Matthew 27:22
Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
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(22) Let him be crucified.—It may be noted that this was the first direct intimation of the mode of death to which the priests destined their prisoner. It was implied, indeed, in their fixed resolve to make the Roman governor the executioner of their sentence, as shown in the dialogue recorded by St. John (John 18:31); but now the cry came from the multitude, as the result, we may believe, of the promptings described in Matthew 27:20, “Crucify Him!”—punish Him as the robber and the rebel are punished.

27:11-25 Having no malice against Jesus, Pilate urged him to clear himself, and laboured to get him discharged. The message from his wife was a warning. God has many ways of giving checks to sinners, in their sinful pursuits, and it is a great mercy to have such checks from Providence, from faithful friends, and from our own consciences. O do not this abominable thing which the Lord hates! is what we may hear said to us, when we are entering into temptation, if we will but regard it. Being overruled by the priests, the people made choice of Barabbas. Multitudes who choose the world, rather than God, for their ruler and portion, thus choose their own delusions. The Jews were so bent upon the death of Christ, that Pilate thought it would be dangerous to refuse. And this struggle shows the power of conscience even on the worst men. Yet all was so ordered to make it evident that Christ suffered for no fault of his own, but for the sins of his people. How vain for Pilate to expect to free himself from the guilt of the innocent blood of a righteous person, whom he was by his office bound to protect! The Jews' curse upon themselves has been awfully answered in the sufferings of their nation. None could bear the sin of others, except Him that had no sin of his own to answer for. And are we not all concerned? Is not Barabbas preferred to Jesus, when sinners reject salvation that they may retain their darling sins, which rob God of his glory, and murder their souls? The blood of Christ is now upon us for good, through mercy, by the Jews' rejection of it. O let us flee to it for refuge!Whether of the twain? - Which of the two, Jesus or Barabbas?Mt 27:11-26. Jesus Again before Pilate—He Seeks to Release Him but at Length Delivers Him to Be Crucified. ( = Mr 15:1-15; Lu 23:1-25; Joh 18:28-40).

For the exposition, see on [1372]Lu 23:1-25; [1373]Joh 18:28-40.

See Poole on "Matthew 27:23".

Pilate saith unto them,.... As one astonished at their choice: he could not have thought they would have asked the life of so vile a wretch, that had been guilty of such capital crimes, crimes to be abhorred by all men:

what shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? Surely you would not have me put him to death, and that for no other reason but this, because he is called either by himself or others, Christ, or the Messiah, or the king of the Jews!

they all say unto him, let him be crucified; which was a Roman punishment, inflicted on the meanest and worst of men; as wicked servants, thieves, robbers, and cut-throats (o); and so was not only a torturing and painful death, but a very shameful and ignominious one; yea, an accursed one: in this they all agreed, being instigated to it by the chief priests and elders.

(o) Lipsius de Cruce, l. 1. c. 12, 13.

Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified.
Matthew 27:22 Τί οὖν ποιήσω Ἰησοῦν;] What, then (if Barabbas is to be released), am I to do with Jesus, how shall I dispose of him? On this use of the double accusative with ποιεῖν, in the sense of doing good or evil to any one, comp. Kühner, II. 1, p. 277; Wunder, ad Soph. Phil. 684—.σταυρωθήτω] οὐ λέγουσι· φονευθήτω, ἀλλὰ σταυρωθήτω, ἵνα καὶ τὸ εἶδος τοῦ θανάτου κακοῦρχον (as a rebel) ἀπελέγχῃ αὐτόν, Euthymius Zigabenus. Doubtless it was also at the instigation of the hierarchs that they demanded this particular form of punishment.

22. all say unto him, Let him be crucified] There is no further question even of a show of legality or justice: the traditional clemency is quite forgotten; the fanatical crowd, pressing round the doors of the Prætorium, which they cannot enter, join with excited gesticulation in one loud and furious cry for the blood of Jesus.

Matthew 27:22. Τί οὖν ποιήσω, κ.τ.λ., what shall I do then? etc.) Pilate did not suppose that the Jews would demand any very severe punishment to be inflicted. He ought not to have asked. It would have been safer to have simply dismissed the prisoner; cf. Acts 18:14-16.—σταυρωθήτω, let Him be crucified) Barabbas had deserved the cross: hence they demand that Jesus should be crucified.

Verse 22. - It was with disappointment and indignation that Pilate heard the rabble's decision. He could not refuse to release the robber and murderer; but he still entertained some hope of a better feeling in the crowd which would allow him to acquit Jesus. What shall I do then with Jesus? Τί οϋν ποιήσω Ἰησοῦν; What then shall I do to Jesus? As you demand the release of Barabbas, what am I to do with the other prisoner? He dared not act boldly, as his conscience and the justice of the ease dictated; if the popular voice was not with him, he would take no open step. He added, which is called Christ, or, according to Mark, "whom ye call the King of the Jews," in scorn of the title itself, and of the fickleness which honoured him one day and now clamored for his destruction. Let him be crucified! They have their dreadful answer ready. He is a political offender; he is a mover of sedition against the Roman supremacy; let him meet the punishment to which Rome dooms her lowest criminals and runagates. This was the death which Christ had foretold for himself (ch. 20:19), the most painful, barbarous, and ignominious punishment which the cruelty of man ever invented. Matthew 27:22
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