4/4 Daily in the Word

God's Ultimate Gift of Mercy and Grace
Luke 23:3-4

Christ's suffering has paved the way for our salvation.

He had done no wrong, yet they accused Him. His life screamed "Innocent!" yet the people screamed "Crucify Him!" He came to show His love for them, yet they had sentenced Him to death. He only wanted to preserve their life eternally, yet they wanted to end His life prematurely. But through it all, His mission was being fulfilled. His plan was now complete.

Luke 23 takes us on a journey through the last few days of Jesus' life. Verse by verse the scenes of one of history's greatest events unfolds. Throughout the Gospels we are told of Christ's love and good works toward others, yet we sit by helplessly as we read about the ones Jesus loved turning on Him and calling for the ultimate form of punishment-death by crucifixion. But even as tragic as the events of Luke 23 are, the end is cause for hope. Today, let's survey Luke 23 and remember Jesus' sacrifice and suffering that gave us mercy and grace.

Verses 1-2: "And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King." The people lead Christ to Pilate, demanding justice for Jesus' claims of deity. Pilate finds no fault in Him, yet feels pressured to act upon the crowd's demands anyway. Pilate sends Jesus to Herod for a ruling.

Verse 11: "And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate." Infuriated by his silence, Herod mocks Jesus, clothes Him in "royal robes," and sends Him back to Pilate.

Verses 16-21: "I will therefore chastise him, and release him. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.) And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas: (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.) Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him." Pilate still doesn't believe Christ is guilty, so he offers to beat Him then release Him. Set in their ways, the crowd cries out for His death, ignoring reason and believing their own lies. Pilate gives in to the crowds demands and sentences the innocent Son of God to death.

Verses 33-38: "And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar, And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS." Jesus was led to Calvary and was crucified on a cross while the people continued to mock and scorn Him. The Man whose only "crime" was leaving Heaven's throne to save His people from an eternity in Hell endured the verbal abuse of the people He loved while paying for their eternal salvation.

Thankfully, the story of Jesus' sacrifice doesn't stop in Luke 23, for Luke 24:1-6 gives us hope and joy in the midst of tragedy: "Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments: And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee."

Christ is alive! Yes, He was accused, mocked, scorned, beaten, whipped, bruised, crucified, and blasphemed. But Christ endured the shame of the Cross, and on the third day He rose from the grave, conquering death. While the devil thought he had the upper hand on God, Christ proved that glorious morning as He rolled away the stone that no grave could hold Him.

On this Resurrection morning, we have cause to rejoice as God's children. The story of the Cross and what Christ endured for us is sobering, yet because He conquered death, we are given the gift of eternal life with Him. His suffering has given us salvation.

Take time today to remember Jesus' sacrifice. Read through Luke 23, realizing that God was taking your place on Calvary, paying for the sins you've committed. But don't stop at the end of Luke 23. Keep reading to Luke 24 and rejoice that because God has conquered death, you have eternal life through His salvation. Rejoice today in Christ's work on Calvary.

Daily Bible Reading
Ruth 1-4 | Luke 8:1-25

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