Luke 23, Proverbs 29
Jesus promised to bring division (Luke 12:49-53), and the crucifixion is the ultimate divider. We see in this one event just how those that encounter Jesus, the real Jesus, always choose worship or hatred. That is the only option for those that meet the crucified King. Indifference is only possible when we have no knowledge of this God-Man, crucified like a criminal. In Luke 23, the Jewish leaders finally get their wishes, to see the true Messiah snuffed out. Other pretend rulers like Pilate and Herod, knowingly execute our innocent King rather than operate with justice. On the other hand, we see two thieves being executed next to our Lord, one reviling, and the other worshipping Jesus. After Jesus breathes a final breathe, a centurion, that is a Roman soldier that leads 100 others, glorifies the true King. Luke ends this crucifixion chapter with Joseph of Arimathea, a rare member of the Jewish authorities along with the women disciples proving their devotion until the end. Why do we have such different responses to Jesus? It is in many ways a mystery. Certainly, part of the reason is that Jesus chooses to die on a cross as the necessary means for GOd’s victory. In our natural, proud, way of thinking, the cross is ludicrous. It takes eyes of faith to believe Jesus knew what He was doing, and trust that the cross was the only way humanity could truly be rescued. To make the claim that Jesus was saving the entire world through His own execution is divisive. However, the reason it the cross remains divisive today is because of the empty tomb we read about tomorrow, which validates the claims of the cross to save.