Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 7. He sent him away to Herod. Pilate, in this instance, not only extricated himself from the importunities of the Jewish priests, (ver. 5) but moreover obeyed the Roman law in that particular, which forbade any one to be condemned by a governor to whom he was not the subject. (Theophylactus)
Ver. 11. And mocked him. It is evident from the behaviour of Herod on this occasion, that he was far from believing him to be that seditious person he was represented; otherwise he would have undoubtedly treated his prisoner with less ridicule, and paid more serious attention to the accusations of his enemies. (Theophylactus) — Putting on him a white garment. The Greek signifies not only a white, but a shining splendid robe: perhaps with some resemblance to royal garments, but at the same time through scorn and derision. (Witham)
Ver. 15. Nothing worthy of death is done to him. Herod has not treated him as a criminal, or one worthy of death. He only derided him as a fool: had there been any cause to punish him, he would not have failed to have done it himself, or commanded me to put him to death. (Calmet)
Ver. 16. It was a very common punishment among the Jews to scourge those who had committed crimes for which death would have been too severe. According to the laws of the Hebrews, (Deuteronomy xxv. 3.) the number of blows could not exceed thirty-nine. Pilate dares not condemn Jesus to death, because he believes him innocent; yet not to disoblige the people and magistrates, who demanded his death, he takes a middle way, which, as is usual in such cases, satisfies neither party. He neither saves the innocent Victim, nor satisfies justice. In lieu of one punishment, Jesus suffers two. He is at length both scourged and crucified. (Calmet)
Ver. 28. Weep not over me. If you knew the evils that threaten and must soon fall upon your city, upon yourselves, and upon your children, you would preserve your tears to deplore your own misfortunes. My death is for the good of mankind; but it will be fatal to your nation because you have been pleased to make it so. In the ruin of Jerusalem, which is at hand, happy shall they be who have no children. They shall save themselves the grief of seeing their sons and daughters perish miserably, and in some sort of suffering as many deaths as they have children to die. (Calmet)
Ver. 31. In the green wood: by which are signified persons of virtue and sanctity; as by the dry wood, the wicked, who bring forth no fruit, and who, like dry wood, are fit to be cast into the fire. (Witham) — If they be thus cruel with me, how will they treat you!
Ver. 33. Called Calvary. A place at a small distance from Jerusalem, where condemned malefactors were beheaded. So Christ, as a malefactor, dies on Calvary for the redemption of all: that where sin abounded, grace might more abound. (Ven. Bede) — In this mountain, according to the Hebrew doctors, were interred the remains of our protoparent, Adam. (St. Athanasius)
Ver. 43. I say to thee: This day thou shalt be with me in Paradise; i.e. in a place of rest with the souls of the just. The construction is not, I say to thee this day, &c., but, thou shalt be with me this day in the paradise. (Witham) — In paradise. That is, in the happy state of rest, joy and peace everlasting. Christ was pleased by a special privilege, to reward the faith and confession of the penitent thief with a full discharge of all his sins, both as to the guilt and punishment, and to introduce him, immediately after death, into the happy society of the saints, whose limbo (that is, the place of their confinement) was now made a paradise by our Lord’s going thither. (Challoner) — The soul of the good thief was that same day with Jesus Christ, in the felicity of the saints, in Abraham’s bosom, or in heaven, where Jesus was always present by his divinity. (St. Augustine) — St. Cyril, of Jerusalem, says he entered heaven before all the patriarchs and prophets. St. Chrysostom thinks that paradise was immediately open to him, and that he entered heaven the first mankind. (Tom. v. homil. 32.)
Ver. 51. Arimathea. In other parts of Scripture it is called Ramatha, a city of Judea, where Samuel, the prophet, was born. (Ven. Bede)
Ver. 52. This man went to Pilate. We may suppose that from his rank and condition in life, he had always access to Pilate.
Ver. 54. Parasceve. That is, the eve or day of preparation for the sabbath. (Challoner) — And the sabbath drew near. Literally, shined. The sabbath began in the evening, at sunset. It may, perhaps, be said to shine by the moonlight, at full-moon, or because of a great many lights that used to be set up at that time, on account of the great sabbath. (Witham) — We learn from Maimon, that all the Jews were so strictly bound to keep a light in their dwellings on the sabbath-day, that although a man had not bread to eat, he was expected to be from door to door, to purchase oil for his lamp. (Pastorini)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
The continuation of the history of the Passion.
1 And the whole multitude of them rising up, led him away to Pilate.
2 And they began to accuse him, saying: We have found this man perverting our nation, *and forbidding to give tribute to Cæsar, saying that he is Christ, the king.
