Thursday, September 22, 2016

Luke 23:26-31

Luke 23:26-31
And as they led him away – after seizing Simon, a Cyrenian coming from a field – they laid the cross upon him to bring it behind Jesus.  And a great multitude of people, even women, were following him, who were lamenting and they were wailing for him.  And after turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep upon me.  But weep upon them and upon your children.  After all, look, days come in which they will say that the barren women, the wombs that did not beget, and the breasts that did not feed are blessed.  Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Conceal us.’  Since if in the time of green wood they do these things, what should become in the dry times?”

Thoughts for Today

First Thought:

In this passage we have the very famous passage about Simon, who is drafted to help carry the cross.  I truly find this intriguing.  After all, Jesus is the Son of God.  There is nothing that He couldn’t do.  He has the power of God behind Him!  However, Jesus’ death on the cross is about humbleness.  The redemption of humanity is about the power of God; but the actual death on the cross is about submission and humbleness.  It makes even more sense that the humbleness of Jesus would be magnified by not even being able to carry His own cross to the site of crucifixion.

Why do you think Jesus would voluntarily endure the humbleness of the cross?  What does it say about Jesus that He would also endure the help of sinful human beings as He is on His way to die for their sake?

Second Thought:

Notice the attention that Luke draws around the crowd.  Luke makes a very specific point to comment that even women were weeping and wailing for Jesus.  The fact that Luke tells us this gives us two reflections.  First of all, public crucifixions were typically a male event.  Crucifying criminals was a bloody and gory event that wouldn’t usually be attended by women.  This isn’t true about Jesus.  When we search to ask why, we come to the second realization.  Luke is telling us this because there must be something drawing these women out to an event they would not normally witness.  That thing is relationship.  Jesus had reached women.  He had included them in ministry.  He had empowered them.  He had witnessed to them and given them a new place in society.  Of course they would come out and mourn His crucifixion!

Where has Jesus empowered you?  Where have you seen other people drawn out of their place in society and called into something new and unexpected?

Third Thought:

Returning back to the theme of humbleness, I love Jesus words.  Here is a man beaten and mocked.  Here is a man so wounded that He cannot even carry His own cross.  Yet look at what He says.  He tells the women to not mourn for Him.  How can He do this?  His eye is not on the pain or the humiliation.  His eye is on the redemption that He is winning for mankind.  There is little reason to mourn when that is our perspective.  Instead, Jesus tells them to mourn for the people who will find themselves persecuted in the future.  He tells them to mourn for people who will look for an escape to life but be unable to find it.  I believe these words are the epitome of humbleness and righteous perspective.

Are you surprised by Jesus’ words here?  Have you ever imitated Jesus’ perspective in your own life?  When has that happened?  How were you able to accomplish a humble and righteous perspective?

Passage for Tomorrow: Luke 23:32-37
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