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Bible Commentaries
Luke 23

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

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Verse 1


1) "And the whole multitude of them arose," (kai anastan , hapan -to plethos auton) "And all the multitude of them,"’ of the parties of collusion and entrapment against Jesus, (anastasan) "When they rose up," referring especially to the company of the Sanhedrin.

2) "And led him unto Pilate." (egagon auton epi ton Pilaton) "And they led him before Pilate," known for numerous acts of cruelty in his reign. They dropped the charge of blasphemy at this point and decided to file charges of political nature against Him.

Verse 2

1) "And they began to accuse him, saying," (erksanto de kategorein autou legontes) "They then began to accuse him saying," again and again, to make a strong impression on Pilate, Zechariah 11:8.

2) "We found this fellow perverting the nation," (touton heuramen diastrephonta to ethnos hemon) "We found this man perverting the nation," When and where? The term "we found" is used by the Sanhedrin court members in a legal sense, claiming to have legally tried and concluded in their court to be guilty as follows: "Of deceiving and seducing our nation," the Jews, an issue that had not even been before them.

3) "And forbidding to give tribute to Caesar," (kai koluonta phorous Kaisari didonai) "And he was forbidding to give tribute to Caesar;" This was a fabrication, an outright- falsehood, and they, as a court, knew it, Luke 20:20-26; Matthew 17:27; Matthew 22:21; Mark 12:17. These judges became false witnesses, Luke 20:25.

4) "Saying that he himself is Christ a King." (kai legonta heauton Christon basilea einai) "And saying (claiming) himself to be Christ a king." They translated the term Christ or anointed one as "King" for the benefit of Pilate, Psalms 27:12; John 18:33-36; John 19:12.

Verse 3

1) "And Pilate asked him, saying," (ho de Pilatos erotesen auton legon) "Then Pilate questioned him, directly saying, asking Jesus personally, as a judge, Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:2.

2) "Art thou the King of the Jews?" (su ei ho basileus ton loudaion) "Are you the king of the Jews?" Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:2.

3) "And he answered and said, Thou sayest it." (ho de apokritheis auto ephe su legeis) "Then he answered him (Pilate) and said, you said it," Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:2; John 18:33-37; 1 Timothy 6:13. John gives the fuller account of this event. Jesus was brought to the Praetorium while His accusers were without. Pilate personally examined Jesus and knew the kingdom He spoke of was "not of this world," was no threat of treason or sedition against Caesar and said so.

Verse 4

1) "Then said Pilate to the chief priests," (ho de Pilatos eipen pros tous archiereis) "Then Pilate said to the administrative priests," who composed the Sanhedrin, interpreters of the Law of Moses and their own traditions.

2) "And to the people," (kai tous ochlous) "And to the crowds," John 18:38.

3) “I find no fault in this man." (ouden heurisko aition en to anthropo touto) "I find not a crime in this man," Luke 23:14; Luke 23:22; Not a one. It was an acquittal, on the spot, John 18:38; 1 Peter 2:22.

Verse 5

1) "And they were the more fierce, saying," (hoi de epischuon legontes) "Then they insisted fiercely saying," repeating it, urging, increasing their charges more emotionally, Psalms 57:4.

2) "He stirreth up the people," (hoti anaseiei ton laon) "That he excites (emotionally stirs up) the people," John 6:15; Luke 14:25; Luke 14:27.

3) "Teaching throughout, all Jewry," (didaskon kath’ holes tes loudais) "Teaching all the Judean area," of the Jews. This refers to His extended labors in Galilee and Perea, in addition to His labors in Judea proper.

4) "Beginning from Galilee to this place." (kai arksamenos apo tes Galilaias heos hode) "And beginning from Galilee even to here." Luke 4:4. Pilate had had a quarrel and tax insurrection problem in Galilee and this complaint was possibly brought by the Sanhedrin to prejudice him against Jesus, Luke 23:12; Luke 13:1.

Verse 6


1) "When Pilate heard of Galilee," (Pilatos de aksusas) "Then Pilate upon hearing of his origin from Galilee;" It gave him a way to avoid passing immediate judgment against Him; for Galilee was

where Jesus began His ministry, Matthew 4:12-17.

2) "He asked whether the man were a Galilaean." (eperotesen ei ho anthropos Galilaios estin) "He questioned if the man was a Galilaean," or to confirm for certain that He was, Luke 4:14-22; Acts 10:36-43. For he saw a way to escape passing judgment on Jesus, with credit to himself.

Verse 7

1) "And as soon as he knew," (kai epignous) "And when he realized," perceived or knew.

2) "That he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction," (hoti ek tes eksousias Herod’s estin) "That he was (existed of) out of the administrative jurisdiction of Herod;" This was Herod Antipas, son of Herod the Great, Matthew 2:15; Matthew 14:2; Luke 9:7.

3) "He sent him to Herod," (anepempsen auton pros Heroden) "He sent him directly up to Herod," as a case that was a matter for Herod’s territorial jurisdiction, Luke 23:8. It was this Herod who had beheaded John the Baptist, Matthew 14:3-10. And Herod was right there in Jerusalem for the Passover, Luke 9:9.

4) "Who himself was at Jerusalem at that time." (onta kai auton en lerosolumois en tautais tais hemerias) "Who was himself also in Jerusalem in these days," of the Passover season; Herod normally resided at Tiberias in Galilee, but went up to Jerusalem to help keep order when many pilgrims from his territory went up for the annual Passover feast, Luke 23:8.

Verse 8

1) "And when Herod saw Jesus," (ho de Herodes idon ton lesoun) "Then Herod when he saw Jesus," who had been sent to him by Pilate, Luke 23:6-7.

