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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - October 14, 2007
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October 14, 2007

Matthew 27-28
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Matthew
Chapter 27
  1. When the morning was come, all the chief priests and elders of the people took counsel against Jesus to put him to death:
  2. And when they had bound him, they led him away, and delivered him to Pontius Pilate the governor.
  3. Then Judas, which had betrayed him, when he saw that he was condemned, repented himself, and brought again the thirty pieces of silver to the chief priests and elders,
  4. Saying, I have sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood. And they said, What is that to us? see thou to that.
  5. And he cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.
  6. And the chief priests took the silver pieces, and said, It is not lawful for to put them into the treasury, because it is the price of blood.
  7. And they took counsel, and bought with them the potter's field, to bury strangers in.
  8. Wherefore that field was called, The field of blood, unto this day.
  9. Then was fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, And they took the thirty pieces of silver, the price of him that was valued, whom they of the children of Israel did value;
  10. And gave them for the potter's field, as the Lord appointed me.
  11. And Jesus stood before the governor: and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest.
  12. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.
  13. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee?
  14. And he answered him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.
  15. Now at that feast the governor was wont to release unto the people a prisoner, whom they would.
  16. And they had then a notable prisoner, called Barabbas.
  17. Therefore when they were gathered together, Pilate said unto them, Whom will ye that I release unto you? Barabbas, or Jesus which is called Christ?
  18. For he knew that for envy they had delivered him.
  19. When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
  20. But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus.
  21. The governor answered and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.
  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.
  23. And the governor said, Why, what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.
  24. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it.
  25. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children.
  26. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be crucified.
  27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers.
  28. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe.
  29. And when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews!
  30. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
  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.
  32. And as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they compelled to bear his cross.
  33. And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull,
  34. They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.
  35. And they crucified him, and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.
  36. And sitting down they watched him there;
  37. And set up over his head his accusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
  38. Then were there two thieves crucified with him, one on the right hand, and another on the left.
  39. And they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads,
  40. And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
  41. Likewise also the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said,
  42. He saved others; himself he cannot save. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.
  43. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him: for he said, I am the Son of God.
  44. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
  45. Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour.
  46. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
  47. Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This man calleth for Elias.
  48. And straightway one of them ran, and took a spunge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink.
  49. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save him.
  50. Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.
  51. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent;
  52. And the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose,
  53. And came out of the graves after his resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many.
  54. Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
  55. And many women were there beholding afar off, which followed Jesus from Galilee, ministering unto him:
  56. Among which was Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James and Joses, and the mother of Zebedee's children.
  57. When the even was come, there came a rich man of Arimathaea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple:
  58. He went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.
  59. And when Joseph had taken the body, he wrapped it in a clean linen cloth,
  60. And laid it in his own new tomb, which he had hewn out in the rock: and he rolled a great stone to the door of the sepulchre, and departed.
  61. And there was Mary Magdalene, and the other Mary, sitting over against the sepulchre.
  62. Now the next day, that followed the day of the preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees came together unto Pilate,
  63. Saying, Sir, we remember that that deceiver said, while he was yet alive, After three days I will rise again.
  64. Command therefore that the sepulchre be made sure until the third day, lest his disciples come by night, and steal him away, and say unto the people, He is risen from the dead: so the last error shall be worse than the first.
  65. Pilate said unto them, Ye have a watch: go your way, make it as sure as ye can.
  66. So they went, and made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting a watch.


