Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 23:37-47

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Luke 23:37

save. See note on v. 35.

Luke 23:39

Matthew recorded that initially both criminals mocked Jesus (Matt. 27:44). Christ. See notes on 2:11; 22:67. Save. See note on v. 35.

Luke 23:40-41

At some point, the heart of one criminal was turned from mocking to sympathy (see note on v. 39). He understood the justice of his own sentence but the injustice committed against Jesus. Perhaps Jesus' prayer for his enemies caused his change of mind (see note on v. 34).

Luke 23:42

The repentant criminal (vv. 40-41) trusted that Jesus was able to save him. kingdom. See note on 4:43.

Luke 23:43

today. That very day Jesus would complete the work of salvation by offering his life for sinners (John 19:30). Like the parable of the Pharisee and the tax collector, those who crucified Jesus would miss the kingdom while the sinner who begged for mercy would see it (v. 42; 18:9-14). paradise. Term which here meant the dwelling place of the righteous in death (see 2 Cor. 12:3; Rev. 2:7). Jesus assured the man his faith has saved him (see 7:50; Eph. 2:8). He would be with Jesus (John 17:24). See WCF 4.2; 32.1; WLC 82, 85; WSC 37.

Luke 23:44-45

sixth hour . . . ninth hour. That is, approximately 12:00pm to 3:00pm. darkness. A sign of God's judgment in the past (Exod. 10:21-22). It was also prophesied to happen on the end-time Day of the Lord (Amos 8:9-10; Joel 2:10; Zeph. 1:15). The darkness signaled God's displeasure at Israel for rejecting and killing Jesus (22:53). It also signaled Jesus' work of enduring God's wrath against the sins of his people (Isa. 53:4-6; Rom. 3:25). For these three hours, Jesus felt the burden of God's judgment (Matt. 27:46).

Luke 23:45

This cannot be explained as a natural phenomenon. This was a supernatural sign from God (see note on v. 44). curtain. That which separated the most holy place from the rest of the temple (Lev. 21:23; 24:3; Heb. 9:1-5). Behind the curtain sat the Ark of the Covenant. It was the place the high priest went once a year to make atonement for the sins of the people (Lev. 16). Atonement is the removal of sin's consequences, ensuring peace between God and sinners (Lev. 5:10; 2 Cor. 5:18-21). However, no mere animal could ever atone for sin (Heb. 10:4). The old covenant sacrifices pointed forward to Jesus, the perfect sacrifice who could actually take away sin (Heb. 9:12; 10:10; 12-14) and bring peace with God (Col. 1:20; see Isa. 9:6). split. This massive, ornate curtain was sixty feet (eighteen meters) high and thirty feet (nine meters) wide (Exod. 26:31-37). Like the darkness, this was a supernatural sign for the people. Jesus had fulfilled the temple's purpose (John 1:14, 1:51, 2:18-22) and the way of salvation was now opened up for all people through him (John 4:20-24; Heb. 9:11-12, 24; 10:19-22).

Luke 23:46

Father. Having finished making atonement for sin, Jesus entrusted himself to God. He used the words of Scripture to express his confidence in the Father (Ps. 31:5; see 1 Pet. 4:19). died. Jesus' death was further evidence of his true humanity (1 John 1:1-2; see note on 1:35). He experienced the full consequences of sin, though he himself was without sin (Rom. 6:23; Heb. 4:15). By experiencing death and rising from the dead (9:22; 24:1-7), Jesus conquered sin for his people (2 Tim. 1:10; Heb. 2:14-15).

Luke 23:47

The Roman government found no fault in Jesus (v. 22). Neither did this centurion. Moreover, Matthew recorded the beginnings of faith in him (Matt. 27:54).

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