Luke 23
People's New Testament
And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
23:1-25 The Crucifixion


Jesus Brought Before Pilate. Acquitted by Pilate. On the Clamor of Priests Sent to Herod. Silent Before Herod. Sent Again, Arrayed as a King, to Pilate. Examined a Second Time and No Fault Found. Barabbas Demanded Instead of Christ. Pilate Yields and Sends Jesus to Be Crucified. The Weeping of the Daughters of Jerusalem. Between Thieves. Mocked on the Cross. The Penitent Thief. The Death of Jesus. The Burial.

The Trial Before Pilate. Described in Mt 27:11-35 Mr 15:1-23 Joh 18:28-19:16. See notes on Matthew and John.

Led him to Pilate. The Sanhedrin, after a private conference, came in a body to accuse Jesus of sedition. See Mt 27:1-10.

And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
23:2 Forbidding to give tribute to Caesar. This was utterly false (Mt 22:21).

That he himself is Christ a king. This was true, but not in the sense they made the charge. He did not claim to be an earthly king.

And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
23:4 I find no fault in this man. This decision was given after an examination of Jesus (Joh 18:33-38). In this Jesus explained to Pilate that his kingdom was not of this world.
And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
23:7 He sent him to Herod. Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. The Jews in their clamor against Pilate's decision declared that Jesus was of Galilee; so he thought to get out of his difficulty by turning Jesus over to Herod, who was now in Jerusalem to attend the passover.
And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
23:8 Herod... was exceeding glad. That he might gratify his curiosity to see Jesus. This was the Herod who had murdered John the Baptist.
Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
23:11 Herod... mocked him. Pilate was a better man than Herod. Though he yielded weakly to the clamor, he was not a trifler.
And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
23:12 Pilate and Herod were made friends. Because of Pilate's courtesy in sending Herod a prisoner that belonged to his province. Why they were enemies is not stated.
And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
23:15 Nor yet Herod. These words occur in another effort of Pilate to release Jesus, and imply that Herod had sent word that he found no guilt in the prisoner.
I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
23:16 I will therefore chastise him. This was an effort to make a compromise. To gratify and save the pride of the Sanhedrin he will chastise an innocent man and then let him go.
(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
23:18 Release to us Barabbas. See notes on Mt 27:15-26, for the choice of Barabbas rather than Christ.
(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
23:26-49 The Crucifixion. Compare Mt 27:32-56 Mr 15:21-41 Joh 19:17-30. See notes on Matthew.
And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
23:27 A great company of people, and of women. This shows that, although awed, Jesus had many sympathizers in Jerusalem.
But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
23:28 Daughters of Jerusalem. These weeping women belonged to the city.

Weep for yourselves. In this hour of trial his heart is broken for the woes coming upon them in the speedy destruction of Jerusalem.

For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
23:31 If they do these things, etc. A proverb, meaning here, If the rulers and the Romans crucify the Messiah of the nation, the Hope of Israel, what shall they do to the nation itself ? What they would do was seen in less than forty years.
And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
23:34 Father, forgive them. This prayer for his murderers is reported only by Luke. It was evidently uttered just after he was nailed to the cross. What divine love in a prayer springing right out of the depth of his physical suffering!

They know not what they do. Know not that they reject and slay their own Messiah; know not that, in this act, they doom their city and nation to destruction. He made intercession for transgressors (Isa 53:12).

They parted his raiment. The executioners cast lots for it. See Joh 18:23.

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
23:39 One of the malefactors. Matthew and Mark represent the malefactors as mocking him (Mt 27:44 Mr 15:32). It may be that only one spoke, apparently for both, or that both spoke at first, and then one was silent.

If thou be the Christ. Art not thou the Christ ? (Revised Version). That Jesus did not save himself and his companions in suffering seemed to this malefactor to prove that this was not the Christ.

But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
23:40,41 Seeing thou art in the same condemnation. For sedition and rebellion; the one probably of which Barabbas was leader. Christ was condemned as a seditious person, but the malefactor knew that he had no part. He had done nothing amiss.
And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
23:42 Lord, remember me. This prayer indicates faith in Jesus as the Christ, a faith that overcomes the cross, and sees Jesus a victor over death, in his kingdom. Such faith was mighty to save.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
23:43 To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. On the cross together, the evil doer, who believed in the Crucified One, shall be with Christ in paradise. He was no doubt a Jew, perhaps knew somewhat of Christ before, and was saved by the power and word of Christ before, and was saved by the power and word of Christ, as he saved the woman that was a sinner (Lu 7:48). So he still saves. If we comply with the conditions of his word, as preached by the apostles, in the Gospel of the Risen Savior, we will be saved.
And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
23:44 There was a darkness. See PNT Mt 27:45.
And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
23:46 Cried with a loud voice. He said: Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani (Mr 15:34). This was followed by, It is finished (Joh 19:30), and the words here, Father into thy hands, etc.
Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
23:47,48 When the centurion saw, etc. See notes on Mt 27:54-56.
And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
23:47,48 When the centurion saw, etc. See notes on Mt 27:54-56.
And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counseller; and he was a good man, and a just:
23:50-56 The Burial of Jesus, see notes on Mt 27:57-61. Compare Mr 15:42-47 Joh 19:36-42.

A counsellor. A member of the Sanhedrin.

(The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
23:51 Had not consented to the counsel and deed. Neither Joseph nor Nicodemus could have been present when Jesus was condemned, and perhaps were not invited.
This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
23:54 That day was the preparation. For the Passover, see Joh 19:14. This shows that the Jews had not yet eaten their passover.
And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
The People's New Testament by B.W. Johnson [1891]

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