Luke 23#Lu 23:1| And the whole company of them rose up, and brought him before Pilate. See TFG "#Mr 15:1|". #Lu 23:2| CXXIX. FIRST STAGE OF THE ROMAN TRIAL. JESUS BEFORE PILATE FOR THE FIRST TIME. (Jerusalem. Early Friday morning.) #Mt 27:11-14 Mr 15:2-5 Lu 23:2-5 Joh 18:28-38| And they began to accuse him, sating, We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king. The Jews now profess to change their verdict into a charge, they themselves becoming witnesses as to the truth of the matter charged. They say "We found," thereby asserting that the things which they stated to Pilate were the things for which they had condemned Jesus. Their assertion was utterly false, for the three things which they now mentioned had formed no part whatever of the evidence against Jesus in their trial of him. The first charge, that Jesus was a perverter or seducer of the people, was extremely vague. The second, that he taught to withhold tribute from Caesar, was a deliberate falsehood. See the notes at #Mr 12:13-17|. The third, that he claimed to be king, was true, but this third charge, coupled with the other two, was intended to convey a sense which was maliciously false. Jesus was a spiritual King, and claimed to be such, and as such was no offender against the Roman government. But the rulers intended that Pilate should regard him as claiming to be a political king, which he had constantly refused to do (#Joh 6:15|). (TFG 705) #Lu 23:3| And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest. See TFG "#Mr 15:2|". #Lu 23:4| I find no fault in this man. The pronoun "I" is emphatic; as if Pilate said, "You, prejudiced fanatics, demand his death, but I, the calm judge, pronounce him innocent." (TFG 708) #Lu 23:5| He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judaea, and beginning from Galilee even unto this place. The Jews cling to their general accusation of sedition, and seek to make the largeness of the territory where Jesus operated overshadow and conceal the smallness of their testimony as to what his operations were. (TFG 708) #Lu 23:6| CXXX. SECOND STAGE OF THE ROMAN TRIAL. JESUS BEFORE HEROD ANTIPAS. (Jerusalem. Early Friday morning.) #Lu 23:6-12| But when Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. When he heard that Jesus had begun his operations in Galilee. (TFG 709) #Lu 23:7| And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction. Herod was tetrarch of Galilee (#Lu 3:1|). He sent him unto Herod who himself also was at Jerusalem. "Also" includes both Pilate and Herod, neither of whom lived at Jerusalem. In these days. "These days" refers to the passover season. Pilate had come up from his residence at Caesarea to keep order during the passover, and Herod had come from Tiberias to keep in favor with the Jews by showing his respect to their festival. Hearing that Jesus was a citizen of Herod's province, Pilate saw an opportunity to do two things: first, by sending Jesus to Herod he would either shift or divide the grave responsibility in which he was placed; second, he would show a courtesy to Herod which might help to remove Herod's enmity toward him, a courtesy which perhaps might be the reverse of the discourtesy which likely caused the enmity. See TFG "#Lu 13:1|". (TFG 709) #Lu 23:8| Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was of a long time desirous to see him, because he had heard concerning him. As to Herod's previous knowledge of Christ, see #Lu 9:7-9|. (TFG 709) #Lu 23:9| And he questioned him in many words; but he answered him nothing. Herod, as sated ruler, adulterer, and murderer, wished Jesus to turn juggler for his amusement; but the Son of God had nothing but silence for such a creature. The only contemptuous word which Jesus is recorded to have spoken had reference to this ruler (#Lu 13:31,32|). (TFG 710) #Lu 23:10| And the chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. The rulers felt that their case had well-nigh failed before Pilate, so they became the more urgent in the presence of Herod, since Herod had less reason to fear them than Pilate. In the midst of this, Jesus stood silent, answering neither question nor accusation. (TFG 710) #Lu 23:11| And Herod with his soldiers set him at nought, and mocked him, and arraying him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate. Herod took vengeance upon the silence of Christ by treating him with abusive contempt. But finding nothing in Jesus worthy of condemnation, he returned him to Pilate. (TFG 710) #Lu 23:12| And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day. Thus Pilate gained but half his desire: Herod was now his friend, but the case of Jesus was still on his hands. (TFG 710) #Lu 23:13| CXXXI. THIRD