2) "He was exceeding glad:" (echare lian) "He rejoiced greatly," for an opportunity he had long desired. It was a joy of gratified curiosity, Luke 9:9.

3) "For he was desirous to see him of a long season," (en gar eks hikanon chronon thelon idein auton) "For he was wishing to see him out of a long time," or for a long time he had desired just to see Him, Luke 9:9, Even from the time John the Baptist was beheaded.

4) "Because he had heard many things of him;" (dia to akouein peri autou) "Because he had heard many things concerning him," Matthew 14:1. Perhaps some of these reports had come to Him from people of his own, palace. For Joanna, the wife of Chuza, one of Herod’s stewards was one of Jesus’ devout followers and financial supporters, Luke 8:3; Luke 24:10.

5) "And he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him." (kai eipizen ti semeion idein hup’ autou ginomenon) "And he hoped to see some sign or miracle brought about by him," something spectacular, Mark 6:14; 2 Kings 5:11.

Verse 9

1) "Then he questioned him in many words;" (eperota de auton en logois hikanois) "Then he questioned him in many words," or at length, apparently out of curiosity, in a dilatory manner.

2) "But he answered him nothing." (autos de ouden apekrinato auto) "Yet he (Jesus) answered him nothing," John 19:9. Why? The answer is that Jesus knew Herod was a murderer of John the Baptist, an adulterer, guilty of incest, living with his own brother Philip’s wife, and wanted to see him out of curiosity, Matthew 14:3-5; Mark 6:17-18. He deserved no answer, Psalms 38:13; Psalms 39:1-9; Isaiah 53:7.

Verse 10

1) "And the chief priests and the scribes stood," (eistekeisan de hoi archiereis kau hoi grammateis) "Then the administrative priests and the scribes stood forth," appeared before Herod, to witness against Jesus; For they had entered collusion to put Him to death, and did not want the case to turn unfavorably against them, Matthew 27:1-2; Mark 15:1-4.

2) "And vehemently accused him." (eutonos kategorountes autou) "Vehemently accusing him," perhaps adding the charge of blasphemy to the former list of treason against Caesar which they had done before Pilate; Herod, a Jew, was expected to accept their charges of blasphemy against their religious law, Mark 14:63-64; John 10:33.

Verse 11

1) "And Herod with his men of war set him at naught," (eks outhenesas de auton ho Herodes sun tois strateumasin autou) "Then Herod in consort or collusion with his band of soldiers despised him," or His body-guards in attendance upon Him, treated Him as if He deserved nothing but contempt, feeling slighted, because Jesus did not dispute in court.

2) And mocked him," (kai empaiksas) "And mocking him," with derision, as "despised and rejected of men," Isaiah 53:3.

3) "And arrayed him in a gorgeous robe," (peribalon estheta lampran) "They threw a splendid robe around him," a shining, or white robe, symbolizing His innocence, as in Acts 10:30, not a purple or scarlet robe as in Matthew 27:38; John 19:2.

4) "And sent him again to Pilate." (anepempsen auton to Pilato) "They sent him back up to Pilate," the proper person to try Him. Who had sent Him to Herod, Luke 23:7. They sent Him back to be mocked, not to be feared or punished, Luke 23:15.

Verse 12

1) "And the same day Pilate and Herod," (hote te Herodes kai ho Pilatos en aute te hemera) "And both Herod and Pilate on the same day," that very day, Matthew 14:1.

2) "Were made friends together," (egenonto de philoi met allelon) "Then became friends with each other," for purposes of getting rid of Jesus, putting Him to death, Acts 4:27.

3) "For before they were at enmity between themselves." (prouperchon gar en echthra ontes pros hautous) "For they were previously at enmity within themselves," with each other, Proverbs 1:10-16. The cause of their enmity is not known, but it is believed to have been over some matter of jurisdiction, Psalms 2:2-3.

Verse 13


1) "And Pilate, when he had called together," (Pilatos de sugkalesamenos) "Then Pilate called together," in close council, for the purpose of announcing his verdict regarding their charges against, Jesus, after Herod had returned Jesus to him, at the hands’ of Jewish rulers.

2) ’The chief priests and the rulers and the people." (tous archieireis kau tous archontas kai ton laon) "The administrative priests and the leading rulers of the people," of the Jewish people, after they had held another entrapment-delivery council against Jesus, Mark 15:1.

It was a golden opportunity for Pilate to set Jesus free, but he blew it, fearing the wrath of the ruling Jewish elders, and not willing to jeopardize his political future over them.

Verse 14

1) "Said unto them," (eipen pros autous) "He said directly to them," to those who had laid charges against Jesus in his presence.

2) "Ye have brought this man unto me," (prosenegkate moi ton anthropon touton) "You all brought this man to me," Luke 23:1.

3) "As one that perverteth the people:" (hos apostrephonta ton laon) "As one who was perverting the people," Luke 23:2. You charged Him also of refusing to pay tribute to Caesar.

4) "And, behold, I having examined him before you," (kai ekou ego enopion humon anakrinas) "And behold (take note), I having examined him before you all," in your presence.

5) "Have found no fault in this man," (outhen heuron en to anthropo touto) "Have found not one thing in this man," (aition) "Not a crime," or criminal act, or word, that would publicly justify condemning Him, as you all have charged, Luke 23:4; Daniel 6:4.

6) "Touching those things whereof ye accuse him." (aition hon kategoreite kat’ autou) "Of the things which (criminal in nature), you all bring accusation against him," 1 Peter 2:22.

Verse 15

1) "No, nor yet Herod:" (air oude Herodes) "But neither did Herod," find a justification for your criminal accusation against Him, Luke 23:11.

