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Luke 23:47-56

Sunday Morning Bible Study

June 25, 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


We are now about two weeks away from the last day to jump on to our trip to Israel in November.  Final payments will be due on July 8.

Yes it’s a lot of money ($3398/person), but it truly is the trip of a lifetime.

We will be visiting over 50 sites in Israel. You will see the Bible come alive.

While some tours will place an emphasis on visiting old churches in Israel, we will place our emphasis on visiting actual archaeological sites.

If you are concerned for your safety, yes there are concerns, but the nation of Israel knows more about handling terrorists than anyone.

Because our group will be small (about 20 folks), we will be able to get more done and have more interaction with our sites.

We are offering an optional two day extension to Petra as well..

We’ve arrived at the pinnacle of Jesus’ ministry.

Luke told us 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.

Jesus was arrested and went through a series of trials as the Jewish leaders argued to have Jesus put to death.

Pilate has tried to get out of sentencing Jesus to death, but eventually gave in to the pressure of the crowd and the Jewish leaders.

Jesus was scourged

Jesus was crucified.

And died.

23:47-49 Reaction to His death

:47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

:47 the centurion

The centurion was the man in charge at the execution site.

centurionhekatontarchos (“hundred” + “ruler”) – an officer in the Roman army in charge of a hundred men.

Centurions were known for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind.

“Polybius (vi. 24), states that the centurions were chosen by merit, and so were men remarkable not so much for their daring courage as for their deliberation, constancy, and strength of mind.”[1]

Video:  Marines Corps Commercial– “Battles Won”

Roman centurions are mentioned several times in the scriptures. They were always outstanding men.

It was a centurion who sent messengers to Jesus because his servant was ill.
The centurion didn’t think he was worthy of Jesus coming to his home, so he asked that Jesus simply give the “order”, knowing that whatever Jesus said would be done, even if from a distance.

(Luke 7:9 NKJV) When Jesus heard these things, He marveled at him, and turned around and said to the crowd that followed Him, “I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel!”

A centurion named Cornelius would be the first Gentile to become a Christian (Acts 10).
God used several centurions to protect Paul when he was arrested in Jerusalem and eventually extradited to Rome (Acts 22, 23, 27)

:47 Certainly this was a righteous Man!

he glorifieddoxazo – to think, suppose, be of opinion; to praise, extol, magnify, celebrate; to honour, do honour to, hold in honour; to make glorious, adorn with lustre, clothe with splendour

righteousdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God

Mark records,

(Matthew 27:54 NKJV) —54 So when the centurion and those with him, who were guarding Jesus, saw the earthquake and the things that had happened, they feared greatly, saying, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
(Mark 15:39 NKJV) So when the centurion, who stood opposite Him, saw that He cried out like this and breathed His last, he said, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”
Video:  The Greatest Story Ever Told – Jesus Dies on the Cross

:47 when the centurion saw what had happened


Life Witness

The centurion was blown away by what he saw when he observed Jesus dying on the cross.
Sometimes we don’t quite understand the importance of how we live our lives.
People are watching.
Video:  Children See, Children Do
Your words are important.
It’s important that people know what it is you believe.
Your life is also important.
It’s your actions, the way you live, even the way you die, that give your words impact.
Jesus said,

(Matthew 5:16 NKJV) Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

It’s your life, your good works, that bring glory to God.

People ought to be able to see the life of Jesus at work in your life.

Yet every once in a while I see some of my church “friends” on Facebook posting things that I frankly would have a hard time imagining Jesus posting.

I have a hard time when people are posting sexually charged videos.

I have a hard time when people post their glee at their upcoming drinking party.

I have a hard time when people post about how much they hate certain people.

Whether you post to Facebook or not, what are your friends thinking when they see you are no different from the unbelievers?

I love it when people post about loving their spouse, or the blessing their kids are.

I love it when people post answers to prayer.

I love it when people post things they’ve learned from the Scriptures.

My friends, we are living in the age of lukewarm Christianity, at a time when the world is getting further and further from God.
There ought to be an increasingly clear contrast between the Christian and the non-believer.
They should see our lives and wonder why we are so different.

As long as we are truly different.

