Luke 23:20 Pilate, wanting to release Jesus,a addressed them again, 21 but they kept shouting, “Crucify! Crucify Him!”
The most important question anyone can ask: Why was Jesus Christ crucified? The death of Christ is the supreme expression that He “loved me and gave Himself for me” (Galatians 2:20). It is my sin that cuts me off from God. All I can do is plead for mercy. Our debt is so great, only a divine sacrifice could pay it. The two criminals that hung on both sides of Jesus needed the same love and mercy that only Jesus could pay. The first criminal bore the condemnation of the cross and then God’s judgment forever. And he deserved both. The second criminal bore the condemnation of the cross, but no judgment from God forever. He deserved the first, while the second was a free gift. Because Jesus was innocent, yet bore God’s judgment, he made a way for the criminal to be with Him forever. Jesus died so the criminal can live. The death of Christ secures freedom from condemnation for those who believe that Christ has served their death sentence.
Thank God today for the cross of Christ. Have you embraced the mercy and forgiveness of Christ crucified?
Luke 23:38 An inscription was above Him: THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
Jesus Christ rode into Jerusalem (Luke 19:35-44) to proclaim His kingdom. Born of Davidic lineage, he entered Jerusalem as Israel’s True King. He would die as King of the Jews, but would also be raised and return as their King. In every instance, when the true king comes to town, false kings quake and fake kingdoms crumble. Everyone attempts to establish their own kingdoms. Sometimes we have pure motives like helping our families, giving our children a good life and education, or simply working so we can enjoy the creation that God has made. However, we also have impure motives in establishing our kingdoms: keeping up with the neighbors, trying to fill insecurities with money or possessions, or overcompensating for our weakness through earthly success. What does your kingdom look like? Our Savior is the only King and the True King. Our heavenly King’s throne was made of wood. And above his throne hung these words: This is king of the Jews
Take time today to acknowledge the kingship of Jesus. If you are sitting on a throne that is not rightfully yours, ask the Lord to help you surrender these obstacles in your life.
Luke 23:44 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.
At about noon the entire land became dark. The darkness combined with the tearing of the temple curtain shows the displeasure of the Lord with the transpiring events. The Son of God, who knew no sin, now had become sin for the sake of the guilty. John Stott said, “The cross is a one time, visual representation of God's grief over sin." Not only does this event show the displeasure of the Lord, the laceration of the sanctuary curtain shows us in vivid imagery that salvation is now open to all through the death of God’s Son. No longer do we have to enter the sanctuary and see the curtain separating us from the presence of God. Jesus’ death on the cross brings us into the presence of the the Most Holy if we believe and have faith in His atoning sacrifice.
Thank God today that separation because of your sin has been redeemed and restored by the blood of the spotless Lamb who takes away the sins of the world.
Luke 23:50 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.
Christ’s burial is an interesting detail in the Easter story. Even in Paul’s writings, he proclaims Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection (1 Cor. 15:3-4). Why include the details of Christ’s burial? The burial is proof that Christ actually died. Had Christ not actually died, our sins could not be atoned for. His side was pierced to confirm his death, and his body was prepared and placed in a tomb. These are physical realities that come with death. He died that we may live.
“He was buried, to make his death the more certain, and his resurrection the more illustrious.” – Matthew Henry
Take time today to thank God for sending His only Son to die a brutal death on the cross so that our sins could be atoned for. Without His sacrifice, we would have no hope.
Luke 24:1 On the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came to the tomb, bringing the spices they had prepared. 2 They found the stone rolled away from the tomb. 3 They went in but did not find the body of the Lord Jesus. 4 While they were perplexed about this, suddenly two men stood by them in dazzling clothes. 5 So the women were terrified and bowed down to the ground. “Why are you looking for the living among the dead?” asked the men. 6 “He is not here, but He has been resurrected! Remember how He spoke to you when He was still in Galilee, 7 saying, ‘The Son of Man must be betrayed into the hands of sinful men, be crucified, and rise on the third day’?”
What a wonderfully perplexing question: Why are you looking for the living among the dead? The women were looking because Jesus had died. But as He promised, He rose again. The resurrection is the heart of the Christian faith. The question asked by the angels is asked of every person still today. How do you answer the question: why are you looking for the living among the dead?
"Our old history ends with the cross; our new history begins with the resurrection." – Watchman Nee
“The resurrection of Jesus changes the face of death for all His people. Death is no longer a prison, but a passage into God’s presence. Easter says you can put truth in a grave, but it won’t stay there. You can nail it to a cross, wrap it in winding sheets and shut it up in a tomb, but it will rise!” – Clarence Hall
“The resurrection of Christ is one of the foundation-stones of Christianity. It was the seal of the great work that He came on earth to do. It was the crowning proof that the ransom He paid for sinners was accepted, the atonement for sin accomplished, the head of him who had the power of death bruised, and the victory won.” – J.C. Ryle
Take time today and thank God for the resurrection. In the resurrection we have hope, strength, and victory!