This is Episode #307 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 23&24 together. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
Joy: You’re listening to Season 2 of the Lifting Her Voice podcast. This is Episode #307 and today we’ll read Luke chapters 23&24 together. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Season 2! I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me – from the beginning – simply reading God’s word together. We built some spiritual muscles in 2020 with just the New Testament. But this year we’re going all out, cover-to-cover, Old Testament and New. So, whether with your first cup in the morning, your commute to work, or as the last thing on your mind before sleep, God’s Word will equip you for every good work. I’m really glad you’re here!
Luke Chapter 23
Jesus Faces Pilate
Then their whole assembly rose up and brought him before Pilate. They began to accuse him, saying, “We found this man misleading our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that he himself is the Messiah, a king.”
So Pilate asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”
He answered him, “You say so.”
Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.”
But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where he started even to here.”
Jesus Faces Herod Antipas
When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. Finding that he was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. Herod was very glad to see Jesus; for a long time he had wanted to see him because he had heard about him and was hoping to see some miracle performed by him. So he kept asking him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing him. Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated him with contempt, mocked him, dressed him in bright clothing, and sent him back to Pilate. That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been enemies.
Jesus or Barabbas
Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, and said to them, “You have brought me this man as one who misleads the people. But in fact, after examining him in your presence, I have found no grounds to charge this man with those things you accuse him of. Neither has Herod, because he sent him back to us. Clearly, he has done nothing to deserve death. Therefore, I will have him whipped and then release him.”
Then they all cried out together, “Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!” (He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.)
Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate addressed them again, but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify him!”
A third time he said to them, “Why? What has this man done wrong? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore, I will have him whipped and then release him.”
But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that he be crucified, and their voices won out. So Pilate decided to grant their demand and released the one they were asking for, who had been thrown into prison for rebellion and murder. But he handed Jesus over to their will.
The Way to the Cross
As they led him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. A large crowd of people followed him, including women who were mourning and lamenting him. But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us! ’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”
Crucified between Two Criminals
Two others — criminals — were also led away to be executed with him. When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.
The people stood watching, and even the leaders were scoffing: “He saved others; let him save himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” The soldiers also mocked him. They came offering him sour wine and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!”
An inscription was above him: This Is the King of the Jews.
Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
And he said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
The Death of Jesus
It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I entrust my spirit.” Saying this, he breathed his last.
When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!” All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home, striking their chests. But all who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
The Burial of Jesus
There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, who had not agreed with their plan and action. He was from Arimathea, a Judean town, and was looking forward to the kingdom of God. He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’s body. Taking it down, he wrapped it in fine linen and placed it in a tomb cut into the rock, where no one had ever been placed. It was the preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. The women who had come with him from Galilee followed along and observed the tomb and how his body was placed. Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
Luke Chapter 24
On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground.
“Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. “He is not here, but he has risen! Remember how he spoke to you when he was still in Galilee, saying, ‘It is necessary that the Son of Man be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?” And they remembered his words.
Returning from the tomb, they reported all these things to the Eleven and to all the rest. Mary Magdalene, Joanna, Mary the mother of James, and the other women with them were telling the apostles these things. But these words seemed like nonsense to them, and they did not believe the women. Peter, however, got up and ran to the tomb. When he stooped to look in, he saw only the linen cloths. So he went away, amazed at what had happened.
The Emmaus Disciples
Now that same day two of them were on their way to a village called Emmaus, which was about seven miles from Jerusalem. Together they were discussing everything that had taken place. And while they were discussing and arguing, Jesus himself came near and began to walk along with them. But they were prevented from recognizing him. Then he asked them, “What is this dispute that you’re having with each other as you are walking?” And they stopped walking and looked discouraged.
The one named Cleopas answered him, “Are you the only visitor in Jerusalem who doesn’t know the things that happened there in these days?”
“What things?” he asked them.
So they said to him, “The things concerning Jesus of Nazareth, who was a prophet powerful in action and speech before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and leaders handed him over to be sentenced to death, and they crucified him. But we were hoping that he was the one who was about to redeem Israel. Besides all this, it’s the third day since these things happened. Moreover, some women from our group astounded us. They arrived early at the tomb, and when they didn’t find his body, they came and reported that they had seen a vision of angels who said he was alive. Some of those who were with us went to the tomb and found it just as the women had said, but they didn’t see him.”
Their Eyes Were Opened
He said to them, “How foolish you are, and how slow to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Wasn’t it necessary for the Messiah to suffer these things and enter into his glory?” Then beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he interpreted for them the things concerning himself in all the Scriptures.
They came near the village where they were going, and he gave the impression that he was going farther. But they urged him, “Stay with us, because it’s almost evening, and now the day is almost over.” So he went in to stay with them.
It was as he reclined at the table with them that he took the bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to them. Then their eyes were opened, and they recognized him, but he disappeared from their sight. They said to each other, “Weren’t our hearts burning within us while he was talking with us on the road and explaining the Scriptures to us?” That very hour they got up and returned to Jerusalem. They found the Eleven and those with them gathered together, who said, “The Lord has truly been raised and has appeared to Simon!” Then they began to describe what had happened on the road and how he was made known to them in the breaking of the bread.
The Reality of the Risen Jesus
As they were saying these things, he himself stood in their midst. He said to them, “Peace to you!” But they were startled and terrified and thought they were seeing a ghost. “Why are you troubled?” he asked them. “And why do doubts arise in your hearts? Look at my hands and my feet, that it is I myself! Touch me and see, because a ghost does not have flesh and bones as you can see I have.” Having said this, he showed them his hands and feet. But while they still were amazed and in disbelief because of their joy, he asked them, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and he took it and ate in their presence.
He told them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you — that everything written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures. He also said to them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead the third day, and repentance for forgiveness of sins will be proclaimed in his name to all the nations, beginning at Jerusalem. You are witnesses of these things. And look, I am sending you what my Father promised. As for you, stay in the city until you are empowered from on high.”
The Ascension of Jesus
Then he led them out to the vicinity of Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. And while he was blessing them, he left them and was carried up into heaven. After worshiping him, they returned to Jerusalem with great joy. And they were continually in the temple praising God.
It feels like it’s been a while since we talked about the temple curtain tearing from top to bottom. Not only that, but since you have read the Old Testament now and are familiar with the measurements and instructions for building the Tabernacle and the Temple, you know those curtains were tall…really tall. We know from 1 Kings 6:20, that the Holy of Holies is a cube shape – 30’ by 30’ by 30’. Most conclude the curtain was 30’ high. Herod’s Temple – the temple that existed in Jerusalem during Jesus’ time – was even more grand than Solomon’s. We have to assume that the curtain was at least 30’ feet high. Heck, even if it was only 18- or 20’ high, it still would have been impossible for a human to tear the thick curtain from top to bottom. It had to be God.
But more importantly than that, Jesus was the ultimate sacrifice for our sin. By His sacrificial death, no other blood, no High Priest entering the presence of God once per year on our behalf was needed. God tore that curtain because it was no longer needed. You and I – thru Christ – have 24/7 access to our Holy God. For prayer, for provision, for comfort…everything and anything. Total access.
Let’s pray. Thank You, Jesus, for this indescribable gift. You endured three hours of separation from Your heavenly Father on our behalf. You did for us what we could not do for ourselves. Thank you that the curtain is torn. Amen.
Just one more thing. Jesus likely taught the two disciples on the road to Emmaus beginning in Deuteronomy 18. Check me on that and let me know what you find out at Lifting Her Voice.com, Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray that by spending time in His Word every day, you will be changed. Visit me at Lifting Her Voice.com with your comments and questions. And don’t forget to visit the Blog page while you’re there. If you like the podcast, it would be great if you’d give it a five-star review and share it with everyone you know. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you tomorrow!
Unless otherwise noted, all Scripture quotations are taken from the Christian Standard Bible(r), Copyright (c) 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible(r) and CSB(r) are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers.
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