STAGE OF THE ROMAN TRIAL. PILATE RELUCTANTLY SENTENCES HIM TO CRUCIFIXION. (Friday. Toward sunrise.) #Mt 27:15-30 Mr 15:6-19 Lu 23:13-25 Joh 18:39-19:16| And Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people. He did not wish to seem to take advantage of our Lord's accusers by releasing him during their absence. Possibly he knew of the triumphal entry the Sunday previous, and thought that the popularity of Jesus would be such that his release would be overwhelmingly demanded, and so called the rulers that they might see that he had released Jesus in answer to popular clamor. If he had such expectations, they were misplaced. (TFG 711) #Lu 23:16| I will therefore chastise him, and release him. Though Jesus had been declared innocent on the joint finding of himself and Herod, Pilate did not have the courage to deliberately release him. He sought to please the rulers by scourging him, and the multitude by delivering him to them as a popular favorite, and himself by an adroit escape from an unpleasant situation. But he pleased nobody. (TFG 712) #Lu 23:17| Now he must needs release unto them at the feast one prisoner. See TFG "#Mr 15:6|". #Lu 23:18| But they cried out all together, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas. See TFG "#Mr 15:11|". #Lu 23:19| Who for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison. See TFG "#Mr 15:7|". #Lu 23:22| Why, what evil hath this man done? See TFG "#Mr 15:14|". #Lu 23:23| But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. See TFG "#Mr 15:14|". And their voices prevailed. They overcame Pilate's weak resistance by their clamor. (TFG 718) #Lu 23:25| But Jesus he delivered up to their will. See TFG "#Mr 15:15|". #Lu 23:26| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. A. ON THE WAY TO THE CROSS. (Within and without Jerusalem. Friday morning.) #Mt 27:31-34 Mr 15:20-23 Lu 23:26-33 Joh 19:17| They laid hold upon one Simon of Cyrene . . . and laid on him the cross, to bear it after Jesus. See TFG "#Mr 15:21|". #Lu 23:27| And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. Only the women bewailed him. They were not Galileans, but women of Jerusalem (#Lu 23:28|). (TFG 723) #Lu 23:28| Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. Some of these women, and the children of others, would survive till the terrible siege of Jerusalem and suffer in it. Jesus bore his own suffering in silence, but his pity for those upon whom these days of anguish would come caused him to speak. (TFG 723) #Lu 23:29| Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts that never gave suck. The proper blessedness of a matron is motherhood, but the horrors of the siege would reverse even so fixed a law as this. (TFG 723) #Lu 23:30| Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. This language is figurative, describing one in extreme terror seeking impossible refuge. But there is a touch of literalness in the fulfillment, for Josephus tells us that at the end of the siege those in Jerusalem hid themselves in the subterranean recesses of the city, and that no less than two thousand of them were buried alive under the ruins of these hiding-places (The Wars of the Jews, 6.9.4). (TFG 723-724) #Lu 23:31| For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? The language here is obscurely proverbial. Here, as elsewhere (#Lu 19:43 Mt 24:15|), Jesus refers to the sorrows which the Romans were to bring upon the Jews, and the meaning may be, If the fiery persecution of Rome is so consuming that my innocence, though again and again pronounced by the governor himself, is no protection against it, what will that fire do when it envelopes the dry, guilty, rebellious city of Jerusalem? Or we may make the present and the future grief of the women the point of comparison, and interpret thus: If they cause such sorrow to the women while the city is like a green tree, how much more when, like a dry, dead tree, it is about to fall. (TFG 724) #Lu 23:33| And when they came unto the place which is called The skull, there they crucified him. See TFG "#Mr 15:22|". CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. B. JESUS CRUCIFIED AND REVILED. HIS THREE SAYINGS DURING FIRST THREE HOURS. (Friday morning from nine o'clock till noon.) #Mt 27:35-44 Mr 15:24-32 Lu 23:33-43 Joh 19:18-27| And the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left. See TFG "#Mr 15:27|". #Lu 23:34| And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. Our Lord's prayer here reminds us of the word at #Isa 53:12|. It accords with his own teachings (#Mt 5:44|), and it was echoed by Stephen (#Ac 7:59,60|). Peter and Paul both speak of the Jewish ignorance (#Ac 3:17 1Co 2:8|). Ignorance mitigates, but does not excuse, crime. