Monday, October 04, 2021

2021.10.04 Hopewell @Home ▫ Luke 23:13–25

Read Luke 23:13–25

Questions from the Scripture text: What three groups does Pilate call together in  Luke 23:13? What does he say that they have done (Luke 23:14a)? But what has Pilate done, and what is his conclusion (verse 14b)? Whom does Pilate claim has come to the same conclusion (Luke 23:15a)? What does Pilate conclude from the fact that Herod sent Jesus back (verse 15b)? What does Pilate propose to do (Luke 23:16)? Why (Luke 23:17)? How many of them cry out (Luke 23:18)? With what timing? What do they cry about Jesus? Whom else do they cry out about? What had Barabbas done (Luke 23:19)? But whom did Pilate wish to release (Luke 23:20)? So what does he try? With what kind of voice do they now respond (Luke 23:21)? What do they begin crying out? What does the evangelist note about Pilate’s response in Luke 23:22a? What does he ask? What does he declare? What does he again propose to do? But what is their attitude (Luke 23:23a)? And what are they demanding, with what kind of voice? What ultimately prevailed (verse 23b)? Now what does Pilate do in Luke 23:24? And what else to whom (Luke 23:25)? What comparison does this verse restate? 

In our passage, the evangelist presents Pilate as acquitting the Lord Jesus three times, emphasizing that number: “Then he said to them the third time,” Luke 23:22. There are three just in this re-trial by Pilate: Luke 23:14Luke 23:20Luke 23:22. Since Pilate had already said this a fourth time (Luke 23:4, actually the first time), the number three seems to be important. 

This may just be to triply (completely) emphasize the innocence of Christ in the comparison in Luke 23:25. But, coming so closely on the heels of Luke 22:54–62, it seems to draw a contrast between Pilate’s acquittals and Peter’s denials. Though the disciples have forsaken Christ, and though the kings and rulers and peoples be taking counsel against Him, the Lord providentially attests Christ’s innocence—even on the lips of the one who delivers Him up to be crucified!

All of our hope rests upon the innocence of Christ. Not merely an innocence in Pilate’s eyes, but an objective innocence that holds up before God. We are like Barabbas, deservedly condemned, and with no right in ourselves to await anything other than to perish under the execution of justice. But God made Him who knew no sin to be sin, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ. 

Ultimately, we are all either in the place of Barabbas (released, in exchange for Christ, Who becomes our Substitute) or of Pilate (Luke 23:13-14) and Herod (Luke 23:15) and the people (Luke 23:18Luke 23:22Luke 23:23). These knew the innocence of Christ. And they knew the claims of Christ that His innocence substantiated. And yet, whether out of cowardice, or indifference, or hostility, they all rejected Him and became complicit in His murder.

You know that Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, Who came into the world to die for sinners: the innocent One for the rebellious. 

What are you doing with Jesus’s claims? Have you embraced Him, despite all that anyone else—or everyone else—might say? Have you humbly acknowledged that you deserved the penalty, but that His taking it in your place is your only hope?  

Sample prayer:  Lord, You became like us in every way, except without sin. Ours was the transgression, but Yours was the pain. Forgive us our sins, we pray, on account of Your having taken the punishment in our place, which we ask in Your atoning Name, AMEN!

Suggested songs: ARP2 “Why Do Gentile Nations Rage?” or TPH336 “O Sacred Head Now Wounded”

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