Gracefully Truthful

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Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

Luke 23:26-43

26 As they led him away, they seized Simon, a Cyrenian, who was coming in from the country, and laid the cross on him to carry behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd of people followed him, including women who were mourning and lamenting him.

28 But turning to them, Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and your children. 29 Look, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the women without children, the wombs that never bore, and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us!’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us!’ 31 For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others—criminals—were also led away to be executed with him. 33 When they arrived at the place called The Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals, one on the right and one on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, because they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided his clothes and cast lots.

35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders were scoffing: “He saved others; let him save himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!” 36 The soldiers also mocked him. They came offering him sour wine 37 and said, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”

38 An inscription was above him: This Is the King of the Jews.

39 Then one of the criminals hanging there began to yell insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”

40 But the other answered, rebuking him: “Don’t you even fear God, since you are undergoing the same punishment? 41 We are punished justly, because we’re getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

43 And he said to him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Original Intent

1) Why did Jesus address His mourners and tell them not to weep for Him?

Jesus was extremely well known and had acquired a huge following of people. Wherever Jesus went, crowds in the thousands followed Him, and His walk from Jerusalem to His waiting death at the hill of Golgotha was no different.

Filled with pity, sadness, and heartbroken compassion for the man who had healed so many, the people wept. But Jesus, barely able to even carry the weight of the cross beam, pauses to engage His followers again. He urges them to pray for themselves and loved ones because destruction was coming.

Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 AD, was the impending prophecy, but more severely, Christ alluded to the destruction of their souls without trusting in the perfect sacrifice of Jesus for their sins.

The Everyday Application

1) Why did Jesus address His mourners and tell them not to weep for Him?

It was a work only He could do, die in the place of sinners, perfect as He was. If His mourners could see with eyes of insight to His freeing work done on their behalf, they would indeed have taken Jesus’ words to heart. They needn’t pray for Him or weep on His behalf. Rather it was for themselves, their children, and the souls of all those around them who are without hope save for trusting in the perfect work of Christ on the cross to rescue them from sin’s consequence of Death that they should pray and weep.

How are our own souls burdened for others’ salvation? When was the last time you wept and prayed over those who are destined for an eternity apart from Christ unless they ask Him to be their Savior? Pray for the Spirit to shape your heart like His in this!

The Original Intent

2) Jesus asked the Father to forgive His crucifiers, did they become forgiven of their sins because Jesus prayed for them?

It was Jesus’ entire mission to suffer, die, and be resurrected in order to forgive sins. The prophecy in Isaiah 53 was coming true here where it is said that the coming Messiah would intercede for transgressors.

Jesus wasn’t proclaiming to individuals “Go, your sins are forgiven” (Luke 7:50), rather, He is interceding for them that there might be a way made for them to be forgiven.

These who were literally murdering the Lord, were the ones whom Jesus was begging God, the judge of all, for mercy for.

The Everyday Application

2) Jesus asked the Father to forgive His crucifiers, did they become forgiven of their sins because Jesus prayed for them?

It was my sin that held my Savior there on that cross. My wretchedness. My shame and guilt. Mine, yours, and the sins of the world. No one is exempt from the plague of sin and its consequence of death and separation from life and relationship with the fullness of God. 

But Love. 

Perfect, pursuant love is found in the death of Jesus who was sent by the God who loved us enough, despite our sin, to send Jesus to be our sacrifice (1 John 4:10). Jesus is our way of forgiveness! Without Him, we would forever be dead in our sin (Ephesians 2:1)!

The Original Intent

3) Verses 40-43 don’t sound like the typical “Sinner’s Prayer” to receive salvation, did the thief genuinely becoming a “Christian”?

Saying a special prayer does not “save” you or make you a “Christian” any more so than being prayed over by a pastor or priest, coming to the front of the church, attending a class, being baptized, doing good deeds, or taking communion. There’s only one thing that saves: faith alone in Christ alone, which is exactly what the thief on the cross exhibited. (Ephesians 2:8) 

He feared God (as in, stood in respectful awe of Him, recognizing that He was God of all), He saw Jesus as being perfect without sin and able to save, and He recognized that Jesus had authority over life and death with an eternal kingdom that could only be seen through eyes of faith.

The thief’s confession of faith is what saved him, to which Jesus responded with all assurance, “Today you will be with me in Paradise!” (Luke 23:43)

The Everyday Application

3) Verses 40-43 don’t sound like the typical “Sinner’s Prayer” to receive salvation, did the thief genuinely becoming a “Christian”?

The sinner knew both himself, as a sinful man, and the perfection of Jesus as Savior, and surrendered himself fully to the power of Christ for the safekeeping of his soul for eternity.

Answering these two questions for ourselves is the hinge point for our own salvation.

Who do you believe yourself to be? A good person? One who tries hard to do the right thing? A sinner? On its heels, who do you say Jesus is? A good man? A prophet? The Son of God?

These two questions are the most important ones you’ll ever wrestle with because on these hang your eternal destination after death.

If you know that Jesus is your salvation, take confidence in His reply to the thief and know that you are His!

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