2) "For I sent you to him;" (anepempsen gar auton pros hemas) "For he sent him directly back to us," after he had examined Him, Luke 23:9-12.

3) "And, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him." (kai idou ouden aksion thanatou estin pepragenon auto) "And behold (or take note) that nothing that is worthy of death has been done by him." The idea is that "nothing worthy of or deserving death has been done by Him at all," and you all really know it, Luke 23:4; Luke 23:22.

Verse 16

1)”I will therefore chasten him," (psideusas oun auton) "When therefore I have chastised him," or scourged Him, though he had twice announced publicly that he found no fault in Him, Luke 23:4; Luke 23:11; Matthew 27:26. And he did scourge Him, John 19:1; Mark 15:15. It was a cruel form of scourging at the hand of Roman soldiers which often preceded crucifixion.

2) "And release him." (apoluso) I will release him," Acts 5:40-41, or let Him go free, if that is all right with you all, but he did not do it, Mark 15:9-11. This severe scourging often led to death before crucifixion, and this he perhaps supposed would satisfy the Jews, Matthew 27:26.

Verse 17

1) "(For of necessity," (anagken de) "Then of customary necessity," a custom of courtesy annually expressing good will of the Roman government toward the Jews, during the Passover week, Matthew 27:15.

2) "He must release one unto them at the feast.)" (eichen apolouein autois kata heorten ena) "He was to have one, one (criminal of their people) released to them according to custom at the Passover feast," to satisfy the Jewish custom to conciliate the people, Mark 15:6-12; John 18:39.

Verse 18

1) "And they cried out all at once, saying," (anekrazon de pamplethei legontes) "Then they shouted with the whole crowd," mass mob, Acts 3:14; Acts 3:11 repeatedly saying," with the administrative priests leading the hellacious demand, Matthew 27:20; while Mark 15:11 reads "but the chief priests (administrative priests) moved (stirred up) the people that he (Pilate) should rather release Barabbas unto them,"

2) "Away with this man," (aire touton) "Take this man away," get rid of him, kill him, wipe him out, liquidate him, or "let him be crucified," Matthew 27:22; Mark 15:13-14.

3) "And release unto us Barabbas:" (apoluson de hemin ton Barabban) "Then release to us the man Barabbas," the indicted criminal, instead of Jesus. This release cry for Barabbas was led by a murder-mob of administrative priests, Matthew 27:20; Mark 15:11; Mark 15:15; John 19:40. The name Barabbas means "son of a distinguished father," or "son of a teacher."

Verse 19

1) "(Who for a certain sedition made in the city," (hostis en dia stasin tina genomenen en te pole!) "Who was because of a certain insurrection that happened in the city," of Jerusalem. Matthew 17:16 describes Barabbas as a "notable prisoner."

2) "And for murder, was cast into prison.)" (kai phonon bletheis en te phulake) "And because of murder he was thrown into the prison," and being detained with the charges against him, beyond which no details are known; Mark 15:7 discloses that he had helped in an insurrection-and committed murder in the insurrection; and John 18:40 adds "Now Barabbas was a robber;” The I priests chose Barabbas, a robber, a murderer, a seditionist, and an insurrectionist, while rejecting Jesus Christ, John 1:11-12.

Verse 20

1) "Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus," (de ho Pilatos thelon apolusai ton lesoun) "Then Pilate with a priority will to release Jesus," to set Him free from chains, and prison, desiring to release Jesus, at the appeal of his wife, because he knew Him to be innocent of the charges, Matthew 27:18-19; John 19:8-12.

2) "Spake again to them." (palin prosephonesen autois) "Called directly to them again," to His accusers, of His own people, the Jews, asking what then they would have him do with the Christ, passing the political "buck" of responsibility, Matthew 27:22; Mark 15:14.

Verse 21

1) "But they cried, saying," (ho de apephonoun legontes) "Then they repeatedly shouted," saying very loudly, led by the administrative priests, crying vehemently, Matthew 27:20; Matthew 27:15; Mark 15:11.

2) "Crucify him, crucify him." (staurou staurou auton) "You crucify him! you crucify him!" Matthew 27:22-23; Mark 15:14.

Verse 22

1) "And he said unto them the third time," (ho de triton eipen pros autous) "Then he said directly to them a third time," asking for evidence if they had it, rather than derision, slander, and false accusation, John 18:39-40.

2) "Why, what evil hath he done?" (ti ger kakora epoiesen houtos) "For what? What morally or ethically wrong thing has this one done?" Tell me.

3) “I have found no cause of death in him:" (ouden aition thanatou, hedron en autou) "I found in him not one thing as a cause of death," in either your law or Caesar’s, nor did Herod. See? Luke 23:4; Luke 23:11; Luke 23:22; 1 Peter 2:22.

4) “I will therefore chastize him, and let him go." (paideusas oun auton apoluso) "Therefore when I have chastised him, I will release him from custody, from prison bonds or chains and liberate him," let Him go free. For He came to set captive sinners free, free indeed, Matthew 27:26; Mark 15:15; Luke 4:18; John 8:32; John 8:36; Galatians 5:13.

Verse 23

1) "And they were instant with loud voices," (ho de epekeinto phonais megalais) "Then they insisted (protested) with great (megaphone) voices," that Jesus should not be released; They made a tumult, near insurrection against Pilate, Matthew 27:24.

2) "Requiring that he might be crucified." (aitoumenoi auton staurothenai) "Asking that he might be crucified, "in effect urging or demanding it of Pilate, pressuring him, Mark 15:13; Psalms 22:12.

