What I read today;
Hebrews 6-7; Luke 22-23; Joel 2-3; Proverbs 6; Job 38; Deuteronomy 9
Luke 23 records the final hours before Jesus death. We hear the priests demanding Jesus death, we see Pilate trying to wiggle out of the situation, we see Herod and his Soldiers mocking Jesus, and finally, we see Simon of Cyrene forced to carry his cross.
But we hear very little from Jesus during this time. Jesus knew it would come to this. He’d warned his disciples. Jesus knew they would scatter and leave him alone. But he knew what he needed to do.
What he does say tells us a great deal about the love that Jesus had for all of us.
In Vs. 27-31 he tells the group of women following him not to cry for him. He instead warns them of a time that would come after his death when the Roman army would sack Jerusalem and leave the dead piled up.
In Vs. 34, he asks God to forgive the very people who are executing him. He removes the blame from them. In spite of their mocking him, spitting on him and hating him he still is worried about their eternal salvation.
In vs. 39-43 after being nailed to the cross, while in immense pain he tells a condemned thief that, in spite of his sinful life and all he’s done wrong, that he will today be in paradise with Jesus himself. Jesus proclaimed the Gospel even while dying on a cross.
Finally, in vs. 44-46, Jesus looks up to Heaven and declares his mission complete. He stares up to Heaven and commits his spirit to the father who had just turned away from him and laid on him the sins of the world. I almost see him smiling as the curtain at the temple tears in two and falls to the ground open the door for a lost and sinful world to enter into God’s Holy presence.
What kind of love is that? How does a man who is enduring such pain and agony focus his final hours on showing love to those around him? It can only be that love that surpasses all understanding. It’s a love that Jesus calls all of us to strive for.