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Luke 23:13-25

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 4, 2017


Do people see Jesus? Is the gospel preached? Does it address the person who is: Empty, lonely, guilty, or afraid to die?  Does it speak to the broken hearted? Does it build up the church? Milk – Meat – Manna Preach for a decision Is the church loved? Regular:  2900 words    Communion: 2500 words  Video=75wpm

Video: 2017 Harvest America Promo

Next week we will be hosting the live webcast of Harvest America.

The “pre-concert” starts at 4:30, the actual event is 5-7pm.

Luke was a doctor and a traveling companion of the apostle Paul.

He wrote this book while Paul was in prison.

In writing this book about Jesus, Luke made use of other older documents like the Gospel of Mark, as well as extensive eyewitness accounts.

Jesus’ ministry is well under way, and the people have been amazed not just at the things He’s been teaching, but the things He’s been doing.

We are now at the end of Jesus’ ministry.

Jesus is hours from being crucified.

Luke has reminded us of what Jesus’ main purpose was in life:

(Luke 19:10 NKJV) for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.”
He would do this by dying for our sins.

We saw Jesus arrive in Jerusalem on the previous Sunday, Palm Sunday, to the shouts of an adoring crowd, crying “Hosanna”.

On the following Thursday night, Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples before taking them back to spend the night at the Garden of Gethsemane.

Judas showed up with a group of Jewish leaders and soldiers.

They took Jesus to the high priest’s house, and then early on Friday morning Jesus was put on trial before the Sanhedrin.

The high priest has declared Jesus guilty of blasphemy because He was claiming to be the Messiah.

Then Jesus was taken to Pilate because they needed his condemnation of Jesus in order for Jesus to be put to death.

When Pilate couldn’t find anything wrong with Jesus, he sent Him to Herod, and when Herod couldn’t find anything wrong, Jesus was sent back to Pilate.

23:13-25 Pilate Trial #2

:13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people,

called togethersugkaleo – to call together, assemble; to call together to one’s self

:14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him;

brought … toprosphero – to bring to, lead to; one to a person who can heal him or is ready to show him some kindness, one to a person who is to judge him

misleadsapostrepho – to turn away; to remove anything from anyone; to turn him away from allegiance to any one; tempt to defect

having examinedanakrino – examine or judge; to investigate, examine, enquire into, scrutinise, sift, question; specifically in a forensic sense of a judge to hold an investigation; to interrogate, examine the accused or witnesses

you accusekategoreo – to accuse; before a judge: to make an accusation; of an extra-judicial accusation

:15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him.

I sentanapempo – to send up; to a higher place; to a person higher in office, authority, or power; to send back

deservingaxios – weighing, having weight, having the weight of another thing of like value, worth as much; befitting, congruous, corresponding to a thing

has been doneprasso – to exercise, practice, to be busy with, carry on; to accomplish, perform

Perfect passive participle

:13 the chief priests, the rulers, and the people

At this point, the crowd isn’t just made up of chief priests and leaders, but now includes ordinary people as well.

People like you and me.

There’s a song we sing that has a line that goes, “Ashamed I hear my mocking voice, call out among the scoffers”

:14 I have found no fault in this Man

faultaition – cause, fault

Between all the time Jesus has spent with Pilate and Herod, Pilate has concluded that Jesus hasn’t done anything deserving of death.


He was innocent

The Old Testament lays out the principle of substitutionary sacrifice.
One life may pay for the sins of another life.
Yet for the sacrifice to be acceptable, it had to be “without blemish” (Lev. 1:3), as a picture of an innocent life taking the place of a guilty life.

(Leviticus 1:3 NKJV) ‘If his offering is a burnt sacrifice of the herd, let him offer a male without blemish; he shall offer it of his own free will at the door of the tabernacle of meeting before the Lord.

Jesus was eligible to be a sacrifice for the sins of others.
If Jesus had done something worthy of death, then when He died, He would have been dying to pay for His own sins.
Since He was innocent, He could die to pay for the sins of others.
Jesus was not just a perfect sacrifice, He was also the priest presenting the sacrifice.
(Hebrews 7:26–27 NKJV) —26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens; 27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.
At the very beginning of Jesus’ ministry, John the Baptist recognized something special about Jesus:
(John 1:29 NKJV) The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!
In the world of Old Testament sin atonement, a person’s sins were laid on an innocent, blameless animal.
Jesus was going to die on Passover, and even the Passover lamb had to meet the standards of sacrifice:
(Exodus 12:5a NKJV) Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year.

