Luke 23: The Crucifixion

New Testament: Student Study guide, (2003), 72–73

Consider the words of the hymn “I Stand All Amazed” as you read of the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ:
I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
I think of his hands pierced and bleeding to pay the debt!
Such mercy, such love, and devotion can I forget?
No, no, I will praise and adore at the mercy seat,
Until at the glorified throne I kneel at his feet.
Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me!
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

(Hymns, no. 193).

Other Accounts of What You Read in Luke 23

Luke 23Matthew 27:2–61; Mark 15; John 18:28–19:42

Understanding the Scriptures

Luke 23

Perverting the nation (v. 2)Leading the people away from Caesar 
Vehemently (v. 10)Forcibly 
Set him at nought (v. 11)They despised him; treated him as if he were nothing 
At enmity between themselves (v. 12)Enemies 
Sedition (v. 25)Rebellion 
In the same condemnation (v. 40)Have the same sentence or punishment 
Amiss (v. 41)Wrong 
Commend (v. 46)Commit 

Luke 23:7—Herod

Herod was not a personal name but a family name referring to all those who were descendants of Herod the Great. This particular ruler was Herod Antipus (see also Bible Dictionary, “Herod,” pp. 700–701).

Christ being judged

Luke 23:18—Barabbas

Barabbas was a criminal in confinement at Jerusalem for rebellion and murder. His name represents a cruel irony. Literally translated, Barabbas means “son of the father” (see Bible Dictionary, “Barabbas,” p. 619). When Pilate offered to release a prisoner as part of the Passover celebration, Jewish leaders requested Barabbas instead of Jesus, the Only Begotten Son of the Father (see Luke 23:18).

Luke 23:31—The Dry and the Green tree

Elder Bruce R. McConkie wrote: “To this expression relative to the green tree and the dry tree, Luke says: ‘This he spake, signifying the scattering of Israel, and the desolation of the heathen, or in other words, the Gentiles,’ meaning the Israelitish scattering that took place at the destruction of Jerusalem, and meaning the desolations that would fall upon all men in the latter days, the days of wickedness and vengeance that should precede his Second Coming” (The Mortal Messiah, 4:208).

Luke 23:39–43—“Today Shalt Thou Be with Me in Paradise”

The Prophet Joseph Smith explained that the phrase “Today shalt thou be with me in paradise” meant “This day thou shalt be with me in the world of spirits: then I will teach you all about it and answer your inquiries” (Teachings of the Prophet Joseph Smith, 309). Jesus did not support the idea of a deathbed repentance.

Christ on the cross

Studying the Scriptures

Do activity A as you study Luke 23.

Activity A iconFrom Another’s Point of View

Carefully read Luke 23 and imagine being in the place of each of the following five people: Pilate, Barabbas, the humble malefactor (thief; see Matthew 27:38) on the cross, Simon the Cyrenian, and Joseph of Arimathea. Using the clues you find in the scriptures, write what you think each of them thought of the Savior.