Metaphysical Bible Interpretation of Luke Chapter 23
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:1-5
23:1And the whole company of them rose up, and brought him before Pilate. 23:2And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this man perverting our nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, and saying that he himself is Christ a king. 23:3And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest. 23:4And Pilate said unto the chief priests and the multitudes, I find no fault in this man. 23:5But they were the more urgent, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Judaea, and beginning from Galilee even unto this place.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:6-12
23:6But when Pilate heard it, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean. 23:7And when he knew that he was of Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him unto Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem in these days. 23:8Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was of a long time desirous to see him, because he had heard concerning him; and he hoped to see some miracle done by him. 23:9And he questioned him in many words; but he answered him nothing. 23:10And the chief priests and the scribes stood, vehemently accusing him. 23:11And Herod with his soldiers set him at nought, and mocked him, and arraying him in gorgeous apparel sent him back to Pilate. 23:12And Herod and Pilate became friends with each other that very day: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:13-25
23:13And Pilate called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, 23:14and said unto them, Ye brought unto me this man, as one that perverteth the people: and behold, I having examined him before you, found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him: 23:15no, nor yet Herod: for he sent him back unto us; and behold, nothing worthy of death hath been done by him. 23:16I will therefore chastise him, and release him. 23:17Now he must needs release unto them at the feast one prisoner.
23:18But they cried out all together, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: -- 23:19one who for a certain insurrection made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison. 23:20And Pilate spake unto them again, desiring to release Jesus; 23:21but they shouted, saying, Crucify, crucify him. 23:22And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath this man done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him and release him. 23:23But they were urgent with loud voices, asking that he might be crucified. And their voices prevailed. 23:24And Pilate gave sentence that what they asked for should be done. 23:25And he released him that for insurrection and murder had been cast into prison, whom they asked for; but Jesus he delivered up to their will.
December 2, 1906: Luke 23:13-25
It is evident that Jesus did not demonstrate all that he planned. He expected to overcome death to the full and retain his physical body on the physical plane of consciousness. Before going to Jerusalem he had proclaimed that he could take his body temple up and lay it down at will, and that if it were destroyed he could rebuild it in three days. He had mastered the various planes of consciousness up to a certain point, and had no doubt of his ability to meet the test which he knew was before him of demonstrating over the surrounding religious thought.
Here is where he evidently met more opposition than he anticipated. He had condemned the Pharisees severely, and the reaction of their thought was so great that he could not meet it. The tenacity of the Jew for his religion, and his intolerance of any other religious belief but his own, is proverbial. When Jesus met the full force of this, he was evidently stunned, and this accounts for his silence when questioned at the various trials to which he was subjected.
The lesson for us is that we shall be on our guard against religious bigotry and especially the condemnation of those who differ from us, or are doing what we consider wrong. In the great overcoming of sins, which these final trials of Jesus symbolize, it is those of an ecclesiastical character that cause us most trouble. We think we shall be condemned for the sins of the flesh, but the verdict of Pilate, who represents the outer plane of consciousness, is that there is nothing in the man worthy of death.
Thus it is not the fleshly mind that fixes the penalty for sin, but the mental and assumed spiritual. Every sin shall be forgiven man except the sin against the Holy Ghost.
March 23, 1941: Luke 23:13-25
What does Pilate represent? He represents the ruling principle of the sense will. His name means “wearing the felt cap,” an emblem of liberty.
Was self-interest outstanding in Pilate's conduct, as described in today's lesson text? It was, so far as Pilate acted from motives of policy rather than principle. To protect his own interests he yielded to the unjust demand of the rulers and mob, ignoring his conviction of Jesus Christ's innocence of the charge brought against Him and the facts already found in His favor.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:26-43
23:26And when they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon of Cyrene, coming from the country, and laid on him the cross, to bear it after Jesus. 23:27And there followed him a great multitude of the people, and of women who bewailed and lamented him. 23:28But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. 23:29For behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breasts that never gave suck. 23:30Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. 23:31For if they do these things in the green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
23:32And there were also two others, malefactors, led with him to be put to death. 23:33And when they came unto the place which is called The skull, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 23:34And Jesus said, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And parting his garments among them, they cast lots. 23:35And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also scoffed at him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen. 23:36And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, offering him vinegar, 23:37and saying, If thou art the King of the Jews, save thyself. 23:38And there was also a superscription over him, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
23:39And one of the malefactors that were hanged railed on him, saying, Art not thou the Christ? save thyself and us. 23:40But the other answered, and rebuking him said, Dost thou not even fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? 23:41And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.23:42And he said, Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom. 23:43And he said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:44-49
23:44And it was now about the sixth hour, and a darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 23:45the sun's light failing: and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 23:46And Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said this, he gave up the ghost. 23:47And when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 23:48And all the multitudes that came together to this sight, when they beheld the things that were done, returned smiting their breasts. 23:49And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed with him from Galilee, stood afar off, seeing these things.
