Luke 23

1 And all the multitude of them arose, and led him to Pilate.
2 And they began to accuse him, and said [saying], We have found this [man] turning upside-down our folk, and forbidding tribute to be given to the emperor [and forbidding tribute to be given to Caesar], and saying that himself is Christ a king.
3 And Pilate asked him, and said [saying], Art thou king of Jews? And he answered, and said, Thou sayest.
4 And Pilate said to the princes of priests, and to the people, I find nothing of cause in this man
5 And they waxed stronger, and said [saying], He moveth the people, teaching through all Judaea, beginning from Galilee till hither [beginning from Galilee to hither].
6 And Pilate hearing Galilee asked, if he were a man of Galilee.
7 And when he knew that he was of the power of Herod, he sent him to Herod; which was at Jerusalem in those days. [And as he knew that he was of the power of Herod, he sent him again to Herod; the which and he was at Jerusalem in those days.]
8 And when Herod saw Jesus, he joyed full much; for long time he coveted to see him, for he heard many things of him, and hoped to see some token done of him [for he was coveting of much time to see him, for he heard many things of him, and hoped to see some miracle be done of him].
9 And he asked him in many words; and he answered nothing to him.
10 And the princes of priests and the scribes stood, steadfastly accusing him.
11 But Herod with his host despised him, and scorned him, and clothed him with a white cloak [with a white cloth], and sent him again to Pilate.
12 And Herod and Pilate were made friends from that day [And Herod and Pilate were made friends in that day]; for before they were enemies together.
13 And Pilate called together the princes of priests and the magistrates of the people,
14 and said to them, Ye have brought to me this man, as turning away the people, and lo! I asking before you find no cause in this man of these things, in which ye accuse him
15 neither Herod, for he hath sent him again to us [but neither Herod, for I again sent you to him], and lo! nothing worthy of death is done to him.
16 And therefore I shall amend him, and deliver him. [+Therefore I shall deliver him amended/I shall let go him amended, or deliver him chastised.]
17 But he must needs deliver to them one by the feast day. [Forsooth he had need to dismiss, or deliver, to them one by the feast day.]
18 And all the people cried together, and said, Do him away, and deliver to us Barabbas; [Soothly all the company cried, saying, Do him away, and deliver to us Barabbas;]
19 which was sent into prison for disturbing made in the city, and for manslaying. [the which was sent into prison for some sedition, or disturbing, made in the city, and for manslaying.
20 And again Pilate spake to them, and would deliver Jesus. [Forsooth again Pilate spake to them, willing to deliver Jesus.]
21 And they cried out, and said [And they under-cried, saying], Crucify, crucify him
22 And the third time he said to them, For what evil hath he done [Soothly what of evil hath he done]? I find no cause of death in him; therefore I shall chastise him, and shall deliver him [and I shall deliver].
23 And they continued with great voices asking [And they continued asking with great voices], that he should be crucified; and the voices of them waxed strong.
24 And Pilate deemed their asking to be done.
25 And he delivered to them him, that for manslaying and sedition was sent into prison, whom they asked; but he betook Jesus to their will.
26 And when they led him, they took a man, Simon of Cyrene, coming from the town, and they laid on him the cross to bear after Jesus.
27 And there followed him much people [Soothly there followed him much company of people], and [of] women that bewailed, and bemourned him.
28 And Jesus turned to them, and said, Daughters of Jerusalem, do not ye weep on me, but weep ye on yourselves and on your sons.
29 For lo! days shall come, in which it shall be said, Blessed be barren women, and [the] wombs that have not born children, and the teats that have not given suck. [+For lo! days shall come, in which it shall be said, Blessed barren, and the wombs that have not gendered, and the teats which have not given suck.]
30 Then they shall begin to say to mountains, Fall ye down on us, and to small hills, Cover ye us.
31 For if in a green tree they do these things [For if they do these things in a green tree], what shall be done in a dry?
32 Also [and] other two wicked men were led with him, to be slain.
33 And when they came into a place, that is called of Calvary [+And after that they came to a place, which is called Calvary], there they crucified him, and the thieves, one on the right half, and the other on the left half.
34 But Jesus said, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. And they parted his clothes, and cast lots [Forsooth they parting his clothes, sent lots].
35 And the people stood abiding; and the princes scorned him with them, and said, Other men he made safe; make he himself safe, if this be Christ, the chosen of God. [And the people stood abiding; and the princes scorned him with them, saying, Other men he made safe; make he himself safe, if he is Christ, the chosen of God.]
36 And the knights approached, and scorned him, and proffered vinegar to him, [Forsooth and knights coming nigh scorned him, and offered vinegar to him,
37 and said [saying], If thou art king of Jews, make thee safe.
38 And the superscription was written over him with Greek letters [with letters of Greek], and of Latin, and of Hebrew, This is the king of Jews
39 And one of these thieves that hanged, blasphemed him, and said [Forsooth one of those thieves that hanged, blasphemed him, saying], If thou art Christ, make thyself safe and us.
40 But the other answering, blamed him, and said, Neither thou dreadest God, [thou] that art in the same condemnation? [Soothly the tother answering, blamed him, saying, Neither thou dreadest God, thou that art in the same damnation?]
41 And truly we justly, for we have received worthy things to our works; but this did nothing of evil. [And truly we justly, for we have received worthy things to deeds; soothly this hath done no evil.]
42 And he said to Jesus, Lord, have mind of me [Lord, have mind on me], when thou comest into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said to him, Truly I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
44 And it was almost the sixth hour, and darknesses were made on all the earth into the ninth hour [till the ninth hour].
45 And the sun was made dark, and the veil of the temple was rent atwo [and the veil of the temple was cut the middle].
46 And Jesus crying with a great voice, said, Father, into thine hands I betake my spirit. And he saying these things, gave up the ghost. [And Jesus crying with great voice, saith, Father, into thy hands I betake my spirit. And he saying these things, sent out the spirit, or died.]
47 And the centurion seeing that thing that was done, glorified God, and said [saying], Verily, this man was just.
48 And all the people of them that were there together at this spectacle, and saw those things that were done, smote their breasts, and turned again.
49 But all his known stood afar, and women that followed him from Galilee, seeing these things.
50 And lo! a man, Joseph by name, of Arimathaea, a city of Judaea, that was a decurion, a good man and a just, [And lo! a man, Joseph by name, that was a decurion, or having ten under him, a good man and just,]
51 this man consented not to the counsel and to the deeds of them; and he abode the kingdom of God. [this man consented not to the counsel and deeds of them, of Arimathaea, city of Judaea; the which and he abode the kingdom of God.]
52 This Joseph came to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus,
53 and took it down, and wrapped it in a clean linen cloth, and laid him in a grave hewn, in which not yet any man had been laid [in which not yet any man was put].
54 And the day was the even of the holiday, and the sabbath began to shine. [+And the day was the making ready of pask, that is, even of the holy day, and the sabbath began to shine.]
55 And the women following, that came with him from Galilee, saw the grave, and how his body was laid.
56 And they turned again, and made ready sweet smelling spices, and ointments; but in the sabbath they rested, after the commandment.

Luke 23 Commentary

Chapter 23

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)

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Verses 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.

Luke 23 Commentaries

Copyright © 2001 by Terence P. Noble. For personal use only.