Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 23:21-56

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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).

Luke 23:26

They Roman soldiers conscripted a person from the crowd to help Jesus carry the cross. Simon of Cyrene. Perhaps a Jewish worshipper in Jerusalem for the Passover (see Mark 15:21; Rom. 16:13). Cyrene was located in modern day Tripoli. cross. The crosses used for crucifixion were made up of two parts. Typically, those who were crucified were forced to carry the crossbeam to the place of execution (see note on v. 21). Jesus was too weak from beatings and abuse to carry his cross (see note on v. 25).

Luke 23:27

Public displays of grief were common in that culture, and still are even today. The crowd and weeping women likely saw Jesus as innocent, yet unjustly condemned.

Luke 23:28

Daughters of Jerusalem. These women fulfilled the prophetic word of Zech. 12: 10-14. They represented the entire nation, though there is a special emphasis on them as women who will suffer. weep. But in the midst of their weeping, Jesus points them to a different judgment. Rather than feeling sorry for Jesus, they should weep for the judgment they will experience when Jerusalem is destroyed (vv. 29-31; see notes on 21:5-9). He hoped they would repent (13:34; 19:41-44).

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