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18There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, with Jesus between them.

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18. they crucified him, and two others with him—"malefactors" (Lu 23:33), "thieves" (rather "robbers," Mt 27:38; Mr 15:27).

on either side one and Jesus in the midst—a hellish expedient, to hold Him up as the worst of the three. But in this, as in many other of their doings, "the scripture was fulfilled, which saith (Isa 53:12), And he was numbered with the transgressors"—(Mr 15:28)—though the prediction reaches deeper. "Then said Jesus"—["probably while being nailed to the Cross,"] [Olshausen], "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Lu 23:34)—and again the Scripture was fulfilled which said, "And He made intercession for the transgressors" (Isa 53:12), though this also reaches deeper. (See Ac 3:17; 13:27; and compare 1Ti 1:13). Often have we occasion to observe how our Lord is the first to fulfil His own precepts—thus furnishing the right interpretation and the perfect Model of them. (See on Mt 5:44). How quickly was it seen in "His martyr Stephen," that though He had left the earth in Person, His Spirit remained behind, and Himself could, in some of His brightest lineaments, be reproduced in His disciples! (Ac 7:60). And what does the world in every age owe to these few words, spoken where and as they were spoken!