February 21, 2021

Jesus Saves Others by Not Saving Himself, part 1

Passage: Luke 23:26-38

We now come to one of the most profound and disturbing events in world history. We are not exaggerating when we call this event the tragedy of the ages. The creation puts to death its Creator. Sinful man kills the sinless Son of God.

It’s beyond our capacity to fully understand everything that was going on when Jesus was crucified. All we can do is ponder anew what Jesus did for us when he laid down his life on our behalf.

Jesus has finally come to the end of his earthly life. He was arrested by the Jews, run through various trials, and finally condemned to death. Pilate had pronounced him not worthy of death several times, but ultimately he “delivered Jesus to their will” (vs. 25). The will of the Jews was crucifixion, and Pilate gave his permission.

Crucifixion is one of the most brutal means of execution that sinful men have ever devised. Most of us are fairly familiar with the practice. I’ll spare you the gory details of exactly how Romans used crucifixion as a means of capital punishment. Luke summarizes what happened with the simple words “they crucified him.”

The crucifixion of Jesus is both the greatest tragedy ever to occur as well as the greatest blessing that ever happened. It was a tragic injustice in that it was the murder of an innocent man. On the other hand, Jesus came into the world to die for our sins; he’s the “lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” His sacrificial death was decreed in the mind of God even before creation (Rev 13:8). So this is the high point, the culmination of Jesus’ earthly ministry. His death is the purchase price for the redemption of his people. Sinners are saved because of Jesus’ death on the cross. So we both mourn and celebrate the death of Jesus.

Let’s consider the details of the text.

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