On October 10, 2010 we began this adventure with Luke as he faithfully told of the eyewitness accounts concerning his Lord and our, Jesus Christ. His investigations and interviews of those who were actually there and saw and heard Jesus proved to be a very profitable study. We’ve seen Jesus heal those who society had all but written off. We’ve experienced the sick made well, the blind actually open their eyes and see for the first time. We’ve watched alongside the others as Jesus touches lepers and their skin becomes as soft as a baby’s. As we read the Scriptures together, we were with them when Jesus placed His hand on the coffin of a widow’s only son and say, arise! We were on the boat that day when the waves were about to capsize us. Everyone was in a panic and Jesus was sleeping. Sleeping in the midst of a storm, calm and peaceful. The other woke Him and He says, oh you of little faith. He then walked to the front of the ship stretches out His hand and actually rebuked the wind…Peace be still!… and the waves as if the storm could hear Him…the storm did hear and obeyed and immediately hushed its roar. Everyone in the boat stood soaked to the bone, speechless. Who is this Man that even can command the storm and the storm listens? Continue Reading
It is still the first day of the week early evening at dark when the Emmaus-road disciples catch up with the rest in Jerusalem. We remember that the two disciples who were walking back to Emmaus had Jesus walk up to them and begin asking them questions concerning the resent events. Upon arriving at their house and after Jesus broke the bread and blessed it, their eyes were opened and they realized it was, in fact, the risen Lord seated with them at the table. Immediately then, He vanishes right before their eyes. Next, they head back to Jerusalem to find the others and tell them that Jesus has risen, indeed!
John tells us in His Gospel that when the two disciples return to Jerusalem they found the others in a house with the doors locked because they were afraid of the Jews… Continue Reading
Last week we covered some crucial points in our understanding of this passage. We learned together that unbelief or confusion about the person of Christ and the Scriptures will result in spiritual blindness. In order to understand the Bible, one must believe the things the Bible teaches us.
We also learned that unbelief also produces grief and sadness. At the very time the disciples should have been celebrating the resurrection, they were mourning the death of their Messiah who wasn’t dead…why do you search for the living among the dead?
We also learned God’s perspective on the resent events…how that the cross was necessary for the salvation of His people and to enter into glory.
As we think through these issues today, I want to discover with you exactly what it was that the disciples did not believe that caused their blindness. We understand the principle now that unbelief produces spiritual blindness but I want to take us a little deeper in this passage to find out what they failed to believe. I think with the Holy Spirit’s help, we also can have our eyes opened to the things they failed to believe and perhaps we can avoid their dilemma of blindness.
Primary Claim of the Text
Spiritually blind eyes can only be opened with a proper understanding of the Lord Jesus Christ as found in God’s Word.
Human Condition Met By the Text
The passage today, addresses the great need we have to see Jesus correctly in the Word of God. If we don’t see Jesus there and understand Him and His commandment from God’s Word then we will be eternally lost. Just as these two disciples needed to see and believe, so too we need spiritual vision as given in God’s Word.
This is one of those passages that speak volumes to believers. It’s very similar to last week’s account, in that like the women who failed to believe the Word of God when Jesus told them that He would be abused, killed and that He would rise again, so too, these two followers of Christ failed to grasp the biblical meaning of Jesus’ death. They too were aware of the details but did not believe enough to make the vital connection between Jesus’ Words and the reality they saw right before their eyes.
Notice with me that Jesus opens the Scriptures up to them before He revealed who He was. They had a more dire need to understand and believe the Bible than to see Jesus face to face. Also notice, that unbelief produces two things, blindness and sadness. Then finally, notice the two different perspectives on the recent current events, man’s perspective and then God’s.
Primary Claim of the Text
Jesus Christ is what Moses and all the Prophets wrote about, He is the hero of every Prophecy, Narrative, Psalm, Proverb, and Vision.
Human Condition Met By the Text
We too have a vital need today to really and truly believe the Bible and all it’s wonderful doctrines. Most today say things like I’m not really interested in doctrine, just give me Jesus. The fact is, we must understand who Jesus is and what He did and how that He was the One Moses and all the Prophets spoke of. That is the foundation to seeing Jesus.
