The Gospel of Luke

This devotional is written by Alina Speller.

Luke 23:26-49

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26 As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28 Jesus turned and said to them, "Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!' 30 Then

"'they will say to the mountains, "Fall on us!"
and to the hills, "Cover us!"'

31 For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?"

32 Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, "Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing." And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35 The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, "He saved others; let him save himself if he is God's Messiah, the Chosen One."

36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself."

38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: "Aren't you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!"

40 But the other criminal rebuked him. "Don't you fear God," he said, "since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong."

42 Then he said, "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

43 Jesus answered him, "Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise."

The Death of Jesus

44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man." 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.


Key moments: Jesus prophesies a time when being alive is harder than dying... A random person is chosen to carry Jesus' cross because by this point Jesus is too weak physically, to carry the cross Himself... The leaders, the romans, and the people are scorning Jesus, questioning his deity... Jesus, the son of God, is crucified by humans, next to two ordinary criminals... One comes to faith, and is promised to be in paradise that evening just because he realized that Jesus was God's Son... The world becomes dark for three hours (Passover always fell on the full moon and therefore it could not be a solar eclipse) ... The curtain that blocked the entrance to the Most Holy Place tears into two, making God's presence accessible to the ordinary ... Jesus commits his spirit into the Father's hands.

Jesus, the son of God, chose to make Himself this vulnerable. To go through extreme suffering, out of his own will, and so that the Scripture can be fulfilled. For us humans to have no doubt, that Jesus has died for our sin. That there is nothing we can do that would be this great of an offering. And what do we have to do in return? To understand, believe, and follow Jesus, the Son of God, and to say "Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom."

It seems too simple, that is why it is so hard to understand. But the fact remains, the last person to come to be saved before Jesus died on Earth was a criminal, who was promised to be in paradise that night. And the first person to come to Faith after Jesus' death, was a Roman centurion, a gentile. A new era had started, where God became accessible to ALL who believe.

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