Luke 23:26-38

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

July 10, 2002


Jesus had been put on trial before the Jewish leaders, then Pilate, and then Herod.  Neither Pilate nor Herod could find anything in Jesus worthy of the sentence of death.  Yet the Jewish leaders pushed until they got Pilate to agree to execute Jesus.

:26-31 Jesus warns the people

:26 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.

they laid hold uponepilambanomai – to take in addition, to lay hold of, take possession of, overtake, attain, attain to; to lay hold of or to seize upon anything with the hands, to take hold of, lay hold of

SimonShim‘own – “heard”

Cyrenian Kurenaios – a native of Cyrene.  Cyrene is thought to be a town in North Africa.

It was customary for the condemned man to carry his own crossbar to the place of execution.  Jesus had apparently been so weakened by the various beatings and scourgings, that He was unable to carry His own crossbar.

Mark tells us that Simon had a couple of sons.

(Mark 15:21 KJV)  And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross.
Paul writes to the Romans,
(Rom 16:13 KJV)  Salute Rufus chosen in the Lord, and his mother and mine.

It has been thought that through this incident, Simon and his family came to know the Lord.

the countryagros – land; the field, the country

they laidepitithemi – to put or lay upon; to add to

bearphero – to carry; to carry some burden; to bear with one’s self; to move by bearing; move or, to be conveyed or borne, with the suggestion of force or speed; to bear, i.e. endure, to endure the rigour of a thing, to bear patiently one’s conduct, or spare one (abstain from punishing or destroying)


Will you take up the cross?

Jesus had said,
(Luke 9:23 KJV)  And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me.

It’s ironic that this is what Simon is now being asked to do, except rather than taking up his own cross, he’s asked to take up the cross of Jesus.

Warren Wiersbe writes, “This means to be identified with Him in surrender, suffering, and sacrifice.”
The cross was what Jesus had to endure in His submission to the Father.  It involved shame and suffering.
There are going to be times when our walk with the Lord is going to take us into a place where life will no longer be comfortable.  This place may involve people ridiculing you, or giving you a hard time.
Peter’s death

Church tradition tell us that Peter was executed in Rome.  From Foxe’s Book of Martyrs:

…Nero sought matter against Peter to put him to death; which, when the people perceived, they entreated Peter with much ado that he would fly the city. Peter, through their importunity at length persuaded, prepared himself to avoid. But, coming to the gate, he saw the Lord Christ come to meet him, to whom he, worshipping, said, “Lord, whither dost Thou go?” To whom He answered and said, “I am come again to be crucified.” By this, Peter, perceiving his suffering to be understood, returned into the city. Jerome saith that he was crucified, his head being down and his feet upward, himself so requiring, because he was (he said) unworthy to be crucified after the same form and manner as the Lord was.

If following the Lord meant suffering, Peter was willing to do it.

Recently a young pastor named Tim Dearborn had to share a cab with four other people in Bangkok, Thailand.  One of the passengers was a Marxist revolutionary on his way to India.
The Marxist quizzed Tim at length about his faith.  Finally, he said, “How can you be a Christian?  Don’t you realize there’s no way your cause can win?”
“What do you mean there’s no way my cause can win?”  Tim asked.
The Marxist explained:  “I am on my way to India to organize fishermen to overthrow their oppressors.  And I am quite willing to lay down my life for the revolution.  Your American Christianity is preoccupied with what your God can do for you.  And dying for self-interest is a contradiction in terms!”

-- World Vision, Oct/Nov 1989, p.23

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

companyplethos – a multitude; a great number, of men or things; the whole number, the whole multitude, the assemblage; the multitude of the people

peoplelaos – a people, people group, tribe, nation, all those who are of the same stock and language; of a great part of the population gathered together anywhere

womengune – a woman of any age, whether a virgin, or married, or a widow; a wife; of a betrothed woman

I find it interesting that when most of the men who followed Jesus had disappeared, the women were still there.

bewailed kopto – to cut, strike, smite; to cut from, cut off; to beat one’s breast for grief

lamented threneo – to mourn, to lament; of singers of dirges, [to wail]; to bewail, deplore; to give utterance to a dirge over the dead, either in unstudied words, or in a more elaborate poem. This word is used by the Septuagint in describing David’s lament over Saul and Jonathan.