Do you believe God’s Word? The truth is that we can answer yes to that question if, in fact, we are obeying what it tells us. If it has changed our worldview and the way we conduct our lives then we can say we believe it.
The disciples had to see that all the OT passages that they had been taught all their lives were about Jesus. Continue Reading
Our text today is completely saturated with disciples who were not expecting Jesus to rise from the grave. Even though the Lord told them over and over again that He would, they didn’t get it. Whether their minds were so made up that Jesus was on His way to political fame and they were along for the ride or whether they could not comprehend the Son of God in all His miracle working abilities being captured and crucified, we don’t know.
Notice with me the fact that the women were expecting to find the body of Jesus exactly as it had been placed there three days before. So to, when the disciples heard the news it was as if the thought of the resurrection of the Lord had never even crossed their minds before. The idea of Jesus rising from the dead was foreign to them even though, again, Jesus had told them numerous times.
Primary Claim of the Text
Jesus rose from the dead like He said He would and yet the disciples struggled to believe.
Human Condition Met By the Text
We have need of pure and absolute belief in what the Word of God tells us regardless what our insights tell us. Jesus told everyone He would rise again and no one believed Him. His Words fell on deaf ears. Their eyes and ears and experiences with Jesus trumped His Words. They looked at Jesus and disregarded His Words. Their senses were their authority over and above the Words of Jesus. They all saw Jesus dead and placed in the tomb and that was their reality. Nothing would convince them that what their eyes and ears were telling them was not the final reality. It took the women seeing that Jesus was not their, dead and in the tomb and an angel declaring that He was raised for them to believe. It would also be evident that none of the apostles believed because they saw Jesus dead. They would even call the women, mad when they shared the news.
Beloved, we must view God’s Word as the ultimate reality, authority and truth no matter what we may think to be true. Continue Reading
As move now to Jesus’ burial it is very important that we do not underestimate this event. It’s not by mistake that all four Gospels contain the fact that Jesus was dead and buried.
Notice with me the extent to which Luke Goes and in such detail to assure his readers that Jesus is truly and completely dead.
Luke 23:50-56 (ESV) 50 Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, 51 who had not consented to their decision and action; and he was looking for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down and wrapped it in a linen shroud and laid him in a tomb cut in stone, where no one had ever yet been laid. 54 It was the day of Preparation, and the Sabbath was beginning. 55 The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. Continue Reading
As we prepare to read from God’s Word today, I want us to be on the lookout for especially three things. First, Luke tells us that for a period of three hours, from 12 Noon to 3 pm the sun went dark. While this was going on another significant even was taking place, the veil in the Temple that separated the inner sanctuary from the Holy of Holies was torn in two. Third, Jesus speaks His last words and then dies.
Jesus died the death we deserve so God can give us the righteousness Jesus deserves.
In our fallen sinful state, we have the great need to be reconciled to God. Because we are dead in our sin we cannot do anything ourselves concerning spiritual life. Since the fall, where Satan told Eve, you will not surely die! Our great need is for a spiritual resurrection. We needed desperately for a righteous Man to die for us so that God could count our debt as paid and free us from judgment. Jesus is that sinless perfect sacrifice.
We have the great need to trust God in every circumstance. When Jesus dies, He entrusts God with His Spirit. This is a great example of how we too must trust God with everything, including our spirit. Continue Reading
Jesus prayed for His enemies to be forgiven and God forgave.
Luke 23:32-43 (ESV) 32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. 35 And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine 37 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” 39 One of the criminals who were hanged railed at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!” 40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.” 43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in Paradise.”
1. Father, Forgive My Enemies
32 Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. 33 And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. 34 And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. Immediately, Luke introduces the two others who were being led away with Jesus to be crucified. He does this as a way to cause us to anticipate something. In this case, Luke will show us a contrast between these two thieves. It is important to catch this up front.
In one sentence, Luke shows us that they…the Romans and the Jews crucified Jesus. They were taken to the historic spot, Golgotha, “the place of the skull”.
