(Luke 23:1 NASB) Then the whole body of them arose and brought Him before Pilate.
(Luke 23:2 NASB) And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
Luke 23:2: The whole body of the Sanhedrin arose and took Him to Pilate. Then they told lies about Him saying that He forbade the people to pay taxes to Caesar. This whole scenario was a set up beforehand (Luke 20:20-25). We are told that they marveled at His answer and kept silent (Luke 20:26). Since they could not catch Him with His Words, they made up words and bore false witness against Him. This too was prophesied (Psalm 64:3-6).
(Luke 23:3 NASB) And Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?” And He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”
Luke 23:3: This was a very interesting response. Yeshua just answered “You say.” The “It is as” is not in the ancient manuscripts. It is the same in both Matthew and Mark (Mat. 27:11-14, Mark. 15:2-5). It is difficult to say this is an actual admission by Yeshua other than He responded, “You said.”
(Luke 23:4 NASB) And Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no guilt in this man.”
(Luke 23:5 NASB) But they kept on insisting, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching all over Judea, starting from Galilee, even as far as this place.”
Luke 23:5: The Sanhedrin accused Him of “teaching.” I think Pilate was merely annoyed with this whole thing. But they said something that caught Pilate’s attention. They mentioned that He started in Galilee. If these things actually took place in Galilee, then it is out of his jurisdiction. This is silly of course, but Pilate is more interested in keeping an eye on controlling the masses who have come to Jerusalem for Passover.
Also, keep in mind that this is taking place late at night. This probably added to Pilate’s desire to get rid of them all.
(Luke 23:6 NASB) But when Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man was a Galilean.
(Luke 23:7 NASB) And when he learned that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who himself also was in Jerusalem at that time.
(Luke 23:8 NASB) Now Herod was very glad when he saw Jesus; for he had wanted to see Him for a long time, because he had been hearing about Him and was hoping to see some sign performed by Him.
Luke 23:8: Pilate saw the opportunity to rid himself of a nuisance, so he sent them all to Herod, claiming this is in his jurisdiction. Herod was pleased by this. He had heard of Yeshua and wanted to see Him do some tricks.
(Luke 23:9 NASB) And he questioned Him at some length; but He answered him nothing.
(Luke 23:10 NASB) And the chief priests and the scribes were standing there, accusing Him vehemently.
(Luke 23:11 NASB) And Herod with his soldiers, after treating Him with contempt and mocking Him, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe and sent Him back to Pilate.
Luke 23:11: These things were prophesied in the Tanakh, both in the way He remained silent (Psalm 38:12-15, 39:1-2,9, Isa. 53:7) and in their contempt and hatred for Him without cause (Psalm 22:6, 69:19-20, Isa. 49:7, 53:3).
(Luke 23:12 NASB) Now Herod and Pilate became friends with one another that very day; for before they had been at enmity with each other.
Luke 23:12: At this time Herod and Pilate became friends even though they shared extreme hatred for one another previously. They love one another now because they share a perceived common enemy.
(Luke 23:13 NASB) And Pilate summoned the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
(Luke 23:14 NASB) and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one who incites the people to rebellion, and behold, having examined Him before you, I have found no guilt in this man regarding the charges which you make against Him.
(Luke 23:15 NASB) “No, nor has Herod, for he sent Him back to us; and behold, nothing deserving death has been done by Him.
(Luke 23:16 NASB) “I will therefore punish Him and release Him.”
Luke 23:16: Pilate could find no guilt in Him whatsoever. If he is guilty of nothing, why is it that Pilate wanted to punish Him and before he released Him?
(Luke 23:17 NASB) Now he was obliged to release to them at the feast one prisoner.
Luke 23:17: It states that Pilate was obliged to release one prisoner at the time of the Feast. Some say that this apparently goes back to the time of the Maccabees and that this action is supposed to be a picture of Passover portraying freedom in exchange for bondage. There is no historical evidence for this however.
