Welcome to our online Bible study on Luke!
Read: Luke 23:26-56
For two decades I’ve been falling in love with Jesus through reading the Word, attending Bible Studies, and gathering to worship with others. I’ve read the Bible from front to back numerous times and often prefer to brush past the crucifixion scene. I don’t enjoy reading about the betrayal, the unfair trial, or the suffering of Jesus.
Today, however, His Word falls fresh and weighty on this redeemed sinner’s heart.
The cross stood for shame, rejection, and suffering.
According to Warren Wiersbe, in his book Be Transformed, it was customary for the guilty to carry their own cross from the place they were sentenced to the place they would be executed. Yet, Luke tells us that Simon of Cyrene was forced to carry the cross for Jesus.
We are not told why they seized Simon of Cyrene to carry the cross of Jesus. Perhaps because he was too weak from the scourging. Perhaps because his was slowing down the procession at a time the Jews were anxious to get this over so they could celebrate the Passover Sabbath. Weirsby points this out:
One thing is sure: the bearing of the cross was a mark of guilt, and Jesus was not guilty.
The other thing that stands out to me in today’s text is how the rulers were taunting Jesus, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” They missed the heart of Christ. Too often I miss the heart of Christ too. The irony of those words? The part that is hard still for me to completely wrap my heart around?
Jesus could have saved Himself, but He could not save Himself and still save others.
Today I’m reminded again of the complete control Jesus exercised in the face of his death on that cross. He knew exactly why He had come. He was talking to His Father through all of it. His death is victory for us all.
I’m so grateful to be going deeper into the truth of what Jesus has done for us. I’m still trying to lay hold of God’s willingness to die for me.
The cross that was once a symbol of shame and suffering now stands for victory and the hope we have in Christ.