Picking right up at Luke 22:47, we go through Jesus’ Passion, until the very end. It is Wednesday night. Jesus and His Disciples are in the Garden of Gethsemane, where Jesus has just concluded praying, and has been answered from heaven with the grace from His Father to endure all that is about to transpire. With verses 47 thru 53, Judas leads a band to the Garden to arrest Jesus. Then, with verses 54 thru 62, the first of the false trials takes place; this one before the high priest, and Peter disowns his Master 3 times, just as Jesus had told him only a few hours before; and he is devastated at his own failure. It is now Thursday. In the early morning hours, Jesus is brought before the entire ruling council of the Jews, after a mocking by His guards, who beat Him. It is with this concluding passage, verses 63 thru 71, that we learn of the charge they will condemn Him for; blasphemy, for claiming to be the Son of God! A violation deserving of death under the Law, only in Jesus’ case, it was entirely true!
Chapter 23 is of 4 parts, and they revolve around the facts concerning Jesus’ other false trials, His crucifixion, death and burial. With verses 1 thru 25, is all the account of His trials before Herod and Pilate and His final condemnation unto death, when Pilate is manipulated by the Jewish leadership to do their will. With verse 33, we read that Jesus is crucified between 2 criminals, a most cruel Roman form of execution. Then, a most amazing thing happens: One of the 2 criminals #6, repents, and turning to Jesus, asks to be remembered by Him when He comes into His #10, Kingdom. At that very moment, Jesus pardons this criminal, and tells him he will join Him in Paradise that very day! Jesus was even then, dying for that man’s #2, sins, and he was looking to Jesus to deliver him and receive him into eternal life in His Kingdom. A dying common criminal would be the very first New Testament Christian convert, before Jesus can even rise from the dead! Verses 44 thru 49 record Jesus’ final words, and His death at about 3:00 that afternoon with verse 46. The chapter ends with Jesus’ burial in Joseph’s tomb. He was a member of that Jewish ruling council, but had not consented to Jesus’ death.
The final chapter, 24, is the capstone of Luke’s work. It’s sole purpose is to give proof that Jesus, though He died, and was buried… rose up from the dead and came out of the grave! The 2 matters of His death and resurrection are the central pillars of #5, the Gospel and all Christianity. The key words are pronounced by an angel in verse 6, ‘He has risen!‘ However, the women who were told this were not believed by the Disciples, who were in hiding. Jesus appeared to 2 others, who were leaving the city in verses 13 thru 35, and when they recognized Him, they ran back to tell the Disciples… just as Jesus, Himself, appeared among them! The chapter concludes with Jesus’ instructions that the #8, New Birth of salvation would come about by #6, repentance, resulting in a forgiveness of #2, sins; and they worshiped Him! Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and you will be saved! It’s what the Book is all about!
Harold F Crowell