3) "And the voice of them and of the chief priests prevailed." (kai katischuon hai phonai auton) "And their voices prevailed," voices of hate, malice, and falsehood, the voices of the administrative priests and the mob that they had incited, prevailed in influencing Pilate to agree, give sanction orders, that the Roman soldiers should take Jesus away to crucify Him, Mark 15:14.

Verse 24

1) "And Pilate gave sentence," (kai Pilatos epikrinen) "And Pilate decided," under pressure of the howling priest-led mob, Mark 15:15. He gave "final sentence" in legal form, that the Romans might crucify Him, Matthew 27:26.

2) "That it should be as they required." (genesthai to aitema auton) "That it would be best for him to carry out the recriminating request," Mark 15:15 b; John 19:1. What justice had denied (his death) popular clamour and political pressure succeeded in doing, Exodus 23:1.

Verse 25

1) "And he released," (apelusen de) "Then he released," set free, Matthew 27:26.

2) "Unto them him that for sedition and murder had been cast into prison," (ton dia stasin kai phonon beblemenon eis phulaken) "The one (Barabbas) who had been thrown into prison because of murder and insurrection," or because of the charge of sedition and murder, Mark 15:15.

3) "Whom they had desired;" (hon etounton) "Whom they vociferously asked," to be released, instead of Jesus, the Just One, Matthew 27:20-21; Mark 15:11.

4) "But he delivered Jesus to their will." (ton de lesoun paredoken to thelemati auton) "Then he delivered (gave over) Jesus to their priority will," Matthew 27:24-26; John 19:16.

Verse 26

1) "And as they led him away," (kai hos apegafon auton) "And as they led him out and away," from Pilate’s judgment hall, Matthew 27:27. It was the Roman soldiers who led Him away, Mark 15:16.

2) "They laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian," (epilabomenoi Simona tina Kurenaion) “They seized. (laid hold on) Simon, a Cyrenian," Matthew 27:32; John 19:16. He was from a colony of Jews in Cyrene. They had a synagogue in Jerusalem, Acts 6:9; Acts 11:20. He had likely come up to the Passover in Jerusalem. Mark speaks of his two sons "Alexander and Rufus," Mark 15:21.

3) "Coming out of the country," (erchomenon ap’ agrou) "Who was coming from the country or field," Mark 15:21.

4) "And on him they laid the cross," (epethekan auto ton stauron) "They placed on him the cross," Matthew 27:32. Perhaps Jesus thru loss of sleep, the terrible scouring, and loss of blood, was too weak to bear His own cross.

5) "That he might bear it after Jesus." (pherein opisthen tou lesou) "To carry along behind Jesus," John 19:17. As Jesus left Pilate’s hall He was bearing His own cross, but apparently due to physical exhaustion, Simon of Cyrene was compelled to bear it the rest of the way to Calvary, or to carry the back end of the cross.


It is proper here to note the fate of the murderers of Jesus. Judas died by his own hand. Pilate was soon recalled, degraded, banished to Gaul, where he committed suicide. The tower from which he is said to have precipitated himself is still standing. The prize for which he staked his soul never became his. Herod died in infamy and exile; Caiaphas was deposed the next year. (Clark.) The house of Annas was destroyed a generation later by an infuriated mob, and his son was dragged through the streets, and scourged and beaten to his place of murder. Some of those who shared in and witnessed the scenes of that day - and thousands of their children - also shared in and witnessed the long horrors of that siege of Jerusalem which stands unparalleled in history for its unutterable fearfulness. They had forced the Romans to crucify their Christ, and had given thirty pieces of silver for their Savior’s blood, and they were themselves sold in thousands for yet smaller sums.


Verse 27


1) "And there followed him," (ekolouthei de auto) "Then there followed him," followed Jesus up to Calvary, mentioned by Luke only.

2) "A great company of people," (polu plethos tou laou) "A huge company of the people," curious people, heart-burdened people, vengeance-bent people, a milling mass on the way to watch an execution.

3) "And of women, which also bewailed and lamented him." (kai gunaikon hai ekoptonto kai ethrenoun auton) "And of women who lamented and mourned him," were beating their breasts for Him. Not Galilaean women but women of Jerusalem, Luke 23:49. Some were likely His disciples.

Verse 28

1) "But Jesus turning to them said," (strapheis de pros autas lesous eipen) "Then Jesus turning directly to them, said," to the mourning women of Jerusalem, local residents. These are the only words spoken by our Lord between His condemnation and crucifixion.

2) "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me," (thugateres lerousalem me kalaiete ep’ eme) "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep over me," women of a doomed city, Jerusalem, not Galilee, to which judgment is surely coming, as surely as it did to Sodom and Gomorrah, Luke 21:20; Luke 21:24.

3) "But weep for yourselves," (plen eph’ heautos klaiete) "But weep over yourselves," your own coming sorrows when this city is besieged, as I have wept over this city already, Matthew 23:37-39; Luke 19:41.

4) "And for your children." (kai epi ta tekna humon) "And over your children," your small children, in a coming hour of destruction of your homes and your city, a tribulation of dispersion that began for the Jews in AD 70 in the destruction of Jerusalem, that is to be culminated at the end of the Gentile age, Matthew 24:15-22; Luke 21:21-23; Mark 13:14-20. Some of them would live till that terrible siege Matthew 27:25.

Verse 29

1)"For behold the days are coming" (hoti idou echontai hemerai) "Because you all take note, the days come," or approach, already, the days of impending calamities on Judea, Matthew 24:19; Luke 21:23.

2) "In the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren," (en hais erousin makariai hai steirai) "In which they will say, Blessed are the barren," the childless, those who have no children. But woe! to those that are with child, at that time, Matthew 24:19; Mark 13:17.