December 9. 1906: Luke 23:33-46
The place of the crucifixion being named a skull, which is the meaning-of the Latin Kranion, translated Calvary, and Golgotha, skull in Aramaic, the language of the Jews in Palestine, is quite suggestive of the place of the intellect, and points to a symbolism not hard to interpret.
The seat of the conscious mind is the front brain, and it is here that the will has established its dominion. Here all things affecting the system are either admitted or rejected. Even Spiritual Truth has to be admitted through this door before it can become part of the consciousness. If the mind is charged with the thought that certain religions ideas are true, and all else error and worthy of extreme condemnation, there will be a crossing-out of the Christ Consciousness. This is one of the symbolical meanings of the crucifixion.
The seamless robe, for which the soldiers cast lots, is the Truth in its harmonious expression and unchangeable perfection. The superscription written over Jesus in three languages, “This is the King of the Jews,” is indicative of the ruling power of the principles enunciated by this great King of men. Greek was the language of literature and culture, Latin that of the soldiers and officers of Rome, and Hebrew, the language of the Jews, or religion. It was a prophecy of the universality of the Word of the Great One, which should go forth to the whole world and reach people in spirit, soul and body.
The two malefactors crucified with him represent the past and the future. The past is full of regrets and accusations, but the future is hopeful and sees good ahead in spite of the great trial at hand. This is commended by the Christ and promise of reward made.
The darkness and rending of the temple is the failure in understanding that sweeps over the soul in times of great trial, and the letting go of the idea of the reality of material consciousness. The closing relinquishment of the soul to God is the final giving up of all human ambitions and aims. When this point is reached, the soul enters into glory.
Sunday, March 8, 1925: Luke 23:33-46
What is the metaphysical meaning of, “the place which is called The skull,” where Jesus was crucified? “The skull” represents the place in the brain through which the “mind of the flesh” functions and where by denial (crucifixion) it gives up its existence.
Is the spiritual man, Christ, crucified at the place of “The skull”? No, Christ is spiritual, and cannot be killed. It is the “son of perdition” or “mind of the flesh” that is destroyed at the crucifixion.
The rulers “scoffed at him” and said: “He saved others; let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen.” Why did not Jesus save himself from crucifixion? Jesus was acting out that which takes place in everyone who passes through regeneration. The carnal mind and its body of flesh must go through a transformation. Jesus said that this was done that the Scripture might be fulfilled. The Scripture veils in symbols and figures the law of mind and body regeneration.
What is represented by the two malefactors that were crucified with Jesus? The two malefactors represent the duality of good and evil that functions in human consciousness.
What is represented by Jesus’ promise to the repentant malefactor who saw the good in him? Jesus said to the repentant malefactor: “To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” Paradise represents the garden of God, or the garden of Eden, the universal elemental ether out of which come all visible things.
What is the meaning of the superscription, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS,” in three languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin? The superscription written over Jesus signifies the rule of I AM in Spirit (Hebrew), soul (Greek), and body (Latin).
What is the meaning of the darkness that came over the whole land? When error gives up its hold on the body, the bodily material consciousness is broken up, and the ignorance, evil, and error in which it functions envelop the whole land or body consciousness.
What is the meaning of verse 45: “the sun's light failing: and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst”? The sun, representing the light of Spirit, seems temporarily to fail. The veil of sense is rent preparatory to the coming forth of the new body in Christ.