Regardless, this passage was not in the ancient manuscripts. But other Gospels do mention this practice (Matt. 27:15, Mark 15:6-8).
(Luke 23:18 NASB) But they cried out all together, saying, “Away with this man, and release for us Barabbas!”
(Luke 23:19 NASB) (He was one who had been thrown into prison for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder.)
Luke 23:19: The people wanted Barabbas instead of Yeshua. Barabbas means “son of the father.” Some manuscripts tell us in the Matthew account that the name of Barabbas was “Yeshua Barabbas.” But the most ancient manuscripts do not have this as his name.
Barabbas was a leader in the insurrection against Rome and was held for murder (Mark 15:7) and being a robber (John 18:40). Barabbas was being held for murdering Romans in the insurrection and probably for robbing Romans in the battle. Barabbas was likely seen by the Jews as a war hero. Pilate was not really giving the people a choice in this matter. He was giving them the choice between two that are accused of insurrection. Barabbas, being guilty of insurrection against Roman and murdering and robbing Romans while doing so, and Yeshua who was wrongly accused of causing insurrection against the Jewish religion.
The people chose, with the help of the Jewish leaders egging them on, Barrabas (Matt. 27:16).
(Luke 23:20 NASB) And Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again,
Luke 23:20: If Pilate were actually wanting to put Yeshua to death, then why did He want to release Him? The reason being that Pilate’s wife had a dream about the righteous man and that he should not have anything to do with Him (Matt. 27:19-20).
Pilate was a superstitious man and probably feared things like dreams. He was also an evil and egotistical man who enjoyed the power he had at this point. He had no respect for the Jewish leaders and their beliefs. On the other hand, he did enjoy tormenting Yeshua, who would not answer him.
(Luke 23:21 NASB) but they kept on calling out, saying, “Crucify, crucify Him!”
(Luke 23:22 NASB) And he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has this man done? I have found in Him no guilt demanding death; I will therefore punish Him and release Him.”
Luke 23:22: Yeshua was accused of causing a Jewish insurrection within their own religion. Pilate had no problem with this. Pilate even tried to use the pools of Solomon, located at the Temple, as a water supply for Jerusalem and many other atrocities.
“Fifth Roman procurator of Judea, Samaria, and Iduma, from 26 to 36 of the common era; successor of Valerius Gratus. According to Philo (“De Legatione ad Caium,” ed. Mangey, ii. 590), his administration was characterized by corruption, violence, robberies, ill treatment of the people, and continuous executions without even the form of a trial. His very first act nearly caused a general insurrection. While his predecessors, respecting the religious feelings of the Jews, removed from their standards all the effigies and images when entering Jerusalem, Pilate allowed his soldiers to bring them into the city by night. As soon as this became known crowds of Jews hastened to Csarea, where the procurator was residing, and besought him to remove the images. After five days of discussion he ordered his soldiers to surround the petitioners and to put them to death unless they ceased to trouble him. He yielded only when he saw that the Jews would rather die than bear this affront. At a later date Pilate appropriated funds from the sacred treasury in order to provide for the construction of an aqueduct for supplying the city of Jerusalem with water from the Pools of Solomon; and he suppressed the riots provoked by this spoliation of the Temple by sending among the crowds disguised soldiers carrying concealed daggers, who massacred a great number, not only of the rioters, but of casual spectators.” http://jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp?artid=312&letter=P&search=Pilate
(Luke 23:23 NASB) But they were insistent, with loud voices asking that He be crucified. And their voices began to prevail.
(Luke 23:24 NASB) And Pilate pronounced sentence that their demand should be granted.
(Luke 23:25 NASB) And he released the man they were asking for who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he delivered Jesus to their will.
Luke 23:25: It would appear that Pilate enjoyed teasing the Jewish leaders with the thought of releasing Yeshua, but the people were being moved, possibly, to the point of riot.