3) "And the wombs that never bare," (kai hai koiliai hai ouk egennesan) "And the wombs which never did bare," and woe! to them that do have children, to enlarge their grief at that hour, Luke 21:22-23. Parents will wish that they had never had children; and children that they had never been born, as foretold Deuteronomy 28:35-37.

4) "And the paps which never gave suck." (kai mastoi hoi ouk ethrepsan) "And breasts which never gave suck." But woe! to them that are suckling a child at that time of the siege on Jerusalem, Matthew 24:19; Mark 13:17. For it shall be a time of retribution of vengence upon "this people," the Jews, as expressed, Luke 21:23.

Verse 30

1) "Then shall they begin to say to the mountains,"

(tote arksontai legein tois oresin) "At that time they will begin to say, to talk to the mountains," and say, in total helplessness, in spaced-out anguish, Hosea 10:8.

2) "Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us." (pesate eph’ humas) "You all fall upon us," (kai tois bounois kalupsate humas) "And to the hills, you all bury or cover us," after they have fled into them for protection, Revelation 6:15-17; Revelation 9:6; Isaiah 2:19.

Verse 31

1) "For if they do these things in a green tree",

(Hoteien hugro ksulo tauta poiousin) "Because if a tree do these (kind of) things when it is full of sap," meaning when one is innocent, Psalms 1:3; Pe 4:17. If the green tree is not spared.

2) "What shall be done in the dry?" (en to ksero ti .genetai) "Just what may happen in the dry," or in a time of drought? or what will they do to those who are guilty? The dryness signifies "fit or prepared to be burned," Matthew 21:19, Judges 1:12; Psalms 40:3; Jeremiah 25:29; Ezekiel 20:47; Ezekiel 21:4; 1 Peter 4:17.


1. The arrival at Calvary (Golgotha), Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; Luke 23:33; John 19:17.

2. Offer of the vinegar-wine, stupifying drink refused, Matthew 27:34; Mark 15:23.

3. Christ crucified between two thieves, Matthew 27:35-38; Mark 15:24-28; Luke 23:33-38; John 19:18-24.

4. The "First cry" from the cross, "Father forgive," Luke 23:34, as nails were driven.

5. The soldiers part or divide His garments, Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:24; Luke 23:34; John 19:23.

6. The Jewish rulers mock Jesus, Matthew 27:39-44; Mark 15:29-32; Luke 23:35-38.

7. Two thieves rail on Jesus, then one repents, believes, Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32; Luke 23:35-43.

8. The "second cry" from the cross, Luke 23:43 "Today shalt thou be with me."

9. The "third cry" - "Woman behold thy Son," John 19:26-27.

10. The deep darkness falls, Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; Luke 23:44.

11. The "fourth cry" of the cross, "My God," Matthew 27:46-47; Mark 15:34-36.

12. The "fifth cry" - "I thirst," John 19:28.

13. The "sixth cry," - "it is finished," John 19:30.

14. The "seventh cry," - "Father, into thy hands," Luke 23:46.

15. Jesus dismissed His Spirit, Matthew 27:50; Mark 15:37; Luke 23:46; John 19:30.

Verse 32

1) "And there were also two other, malefactors, led," egonto de kai heteroi kakourgoi duo) "Then there were also two other kind of criminals led," called also robbers, or thieves, Matthew 27:38; Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:27. They were perhaps insurgents who had rebelled against Roman rule. Two others led up who were malefactors is the idea.

2) "With him to be put to death," (sun auto anairethenai) "in close company with him (with Jesus) to be killed," for He was to be numbered with transgressors, Isaiah 53:9; Isaiah 53:12; Mark 10:45; Mark 15:28; Luke 22:37.

Verse 33

1) "And when they were come to the place," (kai hote elthon epi ton topon) "And when they came upon the place," to the top of the hill, outside the city of Jerusalem, Matthew 27:33; Mark 15:22; John 19:17.

2) "Which is called Calvary," (ton kaloumenon Kranion) "Which is called (known as) Calvary," also called Golgatha, meaning "a cranium or a skull, the place of a skull or a cranium," simply because of the physical form of the hill or knoll. Jews buried their dead, did not let skulls and skeletons lay around.

3) "There they crucified him, and the malefactors," (ekei estautosan auton kai tous kakourgous) "Out there they crucified him and the (two) criminals," Matthew 27:35; Mark 15:27. Luke alone of the Gospel writers (writing for Gentiles) did not use the term "Golgotha," (Heb meaning Calvary) to describe the place of crucifixion.

4) "One on the right hand, and the other on the left." (hon men ek deksion hon de eks aristeron) "One out on or at the right, then one out on or at the left," of Jesus, Matthew 27:35; John 19:18.

Verse 34

1) "Then said Jesus," (ho de lesous elegen) "Then Jesus said," as they bound and nailed Him to the cross."

2) "Father, forgive them;" (pater aphes autois) "Father forgive them," Both the perpetrators and executioners of His death, though ignorant of what they were doing, were still guilty.

3) "For they know not what they do." (ou gar oidasin ti poiousin) "For they do not perceive or comprehend what they are doing." They were carrying out the orders of others. And the Jews did not realize the extent of their crime, Acts 3:17; 1 Corinthians 2:8.

4) "And they parted his raiment," (diamerizomeni de, ta himatia autou) "Then they divided his garments," the soldiers who crucified divided the clothes as "booty" among them, a common practice of the day, that those who executed the criminals might have their clothes, Mark 15:24; John 19:23-24. They were divided into four parts, evidently for four men.