Jesus was “without blemish”.  He was innocent.

:16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him

chastise paideuo – to train children; to be instructed or taught or learn; to cause one to learn; to chastise; to chastise or castigate with words, to correct; of those who are molding the character of others by reproof and admonition; to chastise with blows, to scourge; of a father punishing his son; of a judge ordering one to be scourged

releaseapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; to bid depart, send away; to let go free, release

:17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

necessaryanagke – necessity, imposed either by the circumstances, or by law of duty regarding to one’s advantage, custom, argument

to releaseapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; to bid depart, send away; to let go free, release

:17 necessary for him to release one to them

Some of your translations don’t have verse 17 because of a difference in some of the Greek manuscripts, but don’t worry, the point expressed here is found in all the other gospels (Mat. 27:15; Mark 15:6; John 18:39)

(Matthew 27:15 NKJV) Now at the feast the governor was accustomed to releasing to the multitude one prisoner whom they wished.
(Mark 15:6 NKJV) Now at the feast he was accustomed to releasing one prisoner to them, whomever they requested.
(John 18:39 NKJV) “But you have a custom that I should release someone to you at the Passover. Do you therefore want me to release to you the King of the Jews?”
This custom was meant to give the Roman rulers the appearance of being merciful by releasing one prisoner who was condemned to die.

:18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”—

cried outanakrazo – to raise a cry from the depth of the throat, to cry out

at oncepamplethei – with the whole multitude; all together, one and all

releaseapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; to bid depart, send away; to let go free, release

:19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

rebellionstasis – a standing, station, state; an insurrection; strife, insurrection

murderphonos – murder, slaughter

:18 release to us Barabbas

Barabbas – “son of a father”

It’s an interesting name.  In a way, it could apply to any man, since we are all sons of our fathers.

Luke tells us that Barabbas was part of a rebellion, and had committed murder.

Mark tells us that Barabbas was part of a movement of rebels, and had been in chains with other rebels. (Mark 15:7)

(Mark 15:7 NKJV) And there was one named Barabbas, who was chained with his fellow rebels; they had committed murder in the rebellion.
fellow rebelssustasiastes – a companion in insurrection, a fellow rioter

John called Barabbas a “robber” (lestes) (Jn. 18:40)

(John 18:40 NKJV) Then they all cried again, saying, “Not this Man, but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a robber.
robberlestes – robber, plunderer, one who steals openly instead of secretly.
Mark recorded that when Jesus was crucified, there were two others crucified at the same time, also called “robbers” (lestes) (Mark 15:27)
(Mark 15:27 NKJV) With Him they also crucified two robbers, one on His right and the other on His left.
Josephus uses the same term (lestes) to describe some who were part of the Jewish rebellion at that time.
The two people between whom Jesus is crucified are also described as “bandits,” a term that Josephus uses to describe elements of the resistance movement that may not have been directly related to the Zealots but were nevertheless involved in the Jewish fight for freedom (Mark 15:27).[1]
Could it be that the two men crucified with Jesus were part of the same band of rebels that Barabbas belonged to and they had all been chained together in prison and scheduled to die together?

Matthew tells us that Barabbas had quite the reputation, that he was a “notorious prisoner”. (Mat. 27:16)

(Matthew 27:16 NKJV) And at that time they had a notorious prisoner called Barabbas.
notoriousepisemos – having a mark on it; of note, illustrious; notorious, infamous
The word for “notorious” could carry a positive sense as if he was a famous rebel, like Luke Skywalker.
It could also carry a negative sense, as a notorious gangster.
The Romans considered Barabbas a “terrorist”.
Some of the Jews would have considered him a “patriot”.

Yet for whatever reasons he did what he was imprisoned for, he was a sinner.

He was a thief and a murderer.

:20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them.

called outprosphoneo – to call to, to address by calling; to call to one’s self, summon

to releaseapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); to let go free, release

wishingthelo – to will, have in mind, intend; to be resolved or determined, to purpose; to desire, to wish; to love; to like to do a thing, be fond of doing; to take delight in, have pleasure

:21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

shoutedepiphoneo – to call out to, shout

:20 wishing to release Jesus

If you were to ask Pilate what he really desired to do at this point, he would tell you that he wanted to release Jesus.

