Jesus Delivered to Their Will
Luke 23:25
And he released to them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired…

I. WHAT WAS THIS WILL? What was the moving spring of their fierce resolution that Jesus of Nazareth should die?

1. It was their will that this stern censor of their manners and morals should die.

2. They willed that the witness to the truth should die. The Lord belonged to another world, which they did not care to enter; a world which troubled their selfish, sensual lives. It distracted them with visions, it oppressed them with dread.

3. They willed that this teacher of the people, this friend of publicans and sinners, should die. They were a ruling class, almost a caste. And such rulers hate none so bitterly as those who speak loving, quickening, emancipating words to the poor. As society was then constituted in Judaea, that meant that He or the rulers must fall.

4. There was something deeper and more malignant than this. It was their will that their Saviour should die. One cannot shake off the impression, reading the gospel narrative, that the rulers knew Him. This was the will of the Jews. But —

II. WHAT, MEANWHILE, WAS THE WILL OF GOD? St. Peter explains it (Acts 2:23). To understand this, we must consider —

1. That it was not possible that the God-man should be holden of death. The flesh, the outer man, they killed. But what is the outer man, and what is death? They willed that He should die, but what He was, what they hated, could not die. God delivered it into their hands that they might see that they were powerless, that what they hated and had arrayed themselves against was eternal. His death made His life immortal, His witness to the truth eternal.

2. Through death the power of Christ, His witness to the truth, His witness against sin, His redemptive work for mankind, became living, nay, all-pervading and almighty realities in the world. Hidden for a moment by His death, the power reappeared, and reappeared to reign. Jesus delivered to their will was slain; but the world was soon filled with men who were charged with the spirit of Jesus, and who made His death the gospel of salvation to mankind.

(J. B. Brown, B. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

WEB: He released him who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus up to their will.

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