5) "And cast lots." (ebelon klerous) "And they cast lots," divided the clothes among them by chance, casting in some form not further described, but foretold Psalms 22:18. The coat of Jesus, however was not torn or divided, for prophetic reasons, Luke 5:36; Psalms 22:18.

Verse 35

1) "And the people stood beholding," (kai heistekei ho laos theoron) "And the people stood gazing," at the gory and gruesome scene, out of many moods, curiosity, grief, anger and some with demonish glee, as prophesied, Psalms 22:17; Zechariah 12:10.

2) "And the rulers also with them derided him, saying," (ekseonukterizon de kai hoi archontes legontes) "Then the rulers also scoffed, repeatedly saying," deriding, Psalms 22:6-8; Psalms 69:12; Psalms 69:21. They reviled Him, wagging their heads, Matthew 27:39; Psalms 109:25; Mark 15:29.

3) "He saved others; let him save himself," (allous esosei sosato heauton) "He saved others, let him save or deliver himself," Matthew 27:42; Mark 15:30-31.

4) "If he be Christ, the chosen of God." (ei houtos estin ho Christos tou theou ho eklektos) "If he exists as the Christ, the chosen one of God," Matthew 27:40; Matthew 27:43.

Verse 36

1) "And the soldiers also mocked him," (enepaiksan de auto kai hoi stratiotai) "Then the soldiers also mocked or derided him," the four soldiers of John 19:23, joined by a centurion, perhaps egged on by the Jewish rulers, chief priests, elders and scribes of Israel, Luke 23:35.

2) "Coming to him," (proserchomenoi) "Approaching him," running with a sponge, Matthew 27:34; Matthew 27:48; Mark 15:36.

3) "And offering him vinegar," (oksos prospherontes auto) "Offering vinegar directly to him," on a sponge, Matthew 27:48, as prophecied Psalms 69:21; Mark 15:36. It was a sour-wine vinegar used to quell pain in death’s throes. Proverbs 31:6-7 indicates that such was used for those in bitter depression or for one approaching death. They offered it as a grim joke, and as if to drink with or to Him, with taunting, Psalms 69:21.

Verse 37

1) "And saying," (kai legontes) "and saying," again and again, with continued mocking. They simply joined the reviling among the crowds gathered nearby.

2) "If thou be the king of the Jews," (ei su el ho basileus ton loudaion) "if you are (exist as) the king of the Jews," of Israel, Matthew 27:42.

3) "Save thyself." (soson seauton) "You just save or deliver yourself," from the cross, the nails, the present humiliation, Matthew 27:43.

Verse 38

1) "And a superscription also was written over him," (en de kai epigraphe ep’ auto) "Then there was also a writing (his charge of death) over him," over His head, as He hung on the cross, as an insult. Each of the Gospel writers told of the charges in his own words, as a free-witness is required to do in court, Galatians 3:13.

2) "In letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew," (grammasin hellenikois kai hromaikos kau hebraikois) "in letters or script of Hebrew, Latin, and Greek." The charges for which one was being put to death were said to be cried aloud by the one being led to execution, then written in three different languages, and placed above the cross of the dying, until they, were dead and taken from the cross.

3) "This is the king of the Jews." (ho basileue ton loudaion outos) "This one is (exists as) the king of the Jews," while Matthew, Mark, and John each recounted the death charge, because they were writing for different people, they witnessed the same thing, in different words, yet without any contradiction, demonstrating that the Word of God is "true from the beginning," Psalms 119:160.

a. Matthew 27:33, "This is Jesus the king of the Jews,"

b. Mark 15:26 lists the accusation, "The King of the Jews."

c. John 19:19 reads, "Jesus of Nazareth the king of the Jews."

Latin was the official language.

Greek was the common language of usage.

Hebrew was the vernacular of the Jews in Judea.

Verse 39

1) "And one of the malefactors which were hanged." (eis de ton kremasthenton kakourgan) "Then one of the criminals hanged," beside Jesus; One of the two led, and Matthew and Mark indicate that "they both did for a time," Matthew 27:44. The one (malefactor) who led the railing was likely a Jew, who joined the cynical priests, Luke 17:34-36.

2) "Railed on him, saying," (eblasphemei auton) "Blasphemed him," or railed at Him, as follows, Matthew 27:44; Mark 15:32.

3) "If thou be Christ," (oudhi su ei ho Christos) "Are you not the Christ?" like you claim; If you are the Christ, the Messiah, indicating skepticism.

4) "Save thyself and us." (soson seauton kai hemas) "Save yourself and us," liberate or deliver yourself, and us, from these nails, before we die, Mark 15:32.

Verse 40

1) "But the other answering rebuked him, saying," (apokeitheis de ho heteros epitimon auto ephe) "But the other criminal (of a different attitude) answered, rebuking him," scolding him, as follows: The other one who repented was a Gentile who spoke of His Kingdom, Luke 23:42.

2) "Dost not thou fear God," (oude phobe si ton theon) "Do you not at all fear the true God," have respect for God, before God, using such language, as you soon go to meet Him, Ecclesiastes 12:13-14; Matthew 12:36-37.

3) "Seeing thou art in the same condemnation?" (hoti en to auto keimati ei) "Because you are in the same judgment." Jeremiah 5:3, of death, are condemned to death for criminal deeds that you know you have done? Matthew 27:38; Romans 3:23; Mark 15:27; Mark 15:32.

Verse 41

1) "And we indeed justly;" (kai hemeis men dikaios) "And we are indeed justly judged," to death, to die for civil and criminal acts of lawlessness.

2) "For we receive the due rewards of our deeds:" (aksia gar hon epraksamen apolambanomen) "For we receive back (in return) things worthy of what we practiced," 2 Peter 2:10-11; Luke 18:13. This is an element of repentance, a recognition, confession, and acknowledgment of personal guilt, like the prodigal son did, Luke 15:17-18; Luke 15:21.

