Jesus before Pilate.
(See on Mr 15:1-5; and Joh 18:28-19:22.)
Lu 23:6-12. Jesus before
(See Mr 15:6.)
7. sent him to Herod—hoping thus to
escape the dilemma of an unjust condemnation or an unpopular
at Jerusalem … at that time—to
keep the passover.
8. some miracle—Fine sport thou
expectedst, as the Philistines with Samson (Jud 16:25), O coarse, crafty, cruel tyrant! But
thou hast been baulked before (see on Lu
13:31-33), and shalt be again.
9. answered … nothing—(See Mt 7:6).
10. stood and vehemently accused him—no
doubt both of treason before the king, and of
blasphemy, for the king was a Jew.
11. his men of war—his bodyguard.
set him at naught, &c.—stung with
disappointment at His refusal to amuse him with miracles or answer any
of his questions.
gorgeous robe—bright robe. If this
mean (as sometimes) of shining white, this being the royal color among
the Jews, it may have been in derision of His claim to be "King of the
Jews." But if so, "He in reality honored Him, as did Pilate with His
true title blazoned on the cross" [Bengel].
sent him again to Pilate—instead of
releasing him as he ought, having established nothing against Him
23:14, 15). "Thus he
implicated himself with Pilate in all the guilt of His condemnation,
and with him accordingly he is classed" (Ac 4:27) [Bengel].
at enmity—perhaps about some point of
disputed jurisdiction, which this exchange of the Prisoner might tend
Lu 23:13-38. Jesus Again
Up—Led Away to Be
(See on Mr 15:6-15; and Joh 19:2-17).
26. Cyrenian—of Cyrene, in Libya, on the
north coast of Africa, where were many Jews who had a synagogue at
6:9, and see Ac 2:10). He was "the father of Alexander and
15:21), probably better known
afterwards than himself, as disciples. (See Ro 16:13).
out of the country—and casually drawn
into that part of the crowd.
laid the cross—"Him they compel to
bear His cross," (Mt 27:32)—sweet compulsion, if it issued in
him or his sons voluntarily "taking up their cross!" It
would appear that our Lord had first to bear His own cross (Joh 19:17), but being from exhaustion unable
to proceed, it was laid on another to bear it "after Him."
27-31. women—not the precious Galilean
23:49), but part of the
28. not for me, &c.—noble spirit of
compassion, rising above His own dread endurances, in tender
commiseration of sufferings yet in the distance and far lighter, but
without His supports and consolations!
30. mountains … hills,
flying hither and thither as they did in despair for shelter, during
the siege; a very slight premonition of cries of another and more awful
kind (Isa 2:10, 19, 21; Re 6:16, 17).
31. green tree—that naturally resists
the dry—that attracts the fire, being
its proper fuel. The proverb here plainly means: "If such sufferings
alight upon the innocent One, the very Lamb of God, what must be in
store for those who are provoking the flames?"
Lu 23:32-38, 44-46. Crucifixion and
Death of the Lord Jesus.
(See on Joh 19:17-30).
Lu 23:39-43. The Two
39. railed on him—catching up the
universal derision, but with a turn of his own. Jesus, "reviled,
reviles not again"; but another voice from the cross shall nobly wipe
out this dishonor and turn it to the unspeakable glory of the dying
40. Dost not thou—"thou" is emphatic:
"Let others jeer, but dost thou?"
fear God—Hast thou no fear of meeting
Him so soon as thy righteous Judge? Thou art within an hour or two of
eternity, and dost thou spend it in reckless disregard of coming
in the same condemnation—He has been
condemned to die, but is it better with thee? Doth even a common lot
kindle no sympathy in thy breast?
41. we … justly, &c.—He owns
the worst of his crimes and deserts, and would fain shame his fellow
into the same.
nothing amiss—literally, "out of
place"; hence "unnatural"; a striking term here. Our Lord was not
charged with ordinary crime, but only with laying claim to
office and honors which amounted to blasphemy. The charge of treason
had not even a show of truth, as Pilate told His enemies. In this
defense then there seems more than meets the eye. "He made Himself the
promised Messiah, the Son of God; but in this He 'did nothing amiss';
He ate with publicans and sinners, and bade all the weary and heavy
laden come and rest under His wing; but in this He 'did nothing amiss':
He claimed to be Lord of the Kingdom of God, to shut it at will, but
also to open it at pleasure even to such as we are; but in this He 'did
nothing amiss!'" Does His next speech imply less than this?
Observe: (1) His frank confession and genuine self-condemnation. (2)
His astonishment and horror at the very different state of his fellow's
mind. (3) His anxiety to bring him to a better mind while yet there was
hope. (4) His noble testimony, not only to the innocence of Jesus, but
to all that this implied of the rightfulness of His claims.
42. said unto Jesus, &c.—Observe
here (1) The "kingdom" referred to was one beyond the grave; for
it is inconceivable that he should have expected Him to come down from
the cross to erect any temporal kingdom. (2) This he calls
Christ's own (Thy) kingdom. (3) As such, he sees in Christ the absolute
right to dispose of that kingdom to whom He pleased. (4) He does not
presume to ask a place in that kingdom, though that is what he
means, but with a humility quite affecting, just says, "Lord,
remember me when," &c. Yet was there mighty faith in that
word. If Christ will but "think upon him" (Ne 5:19), at that august moment when He "cometh
into His kingdom," it will do. "Only assure me that then Thou wilt not
forget such a wretch as I, that once hung by Thy side, and I am
content." Now contrast with this bright act of faith the darkness even
of the apostles' minds, who could hardly be got to believe that their
Master would die at all, who now were almost despairing of Him, and who
when dead had almost buried their hopes in His grave. Consider, too,
the man's previous disadvantages and bad life. And then
mark how his faith comes out—not in protestations, "Lord, I
cannot doubt, I am firmly persuaded that Thou art Lord of a kingdom,
that death cannot disannul Thy title nor impede the assumption of it in
due time," &c.—but as having no shadow of doubt, and rising
above it as a question altogether, he just says, "Lord, remember me
when Thou comest," &c. Was ever faith like this exhibited
upon earth? It looks as if the brightest crown had been reserved for
the Saviour's head at His darkest moment!
43. Jesus said, &c.—The dying
Redeemer speaks as if He Himself viewed it in this light. It was a
"song in the night." It ministered cheer to His spirit in the midnight
gloom that now enwrapt it.
Verily I say unto thee—"Since thou
speakest as to the king, with kingly authority speak I to thee."
To-day—"Thou art prepared for a long
delay before I come into My kingdom, but not a day's delay shall there
be for thee; thou shalt not be parted from Me even for a moment, but
together we shall go, and with Me, ere this day expire, shalt thou be
in Paradise" (future bliss, 2Co 12:4; Re 2:7). Learn (1) How "One is taken and
another left"; (2) How easily divine teaching can raise the rudest and
worst above the best instructed and most devoted servants of Christ;
(3) How presumption and despair on a death hour are
equally discountenanced here, the one in the impenitent thief, the
other in his penitent fellow.
Lu 23:47-56. Signs and
Circumstances Following His Death—His Burial.
(See on Mt 27:51-56; Mt 27:62-66; and Joh