:48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned.

came togethersumparaginomai – to come together

crowdochlos – a crowd

sighttheoria – a viewing, beholding; that which is viewed, a spectacle, sight

seeingtheoreo – to be a spectator, look at, behold; to view attentively, take a view of, survey

beattupto – to strike, beat, smite; of mourners, to smite their breast

breastsstethos (“stethoscope”) – the breast

returnedhupostrepho – to turn back; to return

:49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

stoodhistemi – to cause or make to stand, to place, put, set; to stand; to stand by or near

at a distancemakrothen – from afar, afar

who followedsunakoloutheo – to follow together with others, to accompany

watchinghorao – to see with the eyes

:49 all His acquaintances … stood at a distance

acquaintancesgnostos – known, notable

From the word “to know”, these are all those who “knew” Jesus.

Earlier in the week, Jesus hadn’t come to Jerusalem by Himself.

He had a group of people that had followed Him all the way from Galilee, including His disciples.

When Jesus was crucified, the only followers present were four women and the apostle John present. (John 19:25-26)

Earlier in the afternoon, there were some who stood close to Jesus.

(John 19:25 NKJV) Now there stood by the cross of Jesus His mother, and His mother’s sister, Mary the wife of Clopas, and Mary Magdalene.
John records that he was there as well.

As the afternoon has progressed, even these took a step back and watched from a distance.

Jesus had told them the night before:
(Mark 14:27 NKJV) Then Jesus said to them, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night, for it is written: ‘I will strike the Shepherd, And the sheep will be scattered.’

When He died, He died alone.



There can be many reasons why we at times feel so alone.
Sometimes it’s our own harsh actions and mean attitudes that can drive people away from us.

Video: Lord of the Rings – Sneaky Little Hobbitses

Is it a wonder that Gollum lived alone for so long?

Sometimes loneliness is no more than a state of mind.  We may actually have people all around us who love us, yet somehow we still feel lonely.
Sometimes we have become truly abandoned.

That’s what’s happening to Jesus.

No matter what your reason for feeling alone, I hope you will hear this.  Jesus understands more than you can imagine.
(Hebrews 4:15–16 NLT) —15 This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. 16 So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.

You can go to Jesus to help you with the loneliness you feel.

I wonder if sometimes we are expecting people to fill the emptiness inside of us that only God can fill. 
You can see this even in marriage.  Sometimes we fall into the trap of expecting our spouse to fill the emptiness.
Video: Jerry Maguire – You Complete Me
Now I appreciate the concept of a husband saying something like this to his wife (“you complete me”), but the danger is going too far with that idea, and expecting your spouse to fill that emptiness inside you that only God can fill.
Single people:  You will go much further in life and in any future relationships if you learn this now.
King David wrote,
(Psalm 27:10 NLT) Even if my father and mother abandon me, the Lord will hold me close.

Only God can fill your emptiness.

23:50-56 Jesus is buried

:50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man.

council memberbouleutes – a councillor, senator; a member of the Sanhedrin

goodagathos – of good constitution or nature; useful, salutary; good, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy; excellent, distinguished; upright, honourable

justdikaios – righteous, observing divine laws; in a wide sense, upright, righteous, virtuous, keeping the commands of God

:51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God.

consentedsugkatatithemai – to deposit together with another; to deposit one’s vote in the urn with another; to consent to, vote for, agree with

decisionboule – counsel, purpose

deedpraxis – a doing, a mode of acting, a deal, a transaction; in a bad sense, wicked deed, crime, wicked doings (our practices i.e. trickery)

ArimathaeaArimathaia – “heights”; the name of several cities in Palestine. The one mentioned in Mt 27:57; Mr 15:43; Lu 23:51; Joh 19:38 appears to have been the same as the birthplace of Samuel in Mount Ephraim.

(1 Sam 1:1 KJV) Now there was a certain man of Ramathaimzophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite:

waited forprosdechomai – to receive to one’s self, to admit, to give access to one’s self; to expect: the fulfilment of promises

:50 a man named Joseph

We are now introduced to Joseph of Arimathaea.

