Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 23:13-56

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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).

Luke 23:22

Pilate continued to insist that Jesus had committed no crime worthy of death (see vv. 4, 15-16).

Luke 23:23-24

crucified. See note on 21. convinced. Though Pilate knew Jesus to be innocent, he consented to his death out of concern for his own political career. Appeasing the Jewish leaders was more important than justice. Thus, he is guilty of Jesus' death (see Acts 4:24-30).

Luke 23:25

Barabbas was the criminal released instead of Jesus (see note on v. 19; Acts 3:14). delivered. Though not mentioned by Luke, the other Gospel writers tell us that Jesus was beaten, mocked, and mistreated before his crucifixion (Mark 15:15-20 // Matt. 27:26-31 // John 19:1-3). This came after his mistreatment by the Jews (Mark 14:65; John 18:22). Thus, on the way to the cross, Jesus had a shocking and unrecognizable appearance (Isa. 52:14). Yet, this was predicted by Jesus as part of God's plan (9:22, 44; 18:32).

Luke 23:26-56

Jesus' Crucifixion. The death of Jesus is central to the Gospel narrative and the Christian faith (1 Cor. 15:1-8). Jesus did not merely die as a martyr but a Savior, according to God's plan (9:22).

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