Luke chapter 23

Jesus stands before Pilate and Herod Antipas, then is delivered to be crucified. He saves one more sinner, then breathes his last. They bury the body.





VERSE 1. The whole company of them rose up and brought him before Pilate.


VERSE 2. They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man perverting the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ, a king.”

forbidding paying taxes to Caesar. What they say is not true.


VERSE 3. Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “So you say.”


VERSE 4. Pilate said to the chief priests and the multitudes, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.”


VERSE 5. But they insisted, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee even to this place.”

they insisted. They were adamant.


VERSE 6. But when Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean.


VERSE 7. When he found out that he was in Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days.




VERSE 8. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad, for he had wanted to see him for a long time, because he had heard many things about him. He hoped to see some miracle done by him.

he was exceedingly glad. Herod had wanted to see Jesus. However, he had not done anything about his desire.

for a long time. Herod had been interested in Jesus for a long time.

Many people are like that. They have spiritual desires. They might have had those desires for a long time. But they do not do anything to fulfill them.

hoped to see some miracle. That is the most shallow of reasons to be interested in Jesus Christ. But even a superficial interest is must better than no interest at all.


VERSE 9. He questioned him with many words, but he gave no answers.


VERSE 10. The chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him.


VERSE 11. Herod with his soldiers humiliated him and mocked him. Dressing him in luxurious clothing, they sent him back to Pilate.

humiliated him. They treated him with contempt.


VERSE 12. Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day, for before that they were enemies with each other.




VERSE 13. Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,


VERSE 14. and said to them, “You brought this man to me as one that perverts the people, and behold, having examined him before you, I found no basis for a charge against this man concerning those things of which you accuse him.


VERSE 15. Neither has Herod, for I sent you to him, and see, nothing worthy of death has been done by him.

nothing worthy of death. Jesus did not commit a capital crime.


VERSE 16. I will therefore chastise him and release him.”

chastise him. That is, have him flogged.


VERSE 17. Now he had to release one prisoner to them at the feast.


VERSE 18. But they all cried out together, saying, “Away with this man! Release to us Barabbas!”—

Release to us Barabbas! Doubtless the religious leaders had coached the crowd to do this. Otherwise, a whole crowd would not spontaneously shout for the exact same thing.


VERSE 19. one who was thrown into prison for a certain revolt in the city, and for murder.




VERSE 20. Then Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus,


VERSE 21. but they shouted, saying, “Crucify! Crucify him!”

Crucify him! The religious leaders had probably coached the crowd to shout this.


VERSE 22. He said to them the third time, “Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no capital crime in him. I will therefore chastise him and release him.”


VERSE 23. But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. Their voices and the voices of the chief priests prevailed.


VERSE 24. Pilate decreed that what they asked for should be done.

what they asked for. Pilate grants their request.


VERSE 25. He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.




VERSE 26. When they led him away, they grabbed one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it after Jesus.

Simon of Cyrene.  Cyrene was a city located in Libya, in northern Africa.


VERSE 27. A great multitude of the people followed him, including women who also mourned and lamented him.

A great multitude. Even on his way to his execution, a multitude of people follow Jesus.


VERSE 28. But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.


VERSE 29. For behold, the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.’


VERSE 30. Then they will begin to tell the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’

they will … tell the mountains. People rarely talk to mountains. But they are desperate.

Hosea 10:8. The high places also of Aven, the sin of Israel, will be destroyed. The thorn and the thistle will come up on their altars. They will tell the mountains, “Cover us!” and the hills, “Fall on us!”


VERSE 31. For if they do these things in the green tree, what will be done in the dry?”




VERSE 32. There were also others, two criminals, led with him to be put to death.


VERSE 33. When they came to the place that is called “The Skull”, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.

they crucified him. Those three words are the entirety of what Luke tells us about the crucifixion of Jesus Christ.


VERSE 34. Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” Dividing his garments among them, they cast lots.

Father, forgive them. The first words of Jesus Christ from the cross are words of forgiveness.


VERSE 35. The people stood watching. The rulers with them also scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!”

if this is the Christ. Notice the word IF. Even now, as Jesus hangs from the cross, the religious leaders treat Jesus with contempt. There is no limit to their cruelty.


VERSE 36. The soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and offering him vinegar,

offering him vinegar. Some translations say “wine.” In any case, it was offered to help dull the pain.


VERSE 37. and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”


VERSE 38. An inscription was also written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”




VERSE 39. One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!”


VERSE 40. But the other answered, and rebuking him said, “Don’t you even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation?


VERSE 41. And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.”


VERSE 42. He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.”

Lord, remember me. This is a remarkable statement of faith. Jesus is moments from dying. Yet this criminal sees that Jesus is Lord, and will live on.

when you come into your Kingdom. This criminal sees that Jesus will reign over a kingdom.


VERSE 43. Jesus said to him, “Assuredly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”

today you will be with me. From the cross, Jesus Christ promises eternal salvation to a repentant sinner.

in Paradise. The Greek word is παραδείσῳ (“paradeisō”). It is an ancient Persian word that means an enclosure, a garden, a park.




VERSE 44. It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour.

darkness came over the whole land. About to loose Jesus Christ, the world is plunged into darkness.


VERSE 45. The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two.


VERSE 46. Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last.

crying with a loud voice. Jesus has no doubt about what is about to happen.


VERSE 47. When the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous man.”


VERSE 48. All the multitudes that came together to see this, when they saw the things that were done, returned home beating their breasts.

came together to see this. Many had gathered for this spectacle.


VERSE 49. All his acquaintances and the women who followed with him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.




VERSE 50. Behold, a man named Joseph, who was a member of the council, a good and righteous man

Joseph. This is Joseph of Arimathaea. Unlike the other religious leaders, he is an actual spiritual seeker.


VERSE 51. (he had not consented to their counsel and deed), from Arimathaea, a city of the Jews, who was also waiting for God’s Kingdom:


VERSE 52. this man went to Pilate, and asked for Jesus’ body.


VERSE 53. He took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was cut in stone, where no one had ever been laid.


VERSE 54. It was the day of the Preparation, and the Sabbath was drawing near.


VERSE 55. The women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and saw the tomb, and how his body was laid.


VERSE 56. They returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment.

they rested. Despite the urgency of the situation, they kept the Sabbath.


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

At Explore the Faith, I share insights into the Bible and theological writings. If you like what I write, become my partner by donating. Help me reach the world for the Lord Jesus Christ.