Arimathaea is believed to be another name for Ramathaim Zophim, or “Ramah”, the birthplace of the prophet Samuel (1Sam. 1:1)
(1 Samuel 1:1 NKJV) —1 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim Zophim, of the mountains of Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephraimite.
Eusebius and Jerome identify Arimathea as Ramathaim-Zophim (Ramah of Benjamin), the birthplace and burial place of Samuel (1 Sam 1:1, 19; 25:1).[2]
Video:  Map – Jerusalem and Ramah
Ramah is about six miles directly north of the city of Jerusalem.

Joseph was a “council member”, or, a member of the Sanhedrin, yet he had not voted to have Jesus crucified like the rest of the Sanhedrin.

We think it’s possible that he and Nicodemus were not even invited to the trial of Jesus.
A.T. Robertson writes:
“It is fairly certain that both Joseph and Nicodemus were suspected of sympathy with Jesus and so were not invited to the trial of Jesus.”

Luke tells us that Joseph was “waiting for the kingdom of God”, but John tells us that Joseph was actually a disciple of Jesus, but a “secret” one because of his fear of the Jews. (John 19:38).

(John 19:38 NKJV) After this, Joseph of Arimathea, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly, for fear of the Jews, asked Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus; and Pilate gave him permission. So he came and took the body of Jesus.

Matthew tells us that Joseph was also a wealthy man. (Mat. 27:57)

(Matthew 27:57 NKJV) —57 Now when evening had come, there came a rich man from Arimathea, named Joseph, who himself had also become a disciple of Jesus.

:52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

went toproserchomai – to come to, approach; draw near to; to assent to

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

The verb is in a “middle voice” (asked for himself), which carries the idea that Joseph was asking Pilate for the body as a personal favor.

:52 This man went to Pilate

John and Mark give us a little more insight into this moment.

Mark tells us that when it came time to ask for Jesus’ body from Pilate, Joseph got up his courage and went boldly to Pilate (Mark 15:43).

(Mark 15:43 NKJV) Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent council member, who was himself waiting for the kingdom of God, coming and taking courage, went in to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus.

Even though Joseph started out a little timid when it came to following Jesus, he didn’t end that way.

He eventually got up his courage and stepped up.

:53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before.

took it downkathaireo – to take down; without the notion of violence: to detach from the cross, one crucified

wrapped itentulisso – to roll up, wrap together

linensindon – linen cloth, esp. that which was fine and costly, in which the bodies of the dead were wrapped; thing made of fine cloth

laid ittithemi – to set, put, place

a tombmnema – a monument or memorial to perpetuate the memory of any person or thing; a sepulchral monument; a sepulchre or tomb

had ever lainkeimai – to lie; of an infant; of one buried; of things that quietly cover some spot

:53 laid it in a tomb

Matthew tells us that Joseph put Jesus in his own tomb (Mat. 27:60)

(Matthew 27:60 NKJV) and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.

This would fulfill another prophecy.

(Isaiah 53:9 NKJV) And they made His grave with the wicked— But with the rich at His death…
He died with criminals, but was buried in a rich man’s tomb.

:53 hewn out of the rock

hewn out of the rocklaxeutos – cut out of stone


Hamster and Frog
A mangy looking guy who goes into a restaurant and orders food. The waiter says, “No way. I don’t think you can pay for it.” The guy says, “You’re right. I don’t have any money, but if I show you something you haven’t seen before, will you give me the food?” “Deal!” replies the waiter. The guy reaches into his coat pocket and pulls out a hamster. He puts the hamster on the counter and it runs to the end, across the room, up the piano, jumps on the keyboard, and starts playing Gershwin songs. And the hamster is really good. The waiter says, “You’re right. I’ve never seen anything like that before. That hamster is truly good on the piano.” The guy downs the hamburger he ordered and asks the waiter for another. “Money or another miracle,” says the waiter. The guy reaches into his coat again and pulls out a frog. He puts the frog on the counter, and the frog starts to sing. He has a marvelous voice and great pitch. A fine singer. A stranger from the other end of the counter runs over to the guy and offers him $300 for the frog. The guy says, “It’s a deal.” He takes the three hundred and gives the stranger the frog. The stranger runs out of the restaurant. The waiter says to the guy, “Are you crazy? You sold a singing frog for $300? It must have been worth millions.” “Not so,” says the guy, “the hamster is also a ventriloquist.”


