καὶ ὅτε ⸀ ἦλθον ἐπὶ τὸν τόπον τὸν καλούμενον Κρανίον,
And when they came upon the place called Skull,
q And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, p one on his right and one on his left.
ἐκεῖ ἐσταύρωσαν αὐτὸν καὶ τοὺς κακούργους,
there they crucified him and the criminals,
ὃν μὲν ἐκ δεξιῶν ὃν δὲ ἐξ ἀριστερῶν.
indeed one on the right and one on the left.
⸂ ὁ δὲ Ἰησοῦς ἔλεγεν· Πάτερ, ἄφες αὐτοῖς, οὐ γὰρ οἴδασιν τί ποιοῦσιν. ⸃
But Jesus said; Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.
And Jesus said, “Father, r forgive them, s for they know not what they do.” 1 And they cast lots t to divide his garments.
διαμεριζόμενοι δὲ τὰ ἱμάτια αὐτοῦ ἔβαλον ⸀ κλήρους.
But they cast lots to divide his garments.
καὶ εἱστήκει ὁ λαὸς θεωρῶν.
And the crowds stood up to look at him.
And u the people stood by, watching, v but w the rulers x scoffed at him, saying, y “He saved others; z let him save himself, a if he is b the Christ of God, c his Chosen One!”
ἐξεμυκτήριζον δὲ καὶ οἱ ⸀ ἄρχοντες λέγοντες· Ἄλλους ἔσωσεν,
But mocking greatly, the rulers were saying; others he saved,
let him save himself,
εἰ οὗτός ἐστιν ὁ χριστὸς ⸂ τοῦ θεοῦ,
if indeed he is the Christ of God,
ὁ ⸃ ἐκλεκτός.
the chosen one.
⸀ ἐνέπαιξαν δὲ αὐτῷ καὶ οἱ στρατιῶται
And the soldier also mocked him.
The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and d offering him sour wine
προσερχόμενοι, ⸀ ὄξος προσφέροντες αὐτῷ
coming near, they offered sour wine to him
καὶ λέγοντες· Εἰ σὺ εἶ ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων,
and were saying; if indeed you are the king of the Jews,
and saying, e “If you are f the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
ἦν δὲ καὶ ⸀ ἐπιγραφὴ ἐπ’ ⸀ αὐτῷ· Ὁ βασιλεὺς τῶν Ἰουδαίων ⸀ οὗτος.
And there was also an inscription over him; this is the king of the Jews.
g There was also an inscription over him, 1 “This is f the King of the Jews.”
Εἷς δὲ τῶν κρεμασθέντων κακούργων ἐβλασφήμει αὐτόν ⸀ λέγων· ⸀ Οὐχὶ σὺ εἶ ὁ χριστός ;
And one of the suspending criminals blasphemed him, saying; are you not the Christ?
h One of the criminals who were hanged i railed at him, 1 saying, “Are you not j the Christ? Save yourself and us!”
σῶσον σεαυτὸν καὶ ἡμᾶς.
save yourself and us!
ἀποκριθεὶς δὲ ὁ ἕτερος ⸂ ἐπιτιμῶν αὐτῷ ἔφη ⸃ · Οὐδὲ φοβῇ σὺ τὸν θεόν,
But, replying, the other rebuked him saying; do you not fear God,
But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation?
ὅτι ἐν τῷ αὐτῷ κρίματι εἶ;
that you are in the same judgement?
καὶ ἡμεῖς μὲν δικαίως,
And we indeed justly,
And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.”
ἄξια γὰρ ὧν ἐπράξαμεν ἀπολαμβάνομεν·
for we are receiving worthily of what we did;
οὗτος δὲ οὐδὲν ἄτοπον ἔπραξεν.
but he did nothing unrighteous.
καὶ ⸀ ἔλεγεν· Ἰησοῦ, μνήσθητί ⸀ μου
And he said; Jesus, remember me
And he said, “Jesus, remember me k when you come into your kingdom.”
when you come
⸂ ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ ⸃ σου.
into your kingdom.
καὶ εἶπεν ⸀ αὐτῷ· Ἀμήν ⸂ σοι λέγω ⸃
And he said to him; truly I tell you,
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in l Paradise.”
μετ’ ἐμοῦ ἔσῃ ἐν τῷ παραδείσῳ.
you will be with me in the Paradise.
12 Therefore I will divide him a portion with the many, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong, because he poured out his soul to death and was numbered with the transgressors; Is 53:12.
He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and like a sheep that before its shearers is silent, so he opened not his mouth. Is 53:7.
