We are in the Christ Stream reading from the World English Bible.
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Commentary by Dr. Drake Travis
Lord, what a dark day! May we get through our dark days knowing that you will return for us as you promised. Amen.
22:66ff. – [the arrest and accosting of Jesus that took place in the night we read of last week.] It is now daybreak and Jesus is in the council of the elders, chief priests, and scribes. The inane questions resume. They ask if He is the Christ, if He is the Son of God. They just asked a bunch of questions that they did not want the answers to. And here they just keep going. Think a minute: do they want answers to these questions either? Do they want Him to be the Christ? If they don’t, why do they ask? if they do, why do they ask? Since He doesn’t say “no” they are furious. He quotes them back to themselves. It’s apologetics greatest display of all time. They soon realize they will never outfox Him, [so they leave Caiaphas’ house (they were at his house) – see John 18:28 and]
23 -scuttle Him over to Pilate. Their accusations to Pilate against Jesus are contrived. So Pilate is basically relieved to send him on to Herod in Galilee since Jesus came from there. Pilate is not a congenial man. He was assigned to Jerusalem by Caesar to keep the contentious Hebrew nation under wraps. And Caesar knew that Pilate had no problem using violence and bloodshed to control outbursts. But he preferred to be just and wanted Jesus, an innocent man, to be released. Whereas Pilate lets Him go, Herod wants a show. Jesus is still so angry at Herod for killing John/Baptist; his cousin three years ago…Jesus doesn’t say a single word to Herod. Jesus would verbally joust with the Pharisees, but Herod doesn’t even deserve to be spoken to. That’s called being “bad off” when God won’t talk to you, and never will again! It’s ‘back to Pilate’ as the frantic impromptu ramshackle jury pressures Pilate to hurry up and declare the death sentence. But he won’t. Btw, only Luke has this “Pilate/to Herod/back to Pilate” detail spelled out. He offers Barabbas instead, but they want Jesus dead and buried today before Passover begins at sundown. Caiphas and Annas had been launching rumors throughout the city that either Jesus would die or the whole country would be lost to Rome … and so the people believed it by now. Keep in mind that it had been less than 100 hours since these same souls inn the vast crowd were chanting “Hosanna!” Strange change of mood, isn’t it?! As Jesus is led out to be crucified, and stumbles under the weight, and is pierced, and accused, and jeered, his heart and words reveal that He is grieved for these people who have turned to hatred against Him. He is grieved for those who will be cast into eternal punishment with no escape. Jesus prays for his tormentors to be forgiven. It’s unreal; the love he expresses for those who are killing Him! And the insults continue – now from the soldiers, and by one thief on a cross next to him. The other thief, however, asked for redemption and received it! <—only Luke includes this part of the story. From noon to 3 p.m. the sky descended into darkness. Complex astronomy has actually charted back and there was an eclipse at this time that left the area unnervingly dark; blocking most sunlight. At the moment of Jesus’ death, Matthew and Mark say Jesus cried in a loud voice, Luke says, “Father, into Thy Hands, I commit my Spirit.”, John says Jesus declared, “it is finished.” Then bowing his head He died. [The Temple curtain torn in two is Mt & Mk] Joseph/Arimathea’s involvement in Jesus’ burial is mentioned in all four gospels. He was a prominent, wealthy, influential, and spiritual man. Can you even fathom what it was like to wash and bandage and anoint and wrap up to entomb the Son of God? How do you even function during a task like this? What was Joseph’s compulsion? Some scholars have insisted that he was a relative/ an uncle of Jesus or Mary. This isn’t in the Bible, but it has been deeply researched elsewhere. Make what you will of it. Search it out. Those quests are rather quick these days with “search engines”. But it is rather endearing to be so involved with Jesus like Joseph/Arimathea was. He buried Jesus in a perfectly new tomb, rolled the stone in front, went home, and likely wept until he fell asleep utterly exhausted from the historical day of Jesus’ death.