Summary: This is an overview study of the Death Narrative as recorded in the book of Luke
Luke Death Narrative
I. Divide and Title
A. Segmental Divisions
22.1-46 Jesus’ final moments with the disciples
22.47-65 Jesus is arrested
22.66-23.43 Jesus is tried and crucified
23.44-56 Death and Burial
B. Paragraph Divisions
22:1-6 The plot to kill Jesus
22:7-38 The Last Supper
22:39-46 Jesus in the garden
22:47-53 Jesus is arrested
22:54-62 Peter denies knowing Jesus
22:63-65 Jesus is mocked
22:66 -71 Jesus before the Jewish authorities
23.1-5 Jesus before Pilate
23.6-12 Jesus before Herod
23.13-25 Jesus is returned to Pilate
23:26-43 The Crucifixion
23:44-49 Jesus dies on the cross
23:50-56 Jesus laid in the tomb
II. Structural Analysis
1. Death: The book seems to focus on this concept with extreme attention. We see the theme of death played out in the plotting done by the Jews at the beginning of the section and the entire trial is the examination of the prospect of death for Jesus. The actual act of the crucifixion moves closer to the death theme by actually showing three people going through a death sentence and the final act of Jesus’ own death. It is this dynamic that makes the book look to the eternal realities of life and see how this life and the next will come to be for each and every person.
Evidence: 22.1-6, 23.26-43,44-49
2. Trial: Luke presents to the readers a cycle of trials that show how Jesus was tried for the crime of blasphemy by the Jews and civil uprising by the Roman government. This series of events takes place through a weaving of the different trials or hearings that Jesus went through to reach the verdict of crucifixion. The cycle went from the Jews to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod and from Herod back to Pilate, with Pilate making the final decision to allow the crucifixion.
Evidence: 22.66-71, 23.1-5,6-12,13-25
3. Denial: The author presents a specific look at the realities of people’s denial of Jesus. The first comes from Peter, second from the Jewish leaders and third from the crowds that called for Jesus to be crucified. These denials become key to the fact of Jesus ministry and mission among the people of God.
Evidence: 22.54-62,66-71, 23.13-25
4. Darkness: Luke shows how darkness plays a role in the action of this section at the arrest of Jesus, the Jewish trial and the crucifixion. The darkness at the arrest and the trial are both because the events happened during the night but the crucifixion does seem to be a supernatural darkness that seems to bring irony to the event.
Evidence: 22.39-46,47-53,66-71, 23.44-49
5. Statements of Faith: Luke records the words and actions of those who were witnesses of the crucifixion and their specific responses towards Jesus reveal their faith. The criminal on the cross expresses acceptance of Jesus while dying on the cross. The centurion states the Jesus was a righteous man after His death. Joseph shows his faith through the act of giving Jesus his burial tomb.
1. Orientation: This section of the book opens with the general statement about the plot to kill Jesus and how the religious leadership of Israel were preparing to find a way to have Jesus killed for His teachings. However, to do this they would need to work through the Roman government because to do otherwise would cause far too great an ordeal for them with the people.
2. Pivot: The section seems to move with the fact that Jesus is arrested by the Jewish authorities and it is from that point that this whole part of the narrative begins to change shape and move into new territory. The whole fabric of the core disciples becomes undone and the group frays apart.
3. Climax: The main climax of the section comes during the death of Jesus on the cross and it reveals the completion of His ministry towards the cross. This aspect of the narrative shows the reader that the death of Jesus was a needed part in the process of salvation. The death of Jesus become the cornerstone of the section and communicates the key theme or message of the author; Jesus is going to die at the hands of the Jewish authorities.
4. Completion: The death Of Jesus brings the main message of the section to its logical completion. It is this event that reveals the nature of the work of Christ to bring to all people the gift of salvation. The aspect of Jesus suffering at the hands of the Jewish authorities and the Roman government was foretold by Jesus Himself. The author shows how Jesus brought the message of His ministry to its highest point as He died on the cross. and resurrection brought the message and work of salvation to its proper point of completion.