3) "But this man hath done nothing amiss." (houtos de ouden atopon epraksen) "Yet this man practiced not one thing out of place," or amiss. A testimony of Jesus’ innocence. He recognized the holiness of Jesus who had no inherent nature of sin in Him nor did any deed of wrong, Hebrews 7:26; 2 Corinthians 5:21; 1 Peter 1:19; 1 Peter 2:22.

Verse 42

1) "And he said unto Jesus, Lord," (kai legen lesou) "And he said, Jesus," Savior or Deliverer, liberator, who sets men free from sin and death, Luke 4:18; Hebrews 2:14; John 8:32; John 8:36. He may have been encouraged by hearing Jesus pray for His murderers.

2) "Remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom." (mnestheti mou horan elthes eis ten basilelan sou) "Remember me when you come into your kingdom," to intercede for sin, Hebrews 7:25; 1 John 2:1-2. It was a cry for mercy, much as the publican prayed, Luke 18:13; Psalms 106:4-5; Psalms 145:18-19; Romans 10:9-10; 1 Corinthians 6:10-11.

Verse 43

1) "And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee," (kai eipen auto amen soi lego) "And Jesus replied to him, I tell you surely," certainly, or of a truth, on the basis of your confession of guilt and call for mercy, before it is too late, Romans 5:20-21; Romans 10:8-13.

2) "Today shalt thou be with me in paradise." (semeron met’ empu ese en to paradeiso) "You will be with me in Paradise today," in the third heaven itself, 2 Corinthians 12:4. Note Jesus went to the third heaven that day, not to some region below, right away, in a place of rest and beauty, as I go to my Father and yours right away. For shortly He gave up His own Spirit, of His own will or volition,’ saying, "Father into thy hand I commend my Spirit," Luke 23:46; John 10:18; For He gave His life. It was not taken from Him, involuntarily, Ephesians 5:25; John 19:30.

Verse 44

1) "And it was about the sixth hour," (kai en ede hosei hora hekte) "And it was now (at this time) about (the) sixth hour," of the daylight time, or high noon, midday.

2) "And there was a darkness," (kai akotos egeneto) "And there came to be," Divinely sent, not an eclipse of the moon, for it was the Passover week which came on full moon, Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33.

3) "Over all the earth until the ninth hour." (eph’ holen ten gen heos horas enates) "Over all the land until (a) ninth hour," about 3 p.m.; Matthew 27:45; Mark 15:33; According to Hebrew usage this frequently meant all the land, especially of Judea and Palestine.

Verse 45

1) "And the sun was darkened," (tou heliou eklipontos) "And the sun failed," to shine or give forth light-rays, for a period of three hours, Mark 15:33. The time was from high noon, until three in the afternoon, as Jesus hung on the cross.

2) "And the veil of the temple was rent in the midst." (eschisthe de to ratapetasma tou naou meson) "Then the veil of the temple shrine proper, was torn in the middle," when He died. It hung between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies. It signified the departure of the Shekinah presence from the temple, Hebrews 6:19; Hebrews 9:13; Hebrews 10:19-20.

Verse 46

1) "And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice," (kai phonesas phome megale ho lesous eipen) "And Jesus cried with a great (loud megaphone like) voice, and said," Matthew 27:46, "It is finished," John 19:30; 1 Peter 2:23.

2) "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit:" (pater eis cheiras sou paratithemai to pneuma mou) "Father, into your hands (your care) I commit my spirit," of my own accord, willingly, Mark 15:34; Mark 15:37; John 19:30; Psalms 31:5.

3) "And having said thus, he gave up the ghost." (tou de eipon eksepneusen) "Then when he had said this, he expired," gave out and away His spirit-breath, Matthew 27:50. The veil of the temple was then rent or torn from the top downward, denoting that the earthly Holy of Holies was no longer to be entered for worship, or as an approach to God, Mark 15:37.

Verse 47

1) "Now when the centurion saw what was done," (edon de ho hekatontarches to genomenon) "Then when the centurion had seen what had happened," Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:13. This is a heathen’s testimony or witness of the death of Christ.

2) "He glorified God, saying," (edoksazen ton theon legon) "He glorified God, repeatedly saying," Matthew 27:54; John 7:45-46. His testimony of what he had seen and heard gave praise and glory to God; As the angels did at His birth, Luke 2:20; As the healed paralytic did, Luke 5:25.

3) "Certainly this was a righteous man." (ontos ho anthropos houtos dikaios en) "Really (for real) this one was a righteous man," or without a doubt, an innocent or just man. And as Jesus had spoken of God as His Father twice in the centurion’s presence, Luke 23:34; Luke 23:46, he called Him "the Son of God," Matthew 27:54; Mark 15:39.

Verse 48

1) "And all the people that came together to that sight," (kai pantes hoi sumparagenomenoi ochloi epi ten thearian tauten) "And all the crowds arriving together at this scene," sitting down and standing near Calvary that day, Matthew 27:23.

2) "Beholding the things which were done," (theoresantes ta genomena) "Closely observing the things happening," the cries, the mocking, and derision of all the scoffing parties, the religious Jewish rulers, the soldiers, the dying thieves, etc. Luke 23:23.

3) "Smote their breasts, and returned." (tuptones ta stethe hupestrepson) "Returned smiting their breasts," or went away smiting their breasts, everyone of them, in a gesture of penitence, remorse, shame, and perhaps many in regret, that they had let themselves be led or goaded into their crying demands of a few hours earlier, "Crucify Him! Crucify Him!" Zechariah 12:10; Revelation 1:7.

