Friday, 30 March, 2018
Luke 23 : 1-56
“…if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.” –Luke 23:35
We have an entire chapter giving a kaleidoscopic view of Jesus through the eyes of those who witnessed His trial and His crucifixion. Mirrored in these various people, we can find a cross-section of the different approaches to Christ even in this day.
The Mob—The multitude of them just caught on the opinions passed on by their leaders and propagated their wrong ideology: “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”(V2) Jesus was no political game changer; He did not come to establish an earthly kingdom; they mistook the Man and His mission!
The Popular Opinion Person—Though Pilate found Jesus innocent and could have used his authority well, he was swayed by public opinion and gave into their demands to allow an innocent man’s crucifixion: “…but he delivered Jesus to their will.” (V25) Pilate missed the mark!
The Accusers—The chief priests and scribes (V10), the crowd, Herod and his men and one of the criminals(V39). Any threat to their ego or their viewpoint was dealt with harsh accusation. The criminal had no remorse of his sin but took to self-justification. Such people are so full of their self!
The Mockers—”But even the rulers with them sneered…” (V35); the soldiers mocked Jesus: “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”(V37). Mocking Jesus was equal to mocking God who had sent His Son to save mankind.
The Discerner—Two people here- the other criminal on the cross and the centurion who declared in the end: “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”(V47). The criminal acknowledged who he was- a sinner and Jesus for who He is: “…for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” (V41). He saw a King in the One who was hung on the cross beside him and declared: “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”(V42). He was saved that day!
The Secret Follower— Joseph of Arimathea, a council member was a secret believer. He didn’t consent with his fellow Jews in their decision to crucify him; but was bold enough to ask Pilate for Jesus’ body to bury him. Such people follow Jesus without much sacrifice on their part.
The Follower to the end—This group of women who had followed Jesus all the way from Galilee, to the place of crucifixion and His burial: “And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after…”(V55) They observed where they laid Him and went to prepare spices thinking they could come back after the sabbath to anoint Him. *To these women was the good news of Jesus’ resurrection first declared: ‘The Son of Man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.’” (Luke 24:7). What a privilege as they went and broke the news to the apostles and others! The first Good News bearers!
Looking into these varied characters, where do you fit in? Have you mocked, accused Him? Or are you swayed by the popular opinion of who Jesus is and unable to be a discerner? Do you see Him just as another religious figure who held good opinions and led a good way of life and so you would rather have nothing to do with Him? Are you unwilling to acknowledge Him feeling you may lose your status in the eyes of others?
Before you lose your eternity, it is better to come to terms with Jesus who came to set us back into a relationship with God. He went to the cross bearing the pain and shame and taking the punishment of our sin because He loved us so much, not to let us perish. 1 John 3:16: “This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us….” Would you choose to acknowledge Him and follow Him to the end?
*The NIV Study Bible Article
Thought: “For if, while we were God’s enemies, we were reconciled to him through the death of his Son, how much more, having been reconciled, shall we be saved through his life!”(Romans 5:10)
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