18 they divide my garments among them, and for my clothing they cast lots. Ps 22:18.
this is a vocative
The Irony in the Crucifixion In his incarnation, Jesus came as Israel's king and her messiah. Throughout his ministry, he reveals his identity as king and Christ to whomever he pleases, namely, those with eyes to see and ears to hear. It is only those to whom God wishes to grant eternal life, does he allow them to perceive and hear Jesus as who he really is. Although in the sermon on the Mount, he showed to everyone what life in his kingdom will look like, only those who are born of God will experience life in the kingdom. When Pilate asked Jesus, "Are you the king of the Jews (John 18:33 ESV)?, "My kingdom is not of this world. If my kingdom were of this world, my servants would have been fighting, that I might not be delivered over to the Jews (Jn 18:36 ESV)." Although Jesus told Pilate plainly that he is a king, nevertheless, Pilate wasn't able to believe. On the other hand, In the discourse with the woman by the well, when the woman said, " I know that Messiah is coming (he who is called Christ). When he comes, he will tell us all things (Jn 4:25 ESV)," he plainly said to her, "I who speak to you am he." Although the signs and miracles that Jesus did should have been enough proof for his identity as king and Christ, nevertheless, it is impossible for someone to acknowledge Jesus as who he really is unless it is granted to him by the Father. To those who are able to perceive, Jesus' identity is most visible in his crucifixion, namely his enthronement as Israel's king and the fulfillment of the messianic prophecy. But to those who partook in the crucifixion of Jesus, those whose hearts were hardened and who see but do not perceive, seeing the death of Christ furthers the hardening of their hearts and it became an occasion for them to mock and blaspheme God. The rulers, with their foul mouths, mocked him by saying, if he is the Christ of God, let him save himself (paraphrase, mine). The soldiers sneered at him saying, "if you are the king of the Jews, save yourself (23:37 ESV)!" They also made a sign, saying, "This is the King of the Jews (23:38 ESV)." Still, one of the criminals, with his dying breath, dared to blaspheme God whom he will meet in a matter of hours, saying, "are you not the Christ? save yourself and us (23:39 ESV)!" The irony, of course, is that with the very same phrase that they were using by which to mock him, in that, they were actually proclaiming his true identity. While they are mocking Jesus for being a phony king and false messiah, it was at that very moment he was fulfilling his messianic role and was being crowned as their King. On the other hand, for those to whom God the Father has given eyes to see and ears to hear, the crucifixion was the time in which Jesus' true identity was made the clearest. Even though the thief was hearing that the evidence of Jesus being God would be him saving himself from death, which Jesus did not do, he still believed in Jesus' power and authority. Somehow, this thief believed that Jesus is indeed the returning King of the Jews and the Christ, while Jesus was dying on the cross. He asked that Jesus would remember him when he comes into his kingdom. So, here it is, the dying thief, believing that the dying man beside him will somehow inherit the kingdom and reign over it. It would make sense if he would believe in Jesus when he was doing a miracle (such as feeding the 5000 or healing a leprous man), however, for some reason, he was able to exercise faith in Christ while he wasn't looking like the reigning king that he was, indeed from the perspective of those who are with hardened hearts, he was merely a dying criminal. If this was the only thing that he believed, we would have an impression that his faith is truly impressive, however, if we inspect closely, we will find his faith to be even more impressive. This is because, for some reason, this thief also believed in the resurrection of the righteous. Not only did he believed that his Christ would be raised from the grave, since he said "when you come into your kingdom," he also believed that it was possible for him to partake in Jesus' resurrection, as he said, "Jesus, remember me." At that point, he may not know it, but he was treading by the verge of Jordan with the true Joshua, Jesus, who will, on that very day, bring him over to the promised land, God's paradise. The irony of the crucifixion is this, those who are mocking Jesus because he was condemned were heaping judgment upon themselves for the Day of the Lord in which they will be damned by this Lamb that was Slain. Those who are alive, watching and approving, of Jesus' crucifixion were still dead in their sins and will remain dead unless they repent. On the other hand, the thief who was literally dying, choking to death, was more alive than those who nailed him on the cross. In his union with the dying Savior, it was not death for him to die. It was not death for him to leave this cursed place to join his Savior, who, in his crucifixion on a place called Skull, being crushed by the wrath of God, was crushing the skull of the serpent, and who in his death, defeated death. The dying thief is, in some way, a picture of us, Christians. All of us were criminals who were condemned to die. If God had not intervened and damn us to hell, he would have been just. But, as we were on our way to hell, God granted us to see Jesus as who he truly is, our King and our Messiah. Indeed, we are able to see him in his true identity, God incarnate, Yahweh in his fullness. It is not as though we are able to make this discovery through our own Flesh. Flesh and blood cannot grant us eyes to see and ears to hear, only God the Father, through the Holy Spirit is able to do that. Moreover, we recognize more clearly Jesus' identity as king, Christ, and God through his death and resurrection. His crucifixion was his enthronement as King of the universe and with this authority, he will damn those who mocked and blasphemed him and were unrepentant. His death penalty was the fulfillment of the Old Testament Messianic prophecy in which the Christ was pierced for our transgressions and crushed for our iniquities. His dying on the cross and resurrection is proof that the fullness of God dwells bodily in him. For those with eyes to see and ears to hear, the death and resurrection of our dearest eldest brother is the moment in which his identity was made the clearest. So, what are we to do? We thank God firstly, for giving us his only Son, and also for giving us eyes to see and ears to hear. That in seeing and hearing our Savior, in believing in him, our sins are washed away. There is a fountain filled with blood Drawn from Immanuel's vein And sinners plunged beneath that flood lose all their guilty stains. The dying thief rejoiced to see That fountain in his day, And there may I, though vile as he; Wash all my sins away.