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24 So[a] Pilate[b] decided[c] that their demand should be granted. 25 He released the man they asked for, who had been thrown in prison for insurrection and murder. But he handed Jesus over[d] to their will.[e]

The Crucifixion

26 As[f] they led him away, they seized Simon of Cyrene,[g] who was coming in from the country.[h] They placed the cross on his back and made him carry it behind Jesus.[i]

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  1. Luke 23:24 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “so” to indicate the implied result of the crowd’s cries prevailing.
  2. Luke 23:24 sn Finally Pilate gave in. He decided crucifying one Galilean teacher was better than facing a riot. Justice lost out in the process, because he did not follow his own verdict.
  3. Luke 23:24 tn Although some translations render ἐπέκρινεν (epekrinen) here as “passed sentence” or “gave his verdict,” the point in context is not that Pilate sentenced Jesus to death here, but that finally, although convinced of Jesus’ innocence, he gave in to the crowd’s incessant demand to crucify an innocent man.
  4. Luke 23:25 tn Or “delivered up.”
  5. Luke 23:25 sn He handed Jesus over to their will. Here is where Luke places the major blame for Jesus’ death. It lies with the Jewish nation, especially the leadership, though in Acts 4:24-27 he will bring in the opposition of Herod, Pilate, and all people.
  6. Luke 23:26 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.
  7. Luke 23:26 sn Jesus was beaten severely with a whip before this (the prelude to crucifixion, known to the Romans as verberatio, mentioned in Matt 27:26; Mark 15:15; John 19:1), so he would have been weak from trauma and loss of blood. Apparently he was unable to bear the cross himself, so Simon was conscripted to help. Cyrene was located in North Africa where Tripoli is today. Nothing more is known about this Simon. Mark 15:21 names him as father of two people apparently known to Mark’s audience.
  8. Luke 23:26 tn Or perhaps, “was coming in from his field” outside the city (BDAG 15-16 s.v. ἀγρός 1).
  9. Luke 23:26 tn Grk “they placed the cross on him to carry behind Jesus.”