Thirdmill Study Bible

Notes on Luke 23:45-54

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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).

Luke 23:48

The crowds saw Jesus' innocence at his trial (v. 20-22), his graciousness from the cross (v. 34), and the darkness of God's displeasure (v. 44). All of this has not left them unchanged. They leave beating their breasts — a cultural sign of mourning and repentance.

Luke 23:49

Jesus' family and friends as well as some disciples saw his death (Pss. 38:11; 88:8).

Luke 23:50-51

Unlike the others, Joseph was a sincere worshipper of God. Though part of the Jewish leadership, he had not been part of their plan to kill Jesus. Council. The Jewish Sanhedrin (see note on 20:1). kingdom. Joseph was a disciple of Jesus, though perhaps secretly.

Luke 23:52

Joseph showed tremendous courage in asking for Jesus' body. No one wanted to be associated with someone who was shamefully executed by crucifixion (see note on v. 21). Also, Pilate was no friend of the Jewish people, especially the Sanhedrin (see notes on vv. 1, 23-24). Yet, the Jews believed in proper burials even for enemies or executed criminals (Deut. 21:23; 2 Sam. 21:12-14). Jesus' body certainly deserved such care in death.

Luke 23:53

Joseph was granted care of Jesus' body (v. 52). Unlike a tomb where many people were buried together and was already full of the stench of death, this was a new tomb. Being a man of wealth and importance, it was the one that Joseph most likely had made for himself. But he gave it as a sign of affection and devotion to Jesus. In doing so, he also fulfilled God's word (Isa. 53:9).

Luke 23:54

Day of the Preparation. The day before the Sabbath. According to the traditions of this time, day began at nightfall. Since the Sabbath began on Friday evening, this was last Friday afternoon. Sabbath. See note on 6:1. See WLC 117.

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