Somewhere around this time, Pilate’s wife speaks up:

(Matthew 27:19 NKJV) While he was sitting on the judgment seat, his wife sent to him, saying, “Have nothing to do with that just Man, for I have suffered many things today in a dream because of Him.”
Church tradition says that Pilate’s wife was known as Claudia Procula.  According to tradition she became a believer.
Even though she warned Pilate not to hurt Jesus, he would give in to the pressures of the Jewish leaders.

:21 Crucify Him, crucify Him!

crucifystauroo – to stake, drive down stakes; to fortify with driven stakes, to palisade; to crucify

Aorist active imperative

It hardly makes sense to us, to see Jesus coming into Jerusalem on the previous Sunday with the crowd shouting “Hosanna”, and now on Friday morning they are shouting “Crucify Him!”

Matthew tells us that there was a force motivating the crowd.

(Matthew 27:20 NKJV) But the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitudes that they should ask for Barabbas and destroy Jesus.

:22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

evilkakos – of a bad nature; base, wrong, wicked; troublesome, injurious, pernicious, destructive, baneful

reasonaition – cause, fault

chastisepaideuo – to train children; to be instructed or taught or learn; to cause one to learn; to chastise; to chastise or castigate with words, to correct; of those who are molding the character of others by reproof and admonition; to chastise with blows, to scourge; of a father punishing his son; of a judge ordering one to be scourged

let Him goapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); a petitioner to whom liberty to depart is given by a decisive answer; to bid depart, send away; to let go free, release

:22 I have found no reason for death in Him

For the third time Pilate reiterates that he sees no reason to have Jesus put to death.

:23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed.

voicesphone – a sound, a tone; a voice; speech

loudmegas – great; predicated of rank, as belonging to; splendid, prepared on a grand scale, stately; great things

demandingaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

This is the root word for the word translated “reason” (vs. 22)

:23 they were insistent

were insistent epikeimai – be laid or placed upon; metaph. of things, of the pressure of a violent tempest; of men, to press upon, to be urgent

They put the pressure on Pilate.

John gives us one more argument the Jewish leaders made at this point:

(John 19:12 NKJV) From then on Pilate sought to release Him, but the Jews cried out, saying, “If you let this Man go, you are not Caesar’s friend. Whoever makes himself a king speaks against Caesar.”
If you recall our background briefing on Pilate from last week, Pilate was quite concerned about his relationship to Caesar.
Pilate had been appointed governor in AD 26 by the Emperor Tiberius.
To impress the emperor, Pilate had tried to place images of Tiberius in Jerusalem – and the Jews rebelled.
To impress the emperor, Pilate had tried to put shields with the emperor’s name in the palace of Herod – and the Jews rebelled.
And now they pressure Pilate where’s he’s most vulnerable – his relationship with the emperor.

:23 the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed

prevailedkatischuo – to be strong to another’s detriment, to prevail against; to be superior in strength

They won the argument with the strength of their loud voices, their insisting, and their demands.

:24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested.

:24 Pilate gave sentence

gave sentenceepikrino – to adjudge, approve by one’s decision, decree, give sentence

This is judicial language. Pilate rules that Jesus is to be put to death.

:24 that it should be as they requested

requestedaitema – petition, request, required

There are a string of related words in our passage that don’t make the same impact in English as they do in Greek. They are all based on the same root word (aiteo).

Pilate could find no “fault” (v.14) in Jesus.

Pilate had no “reason” (v.22) to put Jesus to death.

The Jews were “demanding” (v.23) and “requested” (v.24, 25), all this to give Pilate the “fault” he was looking for to condemn Jesus.


Owning your choices

One of the hardest things to do in life is to admit that I’ve done wrong.
It’s much easier to just make excuses.
Video:  Flip Wilson – The Devil Made Me Do It
Sometimes we would like to close our eyes and pretend that there are no consequences for the choices we make.
Pilate was like that.
Matthew records,
(Matthew 27:24 NKJV) When Pilate saw that he could not prevail at all, but rather that a tumult was rising, he took water and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, “I am innocent of the blood of this just Person. You see to it.”

Pilate thought he could be free from guilt by simply “washing his hands”.  Yet he would face the rest of his life knowing that he had condemned an innocent person to death. 

He had condemned the King of the Jews to death.

I’ve known people who have done some pretty nasty things in their life.
Often those same dirty deeds affect those around them.
Yet rather than owning up to their own bad choices, they continue to blame everything and everyone around them.

Like the man who gets violent with his wife, but then either blames the alcohol he’s drinking, or blames the wife claiming she provoked him.

You can try to wash your hands by blaming others, but you’re never going to see your life turn around until you recognize you are to blame.

