The Lord’s earthly ministry had come to an end. It was time for Him to be delivered into the hands of evildoers. Thus He said to those who came to arrest Him, “this is your hour, and the power of darkness.” (22:53). The Gospel writers record vividly the injustice during the Lord’s trial, the torture He endured, and the excruciating death He suffered. But through it all, God’s plan was accomplished and His name was glorified. With His atoning sacrifice, Christ claimed ultimate victory over the power of darkness.
Did You Know...?
1. Council (22:66): The Greek word is synedrion, from which comes the name Sanhedrin (as in the Berkeley Version). The Sanhedrin was the highest Jewish tribunal in a Jewish city, exercising civil jurisdiction according to the Mosaic law and a restricted measure of criminal jurisdiction. Its seventy or seventy-two members came from three groups: chief priests, scribes, and elders. (Jensen 100).
2. Pilate (23:1): To get a death sentence, they needed to take the case to Pilate, the governor, the procurator of Judea and Samaria, A.D. 26-36 (cf. Luke 3:1)…Pilate’s home was in Caesarea, but at this festival time, he was in his Jerusalem palace. [ref]
3. Cyrene (23:26) is a leading city of Lybia, west of Egypt. [ref]
4. Sour wine (23:36): A drink carried by soldiers for quenching thirst.
5. Paradise (23:43): In the Septuagint (the Greek translation of the OT) the word designated a garden (Ge 2:8-10) or forest (Ne 2:8), but in the NT (used only here and in 2Co 12:4; Rev 2:7) it refers to the place of bliss and rest between death and resurrection (cf. Lk 16:22; 2Co 12:2). [ref]
6. The sixth hour…until the ninth hour (23:44): From noon to three in the afternoon.
7. Veil of the temple (23:45): The curtain that separated the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place (Ex 26:31 33).
8. Beat their breasts (23:48): A gesture of sorrow or contrition (cf. 18:13).
9. Arimathea (23:51): A village in the hill country of Ephraim, about 20 miles northwest of Jerusalem. [ref]
10. The Preparation (23:54): Friday, the day before the Sabbath, when preparation was made for keeping the Sabbath. [ref]
11. Spices and fragrant oils (23:56): Yards of cloth and large quantities of spices were used in preparing a body for burial. Seventy-five pounds of myrrh and aloes were already used on that first evening (Jn 19:39). More was purchased for the return of the women after the Sabbath. [ref]
- Jesus’ Arrest (22:47-53)
- Peter’s Denial (22:54-62)
- Mockery and Beating (22:63-65)
- Trial before the Jewish Council (22:66-71)
- Trial before Pilate and Herod (23:1-25)
- The Crucifixion (23:26-43)
- Jesus’ Death (23:44-49)
- Jesus’ Burial (23:50-56)
What irony is pointed out in Jesus’ question “Judas, are you betraying the Son of Man with a kiss?”?Hide Answer
An expression of intimate friendship was used for betrayal.
Explain the words “this is your hour, and the power of darkness” in light of God’s sovereignty.Hide Answer
Although the power of evil and darkness ruled, the Lord Jesus was not a helpless victim. Rather, He submitted to God’s sovereign will and handed Himself willingly to His arresters.
Why do you think the Lord healed the servant of the high priest?Hide Answer
The Lord told the disciple who cut off the ear of the high priest’s servant, “Permit even this,” and healed the servant. Thus, the healing demonstrated to the arresters and the disciples that the Lord had no intention of resisting the evildoers or retaliating against them. The Lord’s remarkable behavior stood in great contrast to the heavily armed multitude (52).
What lesson can we learn from the Lord’s non-resistance?
Observe Peter’s actions in 54-55. What do they tell you?Hide Answer
He followed the Lord at a distance. He sat down among the crowd. As much as he had determined to follow the Lord unto death, Peter shrank in fear under such an adverse circumstance.
Have you ever felt confident about yourself but failed miserably in the time of testing?
Have you in one way or another denied the Lord like Peter?
What triggered Peter’s realization and bitter weeping? Why?Hide Answer
Peter remembered the Lord’s words when the Lord turned and looked at him. The Lord did not say a word, and neither was He angry at Peter. But His gaze was enough to awaken Peter. While Peter had been busy protecting his life from danger, the Lord’s gaze into his eyes brought Peter’s attention back to his relationship with the Lord. Peter, realizing that he had just denied the Lord so insistently, must have immediately felt conscience-stricken and disappointed with himself.