(Luke 23:26 NASB) And when they led Him away, they laid hold of one Simon of Cyrene, coming in from the country, and placed on him the cross to carry behind Jesus.
Luke 23:26: Simon was from Cyrene, which was in what we now know as northern Africa. He was probably a Jew who traveled up for the Feast of Unleavened Bread as commanded in Torah. Simon was likely a dark-skinned man who stood out as looking different. Commanding him to carry the stake, or beam, for Yeshua would likely not cause more unrest among the people.
(Luke 23:27 NASB) And there were following Him a great multitude of the people, and of women who were mourning and lamenting Him.
(Luke 23:28 NASB) But Jesus turning to them said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, stop weeping for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
(Luke 23:29 NASB) “For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’
Luke 23:29: Yeshua is referring to the destruction of Jerusalem. A note in the Treasury of Scripture Knowledge states the following: “Our Lord here refers to the destruction of Jerusalem, and the final desolation of the Jewish state; an evil associated with so many miseries, that sterility, which had otherwise been considered an opprobrium, was accounted a circumstance most felicitous. No history can furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the Jews; rapine and murder, famine and pestilence, within; fire and sword, and all the terrors of war, without. Our Saviour himself wept at the foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for persons of any humanity to read the relation of them in Josephus without weeping also. He might justly affirm, “if the misfortunes of all, from the beginning of the world, were compared with those of the Jews, they would appear much inferior in the comparison.”
(Luke 23:30 NASB) “Then they will begin TO SAY TO THE MOUNTAINS, ‘FALL ON US,’ AND TO THE HILLS, ‘COVER US.’
(Luke 23:31 NASB) “For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?”
Luke 23:31: Yeshua quotes Hosea 10:8 in regard to how terrible will be the destruction of Jerusalem. Then He states “For if they do these things in the green tree, what will happen in the dry?” He is saying that if Rome will do these things to Him, being an innocent man, how terrible will it be for the guilty?
(Luke 23:32 NASB) And two others also, who were criminals, were being led away to be put to death with Him.
(Luke 23:33 NASB) And when they came to the place called The Skull, there they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
Luke 23:33: Yeshua was counted among sinners, just as prophesied (Isa. 53:12). This whole account was prophesied in many Scriptures in the Tanakh (Psalm 22:16).
(Luke 23:34 NASB) But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” And they cast lots, dividing up His garments among themselves.
Luke 23:34: Who is Yeshua praying for here? It would appear to be those who are carrying out the assassination, being the Roman soldiers. They are merely carrying out orders and executing a criminal in their minds. The term “forgive” here also means “leave alone.” The passage likely reads “”Father, leave them alone; for they do not know what they are doing.”
The casting of lots for His clothing was also prophesied (Psalm 22:17-18).
(Luke 23:35 NASB) And the people stood by, looking on. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
Luke 23:35: All the people there, even the rulers, were sneering at Him and mocking Him. This too, was prophesied in the Tanakh (Psalm 22:12-13, Isa. 49:7, 53:3).
(Luke 23:36 NASB) And the soldiers also mocked Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,
Luke 23:36: Luke tells us here that offering Him sour wine was a part of the soldiers mocking Him. How was offering Him this sour wine on a sponge on a stick mocking Him? When we see what these sponges were used for, we see the degradation Yeshua was being put through. We are told in Matthews account that the sour wine was offered to Him with a sponge on a stick (Matt. 27:48).
The sponges on sticks were used communally as toilet paper in latrines in ancient Rome.
“”Here we had 12 to 60 people at once, going to the bathroom sitting next to each other. There were no dividers. There was no toilet paper. And there was one sponge stick for everyone to dip into the water and pass around.”
(Luke 23:37 NASB) and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
(Luke 23:38 NASB) Now there was also an inscription above Him, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”
Luke 23:38: I have heard preachers claim that this act by Pilate was noble on his part. That is absurd to the highest degree. Pilate did this to show his power over other so-called “kings.”