Did Jesus die on the cross? No; Jesus gave up mortal consciousness with all its attachments, and merged himself into the mind of Spirit. “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”
June 6, 1931: Luke 23:33-46
What does the crucifixion of Jesus Christ represent to one who is following him in the regeneration? Every time that the developing soul overcomes an error thought, there is a crucifixion. The error is cancelled. When all error has been overcome, the sense mind is completely erased and the body restored to spiritual perfection. This final cancellation of error is represented by the crucifixion of Jesus; which was the final and complete re1inquishament of the hold that error, represented by Judas, had upon His body.
Does the body die in this final crucifixion? No. The sense mind gives up its ephemeral life, and the body lapses for a season into weakness and inertia. But the spiritual mind is still with the body, and on the third day, or with the third movement of mind in manifestation, the spiritual mind takes possession of the body and raises it first to a psychical body, then in the ascension to its final estate a spiritual body.
What is the meaning of “the place which is called the skull, there they crucified him”? This passage refers to that place in the skull where the personal or sense mind has its center of activity (the front brain).
What is represented by the malefactors, one on the right and the other on the left of Jesus Christ? These malefactors represent duality, a belief in good and evil, the past and the future, composing the entire thought consciousness of opposites, which has been built up since man began to “eat,” or to enter into the conscious knowledge of “good and evil.”
What is symbolized by Jesus' seamless garment, for which the soldiers cast lots? The seamless garment is the consciousness of the indestructible unity of life and substance in the body entity. This consciousness inheres in the executive department of mind (soldiers).
What is the metaphysical meaning of Jesus' words to the repentant malefactor: “Today, shalt thou be with me in Paradise”? Paradise means “garden ground,” or “Garden of Eden,” and is the symbolical name of the psychic or soul realm to which all entities gravitate when released from the physical organism. Jesus remained in this realm of the elemental forces forty days before He ascended to the spiritual heavens.
What is the meaning of the veil of the temple being rent in the midst? The last step in regeneration is the giving up of the corporeal existence of the body temple. Then the veil of sense thought is rent, and man comes into the consciousness of the imperishable and the eternal.
June 14, 1936: Luke 23:33-46
What is represented by the expression “the place which is called the skull”? This term designates the seat of the intellect or conscious mind. Here the crucifixion takes place when man puts an end to the dominance of the intellect over his life and substitutes for it the reign of spiritual truth.
Of what is the crucifixion of Jesus a symbol? The Crucifixion of Jesus symbolizes the erasure of sense from consciousness and the opening of mind and heart to the influence of the Christ.
Why does suffering attend this change? From birth man is immersed in sense consciousness and the denial of that with which he has so long identified himself in order to regain his true identity causes him to suffer.
What are the two thieves that rob man continually? The past and the future. The former is a robber of man's peace of mind by reason of regrets and self-condemnation. The latter takes away his faith and confidence by causing him to indulge in anxiety and foreboding.
In what two phases of consciousness does every individual habitually dwell? The individual consciousness in which he may realize his identity with the indwelling Spirit of God, and the social consciousness in which he moves as a member of the race. The latter is also known as the race consciousness.
How many deaths can a man die? Death may be physical, moral, social, or spiritual, according to the law that man violates. Man commonly thinks of death as physical.
What do the soldiers who cast lots for the seamless robe of Jesus represent? They represent the dominion and authority of the race mind in the realm of sense. Their casting lots for the seamless robe symbolizes the superficial desire of the sense consciousness to possess itself of true understanding.
Does full understanding come to man by chance? Understanding comes only in obedience to law. It dawns on man as he enters the illuminating presence of the Christ mind.
Interpret the command “If thou art the King of the Jews, save thyself.” The “King of the Jews” represents man's ruling religious Instinct. The sense consciousness makes self-preservation the strongest instinct of man, but spiritual consciousness puts obedience to the divine will first. Self-defense is no part of the divine law.
March 23, 1941: Luke 23:32-34a
What does the lesson show concerning personality in Jesus? It shows that He overcame selfishness. He prayed for those who crucified Him, which proves that in Him selflessness triumphed over personal considerations.
Is the crucifixion of universal significance? Yes, in order to attain spiritual consciousness everyone must cross out personality. This is what the crucifixion symbolizes. The center of activity of the mind is in the brain, and the final overcoming must take place there, at “the place which is called the skull.”
Does man really die on the cross? The divine man does not die. The limitations of the personal mind die. The Christ mind is released into undimmed clarity.
