April 6, 2022

Luke 23:26-49 (HCSB)
The Way to the Cross
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 large crowd of 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, ‘The women without children, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed, are fortunate!’ 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?”
Crucified between Two Criminals
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.”
The Death of Jesus
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.

Kim Ivey
 Throughout all that we’ve seen Him endure this week, He has remained silent. Now Jesus addresses those that mourn for Him as He approaches Calvary. He tells them not to cry for Him, but for themselves and gives them a warning of times to come. Do you think we’re in those times now? I’ve heard young parents talk about feelings of guilt when they think of the state of the world, and what their children will have to deal. I’ve heard newlyweds say they were unsure whether they wanted to have children in a world so fractured by political upheaval and immorality. How has humanity come to this? Because we as a society have rejected Christ. We are the crowd; we’re Barabbas; we’re the soldiers; we’re even Pilate, washing our hands, saying “it’s not my fault, it’s someone else’s.” Yet what are Jesus’ next words? “Father forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.” In His last moments on earth, Jesus mourned our ignorance, our sinfulness. He prays for God the Father to forgive us! Jesus, I praise You and thank You for Your mercy, for saving a wretch like me!

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