might sanctify the people with his own blood, suffered without the gate" (Hebrews 13:11, 12). Lange describes the procession: "Instead of being led forth by litters, the command of whom Pilate, as sub-governor, did not enjoy, Jesus is conducted to the cross by the soldiery. A centurion on horseback, called by Tacitus 'Exactor mortis,' by Seneca 'Centurio supplicio praepositus,' headed the company. A herald, going in front of the condemned, proclaimed his sentence." Behind him walked the prisoner, bearing the instrument of his punishment; a small company of soldiers completed the cavalcade.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And after that they had mocked him,.... Gone through the whole farce, and glutted themselves with derision of him, and with sport and diversion with him,
they took the robe off from him; it belonging to one of their company,
and put his own raiment on him; partly that he might be known to be the selfsame person that was condemned and committed to them, which they now brought forth to crucify; and partly, that the four soldiers that were appointed to be the executioners, might have the perquisite of his clothes, which belonged unto them:
and led him away to crucify him; for a condemned person was always executed the same day: their canon is (e),
"after that his judgment, or sentence is finished, they do not tarry with him, but slay him, "that very day".
And their custom was this,
"he whose sentence for death is finished, they bring him out from the house of judgment; and one stands at the door of it, and linen clothes in his hand, and a horse at some distance from him; and a crier goes out before him, "saying", such an one is going to be executed with such a death, because he has committed such a sin, in such a place, at such a time, such and such being witnesses; whoever knows him to be innocent, let him come, and speak in his favour: if one says, I have something to say in his favour: this waves with the linen clothes, and the other rides upon the horse, and runs and brings back him that is judged, to the sanhedrim; and if he is found innocent, they dismiss him: but if not, he returns, and goes to execution (f).
The Jews pretend (g), that a crier went out before Jesus of Nazareth, forty days before his execution, and made such a proclamation, but found none that had any thing to say in his favour, and therefore hanged him on the evening of the passover. But this is false; Christ had no such length of time, or his friends any liberty granted them to speak for him. They led him out of the common hall, through Jerusalem, and through one of the gates of it, without the city, in order to crucify him, to which he was condemned, when that prophecy was fulfilled in Isaiah 53:7. "He is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth": as he made no opposition or struggle, but quietly went along with them, where they led him; so he took every thing patiently from them, uttered not one complaint, or any murmuring and repining word, or any thing by way of reviling; but became meekly subject to them, and submitted himself to him that judgeth righteously,
(e) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 12. sect. 4. Misn. Sanhed. c. 6. sect. 1.((f) Maimon. Hilch. Sanhedrin, c. 13. sect. 1.((g) T. Bab. Sanhedrin, fol. 43. 1.
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