3 *And Pilate asked him, saying: Art thou the king of the Jews? But he answering, said: Thou sayest it.
4 Then Pilate said to the chief priests, and to the multitude: I find no cause in this man.
5 But they were more earnest, saying: He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.
6 But Pilate hearing of Galilee, asked if the man were a Galilean?
7 And when he understood that he belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him away to Herod, who himself was also at Jerusalem in those days.
8 And Herod seeing Jesus, was very glad, for he was desirous of a long time to see him, because he had heard many things of him: and he hoped to see some miracle wrought by him.
9 And he questioned him with many words. But he answered him nothing.
10 And the chief priests, and the Scribes, stood by, earnestly accusing him.
11 And Herod, with his soldiers, despised him: and mocked him, putting on him a white garment, and sent him back to Pilate.
12 And Herod and Pilate were made friends together that same day: for before they were enemies one to another.
13 Then Pilate calling together the chief priests, and the magistrates, and the people,
14 Said to them: You have brought this man to me, as one that perverteth the people, and behold I, having examined him before you, *find no cause in this man touching those things wherein you accuse him.
15 Nor Herod either: For I sent you to him, and behold nothing worthy of death is done to him.
16 I will chastise him, therefore, and release him.
17 Now of necessary, he was to release to them one upon the feast-day.
18 But the whole multitude cried out together, saying: Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas;
19 Who, for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.
20 And Pilate spoke to them again, desiring to release Jesus.
21 But they cried out, saying: Crucify him, crucify him.
22 And he said to them the third time: *Why, what evil hath this man done? I find no cause of death in him: I will chastise him, therefore, and let him go.
23 But they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified: and their voices prevailed.
24 And Pilate gave sentence that their petition should be granted.
25 And he released unto them him, who for murder and sedition, had been cast into prison, whom they had desired: but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
26 *And as they led him away, they laid hold on one Simon, of Cyrene, coming from the country: and they laid the cross on him to carry after Jesus.
27 And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women: who bewailed and lamented him.
28 But Jesus turning to them, said: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not over me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
29 For behold the days shall come, wherein they will say: Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that have not borne, and the paps that have not given suck.
30 Then shall they begin to say to the mountains: *Fall upon us; and to the hills: Cover us.
31 For if in the green wood they do these things, what shall be done in the dry?
32 And there were also two others malefactors led with him, to be put to death.
33 *And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, they crucified him there: and the robbers, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
34 And Jesus said: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. But dividing his garments, they cast lots.
35 And the people stood beholding, and the rulers with them derided him, saying: He saved others, let him save himself, if he be Christ, the elect of God.
36 And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
37 And saying: If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
38 And there was also a superscription written over him in Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew letters: This is the King of the Jews.
39 And one of these robbers who were hanging, blasphemed him, saying: If thou be Christ, save thyself, and us.
40 But the other answering, rebuked him, saying: Neither dost thou fear God, seeing thou art under the same condemnation?
41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done no evil.
42 And he said to Jesus: Lord, remember me, when thou shalt come into thy kingdom.
43 And Jesus said to him: Amen, I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me in paradise.
44 And it was almost the sixth hour: and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
45 And the sun was darkened; and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
46 And Jesus crying with a loud voice, said: *Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. And saying this, he gave up the ghost.
47 Now the centurion seeing what was done, glorified God, saying: Indeed this was a just man.
48 And all the multitude of them that were come together to that sight, and saw the things that were done, returned striking their breasts.
49 And all his acquaintance, and the women that had followed him from Galilee, stood afar off beholding these things.
50 *And behold there was a man, by name Joseph, who was a counsellor, a good and just man:
51 He had not consented to their counsel and doings; of Arimathea, a city of Judea, who also himself expected the kingdom of God.
52 This man went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
53 And taking him down, he wrapped him in fine linen, and laid him in a sepulchre that was hewed in stone, wherein never yet any man had been laid.
54 And it was the day of the parasceve, and the sabbath drew near.
55 And the women that were with him from Galilee, following after, saw the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
56 And returning, they prepared spices, and ointments: and on the sabbath-day they rested, according to the commandment.
2: Matthew xxii. 21.; Mark xii. 17.
3: Matthew xxvii. 11.; Mark xv. 2.; John xviii. 33.
14: John xviii. 38. and xix. 4.
22: Matthew xxvii. 23.; Mark xv. 14.
26: Matthew xxvii. 32.; Mark xv. 21.
30: Isaias ii. 19.; Osee x. 8.; Apocalypse vi. 16.
33: Matthew xxvii. 33.; Mark xv. 22.; John xix. 17.
46: Psalm xxx. 6.
50: Matthew xxvii. 57.; Mark xv. 43.; John xix. 38.