December 6th, 2006
The world is full of injustice. Jesus was innocent, but was faced with false accusations. Herod agreed that he was innocent, and so did Pilate. But Jesus knew his destiny, and he stood there and didn’t argue back. He said nothing while the whole world accused him, and sentenced him to die upon a cross as a criminal. He took the punishment that he didn’t deserve, and he didn’t argue with any officials. Why wouldn’t someone argue back? Jesus knew all along that this was going to happen. He had already told his disciples…
Luke’s Account of the Good News — Chapter 23
23:1 The whole council then went and took Jesus to Pilate. 23:2 They began to accuse him, “We found this man misleading the nation, forbidding paying taxes to Caesar, and claiming that he is Christ, a king.” 23:3 Pilate asked him, “Are you the King of the Jews?” He answered, “You have said it.” 23:4 Pilate said to the senior priests and crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 23:5 But they insisted, “He stirs up people with his teaching throughout Judea, beginning from Galilee all the way to this place.” 23:6 When Pilate heard Galilee mentioned, he asked if the man was a Galilean. 23:7 When he found out that he was in Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at the time.
23:8 Herod was pleased to see Jesus, because he had wanted to see him for a long time, having heard many things about him. He hoped to see him do some miracle. 23:9 He questioned him at length, but Jesus gave no answers. 23:10 The senior priests and religious lawyers stood there vigorously accusing him. 23:11 Herod and his soldiers treated him with contempt and mocked him. They dressed him in a fine robe and sent him back to Pilate. 23:12 Herod and Pilate became friends with each other on that day, after previously being enemies.
23:13 Pilate called together the senior priests, the rulers and the people, 23:14 and said, “You brought this man accusing him of misleading the people. I have examined him before you, and found no basis for a charge against him concerning those things of which you accuse him. 23:15 Neither did Herod when I sent you to him. He has done nothing to deserve the death penalty. 23:16 So I am going to flog him then release him.”
23:18 But they all shouted out, “Kill him, and release Barabbas!” 23:19 Barabbas had been thrown into prison for a revolt in the city, and for murder. 23:20 Pilate spoke to them again, wanting to release Jesus, 23:21 but they shouted, “Crucify! Crucify him!” 23:22 He spoke a third time, “Why? What evil has this man done? I have found no basis for a death sentence. I will flog him and let him go.” 23:23 But they shouted insistently, demanding that he be crucified. Their voices and the voices of the senior priests prevailed. 23:24 Pilate made an order in accordance with their demand. 23:25 He released Barabbas, the one they asked for, who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, but he handed over Jesus as they wished.
23:26 As they led him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian from the country, and forced him to carry the cross after Jesus. 23:27 A crowd of people followed him, including women who mourned and lamented him. 23:28 Jesus turned to them and said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 23:29 The time is coming when people will say, ‘Blessed are barren wombs that never gave birth and breasts that never nursed.’ 23:30 People will say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and tell the hills, ‘Cover us.’ 23:31 If they do these things when the tree is still green, what will happen when it is dry?”
23:32 Two criminals were also taken with him to be executed. 23:33 When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified him there with the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left. 23:34 The soldiers cast lots to divide his clothes amongst them. 23:35 The people stood watching. The leaders amongst them ridiculed him, saying, “He saved others. Let him save himself, if this is the Christ of God, his chosen one!” 23:36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming to offer him vinegar, 23:37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
23:38 An inscription was written over him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew: “THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.” 23:39 One of the criminals who was hanged insulted him, saying, “If you are the Christ, save yourself and us!” 23:40 But the other answered, rebuking him, “Don’t you fear God, seeing that you are under the same sentence? 23:41 We are condemned fairly, because we are getting what we deserve for our crimes, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 23:42 He said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when you come into your Kingdom.” 23:43 Jesus said to him, “I can guarantee that you will be with me in Paradise today.”
23:44 Darkness descended over the land from around midday to around 3pm. 23:45 The sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 23:46 Jesus shouted out, “Father, I commit my spirit into your hands!” After saying this he took his last breath. 23:47 The centurion saw what happened and praised God, saying, “This was definitely a righteous man.” 23:48 The crowds who had assembled to watch what happened returned home beating their breasts. 23:49 Those who knew him personally and the women who followed him from Galilee stood at a distance, watching these things.
23:50 There was a man named Joseph, a member of the council, a good and righteous man 23:51 who had not agreed with their decisions and actions. He came from Arimathaea in Judea, and he was looking forward to the Kingdom of God. 23:52 He went to Pilate to ask for Jesus’s body. 23:53 He took it down, wrapped it in a linen cloth, and laid him in an unused tomb that was cut in stone. 23:54 It was the day of the Preparation, and the Sabbath was about to begin. 23:55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 23:56 They went home to prepare spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested as required by the law.