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23:1 And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
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.
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 this place.
23:6 When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
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 nothing.
23:10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
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 Pilate.
23:12 And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
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.
23:17 (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
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 them.
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.
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 prevailed.
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.
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.
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.
23:31 For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
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.
23:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
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 him vinegar,
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 the ghost.
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 returned.
23:49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
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 laid.
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.

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Everything King James Bible:Luke

Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Luke
Book: Luke
Chapter: 23

Overview:
Christ before Pilate. (1-5) Christ before Herod. (6-12)
Barabbas preferred to Christ. (13-25) Christ speaks of the
Destruction of Jerusalem. (26-31) The Crucifixion, The repentant
malefactor. (32-43) The Death of Christ. (44-49) The Burial of
Christ. (50-56)

1-5 Pilate Well understood the difference between armed Forces
and our Lord's followers. But instead of being softened By
Pilate's declaration of his innocence, and considering whether
they were not bringing the guilt of innocent Blood upon
themselves, the Jews were the more angry. The Lord brings his
designs to a glorious End, even By means of those who follow the
devices of their own hearts. Thus all parties joined, So as to
prove the innocence of Jesus, who was the atoning Sacrifice for
our sins.

6-12 Herod had heard many things of Jesus in Galilee, and out
of curiosity longed to see him. The poorest beggar that asked a
Miracle for the relief of his necessity, was never denied; but
this proud Prince, who asked for a Miracle only to gratify his
curiosity, is refused. He might have seen Christ and his
wondrous Works in Galilee, and would not, therefore it is justly
said, Now he would see them, and shall not. Herod sent Christ
again to Pilate: the friendships of wicked men are often formed
By union in wickedness. They agree in little, except in Enmity
to God, and contempt of Christ.

13-25 The fear of Man brings many into this Snare, that they
will do an unjust thing, against their consciences, rather than
get into trouble. Pilate declares Jesus innocent, and has a mind
to release him; yet, to please the people, he would punish him
as an evil-doer. If No fault be found in him, why chastise him?
Pilate yielded at length; he had not courage to go against So
strong a stream. He delivered Jesus to their will, to be
crucified.

26-31 We have here the blessed Jesus, the Lamb of God, led as a
Lamb to the slaughter, to the Sacrifice. Though many reproached
and reviled him, yet some pitied him. But the Death of Christ
was his victory and triumph over his enemies: it was our
deliverance, the purchase of eternal Life for us. Therefore weep
not for him, but let us weep for our own sins, and the sins of
our children, which caused his Death; and weep for fear of the
miseries we shall bring upon ourselves, if we slight his Love,
and reject his Grace. If God delivered him up to such sufferings
as these, because he was made a Sacrifice for Sin, what will he
do with sinners themselves, who make themselves a dry tree, a
corrupt and wicked Generation, and good for nothing! The Bitter
sufferings of our Lord Jesus should make us stand in awe of the
Justice of God. The best saints, compared with Christ, are dry
trees; if he suffer, why may not they expect to suffer? And what
then shall the Damnation of sinners be! Even the sufferings of
Christ preach terror to obstinate transgressors.

32-43 As soon as Christ was fastened to the Cross, he prayed
for those who crucified him. The great thing he died to purchase
and procure for us, is the forgiveness of Sin. This he prays
for. Jesus was crucified between two Thieves; in them were shown
the different effects the Cross of Christ would have upon the
children of men in the preaching the Gospel. One malefactor was
hardened to the last. No troubles of themselves will change a
wicked Heart. The other was softened at the last: he was
snatched as a brand out of the burning, and made a monument of
Divine Mercy. This gives No encouragement to any to Put off
Repentance to their Death-beds, or to Hope that they shall then
find Mercy. It is certain that true Repentance is never too
late; but it is as certain that late Repentance is seldom true.
None can be sure they shall have time to repent at Death, but
every Man may be sure he cannot have the advantages this
penitent thief had. We shall see the case to be singular, if we
observe the uncommon effects of God's Grace upon this Man. He
reproved the other for railing On Christ. He owned that he
deserved what was done to him. He believed Jesus to have
suffered wrongfully. Observe his Faith in this Prayer. Christ
was in the depth of disgrace, suffering as a deceiver, and not
delivered By his Father. He made this profession before the
wonders were displayed which Put honour On Christ's sufferings,
and startled the Centurion. He believed in a Life to come, and
desired to be happy in that Life; not like the other thief, to
be only saved from the Cross. Observe his Humility in this
Prayer. All his request is, Lord, remember me; quite referring
it to Jesus in what way to remember him. Thus he was humbled in
true Repentance, and he brought forth all the fruits for
Repentance his circumstances would admit. Christ upon the Cross,
is gracious like Christ upon the Throne. Though he was in the
greatest struggle and Agony, yet he had pity for a Poor
penitent. By this act of Grace we are to understand that Jesus
Christ died to open the kingdom of Heaven to all penitent,
obedient believers. It is a single instance in Scripture; it
should teach us to despair of none, and that none should despair
of themselves; but lest it should be abused, it is contrasted
with the awful state of the other thief, who died hardened in
unbelief, though a crucified Saviour was So near him. Be sure
that in general men die as they live.

