Thursday, October 21, 2021
32 Two others, both criminals, were taken along with him for execution.
33 When they got to the place called Skull Hill, they crucified him, along with the criminals, one on his right, the other on his left.
34-35 Jesus prayed, “Father, forgive them; they don’t know what they’re doing.”
Dividing up his clothes, they threw dice for them. The people stood there staring at Jesus, and the ringleaders made faces, taunting, “He saved others. Let’s see him save himself! The Messiah of God—ha! The Chosen—ha!”
36-37 The soldiers also came up and poked fun at him, making a game of it. They toasted him with sour wine: “So you’re King of the Jews! Save yourself!”
-Luke 23:32-37 The Message
Verse 32: Now, two others, who were criminals, were also being led away to death with Him.
Verse 33: And when they came to the place called The Skull, they crucified Him and the criminals, one on the right and the other on the left.
Verses 32-33 studies: The skull is another name for Golgotha. It was probably located somewhere outside on a hill in Jerusalem along the main road. The Romans executed people publicly as examples to the people. So when James and John asked Jesus for the place of honor next to him in his kingdom, he told them they didn’t know what they were asking (Mark 10:35-39). Jesus was preparing to inaugurate his kingdom through his death; places on the left and right of him were taken by criminals who were dying. So when a person wants to be close to Jesus, you have to be prepared to suffer and die. The way to the kingdom is the way to the cross.
Verse 34: But Jesus was saying, “Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.”] And they cast lots, dividing His garments among themselves.
Verse 35: And the people stood by, watching. And even the rulers were sneering at Him, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if this is the Christ of God, His Chosen One.”
Verse 36: The soldiers also ridiculed Him, coming up to Him, offering Him sour wine,
Verse 37: and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself!”
Verse 34 study: The Roman soldiers divided up the clothing of executed criminals among themselves. When they cast lots for Jesus’ clothes, they fulfilled the prophecy in Psalm 22:18. Jesus asked God to forgive those who put him to death; the Jewish leaders, Roman politicians, soldiers and bystanders. God answered the prayer by opening up the way of salvation to Jesus’ murderers. The Roman centurion and soldiers who witnessed the crucifixion said, “Truly this was the Son of God” (Matthew 27:54). After that, many priests were converted to the Christian faith (Acts 6:7). Because we are sinners, we do play a role in putting Jesus to death. The good news? God is gracious! He forgives and gives us new life through his Son.
Father, we tend to hold grudges when someone hurts us. With the crucifixion in the works, Jesus asked God to forgive those that put him to death. Now everybody has access to salvation and new life through your Son. Let us forgive those that hurt us, swallow our pride. Let this serve as a reminder of Jesus’ example of how to handle those who hurt us. In Jesus’ name. Amen!`