Monday, March 17, 2008

Luke Twenty-Three, part two

Reading: Luke 23.26-44

Scriptures: When they came to the place called the Skull, there they crucified him, along with the criminals - one on his right, the other on his left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." - Luke 23:33-34

Observations: The horrendous event was recorded in the simplest of terms, "there they crucified him." He was placed between two others who were crucified with him that day, Matthew and Mark say they were thieves. Apparently this form of execution was so common that Luke and the other gospel writers didn't need to describe the brutality. Everyone in the empire had witnessed crucifixions. It was the empire's way to keep the peace. How ironic. Imagine a culture where the regional "king" (Herod) can chop off the head of a preacher who rebuked him (John the Baptist) without fear of reprisal, but petty thieves are "justly" crucified for their acts.

Jesus, naked and nailed to the wood, prayed for their forgiveness as his clothes were divided among them, the rulers sneered, the soldiers mocked and one of the soldiers insulted him.

Apply: Such love, such mercy, such grace the world has never known. Who can ever claim that God does not understand injustice, or that God has not done enough for them? On this Monday of holy week, my heart is heavy as I ponder the cross. Our world needs this message as much now as ever. I need this messages as much now as ever.

Prayer: Jesus, forgive us. Jesus, forgive me. Jesus, let your people, your earthy body, display such love, mercy and grace in our world today.

1 comment:

traci said...

"Jesus let your people display such love, mercy and grace..."

My first thought is for vengence...Father take VENGENCE on them for they know not what they are doing. Again MY thinking is upsidedown and backwards. Jesus is the WAY, and HIS way is forgiveness.

When someone speaks harshly about me (or even dares to disagree with my opinion) HIS way is forgiveness. When I get cut off in traffic and I HAVE THE RIGHT OF WAY - HIS way is forgiveness.

When I grieve His heart by speaking harshly about someone, even when they don't deserve it...HIS way is forgiveness. When there are no words for the grief I've caused my Lord, HIS way...

Jesus said "forgive them" - and I am one of "them" who nailed HIM there.

Thank you Savior for the sweet and full forgiveness that you WON for me at the cross, (you fought FOR me when I didn't want anything to do with you) such a high price, such a great cost, such an unspeakable gift. Before I even knew you - and while I was DEEP in sin - you died in my place.

no more words.