Jesus dies (Mt 27:50-27:50)

“Then Jesus cried again

With a loud voice.

He breathed

His last breath.”

 

ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:37.  In Luke, chapter 23:46, Jesus cried out with a loud voice saying that he was commending his spirit into the hands of his Father.  In John, chapter 19:30, Jesus said that it was finished after drinking the sour wine.  Matthew has the simple comment that Jesus cried out with a loud voice again (ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς πάλιν κράξας φωνῇ μεγάλῃ).  Jesus then gave up his spirit (ἀφῆκεν τὸ πνεῦμα) as he breathed his last breath.  Jesus had died on the cross.

Would Elijah save Jesus? (Mt 27:49-27:49)

“But the others said.

‘Wait!

Let us see

Whether Elijah

Will come to save him.’”

 

οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36.  There was nothing about Elijah in Luke, chapter 23, and in John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that some of the other bystanders (οἱ δὲ λοιποὶ εἶπαν) wanted to wait and see whether Elijah would come to save Jesus (Ἄφες ἴδωμεν εἰ ἔρχεται Ἡλείας σώσων αὐτόν).  Other ancient manuscripts have the additional symbolic phrase that can be found in John, 19:34 that happened after Jesus had died.  This verse read “Another soldier took a spear and pierced his side.  Then out came water and blood (ἄλλος δὲ λαβὼν λόγχην ἔνυξεν αὐτοῦ τὴν πλευράν, καὶ ἐξῆλθεν ὕδωρ καὶ αἷμα).”

 

They give him sour wine to drink (Mt 27:48-27:48)

“At once,

One of the bystanders ran.

He got a sponge.

He filled it

With sour wine.

He put it on a stick.

He gave it to him

To drink.”

 

καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον πλήσας τε ὄξους καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:36.  In Luke, chapter 23:36, there was an indication of a soldier who gave some sour wine to Jesus.  In John, chapter 19:28-29, Jesus said that he was thirsty before they gave him this sour wine that was standing nearby.  Matthew said that soon one of the bystanders ran to get a sponge (καὶ εὐθέως δραμὼν εἷς ἐξ αὐτῶν καὶ λαβὼν σπόγγον).  He filled it with sour wine or vinegar (πλήσας τε ὄξους).  Then he put it on a stick or reed (καὶ περιθεὶς καλάμῳ) to give Jesus something to drink (ἐπότιζεν αὐτόν).  This sour wine or vinegar might have been a reference to Psalm 69:21, where the psalmist complained that they gave him vinegar to drink.  This common Roman soldier drink of sour wine or vinegar mixed with water might also have been an anesthetic to ease the pain.  Thus, this action might have been an act of compassion for Jesus hanging on the cross.

The call of Elijah (Mt 27:47-27:47)

“When some of the bystanders

Heard Jesus,

They said.

‘This man

Is calling Elijah.’”

 

τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:35.  However this episode was not in Luke, chapter 23, or John, chapter 19.  Matthew said that some of the bystanders heard the cry of Jesus on the cross (τινὲς δὲ τῶν ἐκεῖ ἑστηκότων ἀκούσαντες).  They said that Jesus was calling for Elijah (ἔλεγον ὅτι Ἡλείαν φωνεῖ οὗτος).  Elijah often came to help the good people who were in need.  The name “Eli jah” was close to “Eli,” so that some people might have mistakenly thought that Jesus was crying for help from the ancient Israelite prophet Elijah.  Elijah was also a forerunner of the messianic times as was the case of John the Baptist.

The cry of Jesus (Mt 27:46-27:46)

“About three o’clock,

The ninth hour,

Jesus cried

With a loud voice.

‘Eli!

Eli!

Lema sabachthani?’

That means.

‘My God!

My God!

Why have you

Forsaken me?’”

 

περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί; τοῦτ’ ἔστιν Θεέ μου θεέ μου, ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες;

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:34.  Luke, chapter 23, and John, chapter 19, do not have these words of Jesus hanging on the cross.  Matthew said that about three o’clock in the afternoon, the ninth hour (περὶ δὲ τὴν ἐνάτην ὥραν), Jesus cried with a loud voice saying (ἀνεβόησεν ὁ Ἰησοῦς φωνῇ μεγάλῃ λέγων) “Eli!  Eli!  Lema sabachthani (Ἡλεὶ Ἡλεὶ λεμὰ σαβαχθανεί)?”  Then Matthew explained what this meant (τοῦτ’ ἔστιν).  This was a mixture of Hebrew and Aramaic, the Hebrew for God and Aramaic for the first verse from Psalm 22:1.  “My God!  My God (Θεέ μου θεέ μου,)!  Why have you forsaken, abandoned, or deserted me (ἵνα τί με ἐγκατέλιπες)?”  This Psalm 22 was a psalm of David asking for help or deliverance from a serious illness or persecution, much like the suffering servant in Isaiah, chapters 52-53.  Thus, Jesus, the suffering servant son of David, quoted the first verse of this psalm as he hung on the cross.  Why was there no help coming from God?

Darkness over the land (Mt 27:45-27:45)

“Now from noon on,

The sixth hour,

Darkness

Came over

The whole land

Until three

In the afternoon,

The ninth hour.”

 

Ἀπὸ δὲ ἕκτης ὥρας σκότος ἐγένετο ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:33, and in Luke, chapter 23:44, while in John, chapter 19, there is no indication about this darkness.  Now from noon on, the sixth hour (Ἀπὸ δὲ ἕκτης ὥρας), darkness came (σκότος ἐγένετο) over the whole land, the whole region, or the whole country (ἐπὶ πᾶσαν τὴν γῆν), until three in the afternoon, the ninth hour (ἕως ὥρας ἐνάτης).  There was some kind of darkness over the whole region, country, or area for about 3 hours, while Jesus was hanging on the cross.  All 3 of the synoptic gospel writers mentioned this, but John did not.

