St Luke 23 Reflections

The Gospel According to St Luke: Luke Chapter Twenty-three: Read here:

23 jesus-and-pilate-490x390

Jesus was Delivered to Pilate: Luke 23:1-5:

And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.

And they began to accuse him, saying,

“We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.”

And Pilate asked him, saying,

“Art thou the King of the Jews?”

And he answered him and said,

“Thou sayest it.”

Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people,

“I find no fault in this man.”

And they were the more fierce, saying,

“He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

Pilate Sent Jesus to Herod: Luke 23:6-11:

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilæan. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.

And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.

Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.

Herod wanted to see a miracle. Jesus didn’t deliver what he wanted, so he sent him back to Pilate. Do we easily dismiss the good news of the gospel because we do not get the sign we are looking for? Do we reject Jesus? Do we reject our leaders, because we think we know how God should behave, as if we have more omniscience than He does?

Pilate Finds No Fault in Jesus (and Wants to Release Him): Luke 23:11-17:

And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.

And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Said unto them,

“Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.”

(For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)

Although Pilate found no fault in Jesus, he still would have Jesus chastised to appease the angry mob. And Herod, also finding no fault, had treating Jesus shamefully and mocked Him. Where is the justice in that?

What made Pilate and Herod friends this day?

The Crowd Called for Pilate to Crucify Jesus: Luke 23:18-24:

And they cried out all at once, saying,

“Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas”:

(Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)

Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying,

“Crucify him, crucify him.”

And he said unto them the third time,

“Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.”

And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.

And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

Pilate wanted to release Jesus. Three times he said that he found no fault in Jesus. But he allowed the voices of the chief priests to prevail over his own best judgment.

Pilate would have had Jesus chastised without fault to appease the angry mobs. Isn’t that a weakness? Instead, he kept questioning the mobs and yielded his decision to theirs to have Jesus killed. What kind of leadership is that? What kind of a ruler, what kind of a judge would do that?

He had Jesus killed so that he could be popular with the people. To what ends do politicians and political leaders stoop to gain or retain their offices? Can’t we see the answer to that with the vote for traditional marriage being overturned in so many states to appease the angry mobs?

Pilate Sent Jesus to Be Crucified: Luke 23:25-27:

And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.

And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

Jesus Prophesied of Difficult Times Ahead for Jews and Believers: Luke 23:28-31:

But Jesus turning unto them said,

“Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say,

‘Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.’

“Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.

“For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry tree?

This he spake, signifying the scattering of Israel, and the desolation of the heathen, or in other words, the Gentiles (JST in italics).

Jesus was a young, green tree, both righteous and fruitful. Yet He suffered all.

Jesus was Crucified: Luke 23:32-46:

And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.

And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.

Then said Jesus,

Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” (Meaning the soldiers who crucified him). And they parted his raiment, and cast lots (JST in italics).

And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying,

“He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.”

And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying,

“If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.”

And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew,


While on the Cross, Jesus Gives Hope to Another: Luke 23:39-43:

And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying,

“If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.”

But the other answering rebuked him, saying,

“Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.”

And he said unto Jesus,

Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.”

And Jesus said unto him,

Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.”

And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.

And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said,

Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit”: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

There were Those who Recognized Jesus as Lord: Luke 23: 47-56:

Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying,

“Certainly this was a righteous man.”

And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.

And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just: (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathæa, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.

This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.

And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.

And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.

And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.


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