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots. See TFG "#Mr 15:24|". (TFG 725) #Lu 23:35| The people stood beholding. The scene had an awful fascination which they could not resist. He saved others; let him save himself. See TFG "#Mr 15:31|". (TFG 727) #Lu 23:38| A superscription also was written over him. See TFG "#Mr 15:26|". #Lu 23:40| But the other answered, and rebuking him said, Dost thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? See TFG "#Mr 15:32|". #Lu 23:42| Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom. It is not likely that this robber had any conception of the spiritual kingdom of Jesus, but he somehow arrived at the conclusion that Jesus was the Messiah, and would come into his kingdom despite his crucifixion. (TFG 728) #Lu 23:43| To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Jesus answered the robber's prayer by a solemn promise that they would, that day, be together in that portion of the invisible world where those who are accepted of God await the resurrection. Many thoughtlessly make this dying robber the model of death-bed repentance, arguing that others may also be saved in this irregular manner. But Christ had not yet died, and the new testament or covenant was not sealed. Jesus then could change its terms to suit the occasion. It is therefore no evidence whatever that after his death and in his present glorified state our Lord will in any way change the covenant so as to do away with a single one of the terms required for obtaining remission of sins (#Heb 9:15-18|). Moreover, the example of the penitent robber is a difficult one to follow; he professed faith in Christ and his kingdom when there was no other voice in the whole wide world willing to do such a thing. Any one having such a faith in Christ will not put off his confession until the hour of death. (TFG 728) #Lu 23:44| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. C. DARKNESS THREE HOURS. AFTER FOUR MORE SAYINGS, JESUS EXPIRES. STRANGE EVENTS ATTENDING HIS DEATH. #Mt 27:45-56 Mr 15:33-41 Lu 23:44-49 Joh 19:28-30| And it was now about the sixth hour. Noon. See TFG "#Mt 20:3|". And a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour. See TFG "#Mr 15:33|". #Lu 23:45| And the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. See TFG "#Mr 15:38|". #Lu 23:46| Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. See #Ps 31:5|. He gave up the ghost. See TFG "#Mr 15:37|". #Lu 23:47| Certainly this was a righteous man. See TFG "#Mr 15:39|". #Lu 23:48| And all the multitudes that came together to this sight, when they beheld the things that were done, returned smiting their breasts. The people who had acted under the influence of the priests now yielded to superior influences and began to experience that change of sentiment which led so many to repent and confess Christ at Pentecost (#Ac 2:37-41|). (TFG 732) #Lu 23:49| And the women that followed with him from Galilee, stood afar off, seeing these things. See TFG "#Mr 15:40|". #Lu 23:50| CXXXIII. THE CRUCIFIXION. D. JESUS FOUND TO BE DEAD. HIS BODY BURIED AND GUARDED IN THE TOMB. #Mt 27:57-66 Mr 15:42-47 Lu 23:50-56 Joh 19:31-42| A man named Joseph. See TFG "#Mr 15:43|". #Lu 23:51| Of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews. See TFG "#Mr 15:43|". #Lu 23:52| This man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. See TFG "#Mr 15:43|". #Lu 23:53| And he took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth. As to the swathing of dead bodies, see TFG "Joh 11:44". And laid him in a tomb that was hewn in stone, where never man had yet lain. See TFG "#Mt 27:60|". (TFG 736) #Lu 23:54| And it was the day of the Preparation. See TFG "#Mr 15:42|". And the sabbath drew on. As Jesus died about three o'clock in the afternoon, and as all work had to stop at sunset, which was the beginning of the Sabbath, Joseph was much hurried in his efforts to bury Jesus. (TFG 737) #Lu 23:55| And the women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how his body was laid. The context, therefore, shows that our Lord was not completely embalmed by him. The body of Jesus might have been kept elsewhere until after the Sabbath; but because the tomb was near it appears to have been used temporarily, and the preparation of spices by the women shows that even that part of the burial was not, in their estimation, completed. (TFG 737) #Lu 23:56| They returned, and prepared spices and ointments. This unfinished burial led the women back to the tomb early on the first day of the week, and thus brought to the disciples the glad news of the resurrection without any needless delay. (TFG 737)
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