The two thieves taunt Jesus (Mt 27:44-27:44)

“The bandits,

Who were crucified

With him,

Also taunted him

In the same way.”

 

τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ καὶ οἱ λῃσταὶ οἱ συνσταυρωθέντες σὺν αὐτῷ ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:32.  However, Luke, chapter 23:39-43, had an extended conversation between Jesus and these two bandits.  One of the two thieves or bandits told Jesus to save himself and them also, but the other thief or robber said that they deserved to die.  Only Luke had this story about the good and the bad thief.  Here in Matthew and Mark, both of the bandits being crucified with Jesus taunted him.  There was nothing about these thieves in JohnMatthew said that the two bandits or robbers (τὸ δ’ αὐτὸ καὶ οἱ λῃσταὶ), who were crucified with Jesus (οἱ συνσταυρωθέντες σὺν αὐτῷ), also taunted or insulted him in the same way as the others had done (ὠνείδιζον αὐτόν).  Both robbers were just as bad as the Jewish leaders and the others passing by.

The Jewish religious leaders mock Jesus (Mt 27:41-27:43)

“In the same way,

The chief priests also,

Along with the scribes

And the elders,

Were mocking him.

They said.

‘He saved others.

He cannot save himself.

He is the King of Israel!

Let him come down

From the cross now!

Then we will believe

In him.

He trusts in God!

Let God

Deliver him now!

If he wants to!

He said.

‘I am the God’s Son.’”

 

ὁμοίως οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς ἐμπαίζοντες μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων καὶ πρεσβυτέρων ἔλεγον

Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν, ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι· Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν, καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ καὶ πιστεύσομεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν.

πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τὸν Θεόν, ῥυσάσθω νῦν εἰ θέλει αὐτόν· εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι Θεοῦ εἰμι Υἱός.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:31-32, although Mark did not mention the elders nor the last verse about the Son of God.  In Luke, chapter 23:35, there is only a mention of leaders, without any specific indication of which leaders, while there is nothing similar in John.  Matthew said that the chief priests (οἱ ἀρχιερεῖς), the scribes (μετὰ τῶν γραμματέων), and the presbyter elders (καὶ πρεσβυτέρων) mocked Jesus in the same way as those passing by (ὁμοίως…ἐμπαίζοντες…ἔλεγον).  These religious leaders said that Jesus had saved others (Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν).  Why could he not save himself (ἑαυτὸν οὐ δύναται σῶσαι)?  If he was the King of Israel (Βασιλεὺς Ἰσραήλ ἐστιν), let him come down or descend from the cross now (καταβάτω νῦν ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  Then they would believe in him. (καὶ πιστεύσομεν ἐπ’ αὐτόν).  Jesus trusted God (πέποιθεν ἐπὶ τὸν Θεόν), so let God deliver or rescue him, if he wanted to (ῥυσάσθω νῦν εἰ θέλει αὐτόν), since he said that he was the Son of God (εἶπεν γὰρ ὅτι Θεοῦ εἰμι Υἱός).  However, Matthew never had Jesus say anything.  These ironic mocking comments from the Jewish religious leaders indicate Matthew’s dislike for them.

Derision of Jesus (Mt 27:39-27:40)

“Those who passed by

Derided him.

They shook

Their heads.

They said.

‘You who would destroy

The Temple,

And then build it

In three days,

Save yourself!

If you are

The Son of God,

Come down

From the cross.’”

 

Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν

καὶ λέγοντες Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν, σῶσον σεαυτόν, εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ, καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:29-30.  In Luke, chapter 23:35, the religious leaders were doing the mocking.  However, John did not have anyone making remarks about Jesus.  Matthew said that some passing by people abused and derided Jesus (Οἱ δὲ παραπορευόμενοι ἐβλασφήμουν αὐτὸν).  They shook their heads at Jesus (κινοῦντες τὰς κεφαλὰς αὐτῶν).  They reminded Jesus (καὶ λέγοντες) that he had said if the Temple was destroyed (Ὁ καταλύων τὸν ναὸν), he would rebuild it in three days (καὶ ἐν τρισὶν ἡμέραις οἰκοδομῶν).  They told Jesus to save himself (σῶσον σεαυτόν).  If he was the Son of God (εἰ Υἱὸς εἶ τοῦ Θεοῦ), why didn’t he come down from the cross (καὶ κατάβηθι ἀπὸ τοῦ σταυροῦ).  The taunting of these people seemed to turn on Jesus’ own words.

The two robbers (Mt 27:38-27:38)

“Then two bandits

Were crucified

With Jesus,

One on his right

And one on his left.”

 

Τότε σταυροῦνται σὺν αὐτῷ δύο λῃσταί, εἷς ἐκ δεξιῶν καὶ εἷς ἐξ εὐωνύμων.

 

This is almost word for word in Mark, chapter 15:27.  Luke, chapter 23:39-42, has a dialogue between Jesus and the two bandits or criminals on either side of Jesus, while on the cross.  However, in John, chapter 19:18, there was only a simple mention of two other criminals crucified with him on either side of Jesus.  Matthew said that there were two bandits or robbers crucified with Jesus (Τότε σταυροῦνται σὺν αὐτῷ δύο λῃσταί), one on his right side (εἷς ἐκ δεξιῶν), and the other on his left side (καὶ εἷς ἐξ εὐωνύμων).  Matthew never mentioned any interaction of Jesus with either one of these two criminal bandits.