26 As they led him away, they seized a man, Simon of Cyrene, who was coming from the country, and they laid the cross on him, and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A great number of the people followed him, and among them were women who were beating their breasts and wailing for him. 28But Jesus turned to them and said, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29For the days are surely coming when they will say, “Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed.” 30Then they will begin to say to the mountains, “Fall on us”; and to the hills, “Cover us.” 31For if they do this when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?’
32 Two others also, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[ 34Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’]] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ 38There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’
39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ 40But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ 43He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’
44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, ‘Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.’ Having said this, he breathed his last. 47When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, ‘Certainly this man was innocent.’ 48And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
"New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved."
Luke introduces a number of important changes into Mark’s account. He presents no Roman mocking of Jesus and the crowning with thorns is absent. Perhaps this relates to Luke’s interest in favorably portraying Roman characters because in his time he is hoping for legal status for Christianity in the Empire. While Simon carries the cross, Jesus encounters weeping women of Jerusalem. He warns them of the disaster that awaits the city in the future. In words found only in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus prays for forgiveness for his executioners. The reconciling savior forgives even those who are torturing him.
Unlike in Mark and Matthew in which everyone mocks Jesus, Luke distinguishes between the leaders and the people in general. In addition, one of the other crucifixion victims defends Jesus. The healing presence of Jesus functions even during their executions. In Luke, the curtain of the Temple is torn before Jesus dies. One can almost imagine Jesus directing his last words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” in a straight line toward the divine Presence in the Temple. In Acts of the Apostles, Stephen dies with similar words. This suggests that Luke is presenting his readers with the dying words that all Christians should pray.
Unlike the Marcan and Matthean centurions who proclaimed Jesus as God’s Son, Luke’s centurion exclaims what has been one of Luke’s constant emphases throughout his passion narrative: Jesus is innocent. Finally, in Luke’s Gospel, the crowd departs in sorrow and all of Jesus’ associates are present, including presumably the male disciples who in the other Gospels had all fled. Luke consistently prefers to portray the followers of Jesus as a harmonious community.