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“Passover People“ – The People at the Cross


Matthew 27:35. And they crucified him…

The fact that God has triumphed over sin, and redeemed his elect forever, is seen in just a few momentous days which changed the world. At Calvary Jesus gave his sinless life for you and for me, worthless wretched sinners, – a momentous day that outshines any other day before or after, in human history. Let’s contemplate the central act of that dark and dreadful day. Here’s our text: Matthew 27:35. And they crucified him…

Who’s the ‘They?’



1 They The Crowd Around the Cross.

Remember that the Hill of Calvary, – v33 And when they were come unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a place of a skull, was not an isolated and lonely place that day. There were many people there as Jesus died on that hill. Let’s see some of them from our text:-

• Roman soldiers. The Roman Soldiers were there at the cross, making sure that the execution went ahead as ordered by the Roman authorities. To do their duty, to get first choice of the cast-off clothes of the condemned prisoners, clothes that would never be needed by them again, V35 

• Thieves. V38 It was a fulfilment of prophesy, for Isaiah had said, Isaiah 53:12 They began by mocking Jesus, v44  But later on, one of them trusted him! It was a wonderful story of conversion. Luke records it for us in Luke 23:42-43  What has a dying thief got to offer Jesus? Nothing! That is the good news of the Gospel!

• Passers-by. V39-40 I imagine that these by-passers were unconcerned, uncommitted types, people who just couldn’t care less, who just went alone with the crowd, and joined in with the jeering and the mockery.

• Jewish leaders. V41-43 All the top religious leaders were there, their fancy religion no more than a mockery. There they were, standing among the scoffers, mocking Christ, just like many of these religious people do today.

• Women. V55-56  Women, weeping and mourning over the loss of their dearest friend ever, a mother mourning the violent and unjust death of her son.

But the important thing to remember here is that all of these people gathered around the cross were ordinary people, just like you and me, people doing their job, or walking by, people full of hatred or just indifference… And you were there too and so was I. It was me who caused the Saviour to die, your sins and mine nailed God’s precious Son to the Cross. Who’s the ‘THEY’ in our text? Could it, should it read, “And I crucified him?”


2 Him The Christ of the Cross.

The One who was truly righteous, when we are sinful. He who was and is in perfect communion with his heavenly father, while we are by nature the children of our father the devil. Him perfect and good and sinless, – we who are imperfect in every way, body, mind and soul, and under the condemnation of God. He who was willing to give his life for sinners, so that we, who had rejected him, could have new life, being born again. Him who first loved us, when we were his enemies. Yes, HIM! The One who forgives those who caused his death, and who forgave the thief, and who even tonight will receive all those who come to him in humble repentant faith, for he has promised that he will never turn them away.

© Bob McEvoy 2023

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