Read Luke 23:39-43
When Jesus was arrested, Peter cut off the ear of Malchus. The Lord then healed the high priest’s servant’s ear and He was led away. From that point up to His death, no one else acted on His behalf. Peter began to deny knowing Him. The council condemned Him. Pilate could not find any fault in Him, but still allowed Him to be murdered. Yes, many mourned for Him, but they were powerless to do anything against the Roman government and the Jewish authorities.
When Jesus was crucified, two criminals met the same fate. One of them mocked the Lord along with the crowd. Luke records the criminal’s blasphemous statement: “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us” (Luke 23:39). The other man, though he had mocked Jesus earlier, had a change of heart. He rebuked the blasphemer, then said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom” (Luke 24:42). Jesus told the thief, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise” (Luke 24:43).
Even while hanging in agony, Jesus showed compassion and love for His creation. Even of those who were actively murdering Him, He said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do” (Luke 24:34).
Friends, do you know what you are doing? Are you truly engaged in Bible study and faithful obedience? There are some who deny the necessity of baptism because of the thief on the cross. This man came to an understanding of what he needed and he did what he could when he could. Do you understand your need for Jesus? If you do, do what you can while you can! You have the ability to be immersed and serve Jesus now, so do it!
By rejecting the Lord’s command when you know what He said, you are denying Him as your Savior and putting yourself in an unenviable position (John 12:48; Matthew 10:32-33). He requires baptism and faithful obedience for salvation (Mark 16:16; 1 Peter 3:21; Rev. 2:10). If you do not obey Him, He will not remember you in His kingdom (Heb. 5:9).
I. Three crosses
A. The cross of rebellion (Luke 23:39; Matthew 27:44; Joshua 24:15)
B. The cross of repentance (Luke 23:40-42)
C. The cross of redemption (Luke 23:43; Hebrews 9:16-17; Acts 2:38; Acts 19:4-5; Luke 16:22)
II. “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit”
A. The rending of the veil (Luke 23:44-45; Hebrews 10:19-22; 1 Peter 2:9; Acts 6:7)
B. The death of our Lord (Luke 23:46; Psalm 31:5)
C. The conversion of the centurion (Luke 23:47; Mark 15:39)
III. Joseph of Arimathea
A. The secret disciple (Luke 23:50-51; John 19:38)
B. His call to action (Luke 23:52-54; Isaiah 53:9)
I. Simon the Cyrenian
A. Carried the cross (Luke 23:26; John 19:17)
B. Family connections (Mark 15:21; Romans 16:13)
C. God uses negative experiences to prepare us for something greater in His kingdom (Romans 8:28; James 1:2-3; Philippians 2:14-16)
II. The weeping women
A. “Blessed are the barren” (Luke 23:27-31; Deuteronomy 7:12-14)
B. The destruction of Jerusalem
III. Radical forgiveness
A. Their ignorance (Luke 23:32-34; Acts 3:17; 13:27; 2:37)
B. His enormous love (Romans 5:6-8; Ephesians 4:32)
IV. Man’s contempt of Christ
A. Contempt from the people (Luke 23:35a; Matthew 27:39-40)
B. Contempt from the leaders (Luke 23:35b; Matthew 27:41-43)
C. Contempt from the soldiers (Luke 23:36-37)
V. “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38) – how do we treat Him?
I. Before Pilate
A. The accusations (23:1-2; Acts 10:38; Luke 20:20-26)
B. “Are You the King of the Jews?” (23:3; John 18:33-37)
C. “I find no fault in this Man” (23:4-6)
II. Before Herod
A. Herod’s curiosity (23:7-8)
B. Jesus’ silence (23:9-10)
C. Herod’s mockery (23:11-12; Revelation 3:17-18)
III. Before Pilate (again)
A. Pilate’s plan (23:13-17)
B. The Jews’ rejection (23:18-19)
C. Jesus delivered to the will of the Jews (23:20-25; Romans 12:1-2)
Day 23/260: Read Luke 23
Life is full of difficult decisions. If given the choice between love and hatred, we would obviously choose love, right? The Jews in our reading today, however, did the exact opposite.
The love of Jesus was on display every single day while He walked this earth, but He was rejected. He taught truth, showed mercy, granted grace, but was ultimately rejected. He was brought before Pilate, accused of misleading the people. Even though there was “no fault” found in Him, the crowd demanded His death by crucifixion.
Instead of the love of Jesus, the people chose the hatred of Barabbas. This man “had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.” There is no record of remorse on his part, but when given the choice between the Savior and a murderer, the murderer was set free and the Son of God was killed.
We have decisions to make every day. Many times, those decisions involve Jesus. We have to choose if we will stand for Him, or if we will compromise with the world. We have to choose between the love of God and the hatred of Satan. What will you choose?
Memory (Fill in the blanks)
Acts 1:11. “Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into _______________? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into _______________, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into _______________.”
Pray for the courage to choose Christ without compromise in the face of opposition in this hate-filled world.