for this week: Zec 1:16 Therefore thus
saith the LORD; I am returned to Jerusalem with mercies: my house
shall be built in it, saith the LORD of hosts, and a line shall be
stretched forth upon Jerusalem..
Introduction: We continue our study of
the book of Luke this week as we continue in chapter 23. In last
week’s lesson, we witnessed the denial of Peter as Jesus was taken
in to be tried by the soldiers. In those last hours, Peter denied
Christ 3 times. After the third denial, we read about the cock
crowing, and Jesus looked at Peter making him realize that he had
not been strong in faith like he had promised. We begin this week’s
lesson with Jesus going before Pilate.
I. Jesus Before
23:1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto
23:2 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.
brought in by the soldiers, but it says that the multitude rose up
to take him to Pilate. We all need to recognize that while we may
not have been there that day, we are guilty when it comes to our
sins being the reason Jesus had to die on Calvary. The crowd
accuses Jesus of forbidding them to give tribute to Caesar and
saying he was a king. When did Jesus pervert the nation? We know
even in his teaching on the taxes, he said to pay tribute to Caesar
and render unto God the things that be God’s. Not only did he
teach to pay tribute, but paid himself tribute to Caesar.
22:19 Show me the tribute money. And they brought unto him a penny.
22:20 And he saith unto them, Whose is this image and
22:21 They say unto him, Caesar's. Then saith he unto them, Render
therefore unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's; and unto God
the things that are God's.
23:3 And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?
And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
23:4 Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I
find no fault in this man.
23:5 And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the
people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to
Jesus and asks him “Art thou the King of the Jews?” Jesus answered
and said “Thou sayest it.” It was not a hidden fact from the
people. When Jesus was born, the wise men came several months later
and asked about him. They asked “Where is He that is born King of
the Jews?” (Matt. 2:1-3) Wise men sought him back then, and as
many signs proclaim during the Christmas season, wise men still seek
Him today. After Pilate talked and questioned Jesus, he claims he
could find no fault in Him. The reason was good… there was no
fault in Jesus. All the accusations against Christ were false and
unfounded. Had he been given a fair trial, he would have been
found not guilty. But Jesus did not receive a fair trial. He
was beat and spit upon, and mocked. Not one bad accusation leveled
against Christ was founded or substantiated. Some things he was
accused of were true, and there was no reason to cause him to be
sentenced to die. Jesus was the King of the Jews, and He was the
Son of God. One day the nation of Israel will see Him for who He
really is. When Pilate said he could find no fault in this man,
it enraged the people and they became more fierce. The reason for
this is because they were convicted of their sins.
II. Jesus Sent
23:6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a
23:7 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.
23:8 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.
23:9 Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him
that he found a loophole when he heard that Jesus was a Galilaean.
He could escape responsibility by turning the judgment over to
someone else. Herod was the governor of Galilee. He was
conveniently in town at this time in order to keep the feast of the
Passover. So Pilate sends Jesus to Herod since he was under his
jurisdiction. Herod was pleased when Jesus was brought to him
because he had wanted to meet Him for many months. The miracles
Jesus had performed were known to Herod, and he desired to see
Christ do some great thing. Herod begins interrogating Jesus, but
it says ‘he answered him nothing.’
23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently
23:11 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
23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together:
for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Jesus may not
have been saying anything in his defense, but the chief priests and
scribes were speaking out in a great way accusing Him of many
things. Even Herod’s men mocked Jesus and arrayed him in a gorgeous
robe. Herod was a crafty politician as was Pilate, and he returns
the favor and sends Jesus back to Pilate a second time. These men
had been at odds with one another, but because of Christ, it says
they were made friends together. Love and hate can cause people to
draw together. God help us to draw together because we love one
another, not because we hate someone else as these men appeared to
Adam Clarke in
his commentary on the New Testament said this about verse 10.
priests—vehemently accused him—Corrupt
priests and teachers are generally the most implacable enemies of
Christ and his truth. Evil passions betray those who are slaves to
them. An affected moderation would have rendered these accusers less
suspected, their accusations more probable, and the envy less
visible than this vehemence: but envy seldom or never consults
prudence: and God permits this to be so for the honor of truth and
is Released as Jesus is Condemned
23:13 And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and
the rulers and the people,
23:14 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:
23:15 No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing
worthy of death is done unto him.