How does the Lord also bring us to repentance in the same way?
Why do you think the men treated Jesus with such cruelty and mockery?Hide Answer
They despised Him because His wretched condition and non-resistance seemed contrary to the people’s claim that He was a great prophet.
What was the central issue during the trial?Hide Answer
Whether Jesus was the Christ.
What does this tell us about Jesus’ ministry? About the chief priests and scribes?Hide Answer
The message behind Jesus’ teachings and deeds was clear—that He was the Christ, and the religious leaders were well aware of this. That is why this issue was the foremost concern for these leaders. Nevertheless, they never believed Him, and they had made up their mind to condemn Him.
On what basis did the council condemn Jesus?Hide Answer
They considered Jesus’ claim to be the Christ a blasphemy (Mt 26:65).
What was the real reason for the condemnation ? (Mk 15:10)
What false charges did the Jewish leaders bring against Jesus?Hide Answer
See verses 2 and 5.
Why did Herod’s curiosity turn to contempt?Hide Answer
Based on reports about Jesus, Herod expected Jesus to be a powerful miracle worker. When Jesus did not comply with his demands, Herod probably concluded that Jesus was not the great prophet he thought He was. Therefore, his curious admiration of Jesus immediately turned into scorn.
How does the Lord Jesus likewise “disappoint” some people today?
Account for Jesus’ silence during the trials.Hide Answer
The Lord did not retaliate or make threats even though He could have easily defended Himself against the accusers. Instead, He entrusted Himself to God’s sovereign will (1Pet 3:23).
Why did the Lord ask the women not to weep for Him but to weep for themselves and their children?Hide Answer
The Lord was warning these women about the coming desolation of Jerusalem (cf. 9:41 44). Its destruction would be so dreadful and cruel that the people of Jerusalem should pity themselves and their children.
Explain Jesus’ words in 31.Hide Answer
The analogy and green wood versus dry wood is a contrast in the degree of suffering. If Jesus suffered such cruelty under a just government, how much more horrible would it be for the people of Jerusalem when the enemy ruthlessly destroys the city.
Consider the Lord’s prayer in 34. What lesson can we learn from this prayer regarding forgiveness?Hide Answer
1. Forgiveness comes from an understanding that the offense was done out of ignorance—an ignorance of God’s love and of the serious consequence of sin. 2. True forgiveness involves praying for the offender (Mt 5:44).
According to 35, how had those who sneered at Jesus misunderstood Him?Hide Answer
While they were aware of Jesus’ healing ministry, they did not realize that Christ’s ministry was ultimately for the purpose of saving God’s people from sin through His atoning death. They thought that if Jesus was the Christ, He would not have died such a pitiful death. Therefore, His death on the cross seemed foolish to them (cf. 1Cor 1:18).
What can we know about the second criminal from His words in 40-42?Hide Answer
He knew and believed that the Lord would come as the King. He was repentant of his own wrong doing and pleaded with the Lord for forgiveness.
What can we learn about the Lord’s saving grace from His words to the criminal?Hide Answer
God readily forgives and saves a repentant sinner regardless of how much sin he has committed. Such gracious gift of forgiveness is central to the Gospel of Luke (e.g. 7:36-50; 15:1-31; 19:1-10).
What is the significance of the torn curtain? (Heb 9:1-28)Hide Answer
The tearing of the curtain in the Holy Place from top to bottom is symbolic of the reconciliation between God and men. Because of Christ’s atonement, we can now come to God directly without the mediation of priests (Heb 4:16; 6:19; 10:19-22)
What do the centurion’s words in 47 tell us about the Lord’s death?Hide Answer
The prayers and words of the Lord on the cross as well as the supernatural phenomena surrounding the crucifixion demonstrated that He was no ordinary man, but the Son of God (cf. Mt 27:54). Even the centurion, a Gentile, came to this conclusion by observing all that had taken place. Thus, through His death, the Lord Jesus brought glory to God.
What does the Lord’s death mean to you?
What lesson can we learn from the women disciples?Hide Answer
They did not forsake the Lord despite His death, but followed and served Him to the very end. They did so because of their gratitude to the Lord. We ought to likewise persist in our love for the Lord even at times when serving Him brings no apparent reward.