Commentary Critical and Explanatory
on the Whole Bible
7. sent him to Herod--hoping thus to escape the dilemma of an unjust
condemnation or an unpopular release.
at Jerusalem . . . at that time--to keep the passover.
8. some miracle--Fine sport thou expectedst, as the Philistines with
O coarse, crafty, cruel tyrant! But thou hast been baulked before
and shalt be again.
9. answered . . . nothing--(See
10. stood and vehemently accused him--no doubt both of
treason before the king, and of blasphemy, for the
king was a Jew.
11. his men of war--his bodyguard.
set him at naught, &c.--stung with disappointment at His refusal to
amuse him with miracles or answer any of his questions.
gorgeous robe--bright robe. If this mean (as sometimes) of shining
white, this being the royal color among the Jews, it may have been in
derision of His claim to be "King of the Jews." But if so, "He in
reality honored Him, as did Pilate with His true title blazoned on the
sent him again to Pilate--instead of releasing him as he ought,
having established nothing against Him
(Lu 23:14, 15).
"Thus he implicated himself with Pilate in all the guilt of His
condemnation, and with him accordingly he is classed"
at enmity--perhaps about some point of disputed jurisdiction, which
this exchange of the Prisoner might tend to heal.
26. Cyrenian--of Cyrene, in Libya, on the north coast of Africa,
where were many Jews who had a synagogue at Jerusalem
He was "the father of Alexander and Rufus"
probably better known afterwards than himself, as disciples. (See
out of the country--and casually drawn into that part of the crowd.
laid the cross--"Him they compel to bear His cross,"
--sweet compulsion, if it issued in him or his sons voluntarily
"taking up their cross!" It would appear that our Lord had first
to bear His own cross
but being from exhaustion unable to proceed, it was laid on another to
bear it "after Him."
27-31. women--not the precious Galilean women
but part of the crowd.
28. not for me, &c.--noble spirit of compassion, rising above
His own dread endurances, in tender commiseration of sufferings yet in
the distance and far lighter, but without His supports and
30. mountains . . . hills, &c.--
flying hither and thither as they did in despair for shelter, during
the siege; a very slight premonition of cries of another and more awful
(Isa 2:10, 19, 21;
Re 6:16, 17).
31. green tree--that naturally resists the fire.
the dry--that attracts the fire, being its proper fuel. The proverb
here plainly means: "If such sufferings alight upon the innocent One,
the very Lamb of God, what must be in store for those who are provoking
Lu 23:32-38, 44-46.
DEATH OF THE
39. railed on him--catching up the universal derision, but with a
turn of his own. Jesus, "reviled, reviles not again"; but another voice
from the cross shall nobly wipe out this dishonor and turn it to the
unspeakable glory of the dying Redeemer.
40. Dost not thou--"thou" is emphatic: "Let others jeer, but dost
fear God--Hast thou no fear of meeting Him so soon as thy righteous
Judge? Thou art within an hour or two of eternity, and dost thou spend
it in reckless disregard of coming judgment?
in the same condemnation--He has been condemned to die, but is it
better with thee? Doth even a common lot kindle no sympathy in thy
41. we . . . justly, &c.--He owns the worst of his crimes and
deserts, and would fain shame his fellow into the same.
nothing amiss--literally, "out of place"; hence "unnatural"; a
striking term here. Our Lord was not charged with ordinary crime, but
only with laying claim to office and honors which amounted to
blasphemy. The charge of treason had not even a show of truth, as Pilate
told His enemies. In this defense then there seems more than meets the
eye. "He made Himself the promised Messiah, the Son of God; but in this
He 'did nothing amiss'; He ate with publicans and sinners, and bade all
the weary and heavy laden come and rest under His wing; but in this He
'did nothing amiss': He claimed to be Lord of the Kingdom of God, to
shut it at will, but also to open it at pleasure even to such as we are;
but in this He 'did nothing amiss!'" Does His next speech imply less
than this? Observe: (1) His frank confession and genuine
self-condemnation. (2) His astonishment and horror at the very different
state of his fellow's mind. (3) His anxiety to bring him to a better
mind while yet there was hope. (4) His noble testimony, not only to the
innocence of Jesus, but to all that this implied of the rightfulness of
42. said unto Jesus, &c.--Observe here (1) The "kingdom" referred
to was one beyond the grave; for it is inconceivable that he should
have expected Him to come down from the cross to erect any temporal
kingdom. (2) This he calls Christ's own (Thy) kingdom. (3) As such, he
sees in Christ the absolute right to dispose of that kingdom to whom He
pleased. (4) He does not presume to ask a place in that kingdom,
though that is what he means, but with a humility quite affecting, just
says, "Lord, remember me when," &c. Yet was there mighty faith in
that word. If Christ will but "think upon him"
at that august moment when He "cometh into His kingdom," it will do.
"Only assure me that then Thou wilt not forget such a wretch as I, that
once hung by Thy side, and I am content." Now contrast with this bright
act of faith the darkness even of the apostles' minds, who could hardly
be got to believe that their Master would die at all, who now were
almost despairing of Him, and who when dead had almost buried their
hopes in His grave. Consider, too, the man's previous
disadvantages and bad life. And then mark how his faith
comes out--not in protestations, "Lord, I cannot doubt, I am firmly
persuaded that Thou art Lord of a kingdom, that death cannot disannul
Thy title nor impede the assumption of it in due time," &c.--but as
having no shadow of doubt, and rising above it as a question
altogether, he just says, "Lord, remember me when Thou comest,"
&c. Was ever faith like this exhibited upon earth? It looks as if the
brightest crown had been reserved for the Saviour's head at His darkest
43. Jesus said, &c.--The dying Redeemer speaks as if He Himself
viewed it in this light. It was a "song in the night." It ministered
cheer to His spirit in the midnight gloom that now enwrapt it.
Verily I say unto thee--"Since thou speakest as to the king, with
kingly authority speak I to thee."
To-day--"Thou art prepared for a long delay before I come into My
kingdom, but not a day's delay shall there be for thee; thou shalt not
be parted from Me even for a moment, but together we shall go, and with
Me, ere this day expire, shalt thou be in Paradise" (future bliss,
Learn (1) How "One is taken and another left"; (2) How easily divine
teaching can raise the rudest and worst above the best instructed and
most devoted servants of Christ; (3) How presumption and
despair on a death hour are equally discountenanced here, the
one in the impenitent thief, the other in his penitent fellow.