Luke Nativity Read – 24 Days of Witness
Capturing the drama of Chapters 22, 23, 24
The Passion Approaches
This is the solemn and satisfying season that our Lord announced in Nazareth three years previous.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; (Isa. 61:1) to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, (Isaiah 61:2a)Isaiah 61:1-2a
The full citation from Isaiah appears below.
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me, because the LORD has anointed me to bring good news to the poor; he has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to those who are bound; Isa. 61:1 to proclaim the year of the LORD’s favor, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all who mourn; Isa. 61:2 to grant to those who mourn in Zion— to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes, the oil of gladness instead of mourning, the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit; that they may be called oaks of righteousness, the planting of the LORD, that he may be glorified. Isa. 61:3
The Nazarene’s Attention to his timetable
Now the Feast of Unleavened Bread drew near, which is called the Passover. Luke. 22:1
This is the festival that celebrated the Hebrew people’s escape from Egypt.
The disciples resist the idea that their Teacher must suffer the things he was predicting with great solemnity.
THE PASSOVER OF PASSOVERS
And he said to them, “I have earnestly desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer. Luke. 22:15
- It was not the roast lamb, bitter herbs, and wine of the Exodus (chapter 14)
- It was his own body and blood as sacrifice (propitiation) that he longed to inaugurate in symbolic form
- He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world. 1John. 2:2
- In this is love, not that we have loved God but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 1John. 4:10
And he took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is my body, which is given for you. Do this in remembrance of me.” Luke. 22:19
PETER’S UNIQUE FUNTIONS PREDICTED
Peter was the first to receive the revelation, directly from God, of who the Nazarene was.
Now it happened that as he was praying alone, the disciples were with him. And he asked them, “Who do the crowds say that I am?” Luke. 9:18 And they answered, “John the Baptist. But others say, Elijah, and others, that one of the prophets of old has risen.” Luke. 9:19 Then he said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” And Peter answered, “The Christ of God.” Luke. 9:20
“Simon, Simon, behold, Satan demanded to have you, that he might sift you like wheat, Luke. 22:31 but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned again, strengthen your brothers.” Luke. 22:32
In fulfillment of this Christ – strengthen your brothers – authorizes Peter with the mission to the Jewish people, Peter speaks for the church and joins with Paul in his mission to the Gentiles.
THE AGONY OF THE CROSS
And he came out and went, as was his custom, to the Mount of Olives, and the disciples followed him. Luke. 22:39
- And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground. Luke. 22:44
- Then Jesus said to the chief priests and officers of the temple and elders, who had come out against him, “Have you come out as against a robber, with swords and clubs? Luke. 22:52
- Then they seized him and led him away, bringing him into the high priest’s house, and Peter was following at a distance. Luke. 22:54
- “If you are the Christ, tell us.” But he said to them, “If I tell you, you will not believe, Luke. 22:67
- and if I ask you, you will not answer. Luke. 22:68
- But from now on the Son of Man shall be seated at the right hand of the power of God.” Luke. 22:69
- Then they said, “What further testimony do we need? We have heard it ourselves from his own lips.” Luke. 22:71
THE SENTENCE OF DEATH
Who wants Christ dead or out of the wasy is obvious.
Pilate then called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people, Luke. 23:13 and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was misleading the people. And after examining him before you, behold, I did not find this man guilty of any of your charges against him. Luke. 23:14 Neither did Herod, for he sent him back to us. Look, nothing deserving death has been done by him. Luke. 23:15 I will therefore punish and release him.” Luke. 23:16 Luke. 23:13-16
But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”— Luke. 23:18 a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Luke. 23:19 Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, Luke. 23:20 but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” Luke. 23:21
- A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” Luke. 23:22
- But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. Luke. 23:23
AT THE CROSS
Two others, who were criminals, were led away to be put to death with him. Luke. 23:32
And when they came to the place that is called The Skull, there they crucified him, and the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. Luke. 23:33
And the people stood by, watching, but the rulers scoffed at him, saying, “He saved others; let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God, his Chosen One!” Luke. 23:35 The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine Luke. 23:36 and saying, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” Luke. 23:37 There was also an inscription over him, “This is the King of the Jews.” Luke. 23:38
THE CROWD TAUNTS THE NAZARENE
- to reverse his path to death
- to cheapen the very thing he agonized over doing the night before
- to deny the reason for his life
HE GIVES UP HIS LIFE
Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. Luke. 23:46
THE FAITHFUL WOMEN CONTINUE THEIR SERVICE IN BURIAL ARRANGEMENTS
Now there was a man named Joseph, from the Jewish town of Arimathea. He was a member of the council, a good and righteous man, Luke. 23:50 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Luke. 23:52
The women who had come with him from Galilee followed and saw the tomb and how his body was laid. Luke. 23:55 Then they returned and prepared spices and ointments. On the Sabbath they rested according to the commandment. Luke. 23:56
But on the first day of the week, at early dawn, they went to the tomb, taking the spices they had prepared. Luke. 24:1 And they found the stone rolled away from the tomb, Luke. 24:2
The cycles of the Nazarene’s life are almost over. Normally death ends the journey. For the Nazarene, one more step is on the timetable. He must be received as firstfruit and perfect sacrifice. This means a return to glory.
RETURN TO GLORY
THE BABE OF BETHLEHEM IS NOW BACK WHEN HE CAME as GLORIOUS KING
His return is recognized with great fanfare.
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And be lifted up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps. 24:7
Who is this King of glory? The LORD, strong and mighty, the LORD, mighty in battle! Ps. 24:8
Lift up your heads, O gates!
And lift them up, O ancient doors, that the King of glory may come in. Ps. 24:9
Who is this King of glory? The LORD of hosts, he is the King of glory! — Selah Ps. 24:10
WHAT ARE THE RISEN LORD’S PRIORITIES?
Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.” Luke. 24:44 and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead, Luke. 24:46
- THE GOSPEL. and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem. Luke. 24:47
- ITS AGENTS. You are witnesses of these things. Luke. 24:48
- THE GUARANTEE OF HIS PRIORITIES. And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.” Luke. 24:49
Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them. Luke. 24:50 While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven. Luke. 24:51
THE LAST LOOK
Bethany was a certain favourite place for the Nazarene, the home of Mary, Martha, and Lazarus, home of the former leper Simon, the residence of the woman who prepared the Lord’s body for burial. What else brings the Risen Lord to Bethany is his to declare, but these connecting memories are there to remind us of the tender mercy of God, in accord with visit of the sunrise (Luke. 1:78)