23:1 Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate.
23:2 And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Christ, a king.”
23:3 So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” ”Yes, it is as you say,” Jesus replied.
23:4 Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”
23:5 But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”
23:6 On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean.
23:7 When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time.
23:8 When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform some miracle.
23:9 He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer.
23:10 The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him.
23:11 Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate.
23:12 That day Herod and Pilate became friends–before this they had been enemies.
23:13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people,
23:14 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him.
23:15 Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death.
23:16 Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.”
23:17 [this verse omitted in some manuscripts] For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.
23:18 With one voice they cried out, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!”
23:19 (Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)
23:20 Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again.
23:21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”
23:22 For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”
23:23 But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed.
23:24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand.
23:25 He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will. 23:26 As they led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus.
23:27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him.
23:28 Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.
23:29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the barren women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’
23:30 Then ” ‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”‘
23:31 For if men do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
23:32 [fulfillment of Isa. 53:12 re: Suffering Servant being counted with transgressors or outlaws] Two other men, both criminals [literally “evil workers”], were also led out with him to be executed.
23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull [some think the location looked like a skull; others suggest the place was littered with skulls and bones from previous executions], there they crucified him [the Gospel writers did not describe crucifixion in detail; the meaning of Jesus’ death was more important than the details of His execution; suggested reading: “Crucifixion” by Martin Hengel], along with the criminals–one on his right, the other on his left [this emphasized the fact that Jesus was viewed as a criminal].
• Golgotha = Aramaic
• Kranion = Greek
• Calvariae = Latin
23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them [everyone responsible for His death (Roman soldiers, Jews, Gentiles)], for they do not know what they are doing. [cf. Stephen in Acts 7:60]” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots [fulfillment of Ps. 22:18].
23:35 The people [including Jesus’ family and friends] stood watching [cf. Jn. 19:25-27], and the rulers even sneered at him [cf. Mk. 15:29]. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One [a title for the promised messianic servant of the Lord (Isa. 42:1)].”
23:36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar [a cheap beverage used by the soldiers for their own refreshment; offered as part of the soldiers’ mocking; fulfillment of Ps. 69:20-21]
23:37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews [mimicking what had been said at Jesus’ trial before Pilate (Lk. 23:3)], save yourself [parroting what the Jewish leaders had said (Lk. 23:35)].”
23:38 There was a written notice [cf. Matt. 27:37; Mk. 15:26; Jn. 19:19] above him, which read: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
23:39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults [could be translated literally “blasphemed”] at him: “Aren’t you the Christ [perhaps asked contemptuously]? Save yourself [cf. Lk, 23:35,37] and us!”
23:40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence?
23:41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve [this criminal confessed that he was guilty and deserving of punishment]. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
23:42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
23:43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise [a synonym for heaven; this word also used in 2 Cor. 12:4 and Rev. 2:7].” 23:44 It was now about the sixth hour [noon; normally the lightest, brightest part of the day], and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour [3:00 PM],
23:45 for the sun stopped shining [a supernatural event because Passover occurs at the full moon and eclipses cannot occur when there is a full moon]. And the curtain [separated the Holy of Holies from the Holy Place] of the temple was torn [the curtain was torn from the top to the bottom (Matt. 27:51) suggesting this was an act of God, not of man] in two [perhaps announcing the end of animal sacrifices—the ceremonies of the old covenant (Heb. 10:19-22); perhaps a symbolic picture of the opening of salvation to all through the death of Christ (Heb. 9:1-8; 10:19-22)].
23:46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit [cf. Ps. 31:5; Acts 7:59; 1 Pet. 4:19].” When he had said this, he [voluntarily] breathed his last [Jesus had completed the task for which He had been sent into the world (Jn. 19:30)].
23:47 The centurion [probably the man in charge at the crucifixion], seeing what had happened, praised God and said [the centurion confessed Jesus’ innocence; cf. Matt. 27:54; Mk. 15:39], “Surely this was a righteous man. [some think this was a confession of faith in Jesus; others think the centurion only concluded that Jesus had been wrongly executed]“
23:48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.
23:49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
23:50 Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man,
23:51 who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea and he was waiting for the kingdom of God.
23:52 Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body.
23:53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.
23:54 It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.
23:55 The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it.
23:56 Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.