Matthew 27:31
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.
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(31) They took the robe off from him.—At this point we have to insert the account which St. John gives (John 19:4-5) of Pilate’s last attempt to rescue the “just Man” whom he had unjustly condemned. He showed the silent Sufferer in the mock insignia of royalty, as if asking them, Is not this enough? The cries of “Crucify Him!” were but redoubled, and once again the cowardly judge took his place in the official chair, and passed the final sentence. The “raiment” which they put on Him again included both the tunic and the cloak, or over-garment. In this case, the former was made without seam or opening (John 19:23), and the mere act of drawing it roughly over the lacerated flesh must have inflicted acute agony.

Matthew 27:31-32. After they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him — But it is not said they took the crown of thorns off his head, which served to gratify both their malice and contempt; probably he died wearing it, that the title, which was written over him, might be the better understood. And led him away to crucify him — It was a Jewish custom, in the time of Moses, to execute delinquents without the camp; but after Jerusalem was built, they were executed without the city walls. And Dr. Lardner has proved, by many quotations, that it was customary not only for the Jews, but also for the Sicilians, Ephesians, and Romans to execute their malefactors without the gates of their cities. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene — According to custom, Jesus walked to the place of execution, and bore his cross at his first setting out, (John 19:17,) not indeed the whole cross, but the transverse beam to which he was to be nailed; the other part being at the place already. But the fatigue of the preceding night, spent without sleep, the sufferings he had undergone in the garden, his having been hurried from place to place, and obliged to stand the whole time of his trials, the want of food and loss of blood, which he had sustained, and not his want of courage on this occasion, concurred to make him so faint, that he was not long able to bear his cross. The soldiers, therefore, laid it on one Simon, a native of Cyrene in Egypt, the father of Alexander and Rufus, two noted men among the first Christians at the time Mark wrote his gospel, (see Mark 15:21,) and forced him to bear it after Jesus. This they did, however, not out of compassion for Jesus; but lest he should die with fatigue, and by that means should elude his punishment. As Jesus went along he was followed by a great crowd, particularly of women, who sighed, shed tears, beat their breasts, and bitterly lamented the severity of his lot; which gave occasion to his predicting, once more, the calamities coming on his country: for, turning unto them, he said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children, &c.; see Luke 23:27-30; thus showing, that the thoughts of those calamities afflicted his soul far more than the feelings of his own sufferings.

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.As they came out - That is, either out of the governor's palace where he had been treated with such cruelty and contempt, or out of the gates of the city, to crucify him.

A man of Cyrene - Cyrene was a city of Libya, in Africa, lying west of Egypt. There were many Jews there, and they were in the habit, like others, of going frequently to Jerusalem.

Him they compelled go bear his cross - John says John 19:17 that Jesus went forth "bearing his cross." Luke says Luke 23:26 that they laid the cross on Simon, that he might bear it after Jesus. There is no contradiction in these accounts. It was a part of the usual punishment of those who were crucified that they should bear their own cross to the place of execution. Accordingly, it was laid at first on Jesus, and he went forth, as John says, bearing it. Weak, however, and exhausted by suffering and watchfulness, he probably sunk under the heavy burden, and they laid hold of Simon that he might bear "one end" of the cross, as Luke says, "after Jesus." The cross was composed of two pieces of wood, one of which was placed upright in the earth, and the other crossed it after the form of the figure of a cross. The upright part was commonly so high that the feet of the person crucified were 2 or 3 feet from the ground.

On the middle of that upright part there was usually a projection or seat on which the person crucified sat, or, as it were, "rode." This was necessary, as the hands were not alone strong enough to bear the weight of the body; as the body was left exposed often many days, and not unfrequently suffered to remain till the flesh had been devoured by vultures or putrefied in the sun. The feet were fastened to this upright piece either by nailing them with large spikes driven through the tender part, or by being lashed by cords. To the cross-piece at the top, the hands, being extended, were also fastened, either by spikes or by cords, or perhaps, in some cases, by both. The hands and feet of our Saviour were both fastened by spikes. Crosses were also sometimes made in the form of the letter X, the limbs of the person crucified being extended to the four parts, and he suffered to die a lingering death in this cruel manner. The cross used in the Crucifixion of Christ appears to have been the former. The mention of the cross often occurs in the New Testament. It was the instrument on which the Saviour made atonement for the sins of the world. The whole of the Christian's hope of heaven, and all his peace and consolation in trial and in death, depend on the sacrifice there made for sin, and on just views and feelings in regard to the fact and the design of the Redeemer's death. See the notes at John 21:18.

Mt 27:27-33. Jesus Scornfully and Cruelly Entreated of the Soldiers, Is Led Away to Be Crucified. ( = Mr 15:16-22; Lu 23:26-31; Joh 19:2, 17).

For the exposition, see on [1374]Mr 15:16-22.

Ver. 27-31. Mark hath the same, Mark 15:17-20, only he saith they put upon him a purple robe. John seemeth to mention this a little out of order, John 19:1-3, as done before his condemnation; for though some think that Matthew and Mark rather mention these things out of their due order, yet the abuses seem more likely to be done to a person who was condemned, and so dead in law, than while he was upon his trial. Writers tell us that none might be crucified before he was scourged, and that not with rods, (which was the Jewish manner), but with whips (far more cruelly); but whether it was before or after condemnation we are not certain. He was condemned upon that article, that he should say, he was the King of the Jews. To mock him, therefore, they set a crown on his head, but of thorns; they put a sceptre into his hand, but it was of a reed; they bowed the knee before him, as was wont to princes; they put on him a robe of purple, or scarlet, both which were used by princes; in short they put upon him all the indignities and marks of scorn imaginable. When they had thus glutted themselves, they restore his own garment to him, and lead him away to the place of execution. Who can read these things with a believing heart and dry eyes, if he remembers, that our sins platted the crown of thorns set upon our Saviour’s head, and made the whips with which he was scourged? Our stomachs (when we read these things) are ready to rise against the pagan soldiers; but how little did they do in comparison of what Christ suffered for our sins! Who can read these things, and not be fortified against temptations from suffering if we will own the gospel and cause of Christ? Our sufferings will come much short of what Christ hath suffered for us.

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.

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.
Matthew 27:31 Καὶ ἐνέδυσαν αὐτὸν τὰ ἱμάτ. αὐτοῦ] His upper garments, for which they had substituted the sagum. This is in no way at variance with ἐνδύσαντες, Matthew 27:28.

We are to understand that as the crown of thorns had now served its purpose, it was also taken off at the same time.

Matthew 27:31. ἐξέδυσαν, etc.: they took off the mock royal robe, and put on again His own garments (τὰ ἱμάτια, the upper garments, but why the plural?). No mention of the crown; left on according to some of the ancients, Origen, e.g.: “semel imposita et nunquam detracta”; and, according to the same Father, consumed by the head of Jesus (“consumpta a capite Jesu”). Taken off doubtless along with the rest, for there must be no mockery of Jesus or Jews before the public. Such proceedings only for the barracks (Holtz., H.C.).

31, 32. Jesus is led to Crucifixion

Mark 15:20-21; Luke 23:26-32; John 19:16-17St Luke has several particulars of what happened on the way to Golgotha, omitted in the other Gospels. The great company of people and of women who followed Him; the touching address of Jesus to the women; the last warning of the coming sorrows; the leading of two malefactors with Him.

Matthew 27:31. Καὶ ὅτε, κ.τ.λ., and when, etc.) When the mockery was concluded, they removed also the crown of thorns.[1192]

[1192] Which ought to be therefore omitted in pictures representing Him crucified.—V. g.

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. Matthew 27:31
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