44-49 We have here the Death of Christ magnified By the wonders
that attended it, and his Death explained By the words with
which he breathed out his soul. He was willing to offer himself.
Let us seek to Glorify God By true Repentance and Conversion; By
protesting against those who crucify the Saviour; By a sober,
righteous, and godly Life; and By employing our talents in the
service of Him who died for us and Rose again.

50-56 Many, though they do not make any show in outward
profession, yet, like Joseph of Arimathea, will be far more
ready to do real service, when there is occasion, than others
who make a greater noise. Christ was buried in haste, because
the Sabbath drew On. Weeping must not hinder sowing. Though they
were in tears for the Death of their Lord, yet they must prepare
to keep holy the Sabbath. When the Sabbath draws On, there must
be preparation. Our worldly affairs must be So ordered, that
they may not hinder us from our Sabbath work; and our holy
affections So stirred up, that they may carry us On in it. In
whatever business we engage, or however our hearts may be
affected, let us never fail to get ready for, and to keep holy,
the Day of sacred Rest, which is the Lord's Day.

Jesus, remember me

This node is dedicated in loving memory to Ernestine.

Luke 23

The story opens during the darkest time in the history of the universe. Jesus of Nazareth--the Incarnate Word Made Flesh, only Son of the True and Living God--has willingly given Himself over to His enemies. The dark plots and selfish machinations of the Pharisees and Jewish establishment have finally come to fruition. They have seen their enemy dragged before them in chains, reduced to a sub-human figure before Herod, wrongly convicted of sedition by Pontius Pilate. The innocent Lamb of the world has been tortured, beaten and, finally, nailed to a cross.

But throughout this darkest time, when the forces of evil seem to have prevailed over all that is Good, a ray of hope shines through. It comes clothed in the form of a man, a common criminal being crucified to the right of the Savior. While his companion, being crucified to Jesus' left, joins with the crowd jeering the crucified Lord, the man to the right, recognizing an inner quality of Jesus that His enemies had refused to accept or realize, breaks with the crowd. In a last act of desperation, knowing that death was a fast-approaching reality for him, the man implores the Lord: "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom." And Jesus, in the midst of the excruciating physical pain and the even more unbearable psychological torture He was experiencing, still reacts to this man the way He has with every human being he has encountered throughout His life: with kindness and compassion. He grants this petitioner his prayer, saying, "Amen, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise."

Memories from the Past

This Bible story was the first I remember hearing and remains my personal favorite. It was imparted to me by one of the truly saint-like people I have ever had the fortune to meet--a small, old, black woman by the name of Ernestine. She worked as a presser in my dad's dry cleaning store, and, when I stopped by to visit Dad, I'd also spend time with her.

I was a big conversationalist--even when I was five--and precocious to boot. I was desperately eager to talk about anything and everything, entirely focused on gaining more knowledge. The wonderful thing about Ernestine was that, whenever we talked, she always treated me like I was her equal. No "you'll understand when your older." No "I know more than you because I have more experience." Instead, she treated me like a person who deserved her time and attention.

Because of this, I was always eager to listen to what she had to say. She had this way about her, this inner wisdom and self-assuredness that she retained throughout her life. (Even when she knew that she was dying of lung cancer, she never lost that quality.) I intuitively knew that she could teach me. And she did.

She had a deep Christian faith, and she frequently told me Bible stories in between pressing pants and steaming-out jackets. One day--the exact date and time are lost in my memory--she told me this one. When she had finished, goose bumps broke out on my skin. I shivered, realizing on some visceral level that the story and the quiet strength and conviction with which she told it were important in some way. Truth emanated from Ernestine that day, and I realized that the certainty hidden in Luke's account of the Passion went beyond any fact mere logic could verify. Instead, Ernestein had shown me a glimpse of the Truth that lies at the heart of Creation, an unshakable fact before which all our childish attempts at reason fell away before the awesome Power of the eternal I AM.

Imagine, a God that allowed Himself to be crucified by His own creations in order to save them. Imagine a God who, though dying and suffering excruciating mental and physical pain, could summon the compassion to grant a man a desperate prayer for eternal life. And look at the man. According to Matthew, he was a "revolutionary" (Matthew 27:38), a terrorist who had most likely committed murder many times over. Yet such a glaring indictment by humanity means nothing in the eye of Jesus. He saw beyond that man's cruel veneer that day and glimpsed the potential and possibility that his life offered, and, true to His Word earlier in the Gospels, granted this man a chance to discover his true self--how he was meant to be rather than how he was--at the footstool of God. A lifetime of sins washed away in an instant because of a simple plea uttered from a simple man who even admitted that he was "condemned justly" (Luke 23:41) for his crimes. God was under no obligation to show this sinner mercy that day. He had, after all, committed crimes that society felt had no possibility of expiation. But God's Love is infinite, and He saved that man crucified next to Himself on Golgotha as a sign of His grace to all mankind. It is because of this that Ernestine's story sounded so truthful to me that day. It is why I hold out hope that I--sinner that I am--may one day be granted Paradise in the same way as this man was: through the forgiving power of a God who died on a cross for me.

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