:28 But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

turningstrepho – to turn, turn around; to turn one’s self (i.e. to turn the back to one

daughtersthugater – a daughter

weepklaio – to mourn, weep, lament; weeping as the sign of pain and grief for the thing signified (i.e. for the pain and grief); of those who mourn for the dead; to weep for, mourn for, bewail, one

childrenteknon – offspring, children


Weeping for the wrong person

Sharing the gospel –
Sometimes people say mean things to you. We can get upset that we are being insulted. But we ought to be more concerned for the person who is rejecting the Lord. Their choices are leading them to a much greater trouble than the insult you face.
At funerals –
It is very understandable for there to be grief at a funeral. Sometimes we can get caught up in grief for the person that has died. But if they were a believer, we should be happy for them. For them, their pain is over and they are now with Jesus. We ought to be weeping for our own selves, because we will miss that person.
For Jesus –
These gals are feeling sorry for Jesus. That’s totally understandable. He didn’t do anything wrong. He had lived His whole life to help people. And now He is being led off as a condemned criminal to die a horrible, painful death.
And yet what Jesus was doing was, He did by choice. He made a choice to go to the cross. He did it because He had to fulfill God’s plan.

God’s plan was for Jesus to take the sins of the world and pay for them by being a sacrifice.

:29 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.

blessedmakarios – blessed, happy

the barrensteiros – hard, stiff; barren; of woman who does not conceive

the wombskoilia – the whole belly, the entire cavity; the womb, the place where the foetus is conceived and nourished until birth

baregennao – of men who fathered children; of women giving birth to children

papsmastos – the breasts

gave suckthelazo – to give the breast, give suck, to suckle; to suck


Children are a blessing

It doesn’t matter whether you have children of your own or not, children are a blessing.
(Psa 127 KJV) A Song of degrees for Solomon. Except the LORD build the house, they labour in vain that build it: except the LORD keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain. {2} It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep. {3} Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward.
heritagenachalah – possession, property, inheritance, heritage

God would like for us to consider the children around us as the most valuable inheritance we have.

rewardsakar – hire, wages

One of the ways that God pays us is through the joy of children.

{4} As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. {5} Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them: they shall not be ashamed, but they shall speak with the enemies in the gate.
If you have children – be sure you are taking time to enjoy your children. Don’t let yourself miss the opportunities to love on your children.
If you don’t have children – be sure you have the right attitude towards the children around you. Be sure you are loving on the kids around you and not ignoring them.
(Mark 10:13-16 KJV) And they brought young children to him, that he should touch them: and his disciples rebuked those that brought them. {14} But when Jesus saw it, he was much displeased, and said unto them, Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not: for of such is the kingdom of God. {15} Verily I say unto you, Whosoever shall not receive the kingdom of God as a little child, he shall not enter therein. {16} And he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them.
There will be children in this church running around. There are children in this church that would like to come to Jesus.

Do you see them as a nuisance or a joy?

Should you be involved in the Children’s Ministry? Have you thanked someone who helps out in the Children’s Ministry lately?


Lunchbox Notes

By Dale Hanson Bourke

“So you’re the one who started all the trouble!” the well-dressed woman said to me as I introduced myself. I looked at her blankly. Standing in the middle of our children’s classroom, I couldn’t imagine what she was talking about. “The notes,” she declared. “I mean the notes in the children’s lunchboxes. Because of your son, all the children have to have them now.” My mouth dropped open as I listened to her. I had no idea anyone even knew about the notes I tucked into Chase’s lunch box each day. But apparently he had shown them to his friends, who asked their mothers for notes, too. I usually did my son’s notes late night before I fell into bed, or early in the morning before anyone else was awake. Blurry-eyed, I drew pictures or simple words that Chase would recognize. These communiqués were my way of helping him make it thorough his long school day. So at lunchtime I tried to give him a little extra boost to remind him that he was special. Now I realized the notes had made a difference for Chase. He felt so good about them that he had shown them to his friends. And they all wanted to feel special as well. Each night when I cleaned out Chase’s lunchbox, I would find the day’s notes, with greasy little fingerprints on it. It made me smile to think of him reading his note each day as he ate his lunch. One day I opened his lunch box to find only crumbs and a half-eaten carrot. “Where’s your note, Chase?” I asked. He looked sheepish,. Sorry, Mom,” he said. I gave it to Jimmy.” “Why?” “Well, he never gets a note. So I thought I could share mine with him.” Chase looked at me sideways, waiting for my reaction. He was relieved when I bent down and hugged him. Jimmy’s mom was single and worked long hours to support her family. I was proud my son passed his precious note on to Jimmy. “You’re a very special boy,” I told him. “I know,” he responded. All I could do was laugh. I had thought that Chase needed a note each day to remind him of that fact. Instead he was reminding his classmates through his kindness. More importantly, he was reminding me.