No Tricks

When it comes to explaining the resurrection of Jesus from the dead, some people have cooked up some interesting explanations, as if it was all done with tricks.
Before looking at some of those things, there’s a couple more things to note.
John records that the experienced Roman executioners had certified that Jesus was indeed dead. (John 19:31-37)

(John 19:31–37 NKJV) —31 Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away. 32 Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first and of the other who was crucified with Him. 33 But when they came to Jesus and saw that He was already dead, they did not break His legs. 34 But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out. 35 And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true; and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe. 36 For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled, “Not one of His bones shall be broken.” 37 And again another Scripture says, “They shall look on Him whom they pierced.”

Matthew recorded that after Jesus was buried, that a “large stone” was rolled over the door of the tomb.

(Matthew 27:60 NKJV) —60 and laid it in his new tomb which he had hewn out of the rock; and he rolled a large stone against the door of the tomb, and departed.

Engineers have estimated that a stone like that would have weighted 1-2 tons.

A stone doorway would keep animals from disturbing your dead loved one’s body.

Matthew also records that the Jewish leaders demanded that Pilate put a Roman seal on the tomb, and station a Roman guard unit in front of the tomb to keep anyone from stealing the body (Mat. 27:62-66)

(Matthew 27:62–66 NKJV) —62 On the next day, which followed the Day of Preparation, the chief priests and Pharisees gathered together to Pilate, 63 saying, “Sir, we remember, while He was still alive, how that deceiver said, ‘After three days I will rise.’ 64 Therefore command that the tomb be made secure until the third day, lest His disciples come by night and steal Him away, and say to the people, ‘He has risen from the dead.’ So the last deception will be worse than the first.” 65 Pilate said to them, “You have a guard; go your way, make it as secure as you know how.” 66 So they went and made the tomb secure, sealing the stone and setting the guard.

These precautions would keep anyone from even thinking of trying to steal the body.

And then there’s the fact that the tomb was carved out of solid rock.
Now … back to those wild ideas people have about the resurrection.
Some suggest that perhaps there was an escape hatch out the back, and that the disciples might have stolen the body.

Yet we’ve seen that the tomb was carved out of solid stone.

Some suggest that Jesus wasn’t really dead, but that He revived in the coolness of the tomb, and simply walked away.

Yet the Roman executioners said he was dead.

Jesus had not only been crucified, but savagely scourged as well.  And now he moves the one ton stone and overpowers the Roman guard?

I think not.

There were no “tricks” here.  No ventriloquist hamsters.
Jesus was dead.  He was buried.
Next week we’ll see that He truly rose from the dead.

:53 where no one had ever lain before

One of the places in Jerusalem that could be the place where Jesus died and was buried is known as the “Garden Tomb”.

The tomb itself has spots for two bodies.

When tombs like this were cut out of the stone, a platform was carved that would be the size of an average person.

When the occupant of the tomb died, the last adjustments would be made to the platform to accommodate the actual height of the person who died.
In the “Garden Tomb”, one of the spots has been left uncut, while the second spot has been adjusted to fit a body.

:54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

the Preparationparaskeue – a making ready, preparation, equipping; that which is prepared, equipment; in the NT in a Jewish sense, the day of preparation; the day on which the Jews made necessary preparation to celebrate a sabbath or a feast

The word paraskeue is the word in Modern Greek for the day “Friday”.

the Sabbathsabbaton – the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work; the institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week; a single sabbath, sabbath day; seven days, a week

drew nearepiphosko – to grow light, to dawn. This doesn’t mean that it’s literally “near dawn”, but that the Sabbath day was about to start. The Sabbath started at 6:00 p.m.

:54 the Preparation … the Sabbath

Friday is the day when observant Jews prepare to celebrate their Sabbath.

For example – no cooking is allowed on the Sabbath, so you prepare your meals the day before.

The Jewish Sabbath begins at sundown on Friday, around 6:00pm.

The Jews want the bodies buried by 6pm.

The disciples won’t have much time to do their burial preparations.