23:16 I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
says that he can find no fault in Jesus. Three separate times in
this chapter Pilate comments that he can find no fault in this
man. He says not only could he find no fault, but Herod also found
nothing worthy of death. He says to the mob that he will chastise
Jesus and release him unto them.
23:17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the
23:18 And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man,
and release unto us Barabbas:
23:19 (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder,
was cast into prison.)
23:20 Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to
23:21 But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
23:22 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.
Pilate says he
had by law to release someone unto them at the feast, so he chose
to release Jesus rather than the murderer Barabbas. Barabbas was a
mean and vile man, and he knew the people would be better off to put
him to death and release Jesus. When he announces this, the
people cried out to crucify Jesus. The third time Pilate points
out that there was no evil found in Jesus, and that there was no
cause of death to sentence him to die. Pilate had a conscience and
was trying to follow it. Unfortunately for him, he didn’t stick to
his decision and changes. He went again his own best judgment and
the recommendation of his wife.
27:19 When he was set down on the judgment seat, his wife sent unto
him, saying, Have thou nothing to do with that just man: for I have
suffered many things this day in a dream because of him.
23:23 And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he
might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests
23:24 And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
23:25 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.
that if he promised to chastise Jesus, that this would pacify the
crowd. But it did not. They had loud voices urging him to crucify
Jesus. So Pilate gives in and lets the murderous crowd and chief
priests have their way. So rather than freeing the guiltless one,
they rather have a murderer released from prison. It says in
verse 25 that “he delivered Jesus to their will.”
J. Vernon McGee
said this about Pilate.
Pilate is trying to
escape making a decision about Jesus, but he cannot. Careful
analysis of Pilate’s part in the trial will reveal that he is
on trial and Jesus is the Judge. Jesus is not trying to escape, but
Pilate is. Pilate sought for an easy escape from these astute
religious politicians. He hit upon giving them a choice between
Barabbas and Jesus. To him the decision was obvious. He detected
that they wanted Jesus dead because of envy. Pilate did not reckon
with the depth to which religion can sink when it goes wrong.
Matthew tells us that the chief priests and elders persuaded the
multitude to ask for Barabbas. Pilate was startled when the crowd
demanded Barabbas to be released. Imagine a judge asking a crowd for
their decision as to what should be done with a man on trial! He
decided that Jesus was innocent; yet he handed Jesus over to be
crucified. What Roman justice!
Pilate finally had to
make a decision, just as every man today has to make a decision
relative to Jesus Christ. What have you decided about Him?
23:26 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.
Simon was from
Cyrene, a city of North Africa, and was told to carry Christ’s
cross. After the beating, it was impossible for Jesus to bear the
weight of the cross. Most likely this man had no idea the honor
that had been bestowed upon him that day. By bringing the cross up
to the hill of Calvary, it provided the only way of salvation that
God would accept. Jesus had to live the sinless life and then go
and die on that cross so that we might go free. Barabbas deserved
to die that day, but one took his place. That same one, Jesus,
paid the sin debt that we could not pay when he died on the Cross.
But you have to accept the gift of forgiveness and promise of
eternal salvation to have your sin debt paid.
23:27 And there followed him a great company of people, and of
women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
23:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem,
weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
23:29 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.
23:30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us;
and to the hills, Cover us.
There was a
great multitude that followed Jesus up that hill. Many came
because of sympathy for Jesus. Even more came to ridicule Him or
see if He might do some tremendous miracle in their presence.
