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Summary: This is an overview study of the Death Narrative as recorded in the book of Luke

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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

A. Recurrences

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.

Evidence: 23.39-43,44-49,50-56

B: Relationships

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.


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