Bible Reading Day 123
Day 123 – Luke 23:1-26
Today our reading leads us through two more corrupt trials before Jesus is condemned. First He stands before Pilate, who finds no fault in Him, and then He is sent to Herod Antipas, a puppet ruler with no real authority. Jesus does not answer to him. Throughout it is clear from Luke’s account that the religious leaders and the crowd they have manipulated are more in control than the “authorities” – whether Herod the puppet or Pilate the overwhelmed Roman outpost governor. Both these men appear weak and powerless when faced with the evil intent of the crowd, choreographed by the scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees.
But the one who is clearly most in control is Jesus Himself. He answers Pilate “You said it” when asked “Are You the King of the Jews?” He gives no answer to Herod (who was correctly portrayed in The Bible TV series as a womanizing drunkard with a touch of madness). He remains silent in the face of His accusers, not giving in to the temptation to defend Himself. He has a steel-willed determination to complete His Father’s purpose for Him; to be the first and only human being to die a sinless death.
The flogging and torture takes its toll; when Jesus is led out to be crucified, the Roman soldiers force a visiting African (Libyan) man to carry the cross. Presumably this is because Jesus was by now too weak for this agonizing task.
Such strength in weakness! Such hope for each of us! No matter what we face, we know from Luke’s account that Jesus faced the same, or worse, and came through strong. It is no failure to be weak, it is only failure to disobey.
May we each be encouraged by God’s love for us today: keep going! Stay on course! We will see the breakthrough soon after the apparent defeat. The climax of His-story is coming!
Have a great day!
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