Jesus had the power and ability to prevent His death, but He died
willingly to take our place. Jesus tells those who were weeping to
not weep for Him but rather weep for their children. A day would
soon come when the people would cry out for the mountains to fall on
them. Jesus knew the destruction that was about to come upon
Jerusalem in just a few short years. Jesus understood their
feelings, but He was simply following through with the Will of the
23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be
done in the dry?
The green tree
here speaks of Jesus, while the dry speaks of Israel.
23:32 And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to
be put to death.
23:33 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.
There were two
others who died that day. They were men guilty of crimes and were
called malefactors. It says they come to the place where they
would die… a place called Calvary. These malefactors being
crucified with Jesus was a fulfillment of prophecy from Isaiah
Chapter 53. Jesus was truly numbered with the transgressors, even
though he was not guilty of even one sin.
53:12 Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he
shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out
his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and
he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the
23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what
they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
This is perhaps
one of the greatest proofs that Jesus was the Son of God. How
could anyone suffer such pain, humiliation, and agony, and yet be so
loving. As they are putting him to death on the cross, Jesus asks
God to forgive the people for they did not know what they were
doing. And it was so true. The one that God sent to redeem and
save them was being crucified. It says they parted his raiment and
cast lots making a game of the Lord. This was another fulfillment
22:18 They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my
23:35 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.
23:36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering
23:37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
23:38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of
Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
The people mock
Christ and say if he truly is the Christ, then save himself. The
soldiers also mocked him, not knowing who they were addressing.
They too made comments that if he was the king of the Jews, then he
should save himself. Pilate had written a superscription over the
top of the cross in 3 languages saying “This is the King of the
Jews.” In the record of the gospel in John, it says some told him
to change it to say “He said I am King of the Jews”, but Pilate
refused to change it. What he wrote was the truth.
19:21 Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not,
The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
19:22 Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.
23:39 And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him,
saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
23:40 But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou
fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
23:41 And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our
deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
There were two
men hanging on a cross on each side of Jesus. One of the men
railed on Jesus and says “If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”
The other thief was not that way. He realized his lost and undone
condition, and takes up for Jesus and rebukes the other man. He
realizes that he is dying justly for what he had done and was about
to meet God, but Jesus was dying for no apparent reason. He asks
the other man “Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same
condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward
of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.” This man knew
Jesus was innocent, and has faith that he is the Messiah. He then
asks Christ to remember him when he come into His Kingdom.
23:42 And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest
into thy kingdom.
23:43 And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt
thou be with me in paradise.
Some people like
to make salvation out to be a long and complex journey. You have
to first have faith and then work all your life and if in the end,
your good works out weight your bad, then maybe you will get into
heaven. But all of this is man’s logic and thinking. The way to
heaven is by Jesus Christ, and he is the author and finisher of our
faith. This man recognized he was lost, knew he was hopeless
without Christ, and turned in faith and repentance to ask for
help. Note that is what God requires. Jesus said “Verily I say
unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.” Paradise is
the third heaven.
Cor 12:1 It is not expedient for me doubtless to glory. I will come
to visions and revelations of the Lord.
Cor 12:2 I knew a man in Christ above fourteen years ago, (whether
in the body, I cannot tell; or whether out of the body, I cannot
tell: God knoweth;) such an one caught up to the third heaven.
Cor 12:3 And I knew such a man, (whether in the body, or out of the
body, I cannot tell: God knoweth;)
Cor 12:4 How that he was caught up into paradise, and heard
unspeakable words, which it is not lawful for a man to utter.
Cor 12:5 Of such an one will I glory: yet of myself I will not
glory, but in mine infirmities.
23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness
over all the earth until the ninth hour.
23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent
in the midst.
