Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 23:2-24

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Luke 23:2

The accusations made against Jesus before Pilate are different than the one charge that upset the Jewish leaders. They convicted him of blasphemy (see note on 22:71; Matt. 26:65-67; John 10:30-33). But, they needed to portray Jesus as a threat to Rome in order to see him executed (see note on 23:1). Three charges were presented: turning people against Rome, refusing to pay taxes, and claiming to be a rival authority. Jesus was innocent of all these charges (vv. 4, 14-15, 22).

Luke 23:3

Jesus affirmed his kingship as the Christ. However, he was not a king as charged. His kingdom was spiritual in nature (John 18:36-37).

Luke 23:4

No charge against Jesus could be substantiated. The trial should have been over.

Luke 23:8

Herod was somewhat superstitious and enamored with spiritual things. He loved hearing John the Baptist preach, even though John condemned him for his sin (3:19)! After Herod had John killed, he thought Jesus might be John's ghost (Mark 6:16-39). His interest in Jesus was a fascination with miracles rather than settling the accusations against him.

Luke 23:9

By refusing to answer, Jesus fulfilled Isa. 53:7

Luke 23:10

chief priests. See note on 7:3. scribes. See note on 5:17.

Luke 23:11

elegant. Jesus' kingship was mocked by dressing him in regal attire.

Luke 23:12

Somehow, the cruel mockery of Jesus (vv. 10-11) created a friendship where there had previously only been animosity. Nevertheless, Pilate wanted nothing more to do with him. Herod. See notes on 3:1; 13:32. Pilate. See notes on 3:1; 13:1.

Luke 23:13-24

See BC 38.

Luke 23:13

chief priests. See note on 7:3. rulers. See note on 18:18.

Luke 23:14-15

Luke recorded Pilate's decisions. There was no basis for the charges against Jesus.

Luke 23:16

Pilate wanted to be done with Jesus. He was to be released. Pilate even tried to appease the crowds by promising to have Jesus beaten again before being released.

Luke 23:18

release. Luke assumed what Mark makes explicit in his Gospel regarding the crowd's demand. At that time there was a custom for the Roman authorities to release a prisoner during the Passover festival. The origin of the custom is unclear. Perhaps at some point it had begun as a way to placate the Jews during a time of hostility. Barabbas. See note v. 19.

Luke 23:19

Barabbas. His name simply means Son of the Father. He was a man known for violence and trouble-making against the Romans. rebellion. The Jewish leaders charged Jesus with leading an uprising against Rome (v. 2). But when he was found innocent (vv. 4, 14-15), they did not want him released. Instead, they demanded the release of a man who was actually guilty of the crimes for which they blamed Jesus.

Luke 23:21

Jesus' own people rejected him and the salvation he offered as the Christ (John 1:9-11). Crucify. A call for Jesus to be executed by crucifixion. This was a horrific method for execution in the ancient world. It involved the convicted man being tied or nailed to a wood cross and raised up to hang before others. Usually, they were flogged first, which torn open the person's flesh (Mark 15:15; see note on Acts 5:40-42). Then, they were forced to carry a large beam of wood, which would be part of their cross, to the execution site. The person would usually die from loss of blood and body fluids or by asphyxiation as the weight of the body prevented normal breathing. Often, the crimes were posted above the person on the cross. After death, bodies were left on crosses to decay to deter others from committing similar crimes. Crucifixion was despised by the Gentiles and Jews alike. In Rome, crucifixion was reserved for severe criminals who were guilty of treason or hindering the legal process of a person convicted of a crime worth of death. Because of its severity and shamefulness, Roman citizens were not crucified. Among the Jews, one who died so shamefully was considered cursed by God (Deut. 21:23; Acts 5:30).

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