We are told in John’s account that Pilate, much to the aggravation of the Jewish leaders, wrote this inscription above Him in three different languages. Once again, the cruelty and arrogance of Pilate is open and evident. Pilate did not want anyone to miss this. He was mocking the dying Yeshua while infuriating the chief priests.
(Luke 23:39 NASB) And one of the criminals who were hanged there was hurling abuse at Him, saying, “Are You not the Christ? Save Yourself and us!”
(Luke 23:40 NASB) But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Do you not even fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
(Luke 23:41 NASB) “And we indeed justly, for we are receiving what we deserve for our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
Luke 23:41: Interestingly enough, this man is exhibiting righteousness through his confession and through his actions while he was dying (Lev. 19:17).
(Luke 23:42 NASB) And he was saying, “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom!”
(Luke 23:43 NASB) And He said to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.”
Luke 23:43: Many people use this phrase of Yeshua to prove that there exists some kind of spiritual afterlife where our ghosts all float up to a cloud. But Yeshua is not stating that at all. There is no punctuation in the Greek. The punctuation is erroneous in the English translations. The word for “today” is Today – G4594. semeron, say’-mer-on; neut. (as adv.) of a presumed comp. of the art. G3588 ( changed to ) and G2250; on the (i.e. this) day (or night current or just passed); gen. now (i.e. at present, hither-to):–this (to-) day.
Yeshau is saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you this day, you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Peter used this same phrasing to make the same manner (Acts 20:26).
(Luke 23:44 NASB) And it was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour,
(Luke 23:45 NASB) the sun being obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two.
Luke 23:45: The veil of the Temple was torn from top-to-bottom (Matt. 27:51). This is significant because this is the veil to the Holy of Holies in the Temple. The only time anyone went in there was when the High Priest on the Day of Atonement. With the tearing of the veil by the Father, we are being told that Yeshua is the Atonement sacrifice for His people.
The passage also says the sun was obscured. Interestingly, there are a couple historic references to the darkness which fell upon the land (earth?) at this time.
(Luke 23:46 NASB) And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, INTO THY HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT.” And having said this, He breathed His last.
Luke 23:46: Yeshua, with His last breath, quoted Psalm 31:5. The Greek and Hebrew words for “spirit” here also mean “breath.” Yeshua is probably saying that He is committing His dying breath to His Father.
(Luke 23:47 NASB) Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.”
(Luke 23:48 NASB) And all the multitudes who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts.
(Luke 23:49 NASB) And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee, were standing at a distance, seeing these things.
Luke 23:49: Yeshua had a centurion and others guarding Him. We are told in Matthew that the centurion and others also said, “Truly this man was the Son of Elohim” (Matt. 27:54).
(Luke 23:50 NASB) And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the Council, a good and righteous man
(Luke 23:51 NASB) (he had not consented to their plan and action), a man from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who was waiting for the kingdom of God;
(Luke 23:52 NASB) this man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.
(Luke 23:53 NASB) And he took it down and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid Him in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever lain.
Luke 23:53: Joseph of Arimathea was a good and righteous man who was also wealthy. This is another aspect of Yeshua’s death that was prophesied (Isa. 53:9).
(Luke 23:54 NASB) And it was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
Luke 23:54: A note in the Believer’s Study Bibles states, “The Preparation Day is a term that describes the day that is used to get ready for the Sabbath.” This is patently incorrect (once again). This was the preparation day for the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread (John 19:14, 31)
(Luke 23:55 NASB) Now the women who had come with Him out of Galilee followed after, and saw the tomb and how His body was laid.
(Luke 23:56 NASB) And they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And on the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Luke 23:56: This was the preparation day for the Passover Feast, or the Feast of Unleavened Bread. It is called the preparation day because it is on this day all leaven or yeast must be removed from all residences. When the sun goes down on that day, it is a special or high Sabbath (Ex. 12:15-19).
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2014 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas