Episode #67. Today we’ll read the 23rd chapter of Luke together: Pilate tries to hand Jesus off to Herod; Herod volleys Him back; and finally Pilate gives in to the crowd and gives the order to crucify Jesus.
Joy: You’re listening to the Lifting Her Voice podcast, Episode #67. Today we’ll read the 23rd chapter of Luke together: Pilate tries to hand Jesus off to Herod; Herod volleys Him back; and finally Pilate gives in to the crowd and gives the order to crucify Jesus.
Welcome to the Lifting Her Voice podcast. I’m your host, Joy Miller, and I invite you to grab your Bible and join me as we simply read God’s word together. Some things require discipline and sometimes that’s just not easy to muster by yourself, no matter how badly you want to do it or how much you know you should. It’s just easier to do it with a friend. So refill your coffee or tea, get comfortable in your favorite chair and follow along as I read aloud. I’m so glad you’re here!
The 23rd chapter of Luke tells us – for the third time – of Jesus’ crucifixion. But I’m going to give you an extra reading assignment today (Sorry…you can take the teacher out of Sunday school but you can’t take the Sunday school out of the teacher!). I want you to read Psalm 22. The book of Psalms is the longest book of the Bible with 150 chapters. Many of the Psalms were written by King David about 1000 years before Jesus was born. David loved God, he was wholly devoted to God. He wasn’t perfect, but he was, as the Word tells us, “a man after God’s own heart.” It becomes obvious as we read the Psalms, that the Holy Spirit spoke prophetically thru David sometimes, and certainly one of those times is chapter 22. Here’s something to remember when reading both of these chapters today. Jesus was both 100% man and 100% divine. He truly suffered on the cross. Of course He knew this was the only way for us to be re-united with God forever, but the human part of Him didn’t want to be crucified any more than you or I would…He was horrified at being separated from His heavenly Father. Think about that as you read both of these chapters. May God be praised for His indescribable gift! I have made a place on the Blog page at www.liftinghervoice.com for you to comment. Please go there and share with me how God has touched your heart today.
Luke Chapter 23: 1 Then their whole assembly rose up and brought Him before Pilate. 2 They began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this man subverting our nation, opposing payment of taxes to Caesar, and saying that He Himself is the Messiah, a King.” 3 So Pilate asked Him, “Are You the King of the Jews?” He answered him, “You have said it.” 4 Pilate then told the chief priests and the crowds, “I find no grounds for charging this man.” 5 But they kept insisting, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, from Galilee where He started even to here.” 6 When Pilate heard this, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 7 Finding that He was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem during those days. 8 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. 9 So he kept asking Him questions, but Jesus did not answer him. 10 The chief priests and the scribes stood by, vehemently accusing Him. 11 Then Herod, with his soldiers, treated Him with contempt, mocked Him, dressed Him in a brilliant robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Herod and Pilate became friends. Previously, they had been hostile toward each other. 13 Pilate called together the chief priests, the leaders, and the people, 14 and said to them, “You have brought me this man as one who subverts 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 15 Neither has Herod, because he sent Him back to us. Clearly, He has done nothing to deserve death. 16 Therefore I will have Him whipped; to discipline or “teach a lesson”; 1 Kg 12:11 , 14 LXX; 2 Ch 10:11 , 14 ; perhaps a way of referring to the Roman scourging; Lat flagellatio and [then] release Him.” [ 17 For according to the festival he had to release someone to them.] 18 Then they all cried out together, “Take this man away! Release Barabbas to us!” 19 (He had been thrown into prison for a rebellion that had taken place in the city, and for murder.) 20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus, addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify Him!” 22 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.” 23 But they kept up the pressure, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And their voices won out. 24 So Pilate decided to grant their demand 25 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. 26 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. 27 A great multitude of the people followed Him, including women who were mourning and lamenting Him. 28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?” 32 Two others-criminals-were also led away to be executed with Him. 33 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. [ 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” ] And they divided His clothes and cast lots. 35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders kept scoffing: “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked Him. They came offering Him sour wine 37 and said, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!” 38 An inscription was above Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS 39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at Him: “Aren’t You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!” 40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when You come into Your kingdom!” 43 And He said to him, “I assure you: Today you will be with Me in paradise.” 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three, 45 because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. 46 And Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit. ” Saying this, He breathed His last. 47 When the centurion saw what happened, he began to glorify God, saying, “This man really was righteous!” 48 All the crowds that had gathered for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, went home, striking their chests. 49 But all who knew Him, including the women who had followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. 50 There was a good and righteous man named Joseph, a member of the Sanhedrin, 51 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. 52 He approached Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. 53 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. 54 It was preparation day, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 55 The women who had come with Him from Galilee followed along and observed the tomb and how His body was placed. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and perfumes. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.
We haven’t talked too much about the two criminals who were crucified on either side of Jesus. But as I read this passage, my mind started to imagine the scene. It made me think about the nature of sin and evil. Some people really do have evil intent. It is intentional and self-serving. There are others who allow themselves to be swept along by evil, presumably because they have no other strong convictions. That’s what you and I can see. Beyond what we see is what Jesus sees, the heart. Take these two criminals: Their individual guilt was equal – they had sinned and they were getting their just desserts. However, it seems to end there, doesn’t it? The one offender doesn’t really seem to care one way or the other about who Jesus is. But if He does have super-powers, this guy wants Him to use them so he can escape this punishment. Self-serving. The other guy seemed to have a different attitude. He had been watching Jesus…how He handled Himself as He was being unjustly crucified, praying for those who mocked Him. The thief defended Jesus to his partner without regard to his own destiny; confessing he was getting what he deserved. Repentant. And it was because of his repentant heart that Jesus took notice and promised him a place in God’s Kingdom. Let’s pray. Oh, Lord, only You know just how many times my heart has been rebellious and selfish. I’m so sorry for those times. Please forgive me. I pray that all of us who claim You would have the humility of a repentant heart. Please remember us, Lord. Amen.
Thank you for joining me here today. I pray God will grow in you what has been planted and watered here. In this time of unprecedented struggle worldwide, we can look to God for guidance and comfort. Be sensitive to those in your circle of influence who need a word of encouragement and invite them to join us. If you like this show, it would be great if you give it a five-star review. Don’t forget to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts. See you right here tomorrow. Be well!
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