Today we are looking at Luke chapter 23.
This is primarily the account of the Jewish religious council and how they were determined to find a way to kill Jesus so they could continue doing what they had always done as rulers over the Jewish people. They wanted to eliminate Jesus so they could remain in control.
Just as they were determined to eliminate Jesus—Jesus was determined to fulfill the prophetic Mission he was on to bring salvation to us all.
Jesus was not to be deterred. Not by Pilate, not by Herod, not by humiliation, not by religious authorities, not by torture, not by death. His mission accomplishes God’s will for salvation and in doing so it says in Luke 2 “that He is to be the falling and rising of many in Israel and to be a sign that will be opposed so that the inner thoughts of many will be revealed.”
Luke’s account is abbreviated in some ways so as he moves from Jesus questioning, torture, sentencing and crucifixion, we see the roman soldiers and rulers mocking him and saying, “he saved others, so let him save himself—If he is the messiah, the chosen one. Yet, that is exactly what he was doing---being the messiah by giving himself—not saving himself.
By not saving himself, he fulfilled God’s plan of justice and mercy. He proved that he is the messiah—the righteous one.
He gave himself willingly in the midst of brutality, arrogance, lies, and mockery. He had the authority of God, the power of the Holy Spirit, at all times, even suffering on the cross.
He asked his Father to forgive them for they don’t know what they are doing and he gave mercy to the thief on the cross-telling him that “today you will be with me in paradise.”
Jesus crucifixion did not happen on an altar in a beautiful temple, but outside the city between two convicts on a lonely, executioner’s hill called The Skull. It is the story of how Jesus the Messiah willingly gave himself to bring God’s plan of salvation, justice and mercy to earth.
Jesus did all of this for us to have a new opportunity to return to God and to be filled with His Spirit—to be renewed—made new in the promise “for you and your children and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”
This is your opportunity and my opportunity to rejoice that Jesus endured the cross and fulfilled His mission so that you and I can have salvation, be filled with His Spirit, be led by Him—we can have a New Life! Rejoice and give Him Praise today!