Luke 23:1 Commentary - Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New TestamentIn this chapter we have a relation of the blackest and saddest tragedy that ever was acted upon the stage of the world, namely, the barbarous and bloody murder of the holy and innocent Jesus, by the Jews his own countrymen, the best of kings put to death by his own subjects. And the first step towards it, is his arraignment before Pilate and Herod; they post him from one to another; Pilate sends him to Herod; and Herod having made sufficient sport with him remands him to Pilate; neither of them find any fault in him worthy of death, yet neither of them would release him.
Here observe, that our Saviour, being before Pilate, answers him readily and cautiously; Art thou the King of the Jews? says Pilate. Thou sayest it, says our Saviour. Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? He replied, I am. Hence says the apostle, That Jesus Christ before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession. 1Ti 6:13
Teaching us, that though we may, and sometimes ought, to hold our peace, when our reputation is concerned, yet we must never be silent, when the honor of God and his truth may be effectually promoted by a free and full confession.
Yet it is farther observable, that our Saviour being before Herod, would neither answer him to any question, nor work any miracle before him. This was an instance and evidence of our Lord's great humility, in refusing to work miracles before Herod, who desired it only to gratify his curiousity. Thus do vile men abuse the power of God, desiring to see it exerted for admiration and pastime; not to be convinced or converted by it, but only to please thier foolish fancy. And as admirable was the patience and humility of Christ, and his present silence, who neither at Herod's request, nor at the Jews importunity and false accusations, could be moved to answer anything.
Observe farther, that though Herod had murdered Christ's forerunner, John the Baptist, and our Saviour's own life was in danger by Herod heretofore, yet now he has him in his hands, he lets him go; only he first abuses him, and mocks him, and arrays him in a gorgeous robe, like a mock-king. Thus were all the marks of scorn imaginable put upon our dear Redeemer; yet all this jeering and sportful shame did our Lord undergo, to show what was due unto us for our sins; and also to give us an example to bear all the shame and reproach imaginable for his sake; who, for the joy that was set before him, despised the shame, Heb 12:2
Observe lastly, the wicked accusation brought in against our blessed Redeemer; We found (say they) this fellow perverting the nation, forbidding to give tribute to Caesar. Oh hellish untruth! How directly contrary to the whole curse and tenor of Christ's life was this accusation! By his doctrine he preached up subjection to governors and government; saying, Render to Caesar the things that are Caesar's. And by his practice he confirmed his own doctrine, working a miracle to pay tribute to Caesar. Satan could help them to draw up an indictment as black as hell, against the innocent Jesus, but all the powers of hell and darkness could not prove a tittle of it.
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Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament
William Burkitt (1650 - 1703) was a Church of England clergyman, bible expositor, and devotional writer.
Volume 1: Matthew - John, was published in 1700.
Volume 2: Acts - Revelation was published 1703.