Luke 23

Luke 23 ends with the crucifixion of Jesus. Simon , a man from Cyrene, was forced to carry the cross. Did you see the movie “The Passion of Christ”? It depicts this section of scripture in graphic detail. It was enough to make my heart heavy as they dramatized the suffering Jesus went through before and during the crucifixion. They taunted Him, gave Him sour wine, they threw dice for His clothes. There was a sign posted over His head about being “King of the Jews”. One of the other two who were crucified along side Him that day cursed Him too. So how did Jesus respond? Here is a lesson in the heart of God: “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing”. Jesus did not strike out or even attempt to get even. He was not trying to defend His name or the actions of His life. He went to the cross willingly, gave His life freely so we would have a Savior to deal with our sin problem. Jesus died to set me free (and you too if He is your Lord and Savior). He chose that end to life – He could have commanded the angels to set Him free. He had walked through angry mobs before and vanished. But His love was so deep, His desire to serve so strong, that He endured the cross and took on the weight of our sin to give us the opportunity for a right relationship with God and a future in eternity. That is true love. That is the heart of the Father. Joseph of Arimathea took the body after asking Pilate for it and put it into a new tomb. Joseph is a non conformist – he was “a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and character….who had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council”. He was unable to stop the crucifixion but had not participated either. Now he wants to make it right.  Jesus went to the cross for you and me.  What will you do with Jesus?

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