It says that
there was darkness over all the earth from the sixth hour to the
ninth hour. The Hebrew day began at six am, which made the sixth
hour noon our time, and the ninth hour was 3pm. There was a lot of
things that went on during this time, and truly only God the Father
and Christ the Son know. It was a very dark hour the day that
Christ was made to be sin for us. The veil of the temple was rent
in the midst, signifying that the way unto God had been torn down
and we have direct access to the Father now. The veil separated
the outer room from the “Holiest of Holies” in the temple, and only
the High Priest was allowed to enter that room, and only once per
year. He brought a sin offering for his sins and then a sin
offering for the sins of the people. And God met with him and
accepted the offering. However none of that blood could take away
sin, but it pointed to the one who could, which is Jesus Christ.
Christ is now our Great High Priest, and He sits on the right hand
of God daily interceding for us. There is no veil between us and
the presence of God once we know Jesus as Lord and Savior.
Dismisses His Spirit
23:46 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
Christ died, God turned His face from Him because God can not look
upon sin. And as all the sins of the world are placed on Jesus, he
died and completed the sacrifice that God required. When the
Father left Him at that time, Jesus had to in faith turn his soul
and spirit to God. He says “Into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
said some important things about Jesus commending His spirit into
the Father’s hands.
Christ hereby signifies
his dependence upon his Father for his resurrection, by the re-union
of his soul and body. He commends his spirit into his Father’s hand,
to be received into paradise, and returned the third
day. By this it appears that our Lord Jesus, as he had a true
body, so he had a reasonable soul, which existed in a state of
separation from the body, and thus he was made like unto his
brethren; this soul he lodged in his Father’s hand, committed it to
his custody, resting in hope that it should not be left in hades,
in its state of separation from the body, no, not so long as
that the body might see corruption. 5. Christ has hereby left us an
example, has fitted those words of David to the purpose of dying
saints, and hath, as it were, sanctified them for their use. In
death our great care should be about our souls, and we cannot more
effectually provide for their welfare than by committing them now
into the hands of God, as a Father, to be sanctified and governed by
his Spirit and grace, and at death committing them into his hands to
be made perfect in holiness and happiness. We must show that we are
freely willing to die, that we firmly believe in another life after
this, and are desirous of it, by saying, Father, into thy hands I
commend my spirit.
23:47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God,
saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
23:48 And all the people that came together to that sight,
beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and
23:49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him
from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
The words of
Christ on the cross are recorded in all four accounts of the
Gospel. It takes reading all four to read of all the things Jesus
said on the cross. I have a book that is just a study of those
scriptures. This is the third record in Luke when Jesus says that
he commends his spirit unto God. The centurion who stood by
realized that Jesus was no ordinary man. In the account in
Matthew, he states that this truly was the Son of God.
27:54 Now when the centurion, and they that were with him, watching
Jesus, saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, they
feared greatly, saying, Truly this was the Son of God.
23:50 And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and
he was a good man, and a just:
23:51 (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.
23:52 This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
23:53 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
23:54 And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
23:55 And the women also, which came with him from Galilee,
followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
23:56 And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and
rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.
Arimathaea came and asked the Pilate give him the body of Jesus that
he might place him in a grave. He had a sepulchre that was hewn in
stone, and he took Jesus there. It says that no man had ever been
in this sepulchre. So Pilate grants him his request, and they bury
our Savior in a borrowed tomb. He came from glory and didn’t have
a good place to be born, and left this life in a borrowed tomb.
But only 3 days later, he came out of that grave. Praise God for
the resurrection. If Jesus had not risen, he would be like all
other religious leaders. But he is not dead in a grave, but is
alive and with the Father in Heaven today.
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Jesus Christ as your Personal Lord and Savior, contact David Parham
4:18 But the path of the just is as the shining light, that shineth
more and more unto the perfect day.
e-mail at: email@example.com
Practice Random Acts of Kindness. Each act spreads, and many will
McGee, Thru the Bible commentary [computer file],
electronic ed., Logos Library System, (Nashville: Thomas
Nelson) 1997, c1981 by J. Vernon McGee.
Matthew, Matthew Henry’s Commentary on the Bible,
(Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers) 1997.