New Defender's Study Bible Notes
23:4 no fault. It is noteworthy that the governor who condemned Jesus to die acknowledged that He was not guilty of the false charges (Luke 23:2) that had been lodged against Him. Pilate knew that Jesus’ accusers were lying, but for political reasons condemned Him anyway. Pilate probably said more than he knew when he was led (possibly by the Holy Spirit) to pronounce that “there is no fault in Him.” Not only had Jesus committed no political crime, He had never committed any kind of sin at all. If any man ever deserved not to die, it was he!
23:5 Jewry. That is, “Judaea.”
23:9 answered him nothing. Jesus’ silence before the king was in fulfillment of Isaiah 53:7.
23:12 enmity. It is remarkable how often mutual enemies will join forces to oppose and defeat, if possible, any Christian teaching or action—especially if related to the truth of creation or, in this case, to the Word of the Creator/Redeemer.
23:30 Fall on us. This prophecy was fulfilled in part at the time of the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Its ultimate fulfillment will be in the coming tribulation period (Revelation 6:15-17; see also Isaiah 2:19-21).
23:31 green tree. Jesus was comparing the Roman treatment of Himself to what they would later do to the Jews. He was like a live tree, offering life-giving fruit, whereas the Jewish nation had become a dead tree, producing nothing but trouble.
23:34 forgive them. This is the first “word” from the cross. In previous times Jesus Himself had directly forgiven sins (e.g., Matthew 9:6), but on the cross He was limited to only His human resources, especially the resource of prayer.
23:34 know not. Jesus did not pray for forgiveness of willful sin (Hebrews 10:26).
23:39 railed on him. While one of the thieves on the cross repented and believed unto salvation (Luke 23:43), the other continued his scoffing unbelief until he died. The one assures us that no one need despair of ever being saved, since it is possible at any time before death. The other warns us that no one should presume on God’s forgiving patience. Long-continued rebellion against God is likely to become so fixed in one’s character that repentance may become humanly impossible.
23:42 said unto Jesus, Lord. The repentant thief, beholding Christ and hearing the first two words from the cross (Luke 23:34; John 19:26), believed that Jesus was Lord and that he could, indeed, be forgiven. He had no opportunity to be baptized, change his life style, or to do anything except repent, believe on Christ, and confess his faith (Romans 10:9). That was sufficient!
23:43 To day. They would die that day, and the soul of the unrepentant thief would descend into Hades, to await condemnation at the judgment day. The other, because of his trust in Christ, would go with Him to paradise, or “Abraham’s Bosom” (Luke 16:22). While there, the Lord would proclaim His victory to the many imprisoned evil angels confined there in chains of darkness (II Peter 2:4; I Peter 3:19). He would then set free the souls of those who had died in faith (Luke 4:18), taking them and their “paradise” with Him to the “third heaven” (Ephesians 4:8-10; II Corinthians 12:2-4), and carrying with Him “the keys of hell (hades) and of death” (Revelation 1:18).
23:46 commend my spirit. This is Christ’s seventh, and last, word from the cross (for the others, see Luke 23:34; John 19:26; Luke 23:43; Matthew 27:46; John 19:28,30). After the three hours of darkness (Luke 23:44) when the Father had forsaken Him, and Christ could only call Him “My God” (Matthew 27:46), the work was finished (John 19:30) and Christ could again call Him “Father.” Furthermore, no mere human being could, simply of his own volition, dismiss His spirit from His own body. But Christ again was fully God as well as man, so could and did do exactly that.
23:53 never man before. The intriguing account of the burial of Jesus is given in all four gospels, and explanatory footnotes should be consulted for each. Joseph as a “counsellor” (Luke 23:50) was a member of the Sanhedrin, the group that had condemned Jesus. The fact that he had not “consented” to this deed with the others had, no doubt, alienated him from his colleagues, and this would be seriously aggravated by his provision of a proper burial for Jesus’ body. Furthermore, he had apparently purchased the plot of land for just this purpose, and then had “hewn out in the rock” (Matthew 27:60) a “new tomb,” wherein none before had been buried. Nicodemus, his colleague on the counsel, had participated with him in all these plans, which must have occupied at least many weeks before the crucifixion. See especially the notes on John 19:38-41.
23:54 the preparation. Evidently Joseph had prepared the tomb very near to Mount Calvary, in order to have quick access to the body and get it buried before the sabbath, which would begin at dusk, and on which the law required everyone to rest (Luke 23:56). Thus, Jesus died on the sixth day of the week, His body “rested” in the tomb on the seventh day, while everyone else likewise was supposed to be resting, and then rose again “upon the first day of the week” (Luke 24:1). As He had promised, therefore, He was “raised the third day” (Luke 9:22). There seems no way in this record to accommodate one or two more days between His death and resurrection, as some would argue. He was crucified on one day, rested in the tomb all through the second day, then was “raised the third day.”