The beginning contrast is between Jesus the innocent and the two criminals. All three will meet the same fate, all three will be put to death by crucifixion. All three will die of horrific torture.
Next, I want us to see that Jesus’ response is so different from the response of all the others. No one would show Jesus the least bit of mercy or kindness. In fact, all they did was to mock Him and beat Him. Jesus, on the other hand calls out to His Father and makes a request from the cross…
“Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do
I want us to stop and think about this request for a minute. Jesus asks that God would forgive the Jews who lied and manipulated and relentlessly sought His death and the Roman soldiers who beat Him, mocked Him and crucified Him.
The other part of this is if they were ignorant, if they didn’t know what they were doing, why was Jesus asking God to forgive them? If they were ignorant of their actions would they still be guilty? The Roman soldiers were just doing what Roman soldiers did. What were they guilty of?
In essence, they were guilty of not knowing. They were guilty of being ignorant. Jesus was attested to them by God. He taught and healed the sick raised the dead and forgave sin and they refused to believe. They did not know who they were crucifying. They all thought that Jesus was crazy. That’s why they mocked Him as a king. Continue Reading
The court proceedings are over. Herod and Pilate have declared Jesus to be innocent of all crimes. Yet, this innocent Man is on His way to be crucified. To keep the peace, Pilate has sentenced a known innocent Man, One he and Herod both declared innocent, to His death, a death by crucifixion.
Luke doesn’t tell us anything about what happens to one who is crucified. Matthew and Mark both report that after Pilate had released Jesus to the will of the people, Jesus was scourged. Matthew 27:24-26 (ESV) 24 So when Pilate saw that he was gaining nothing, but rather that a riot was beginning, he took water and washed his hands before the crowd, saying, “I am innocent of this man’s blood; see to it yourselves.” 25 And all the people answered, “His blood be on us and on our children!” 26 Then he released for them Barabbas, and having scourged Jesus, delivered him to be crucified. A Roman scourging was a very intense torture. The victim was stripped of clothing and bound usually bent over so the back skin and muscles were tight. The two soldiers one on each side holding a rod with leather strands and on the ends of the strands were tied bits of bone, sharp pieces of metal and even glass. When the whip hit it actually implanted these sharp objects into the victim’s back. The torturer would then pull back the whip ripping deep into the victim’s back. Many times the scourging itself would kill the victim. Many times, after it was over the victim’s skin was all but gone and vital organs even exposed. It seems by the accounts; Jesus’ scourging was especially brutal. It’s amazing that He lived through it. This torture was so severe that Roman citizens were exempt from it. After the scourging, Jesus was not recognizable as a man. Barely alive He is forced to pick up the cross beam and carry it to the site where He would be crucified. Beloved, never forget… Isaiah 53:5 (ESV) 5 But he was pierced for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his wounds we are healed. Continue Reading
Pilate finds himself up against a rock and a hard place. Part of him wants to do the right thing and serve as a just judge over Jesus, yet he knows that he also must keep the peace. It was an easy job, simply keep the peace.
Pilate, however, had made some bad choices so far in his rule over the Jews. When he entered Jerusalem the first time he came with an attitude that he would show them who was boss. He came with the full pomp and splendor of a Roman Ruler with banners with Roman symbols and mottos. One such motto was Hail Caesar another was Hail Caesar God. He specifically rubbed the Jew’s noses in it and from the beginning they did not like Pilate.
He even had the arrogance to place Roman banners in the Temple. This act caused the Jewish leadership to go to the Emperor and complain. Tiberius, after hearing the Jew’s complaints made Pilate remove the banners from the Temple. This act gave the Jews the idea that if they scream loud enough and threaten Pilate, they could get their way.
On one occasion it is reported that Pilate even spent money that belonged to the Temple treasuring for one of his building projects. Then there was the event reported in Luke 13 when Pilate massacred Jews right inside the Temple. These acts also caused the Jewish leadership to go to Tiberius and demand that something be done about Pilate. Continue Reading