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Matthew
Chapter 28
  1. In the end of the sabbath, as it began to dawn toward the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalene and the other Mary to see the sepulchre.
  2. And, behold, there was a great earthquake: for the angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and came and rolled back the stone from the door, and sat upon it.
  3. His countenance was like lightning, and his raiment white as snow:
  4. And for fear of him the keepers did shake, and became as dead men.
  5. And the angel answered and said unto the women, Fear not ye: for I know that ye seek Jesus, which was crucified.
  6. He is not here: for he is risen, as he said. Come, see the place where the Lord lay.
  7. And go quickly, and tell his disciples that he is risen from the dead; and, behold, he goeth before you into Galilee; there shall ye see him: lo, I have told you.
  8. And they departed quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy; and did run to bring his disciples word.
  9. And as they went to tell his disciples, behold, Jesus met them, saying, All hail. And they came and held him by the feet, and worshipped him.
  10. Then said Jesus unto them, Be not afraid: go tell my brethren that they go into Galilee, and there shall they see me.
  11. Now when they were going, behold, some of the watch came into the city, and shewed unto the chief priests all the things that were done.
  12. And when they were assembled with the elders, and had taken counsel, they gave large money unto the soldiers,
  13. Saying, Say ye, His disciples came by night, and stole him away while we slept.
  14. And if this come to the governor's ears, we will persuade him, and secure you.
  15. So they took the money, and did as they were taught: and this saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day.
  16. Then the eleven disciples went away into Galilee, into a mountain where Jesus had appointed them.
  17. And when they saw him, they worshipped him: but some doubted.
  18. And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.
  19. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:
  20. Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.


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Thought for the day:
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 The information contained in today's Scripture passage is very familiar to most Christians. There are two particular items that I would like to focus on. The first is found in beginning verses of chapter 27. Here we read about the reaction of Judas to the capture of Jesus. When the betrayer saw what had happened to Christ he was apparently sorrowful, at least in a selfish sort of way, and attempted to return the thirty pieces of silver that the religious leaders had paid him for his actions. They refused it, rejected and dismissed him, and he went out and committed suicide. I believe this teaches us something about sin. First of all, it never satisfies. Judas had the money, but he did not have what he needed, which was Jesus. He had thrown away what (or Who) really mattered in exchange for some of this world's treasure, but he knew that it wasn't the right decision and it bothered him so much that he could not enjoy the money. Secondly, we see that those who lead us into sin or encourage us to be involved with it are not genuinely interested in us. When Judas returned with the money, he was not greeted with words of thanks or appreciation. No one attempted to help him, or even tried to salve his conscience. They turned their collective backs on him, and allowed him to suffer on his own. This is the reality of sin. Anyone who tempts us to sin, or tries to get us to do something that is contrary to Scripture does not love us. I Corinthians 13:6 tells us that charity

"rejoiceth not in iniquity, but rejoiceth in the truth."
Any person who wants to see us do wrong is no friend, and that will become evident once we have done their bidding. They are only using us for their own gain and amusement. If they don't care what happens to us when we stand before God, can they really care what happens to us tomorrow? I doubt it. A third item I see here is that sometimes sorrow and confession come too late. I believe that God is merciful and that He will hear the genuine cry of repentance. However, sometimes the results of our sinful decisions simply can not be undone. The drunkard who kills someone while driving his car under the influence of alcohol may be sorrowful, and he may repent, but the person he hit is still dead. The girl who is involved in immorality may repent, but her pregnancy continues. The man who robs the convenience store, or defrauds his insurance company or the government may be genuinely sorry, but he still goes to jail. The Christian who fails to witness to his friend or loved one may be sorrowful when that person goes out into eternity in a lost condition, but his friend still spends eternity in the Lake of Fire. Sin never gives us what it promises, and it always ruins our lives. Stay away from it, and don't allow those who love it to influence you.

 On a happier note, the words of Matthew 27:51 are a great encouragement to me, and should be for all believers. There the Bible records,

"And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom."
This event takes place at the moment of Christ's death on Calvary. The significance of it is great. Up until this time, no one was allowed behind the veil of the Temple except the High Priest, who went in once a year on the Day of Atonement to offer a blood sacrifice for the sins of the people. The average man could not come into the presence of God without a human priest to help him. When Christ finished making the sacrifice for sin, that veil was torn in half from the top to the bottom. This is significant because had man torn it, the rip would have been from the bottom up. However, God tore the veil, indicating that as a result of Jesus' sacrifice all men, through faith in Him, had the right and privilege of direct communication and fellowship with God. No priest was needed to make sacrifices. No priest was needed to communicate with the Lord. Jesus Christ had become the High Priest, the atonement had been made once for all, and man had direct access to God through the Savior. What a wonderful blessing! What a wonderful Lord!

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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