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Chapter XXIII

The Crucifixion

SummaryJesus Brought Before Pilate. Acquitted by Pilate. On the Clamor of Priests Sent to Herod. Silent Before Herod. Sent Again, Arrayed as a King, to Pilate. Examined a Second Time and No Fault Found. Barabbas Demanded Instead of Christ. Pilate Yields and Sends Jesus to Be Crucified. The Weeping of the Daughters of Jerusalem. Between Thieves. Mocked on the Cross. The Penitent Thief. The Death of Jesus. The Burial.

1–25. The Trial Before Pilate. Described in Matt. 27:11–35; Mark 15:1–23; John 18:28–19:16. See notes on Matthew and John. Led him to Pilate. The Sanhedrim, after a private conference, (Matt. 27:1–10), came in a body to accuse Jesus of sedition. Forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar. This was utterly false (Matt. 22:21). That he is Christ a king. This was true, but not in the sense they made the charge. He did not claim to be an earthly king. I find no fault in him. This decision was given after an examination of Jesus (John 18:33–38). In this Jesus explained to Pilate that his kingdom was 314not of this world. He sent him to Herod. Herod Antipas, tetrarch of Galilee. The Jews in their clamor against Pilate's decision declared that Jesus was of Galilee; so he thought to get out of his difficulty by turning Jesus over to Herod, who was now in Jerusalem to attend the passover. Herod … was exceeding glad. That he might gratify his curiosity to see Jesus. This was the Herod who had murdered John the Baptist. Herod … mocked him. Pilate was a better man than Herod. Though he yielded weakly to the clamor, he was not a trifler. Herod and Pilate became friends. Because of Pilate's courtesy in sending Herod a prisoner that belonged to his province. Why they were enemies is not stated. Nor yet Herod. These words occur in another effort of Pilate to release Jesus, and imply that Herod had sent word that he found no guilt in the prisoner. I will therefore chastise him. This was an effort to make a compromise. To gratify and save the pride of the Sanhedrim he will chastise an innocent man and then let him go. Release unto us Barabbas. See notes on Matt. 27:15–26, for the choice of Barabbas rather than Christ. 315

26–49. The Crucifixion. Compare Matt. 27:32–56; Mark 15:21–41; John 19:17–30. See notes on Matthew. A great multitude of people, and of women. This shows that, although awed, Jesus had many sympathizers in Jerusalem. Daughters of Jerusalem. These weeping women belonged to the city. Weep for yourselves. In this hour of trial his heart is broken for the woes coming upon them in the speedy destruction of Jerusalem. If they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry? A proverb, meaning here, “If the rulers and the Romans crucify the Messiah of the nation, the Hope of Israel, what shall they do to the nation itself?” What they would do was seen in less than forty years. Father, forgive them. This prayer for his murderers is reported only by Luke. It was evidently uttered just after he was nailed to the cross. What divine love in a prayer springing right out of the depth of his physical suffering! They know not what they do. Know not that they reject and slay their own Messiah; know not that, in this act, they doom their city and nation to destruction. “He made intercession for transgressors” (Isa. 53:12). They parted his raiment. The executioners cast lots for it. See John 18:23. One of the malefactors. Matthew and Mark represent the malefactors as mocking him. It may be that only one spoke, apparently for both, or that both spoke at first, and then one was silent. Art not thou the Christ? That Jesus did not save himself and his companions in suffering seemed to this malefactor to prove that this was not the Christ. Seeing thou art in the same condemnation. For sedition and rebellion; the one probably of which Barabbas was leader. Christ was condemned as a seditious person, but the malefactor knew that he had no part. He “had done nothing amiss.” Lord, remember me. This prayer indicates faith in Jesus as the Christ, a faith that overcomes the cross, and sees Jesus a victor over death, in his kingdom. Such faith was 316mighty to save. To-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. On the cross together, the evil doer, who believed in the Crucified One, shall be with Christ in paradise. He was no doubt a Jew, perhaps knew somewhat of Christ before, and was saved by the power and word of Christ, before, and was saved by the power and word of Christ, as he saved the woman that was a sinner (Luke 7:48). So he still saves. If we comply with the conditions of his word, as preached by the apostles in the Gospel of the Risen Savior, we will be saved. There was a darkness. See note on Matt. 27:45. Cried with a loud voice. He said: “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani.” This was followed by, “It is finished” (John), and the words here, Father into thy hands, etc.

47, 48. See notes on Matt. 27:54–56.

50–56. On The Burial of Jesus, see notes on Matt. 27:57–61. Compare Mark 15:42–47 and John 19:36–42. A counsellor. A member of the Sanhedrim. Had not consented to their counsel. Neither Joseph nor Nicodemus could have been present when Jesus was condemned, and perhaps were not 317invited. That day was the preparation. For the Passover, see John 19:14. This shows that the Jews had not yet eaten their passover. 317

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