I’m a bit confused by the parts involving Pontius Pilate. Some of that is simple ignorance: I understand that the Jewish priests don’t like Jesus, but I don’t understand why the Roman governor should care. And the part with the crowd clamoring for Pilate to free Barabbas doesn’t ring true to me. (E.g. the crowd shouting “His blood be on us, and on our children” from Matthew 27:25: in what circumstances would a crowd shout that?) Those issues aside, I’ll see Pilate’s lack of desire to kill Jesus as a sign that (as in Matthew 21-23) the real war here is between Jesus and the priest elite, not between him and traditional government forces.
We see a return of the humanity from Matthew 26 in Jesus’s crying “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (from Matthew 27:46), and for that matter, a crueler version of humanity in the mocking comments in Matthew 27:40-43. (Which do ring true to me, unlike the bit from Matthew 27:25 quoted above.)
At the end of Matthew 27, Jesus dies and is buried; and, in Matthew 28, he’s resurrected. I find that chapter very odd: there’s an amazing lack of detail, no power in the phrasing, and so much uncertainty that it’s acknowledged in the text in Matthew 28:15 and Matthew 28:17 with only a passing attempt at a rejoinder. A sad ending…
This post has not been revised since publication.