Verse 49

1) "And all his acquaintance," (de pantes hoi gnostoi auto) "Then all those known to him," those of His personal acquaintance, Matthew 27:55; Mark 15:41.

2) "And the women that followed him from Galilee," (kai gunaikes hoi sunakolouthousai auto apo tes Galilaias) "And those women who accompanied him from Galilee," in particular, of which four are named, Luke 8:2-3; Matthew 27:56. These followed Jesus during all His ministry, and supported Him financially of their estates.

3) "Stood afar off," (heistekeisan apo makrothen) "They stood from (him) afar off," and away from the pressing crowd, Matthew 27:55. Decency and pity prevented a nearer approach, Psalms 38:11.

4) "Beholding these things." (horosai tauta) "Just beholding these things," that were going on, Mark 15:40; Psalms 142:4.

Verse 50


1)"And, behold, there was a man named Joseph,"

ai idou aner onomati loseph) "And take note, there (was) a man by name of Joseph," Matthew 27:57; Mark 15:43.

2) "A counsellor," (bouleutes huparchon) "Being a counsellor," a member of the Sanhedrin, the body of ruling elders of the Jews, who sat as members of a supreme court to make final decisions on Jewish law.

3) "And he was a good man, and a just:" (aner agathos kai dikaios) "A man who was good and righteous," good in character and righteous in his deeds, a disciple of Jesus, though of low-key-profile, Matthew 27:57; It is said that he waited for, anticipated, or longed for "the kingdom of God," Mark 15:43; John 19:30. He was a man of distinction.

Verse 51

1) "The same had not consented to the counsel," (houtos ouk en sugkatatetheimenos te boule) "This man not agreeing with the counsel," given by the Sanhedrin concerning Jesus Christ. He had absented himself from, took no part in, gave no sanction to the action of the council to crucify Jesus, or declined to vote for the crucifixion.

2) "And deed of them;" (kai te praksei auton) "And their action," regarding Him, His crucifixion, their repeated efforts to execute entrapment of Him.

3) "He was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews:" believed to be Ramathaim the birthplace of Samuel, the Prophet, 1 Samuel 1:1. And he was a rich man, Matthew 27:57.

4) "Who also himself waited for the kingdom of God," (os prosedecheto ten basileian tou theou) "Who was waiting the coming of the kingdom of God," as an "honorable counsellor," Mark 15:43 a; Luke 2:25; Luke 2:38. He was also described as a secret disciple, who openly confessed Christ only after His crucifixion, Mark 15:43; Luke 2:25-38; John 19:38.

Verse 52

1) "This man went unto Pilate," (houtos peoselthon to Pilato) "This man approached Pilate," went directly to him, a matter that took considerable courage for one in his position, Matthew 27:58.

2) "And begged the body of Jesus." (etesato to soma tou lesou) "And asked (for) the body of Jesus," the corpse, desired to have it, craved it, to give it a decent burial in his own tomb, Mark 15:43; Mark 15:45.

Verse 53

1)"And he took it down, and wrapped it in a linen," (kai thelon enetudiksen auto sindoni) "And when he had taken it down he wrapped it in a linen," Matthew 27:58-59; Mark 15:46.

2) "And laid it in a sepulchre," (kai etheken auton en mnemati) "And he placed (laid him) in a tomb," his own new tomb, in the garden, Matthew 27:60; John 19:41; Isaiah 53:9.

3) "That was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid." (lakeseuto ou ouk en oudeis oupo keimenos) "it was a hewn tomb, where no one was yet laid," or in which no one had ever been buried, Mark 15:46; John 19:41-42.

Verse 54

1) "And that day was the preparation, (kai hemera en paraskeues) "And it was a day of preparation," for the killing of the Passover lamb, Mark 15:42; Matthew 27:62.

2) "And the sabbath drew on." (kai sabbaton epephosken) "And a sabbath was coming on," was near at hand, Mark 15:42. It began at sunset.

Verse 55

1) “And the women also’ which came with him from allies," (de hai gunaikes aetines esan suneleluthuiao ek tes Galilaias auto) "And the women who had come in the company with him (in church disciple like company) out of and from Galilee," to minister to Him of their substance, their estate wealth. At least four or five of the women were named, Matthew 27:55-56; Luke 8:2; Mark 15:40-41.

2) "Followed after," (katakolouthesasai) "They followed after Joseph, afar," as he carried the body of Jesus to the tomb, for burial, in the garden, Matthew 27:61. They may not have known who had the body at this time.

3) "And beheld the sepulchre," (etheasanto to mnemeion) "They gazed at (beheld) the tomb or sepulchre, carefully noted all things, Luke 23:53; John 19:41-42.

4) "And how his body was laid." (kai hos etethe to soma autou) "And how his body was placed or laid out," in their view, in the preparation room, before His final burial, Mark 15:47.

Verse 56

1)"And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments;" (hupostrepsasai de hetoimasan aromata kai mura) "Then they went away and prepared spices and ointments," returned to t heir homes for the night, where they prepared the burial spices and ointments for His burial, for embalming the body. The purpose of the women was to complete the embalming the next morning, Mark 16:1.

2) "And rested the sabbath day," (kai to men sabbaton hesuehasan) "And they rested indeed on the sabbath," on the seventh day sabbath. The enemy did not rest. They obtained a guard and sealed the stone, Matthew 27:62-66.

3) "According to the commandment." (kata ten entolen) "In harmony with or according to the sabbath commandment," as given -in Moses Law, Exodus 20:10.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Luke 23". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/luke-23.html. 1985.
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