Jesus is saying that there will be a time that people would be happier if they did not have children.

There would be a time coming for Jerusalem when people would wish that they did not have children who would have to live through these difficult times.

I remember secretly asking myself the question, “Do I want to have children who might have to face some of the terrible things predicted in the Bible for the End Times?”
I’m VERY glad I didn’t let those thoughts stop us from having children.

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

the mountainsoros – a mountain

fallpipto – to descend from a higher place to a lower; to fall (either from or upon); to be thrust down

hillsbounos – a hill, eminence, mound

coverkalupto – to hide, veil; to hinder the knowledge of a thing

I think Jesus is referring to two different times coming upon the city of Jerusalem.

He’s hinting at Jerusalem’s destruction coming in AD 70.

He’s hinting at the difficulties coming during the Great Tribulation.

(Rev 6:12-17 KJV) And I beheld when he had opened the sixth seal, and, lo, there was a great earthquake; and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood; {13} And the stars of heaven fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind. {14} And the heaven departed as a scroll when it is rolled together; and every mountain and island were moved out of their places. {15} And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every free man, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains; {16} And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sitteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb: {17} For the great day of his wrath is come; and who shall be able to stand?

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

greenhugros – damp, moist, wet; full of sap, green

treexulon – wood; a tree

the dryxeros – dry; of members of the body deprived of their natural juices, shrunk, wasted, withered; of the land in distinction from the water

A.T. Robertson –

“Green wood is hard to burn and so is used for the innocent. Dry wood kindles easily and is a symbol for the guilty. This common proverb has various applications. Here the point is that if they can put Jesus to death, being who he is, what will happen to Jerusalem when its day of judgment comes?”

Barnes –

“If they, the Romans, do these things to me, who am innocent and blameless; if they punish me in this manner in the face of justice, what will they not do in relation to this guilty nation? What security have they that heavier judgments will not come upon them? What desolations and woes may not be expected when injustice and oppression have taken the place of justice, and have set up a rule over this wicked people?”

:32-38 Jesus forgives

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

malefactorskakourgos (“evil” + “worker”) – a malefactor

put to deathanaireo – to take up, to lift up (from the ground); to take away, abolish; to put out of the way, kill slay a man

:33 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.

Calvary kranion – a skull

Did you know that you were attending “Skull Chapel”?  Sounds like a Biker church, huh?

crucifiedstauroo – to stake, drive down stakes; to crucify

From Harper’s Bible Dictionary:

Originally the ‘cross’ was an upright stake to which the corpse of an executed criminal was bound for public display or on which the living body of a condemned person was affixed to await death. During Roman times a crossbar was sometimes added across the top of the stake forming a T (later known as St. Anthony’s cross) or intersecting it to form the familiar Christian shape. Later an X-shaped form (St. Andrew’s cross) was also employed.
This mode of execution is unknown in the ot, which only reports the practice of exposing the corpse (Deut. 21:22-23). It seems to have originated as an instrument of execution with the Persians, from whom it passed to the Greeks and Romans. Among the latter it was widely employed for its deterrent value, especially against rebellious slaves and seditious provincials.
Though the procedure was subject to wide variation according to the whim and sadism of the executioner, by the Roman period several features were fairly standard. With a placard proclaiming the crime hung around the neck, the condemned prisoner carried the crossbar, not the whole cross, to the place of execution where the upright stake was already in place. There the offender was stripped and flogged. The prisoner’s arms were affixed to the crossbar with ropes or nails, and the crossbar was then raised and attached to the upright stake. A small wooden block attached to the stake beneath the buttocks supported the weight of the suspended body, which was bound to the stake with ropes. Often the feet were also affixed to the stake with ropes or nails. Because deterrence was a primary objective, the cross was always erected in a public place. Death came slowly, often only after several days, and resulted from the cumulative impact of thirst, hunger, exhaustion, exposure, and the traumatic effects of the scourging. After death the body was usually left hanging on the cross. Because of the protracted suffering and the extreme ignominy of this manner of execution, it was viewed by the Romans as the supreme penalty, the ‘most wretched of deaths’ (Josephus), and generally reserved for the lowest classes and the most heinous crimes. [1]