:55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid.

followed afterkatakoloutheo – to follow after

come withsunerchomai – to come together; to assemble; to go (depart) or come with one, to accompany one

observedtheaomai – to behold, look upon, view attentively, contemplate (often used of public shows); of important persons that are looked on with admiration; to view, take a view of

the tombmnema – a monument or memorial to perpetuate the memory of any person or thing; a sepulchral monument; a sepulchre or tomb

was laidtithemi – to set, put, place; to place or lay; to put down, lay down

:55 they observed the tomb

One more dumb idea about Jesus’ resurrection.

Some have suggested that the real problem was that everyone went to the wrong tomb on the following Sunday morning.

Yet Joseph knew where the tomb was.  It was his tomb.
The women knew where the tomb was.
The guards knew where the tomb was.
And even if everyone went to the wrong tomb, why didn’t the Jewish leaders just go to the right tomb and produce the body after the apostles started claiming that Jesus was risen?

:56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

they returnedhupostrepho – to turn back; to turn about; to return

preparedhetoimazo – to make ready, prepare; to make the necessary preparations, get everything ready

spicesaroma – spice, perfume

fragrant oilsmuron (“myrrh”) – ointment

the Sabbathsabbaton – the seventh day of each week which was a sacred festival on which the Israelites were required to abstain from all work; the institution of the sabbath, the law for keeping holy every seventh day of the week; a single sabbath, sabbath day; seven days, a week

restedhesuchazo – to keep quiet; to rest, cease from labour; to lead a quiet life, said of those who are not running hither and thither, but stay at home and mind their business; to be silent, i.e. to say nothing, hold one’s peace

the commandmententole – an order, command, charge, precept, injunction; that which is prescribed to one by reason of his office; a commandment; a prescribed rule in accordance with which a thing is done; a precept relating to lineage, of the Mosaic precept concerning the priesthood; ethically used of the commandments in the Mosaic law or Jewish tradition

:56 prepared spices and fragrant oils

When Jesus was initially buried, Joseph was helped by Nicodemus, and together they had Jesus wrapped in cloth with a hundred pounds of spices. (John 19:39-40)

(John 19:39–40 NKJV) —39 And Nicodemus, who at first came to Jesus by night, also came, bringing a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about a hundred pounds. 40 Then they took the body of Jesus, and bound it in strips of linen with the spices, as the custom of the Jews is to bury.

The purpose of the spices was not to embalm the body, but to cover up the stink as the body decayed.

In burial traditions of that time, the body was left for about a year to decay until all that’s left was the bones.
The bones would then be collected and stored in a “bone box” or an “ossuary”.

It was common for the first couple of days for the body to be visited regularly and for more spices and perfumes to be added to the body.

That’s what the women will be doing early on Sunday morning.  They were planning on adding more spices to Jesus’ body. (Mark 16:1)
(Mark 16:1 NKJV) —1 Now when the Sabbath was past, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices, that they might come and anoint Him.

:53 laid it in a tomb

When Paul gave a summary of the gospel to the Corinthians, he wrote,

(1 Corinthians 15:3–4 NKJV) —3 For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures,
Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John all clearly state that Jesus was buried.

The good news that we can be saved from the penalty of our sins and live forever in heaven is based on three things.

He died for us.  He was buried.  He rose again.

The burial speaks of the finality of death.

We use the phrase “dead and buried” to speak of the finality of death.
I think we all wish that death wasn’t so “final”.
I keep seeing a theme on TV shows, that when a character dies, don’t be surprised if the producers find a way of bringing them back to life.


It’s Not Over

Video:  It’s Not Over
Perhaps you’ve been facing the death of a dream.
Something you’ve been hoping for a long time is now dead and buried.
Perhaps you’re facing the death of a relationship.
Maybe you have health concerns and you are facing death itself.
It’s not over.
I’m not trying to say that your dream or relationship is going to go back to where it was.  I’m not saying death won’t happen. But you never know what God has in mind.
The fact that Jesus was dead and buried in a tomb on Friday afternoon, but was alive and well on Sunday morning shows us that with God, nothing’s impossible.
Maybe you have reached the point where you are so sick of the sin in your life, and you want to know the way out.
Maybe you are beginning to realize that you simply don’t know God, and you need Him in your life.
Jesus died on a cross so you could be forgiven and you could know God.
Will you open your life to Him today?

[1]Easton, M. (1996, c1897). Easton's Bible dictionary. Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.

[2] Major Contributors and Editors. (2016). Arimathea. 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.