Matthew 27:11-26

Talks for Growing Christians

The Lord’s Trial Before Pilate, the Roman Governor of Judea and Samaria

Matthew 27:11-26

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Lesson Number 76

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. The Roman governor had Jesus crucified for political purposes.
  2. The Jews had Jesus crucified for religious purposes.

Practical Application

  1. What will you do with Jesus?


  1. Review the trials of the Lord to this point.
  2. Why did the Sanhedrin turn the Lord Jesus over to Pilate?
  3. On what account did the Sanhedrin condemn the Lord? What was He charged with before Pilate?
  4. Did Pilate believe Jesus was guilty? Why did he condemn Him?
  5. Why were the Jewish leaders envious of the Lord Jesus (Matthew 27:18)?
  6. What does the name “Barabbas” mean?


  1. The Lord has faced His religious trial in three phases: before Annas, before Caiaphas, and before the Sanhedrin. Now He was handed over to Pilate for the first phase of His civil trial.
  2. Because the Sanhedrin, under Roman authority could not carry out the death penalty. Pilate was the one with the authority to put Jesus to death.
  3. The Lord Jesus proclaimed Himself to be the Messiah. The Sanhedrin saw this was a claim to deity, thus they condemned Him of blasphemy. Blasphemy was not cause for death in a Roman trial, however. So the Jewish leaders developed three political charges against the Lord Jesus. First, He was a political revolutionary and opposed the Roman government. Second, He was against paying taxes to Rome. Third, He claimed to be a King, and was thus a threat to Rome.
  4. Pilate knew the Lord was not guilty (Matthew 27:24). Yet he sentenced Him to death to appease the Jews so they would not riot and ruin his political career.
  5. Because the Lord was so popular with the Jewish people. Yet the fickle crowds which adored Him one day, were persuaded to call out, “Crucify Him,” the next.
  6. “Barabbas” is an Aramaic name meaning “son of the father.” The Jews rejected the true Son of the Father, for Barabbas.


  1. Discuss the political situation at the time of our Lord’s trial and crucifixion. There were many conflicting groups with conflicting agendas. God used these political factions to carry out His purposes and ultimately bring Himself glory. Read Acts 2:22-24, 3:12-14, and 4:26-28.
  2. Discuss the opposition that arises today when Christians state that the Jews killed the Lord Jesus. Yet this is what the biblical record says. Read their self-incriminating prophecy in Matthew 27:25, “His blood be on us and on our children.” The Jews have been oppressed and persecuted down through the ages, partly because they rejected their Messiah. Yet Christians should never use the Jews’ involvement in the Lord’s death as an excuse for anti-Semitism and hatred of the Jewish people. Instead, do you pray for the Jewish people you know to recognize their Messiah? We all have sinned, and we all need to know the beautiful truth of the Lord Jesus Christ’s salvation and forgiveness.


  1. What will you do with Jesus? The Jewish multitude rallied to have Him crucified. Many people today have a similar response. By rejecting Jesus and His truth they are saying they would rather have Jesus crucified, and out of their life, than accept His claims. What about you? If you have accepted the Lord Jesus as you Savior, what are you doing with Him now?

Key Verses

  • And the governor asked Him, saying, ‘Are You the King of the Jews?’ Jesus said to him, ‘It is as you say.’” Matthew 27:11
  • “Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.” Matthew 27:26

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