What is signified by the two malefactors who were crucified, the one on the right hand and the one on the left of Jesus? They represent the past and the future, both “evil-doers” in man's thought, since he regrets the one and fears the other.
Is the overcoming of personality dependent at all on the death of the body? No. Personality can be overcome by man here and now without the necessity of giving up the body.
What does the prayer “Father, forgive them” show? It shows divine love, perfect as the Father is perfect. It shows too that Christ makes all men one in consciousness. Jesus had developed the idea of universal oneness.
June 7, 1942: Luke 23:33-46
Where does the final overcoming of the mind of the flesh take place? In its center of action, the brain or “place which is called The skull.”
What does the Crucifixion typify? The final erasure of error from consciousness. Crucifixion, in a measure, takes place each time we give up some personal limitation or error. Jesus' death on the cross is a symbol of the surrender of all that falls short of the divine.
How is universal life understood? By the truth that life is one, the one good that is God. Whoever enters into the good life enters into all that is shared in common with all others who hold before themselves the goal of the ideal life.
What are some of the manifestations of the universal life? Acts that reveal a consciousness of the brotherhood of man and the Fatherhood of God, of the ideal of unity that followers of the Christ way are trying to realize.
Of what is forgiveness a sign? Of the universal life consciousness. Since all men are one, everyone who wishes to realize freedom from condemnation freely forgives every other, no matter how great the offense.
What does the cross represent? It represents two currents of thought in human consciousness: the perpendicular bar is the inner current of divine life; the horizontal bar the crosscurrent of human limitation.
Why did not the Christ save Himself? The Christ takes no thought for the self. Self-preservation is the “law” of the race consciousness or mortal mind.
What is the significance of the two malefactors? The malefactor who “railed on” Jesus represents the human attitude of defiance of judgment for past deeds. The one who rebuked the railer represents expectation of future good. “Jesus, remember me when thou comest in thy kingdom.”
Does the superscription “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS” have any inner significance? It signifies the rule of the I AM over the physical, intellectual, and spiritual phases of the individual.
June 12, 1949: Luke 23:32-38
What does the Crucifixion represent? The giving up of personality and the triumph of the spiritual nature in man, which is eternal and changeless.
Jesus' first words from the cross were a prayer for forgiveness of His executioners: “for they know not what they do.” What did this prayer prove? That the Christ can express divine love under any and all circumstances: Jesus even justified His executioners' forgiveness on the ground of their ignorance.
Is ignorance a valid excuse under man-made law? It is not. This maxim “Ignorance of the law excuses no man” is a maxim of present-day law, as it was of the Roman law.
What is represented by the people who “stood beholding”? They represent the race mind, which unthinkingly accepts the dictates of the race thought without questioning its validity. Inasmuch as those who so accept the race thought are in the majority but make no effort to do away with error, they are responsible for its perpetuation. Did the rulers understand the nature of the Christ, whose advent they were purported to be expecting? They did not understand it in the least, for they said, “Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God.” The prophecy “Thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin” was known to them, for it was included in the Scriptures; yet they thought of the Christ as taking thought for self rather than for others. The Christ is selfless.
What is symbolized by the superscription, “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS”? The rule of the I AM over the spiritual, intellectual, and physical aspects of the individual. These aspects are represented by the three languages in which the superscription was written, Hebrew, Greek, and Latin.
June 12, 1949: Luke 23:46-47
What work did Jesus do on the cross that proved Him to be the Saviour of mankind? He converted the penitent thief, and in His death He converted also the centurion who had charge of the Crucifixion and who immediately pronounced Him a righteous man.
Metaphysically Interpreting Luke 23:50-56
23:50And behold, a man named Joseph, who was a councillor, a good and righteous man23:51(he had not consented to their counsel and deed), a man of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews, who was looking for the kingdom of God: 23:52this man went to Pilate, and asked for the body of Jesus. 23:53And he took it down, and wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in a tomb that was hewn in stone, where never man had yet lain. 23:54And it was the day of the Preparation, and the sabbath drew on. 23:55And the women, who had come with him out of Galilee, followed after, and beheld the tomb, and how his body was laid. 23:56And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments.
And on the sabbath they rested according to the commandment.
Transcribed by Lloyd Kinder on 01-28-2014