They have all heard Jesus teaching and they have all seen the miracles of healing, yet they still ask this question in Luke 22:67 “If you are the Christ, tell us!”. But they aren’t looking for information or expecting any answer because they have already decided Jesus is to be killed. As Jesus is crucified between two others, one says in Luke 23:39-41 “we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done” and then asks in Luke 23:42 “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”. This one recognized his sin and that Jesus was the Christ and Jesus answered him, in Luke 23:43 “today you will be with me in paradise”. Will you join them? Have you accepted the gift of God? It says in Romans 6:23 “For the compensation due sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. Ask for it.
The Lord Turned Around and Looked Intently
If You Are The Christ, Tell Us!
During the night, the leaders had sent, in Luke 22:47 “a crowd”, to take Jesus while he was away from the city and away from the people. He was taken, in Luke 22:54 “into the house of the high priest” and in Luke 22:63 “the men who were guarding him … beat him”. Then, it says in
Luke 22:66 “And when day came, the council of elders of the people gathered, both chief priests and scribes, and they led him away to their Sanhedrin”
but this was still done privately, away from the people, as if they were inquiring about some wrong they should sit in judgement over. Their question was simple in
Luke 22:67 “If you are the Christ, tell us!”
They had already made up their minds as it says in
Luke 22:2 “And the chief priests and the scribes were seeking how they could destroy him, because they were afraid of the people”.
so, Jesus wasn’t there to give evidence, he was there to be sentenced. Even so, Jesus answers by telling them how all of this will end in
Luke 22:69 “But from now on the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the power of God.”
I Find No Basis for an Accusation
Nothing Deserving Death Has Been Done by Him
Jesus had been taken and held by the high priest until he was brought before “The Sanhedrin, the Jewish high council, (which) consisted of the most influential members of Jewish society. The Romans gave this body limited authority over internal Jewish matters”.1
They sent Jesus to “Pilate, the Roman governor of Judaea, because only imperial authorities could impose the death sentence”.2
Pilate tries to avoid this by sending Jesus to Herod, but Jesus is sent back to him. Now, Pilate calls the Jewish leaders and he also calls the people so this is no longer done in secret in
Luke 23:13 “Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people”
Pilate says, in Luke 23:15 “nothing deserving death has been done by him” and continues in Luke 23:16 “I will punish him and release him.” but the crowd in
Luke 23:21 “kept crying out, saying, ‘Crucify! Crucify him!’”
Luke 23:24 “And Pilate decided that their demand should be granted”.
Weep for Yourselves and for Your Children!
Today You Will be With Me in Paradise
Crucifixion was a common method of execution and “In Palestine, crucifixion was used to punish robbery, tumult, and sedition (rebellion against the State). This served as a public reminder of the Jews’ servitude to the foreign power”.3
Even in this worst of all punishments, Jesus is praying for his enemies in
Luke 23:34 But Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
But Jesus is not crucified alone, there are two others and one says in
Luke 23:39-41 “we are receiving what we deserve for what we have done. But this man has done nothing wrong!”
and then makes a request in
Luke 23:42 “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom!”
Then Jesus answers in
Luke 23:43 “Truly I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
People often wonder what happens when we die. This isn’t a mystery. The word used here is “παράδεισος (paradeisos). n. masc. paradise. A place of blessedness and joy. This word can refer to either the garden of Eden or the transcendent eternal place or heaven (Luke 23:43; Rev 2:7). The Apostle Paul was caught up into paradise (2 Cor 12:4)”.4
Earlier in Jesus ministry, we have the account of Lazarus and the rich man in Luke 16:19-31 and at their deaths they are each recognizable in their new surroundings. Lazarus is comforted, the rich man is in Hades in torment. This didn’t happen in some future time, it happened at the death of their physical bodies.
Some have suggested the concept of purgatory where you can be punished for a time to pay for your sin and then go to heaven but that simply is not what it says, at “the great white throne (Rev 20:11–15)”5. This is where all of the dead were judged by what was written in the books.
Revelation 20:12b “the dead were judged by what was written in the books, according to their deeds”.
and there is no second chance because we can only accept Jesus Christ, and be written in the book, during our mortal life. There only then awaits the final lake of fire in
Revelation 20:15 “And if anyone was not found written in the book of life, he was thrown into the lake of fire.”
- Luke 22:66-71 If You Are The Christ, Tell Us!
- Luke 23:13-25 Nothing Deserving Death Has Been Done by Him
- Luke 23:33-43 Today You Will be With Me in Paradise
- Luke 22:54-71
- Luke 23:1-43
- 1. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 22:66). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 2. Barry, J. D., Mangum, D., Brown, D. R., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Ritzema, E., … Bomar, D. (2012, 2016). Faithlife Study Bible (Lk 23:1–5). Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 3. Kendall, R. T. (1996). Understanding Theology, Volume One (p. 100). Ross-shire, Great Britain: Christian Focus.
- 4. Peach, M. E. (2014). Heaven. D. Mangum, D. R. Brown, R. Klippenstein, & R. Hurst (Eds.), Lexham Theological Wordbook. Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press.
- 5. Garrett, J. K. (2016). Judgment Seat of Christ. 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.