Matthew 27-28 provided the basis for my reflection this week. In it, I found these three things. The apostle Matthew writes regarding the importance of scripture being fulfilled. He writes about the authority of Jesus throughout the entire process, and he declares the ultimate authority of Jesus.
The Importance of Scripture Being Fulfilled
In Matthew 26:56, the apostle quotes Jesus “But all this was done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled.”‘ The words of the prophets have to come about. In chapter 26:31 Jesus uses the passage from Zechariah 13:7 to prepare His disciples for what is ahead. He tells them when the enemy strikes, they will scatter. The prophets foretold it. In verses 54 and 56 of the same chapter, we see it is important that what God has said through the prophets happens just as He says. When Jesus scolds Peter about using violence, He reminds Him He could call legions of angels for help. If He did, however, it would prevent the fulfillment of the scriptures. It was imperative. God’s word must happen. He further in 27:9 tells how the purchase of the field with the money from a remorseful Judas fulfilled Jer. 32:6-9. Yet another was Psa. 22:18 which prophesied of how they would treat His clothing. To Matthew, it was important to show what was happening was God’s plan, and purpose spoken of through the prophets.
The Authority of Jesus Throughout the Entire Process
Next, the Authority of Jesus stands out in these chapters. I found it interesting that in 26:2 Matthew quotes Jesus saying, “You know that after two days is the Passover and the Son of Man will be delivered up to be crucified.” In the very next verse, the process begins. It is as if by the speaking, Jesus sets in motion all that must come after. Jesus is in charge. He is not the victim. Jesus is the Master. He has the right words for the man who will host their Passover celebration. Jesus tells Judas of his betrayal, and Peter of his denial. He speaks to them of a New Covenant laying out for them that His body will be broken and his blood shed for the forgiveness of sins. Then he tells them he won’t drink it now. He is waiting until they can have it together in His Father’s kingdom. He is a step ahead. When He struggles with the process, in prayer He realigns Himself with God’s plan and purpose. Later, He tells the High Priest that he will see the Son of Man sitting at the right hand of the Power and coming on the clouds of heaven, He sees it and saying so infuriated the High Priest.
His Ultimate Authority
Finally, Matthew writes of the ultimate authority of Jesus. When Jesus released His spirit on the cross, things happened. There was an earthquake, the veil in the temple tore, some dead rose and came into the city. When He rose from the dead, He fulfilled the words to his disciples. He met them in Galilee and told them, “All authority has been given to me in heaven and on earth. Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the father, and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.” Matthew ends his book with the promise Jesus made.”I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
To Matthew it was important for his readers to see the scriptures fulfilled, how Jesus had authority right up to the end. As the fulfilment of the scriptures, Jesus has ultimate authority.