Christ the King (Nov 20th)

Pastor's Summary of Luke 23:33-43

Jesus has been betrayed, arrested, mocked, beaten, and sentenced to death. He, Simon of Cyrene (carrying the crossbar), two criminals and a few police have walked to Calvary, "the place that is called The Skull" (v. 33).

Jesus continues his ministry of giving forgiveness to those who have not heard the Good News (v. 34). The division of his clothing fulfills the prophecy in Psalm 22:18; to be deprived of one's clothing was to lose one's identity. (Biblical examples are prisoners, slaves, prostitutes and damned people.) The mob contemplates what is happeneing, but the "leaders" (v. 35) taunt Jesus: they blaspheme against God. In accord with Psalm 69:21, a psalm of the innocently suffering godly one, Jesus is offered "sour wine" (v. 36)-to revive him, and to prolong his ordeal. Ironically, "Messiah of God, his chosen one" (v. 35) and "King of the Jews" (v. 38) are all true. Jesus refuses to subvert God's plan by saving himself from a horrible death. A placard was placed around the criminal's neck, bearing an "inscription" (v. 38) stating his crime. One criminal joins with the mob (v. 39) but the other responds positively to Jesus (vv. 40-41). For him there is salvation; Jesus pronounces him free of sin. Only a king can give pardon. ("Paradise", v. 43, was the Jewish name for the temporary resting place of the godly dead.)