malefactorskakourgos – a malefactor

the right handdexios – the right, the right hand

the leftaristeros – left

:34 Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

forgiveaphiemi – to send away; to bid going away or depart; to let go, let alone, let be; to disregard; to let go, give up a debt, forgive, to remit; to give up, keep no longer

knoweido – to see; to perceive with the eyes; to know; to know, i.e. get knowledge of, understand, perceive


God’s forgiveness

God sends away our sin.
(Psa 103:11-12 KJV)  For as the heaven is high above the earth, so great is his mercy toward them that fear him. {12} As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.

He sends it far, far away.

(Micah 7:18-19 KJV)  Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of his heritage? he retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy. {19} He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.
God forgets about our sin.
(Jer 31:3 KJV)  The LORD hath appeared of old unto me, saying, Yea, I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee.
(Jer 31:33-34 KJV)  But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people. {34} And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.
God no longer holds our sin against us.
(Psa 103:10 KJV)  He hath not dealt with us after our sins; nor rewarded us according to our iniquities.
We ought to learn to forgive others like God forgives us.
(Eph 4:31-32 KJV)  Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: {32} And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you.

parteddiamerizo – to cleave asunder, cut in pieces; to be divided into opposing parts, to be at variance, in dissension; to distribute

raimenthimation – a garment (of any sort); garments, i.e. the cloak or mantle and the tunic; the upper garment, the cloak or mantle

castballo – to throw or let go of a thing without caring where it falls; to scatter, to throw, cast into

lotskleros – an object used in casting or drawing lots, which was either a pebble, or a potsherd, or a bit of wood; the lots of several persons concerned, inscribed with their names, were thrown together into a vase, which was then shaken, and he whose lot fell out first upon the ground was the one chosen

This was a fulfillment of prophecy:

(Psa 22:18 KJV)  They part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture.

:35 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.

beholdingtheoreo – to be a spectator, look at, behold; to view attentively, take a view of, survey; to view mentally, consider; to see

deridedekmukterizo – to deride by turning up the nose, to sneer at, to scoff at

savedsozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

ChristChristos – “anointed”; Christ was the Messiah, the Son of God

choseneklektos – picked out, chosen

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

mocked  empaizo –  to play with, trifle with; to mock

coming toproserchomai – to come to, approach; draw near to

vinegaroxos – vinegar; the mixture of sour wine or vinegar and water which the Roman soldiers were accustomed to drink

offeringprosphero – to bring to, lead to; to be borne towards one, to attack, assail

:37 And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.

savesozo – to save, keep safe and sound, to rescue from danger or destruction; to save a suffering one (from perishing), i.e. one suffering from disease, to make well, heal, restore to health; to preserve one who is in danger of destruction, to save or rescue

What they aren’t aware of is that Jesus has made a choice to be crucified.  He doesn’t want to save Himself.

:38 And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

superscriptionepigraphe – an inscription, title; in the NT of an inscription in black letters upon a whitened tablet; of the inscription on a coin

Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew – These were the three main languages that of that area. 

Greek was the common language spoken throughout the world.  Latin was the language of the Romans.  Hebrew (or, Aramaic) was the common language that the Jews spoke on a day-to-day basis.

It was customary to have the charge of the condemned man hanging near the criminal listing his name, his place of residence, and the charge against him.

It was Pilate who decided what should be written.

(John 19:19-22 KJV)  And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. {20} This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. {21} Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. {22} Pilate answered, What I have written I have written.

I’d say that Pilate was pretty accurate in what he had written.


[1]Achtemeier, P. J. (1985). Harper's Bible dictionary. Includes index. (1st ed.) (Page 194). San Francisco: Harper & Row.