The Cross (Luke 23:26-49)

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.”

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.”

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Christ? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”

42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 Jesus answered him, “I tell you the truth, today you will be with me in paradise.”

44 It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.  (Luke 23:32-49)

Learn it:

            When Jesus is taken to the cross Luke gives us the scene from many different perspectives.  We read about the women weeping and crying over the events.  There are soldiers mocking him and gambling away Jesus’ clothes.  Others in the crowd are throwing insults at Jesus.  We even have a conversation Jesus has with two other criminals who are also being crucified!  One wants Jesus to prove his identity by saving all three of them.  While the other criminal rightly sees Jesus as the innocent Son of God.  There is SO much going on in this passage! 

            Throughout the whole passage Jesus continue to show mercy and grace.  He prays for his enemies, that their sins might be forgiven.  He does not fight or struggle against them as they crucify him.  He even is saves a person while on the cross!  He is so focused on the mission the Father sent him to do.  Who is Jesus?  Whose story do we believe?  I believe the quote of the centurion at the end of the passage summarizes what everyone was thinking, “Surely this was a righteous man.”  People began to realize who Jesus was once he died and all the signs began to happen. 

Live it: 

            The story of the Bible is about God bringing his creation into a right relationship with him.  Creation has always been rebelling against God.  God has sent people to speak his truths and to give them laws to follow so that they may have a relationship with Him.  God was paving the way for this moment, where He would send his Son as the perfect sacrifice for creation.  To allow man and God to be united together if people accept the sacrifice of Jesus.  Have you accepted Jesus’ sacrifice?  Do you recognize him as the Son of God who paid the price for your sins?  If not and you have questions about it, please reach out to me I’d love to talk to you about it.  If so, praise God and never forget the cost for the freedom you have.  Live a life worthy of the sacrifice of Christ. 

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