The Bible says,
(Proverbs 28:13 NKJV) He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy.
James taught that the road to healing and change is tied to learning to admit our sins to others.
(James 5:16 NKJV) Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

:25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

:25 but he delivered Jesus to their will

he deliveredparadidomi – to give into the hands (of another); to give over into (one’s) power or use; to deliver to one something to keep, use, take care of, manage; to deliver up one to custody, to be judged, condemned, punished, scourged, tormented, put to death; to deliver up treacherously; by betrayal to cause one to be taken

their willthelema – what one wishes or has determined shall be done; will, choice, inclination, desire, pleasure

Twice Pilate mentioned that he would just have Jesus “chastised” (v.16, 22) and then let go.

Chastisement may have included some sort of beating or whipping.

Mark tells us what Pilate did after this.

(Mark 15:15 NKJV) So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them; and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified.
Jesus had already been beaten with fists, but this takes it to a whole different level.
(Matthew 27:26 NKJV) Then he released Barabbas to them; and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered Him to be crucified.
The Romans scourged their prisoners with a device called a “flagrum”.  It was a handle with long leather straps of various lengths attached.  Imbedded in the straps were jagged pieces of bone and lead.
The purpose of the flagrum was to open up the skin and turn a person’s back into hamburger.
Eusebius, a third-century historian writes: “The sufferer’s veins were laid bare, and the very muscles, sinews, and bowels of the victim were open to exposure.”
Video:  The Passion – Scourging Flagrum

If the cross was about paying for our sins, why did Jesus have to be scourged as well?


For our healing

Isaiah prophesied about what Jesus would go through.
(Isaiah 53:5–6 NKJV) —5 But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, And by His stripes we are healed. 6 All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

The “stripes” refer to the marks of scourging.

healedrapha’ – to heal, make healthful. 

Some take this in a strictly spiritual sense, that God has healed us spiritually through Jesus, and that is correct.

Yet the Hebrew word is one primarily used to speak of physical healing.

Peter took Isaiah’s prophecy this way:
(1 Peter 2:24–25 NKJV) —24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed. 25 For you were like sheep going astray, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Again, the New Testament word “healed” (iaomai) can speak of both spiritual salvation as well as physical healing.

Jesus’ scourging has provided two things for us:

1) He’s made physical healing available to us.

2) It’s a motivation for us to get our lives back on track and live for righteousness, to “return” to God.

James instructs what to do if you need physical healing:
(James 5:13–16 NKJV) —13 Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. 16 Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

It’s not that you don’t go to your doctor, but how about asking God to heal you?

It’s been on my heart lately for us to specifically be praying for the sick among us.

At the end of the service, we will have prayer teams up front who will anoint you with oil and ask God for His healing.

Healing is can be complicated in that God does not heal every person every time.

But He has made it possible for us to be healed this way, and He’s commanded us to pray for the sick.

:25 he released to them the one they requested

he releasedapoluo – to set free; to let go, dismiss, (to detain no longer); to let go free, release

rebellionstasis – a standing, station, state; an insurrection; strife, insurrection

murderphonos – murder, slaughter

they requestedaiteo – to ask, beg, call for, crave, desire, require

Same as “requested” (v.24), “demanding” (v.23), and “reason” (v.22)

Pilate released Barabbas, a man condemned for rebellion and murder.


He took my place

In a way, Barrabas is a picture of each one of us.
I see myself in Barrabas’ name.  I too am just “a son of a father”.
Like Barabbas, I too am a sinner.
(Romans 3:23 NKJV) for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

 Each one of us faces death for our sins.

Like Barabbas, Jesus died in my place.
Paul would later write about the great exchange that took place on the cross:
(2 Corinthians 5:21 NLT) For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.

God took our sins and placed them on Jesus, who had not known sin.

God then took the righteousness of Jesus and put it on us in exchange for our sin.

Because of what Jesus did for me, I now face a choice.
I can go on with my life as usual and eventually face death for my sins, or I can turn from my sin, and ask Jesus to forgive me.
If I will believe in Jesus, I will receive a new life, eternal life.
Video:  Skitguys - Barabbas
Are you like Barabbas?

Do you need God’s forgiveness?

Jesus died in your place as well.

[1] Johnson, B. T., & Lookadoo, J. (2016). Zealot. In J. D. Barry, D. Bomar, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, D. Mangum, C. Sinclair Wolcott, … W. Widder (Eds.), The Lexham Bible Dictionary. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.