|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
27:35-44 It was usual to put shame upon malefactors, by a writing to notify the crime for which they suffered. So they set up one over Christ's head. This they designed for his reproach, but God so overruled it, that even his accusation was to his honour. There were crucified with him at the same time, two robbers. He was, at his death, numbered among the transgressors, that we, at our death, might be numbered among the saints. The taunts and jeers he received are here recorded. The enemies of Christ labour to make others believe that of religion and of the people of God, which they themselves know to be false. The chief priests and scribes, and the elders, upbraid Jesus with being the King of Israel. Many people could like the King of Israel well enough, if he would but come down from the cross; if they could but have his kingdom without the tribulation through which they must enter into it. But if no cross, then no Christ, no crown. Those that would reign with him, must be willing to suffer with him. Thus our Lord Jesus, having undertaken to satisfy the justice of God, did it, by submitting to the punishment of the worst of men. And in every minute particular recorded about the sufferings of Christ, we find some prediction in the Prophets or the Psalms fulfilled.
Verse 39. - They that passed by. Golgotha being near a great high road and a much-frequented city gate (John 19:20), passersby were numerous, even without counting those who were attracted by the woeful sight. Many of them knew nothing of Christ's case, but seeing him punished in company with the two malefactors, thought that he was doubtless guilty of the same crimes as they; others, perhaps, who had seen his miracles and heard something of his teaching, conceived the notion that one whom the priests and rulers condemned must be a dangerous impostor, and deserved the cruelest of deaths. Reviled him; ἐβλασφήμουν: railed on him; blasphemabant (Vulgate). The expression, indeed, is true in its worse sense, for they who could thus revile the Son of God were guilty, however ignorantly, of gross impiety and irreverence. Wagging their heads. In mockery and contempt, thus fulfilling the psalmist's words, "All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head;" and, "I am become a reproach unto them; when they see me, they shake their heads" (Psalm 22:7; Psalm 109:25).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they that passed by,.... In the road to or from Jerusalem; for, it seems, the crosses were placed by the wayside; or they who passed by the cross, the populace that came from Jerusalem, on purpose to see the sight,
reviled him, or "blasphemed him": they spoke all manner of evil of him, they could think of, to which he answered not a word; and which may teach us patience under the revilings of men: this was foretold of him, Psalm 89:51, "they have reproached the footsteps of thine anointed", or "Messiah"; and which Jarchi explains by "the ends of the king Messiah"; his last times, towards the close of his days; and cites that passage in the Misna (z),
"in the heels, or, as Buxtorf renders it, in the end of the days of the Messiah impudence shall be multiplied,
as it now was exceedingly:
wagging their heads; in derision of him, and as exulting in his misery; see Isaiah 37:22. This also was prophesied of him in
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