Bible Reading Day 125

by markburlinson

Day 125 – Luke 23:39-56

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Good morning!
Today Luke gives us more detail than any of the gospel writers about the death of Jesus. All the small details he includes show that he has carefully researched his account, and writes so that we can know the truth of all he has recorded. Such a witness to history is invaluable, and allows us to have faith in the real Jesus.

First Luke records the mocking of the criminal crucified next to Jesus, together with the rebuttal by the other criminal, who recognizes God at work in Jesus, even at this cruelly painful moment. Jesus promises the man that “today you will be with me in paradise” indicating the joyful place prepared for those who die knowing Jesus.

Then reading the account of the death of Jesus, I can’t help wondering how many of that crowd he interviewed to get all the details? The darkness at noon, the Temple curtain tearing to allow access to the Holy of Holies, the reaction of the Roman Centurion (hardly an emotional man, or one likely to feel injustice when executing someone); all these details paint a clear picture for us of the agony Jesus endured. What a Savior!

Finally, in another glimpse of historical veracity, Luke records all the details of Joseph of Arimathea taking and burying the body of Jesus. Almost certainly this would have been Joseph’s own tomb that he willingly gives for the body of Jesus. There are such touches of humanity in Luke’s account (and perhaps a little implied humor): the women from Galilee went to see where the body was laid, and then went home to prepare burial spices, but time ran out and the evening fell, preventing them from completing their task. This Sabbath was the Passover Sabbath – one of the most holy days in the Jewish calendar. So to work was unthinkable (by comparison, even Walmart is closed on Christmas Day!). Luke says “so they rested as required by the Law.” I wonder if he means “they didn’t want to rest, but they had to”!

And so we complete the journey from the birth of John the Baptist to the crucifixion of Jesus. We have reached our destination, but the story doesn’t end at the grave. But, like the women, we have to wait for the next chapter!
 
Have a great day!

Mark.
 
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