Luke Chapter 23 - The Cross
This chapter tells of the crucifixion. A group of people take Jesus to Pilate and they continue to accuse Him of stirring up the people and not paying taxes. Pilate told them he couldn’t find a reason to punish Jesus. When Pilate found out that Jesus was from Galilee, he sent him to Herod, who was responsible for Galilee. Herod couldn’t find a reason to punish Jesus either, so he went Him back to Pilate.
The charges against Jesus were that he was a revolutionary; that he incited people to not pay their taxes; and that he claimed to be a king (and Caesar was the king).
Pilate wanted to release Jesus. It was the custom to release a prisoner every Passover season. But the vicious crowd made the choice. They asked that Barabbas be released and that Jesus was crucified. Jesus was beaten in a way that made Him so weak that He should have died quickly, once hung on the cross, which He was expected to carry to Calvary. Simon carried the cross for Him. I don’t need to describe the details of the crucifixion, but in the Gospel of John, Jesus says says of His life that no one takes it from Me, but I lay in down of Myself.
Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do. Those words spoken by Jesus at the end are probably examples of a prayer He said all through His ministry. How many times did He face adversaries?
Jesus died on the cross. Joseph of Arimathea asked to have His body so He could be buried in his tomb. Then everyone rested on the Sabbath.
My take-away from this chapter takes me back to something I’ve written previously. Everything was carved in stone since the beginning of time, one of my dad’s favorite phrases. He believed it and I believe it. This tragic horribly sad story of crucifixion had to happen. It was a part of the plan.
It may seem a little strange to be reading about the crucifixion two days before Christmas, when we celebrate the birth. Several years ago, I stood next to a man watching our community’s Holiday Lights Parade, as floats went by us. One of the floats was built in two parts. The front was the Nativity and the back was Jesus hanging on the cross. This man was aggravated that anybody would put that on a float for Christmastime and I told him I thought the two events were connected. He scolded me. This man is attempting to run for a seat in Congress. That seat is currently filled by a man with strong religious roots, so I don’t think my parade-watcher stands a chance of winning!
One year, Joe and I wanted to celebrate the Feast of Seven Fishes on Christmas Eve. The Feast finds its origins in Italian-Catholic traditions pertaining to fasting on the day before the Christmas Day Feast. We were just interested in the food and I started cooking at about 2:00 in the afternoon and we ate fish seven different ways throughout the evening.
Follow this link to one of our favorite ways to prepare fish!