In this last readings of Luke we find the Passion week relived. Each Gospel writer wrote from a different perspective and to a different audience. In the Passion Week [which by the way is the goal of Jesus coming to earth in the first place] we are given the events prior to Christ’s arrest, the trials and the crucifixion. There is a tremendous amount of religious politics being played out by the Chief Priests, Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees. One almost gets the idea that they are suffering for Jesus Envy!
The interesting part about the narratives is the fact that Jesus doesn’t back down, but the opposite, He seems to fuel the fire of anger and hatred for Him by the religious leaders. He speaks parables that are meant for them, to indict them for missing God’s signs and warnings.[Luke 20:9-18] Now Jesus had been falling from public favor for a while because He wouldn’t be the king of King the people wanted. The Jewish leaders knew that they were in trouble because no one could argue with Jesus and win; but also many of the common people loved Him.
Jesus is accused of insurrection and trying to become King, lies and more lies were made about Jesus. The leaders twisted His words to fit their lies. He was accused of refusing to pay taxes, yet Luke 20:19-ff, indicates that Jesus was always observant to the laws.
Moving to The Upper Room, Lord’s Supper meal, we find that Satan has entered into Judas to betray Jesus. The room is a large room, probably because of the many who had been close disciples along the journey. Plus we find that there were 120 in the Upper Room in Acts – I think this is the same room where they ate the meal with Jesus. This blog isn’t the place to debate whether Judas had a choice or not to betray Jesus, but Luke 22:23, seems to indicate that they all thought each other could be the betrayer.
Now I have used the failure of the Apostles to stay awake while Jesus was praying in a very negative way in the past. However, something that we fail to understand is the wording “sleeping from sorrow” in verse 46. The word sorrow here, does not mean sadness, but overcome by stress and anxiety. The disciples felt that the coronation of Jesus was imminent, and were so excited, like a child at Christmas time, but were overcome and tired because anticipation of what was about to happen.
The trials come after the arrest of Jesus, now they had eaten in the city, walked to the Garden of Gethsemane, now are being taken back across the Kidron Valley in the middle of the night. The Mock trials before Caiaphas, Herod and at daybreak before Pilate were all illegal. The 70 – Sanhedrin couldn’t meet at night, but did so anyway. Where is Joseph of Arimathea and Nicodemus? In the other Gospels we find how that many were brought to bring false accusations against Jesus – didn’t work.
Through mocking and beating [Luke 22:63] and constant quizzing – “Are you the Son of God?” This is a dumb question, for Nicodemus has already told us that they knew Jesus was from God. [John 3] Jesus says “I am” – familiar – Exodus 3! After they Beat the confession out of Jesus – they head to Pilate, at daybreak, don’t want to get on the bad side right off – Pilate questions and finds no fault with Him. Oh, He is a Galilean, send Him to Herod. Herod and Pilate become friends that night. Again, the mocking and beating, humiliation with the robe and stick. On the way back to Pilate. Trying to see through the jealousy and plot of the Jewish leaders, Pilate tries to release Jesus – to no avail, Jesus is scourged and led out to the crucified.
Meanwhile, Peter is having his own problems, Jesus told Peter he would deny Him three times before the rooster crowed. Luke 22:61 is a very sad verse – the third denial, Jesus looks at Peter, I cannot imagine what that look appeared like, but I can imagine what it did to Peter!
Jesus, Isaiah 52:14, describes for us the extent of the beating he took. He was so marred, he was unrecognizable as a man – the Movie “The Passion of the Christ” is the best depiction I have ever seen portraying the merciless beating and scourging Jesus withstood. How did Jesus keep going, any other man would have died under such punishment. Yet Jesus made it to the Cross, that was the goal – Get to the Cross; earlier Satan had tried to get Jesus to accept “a” crown without the cross. I think is a weird way, Jesus embraced His crucifixion. I think He said to himself – I made it!! Hence He could say “it is finished.” Even through all the pain, agony and horror of the day, Jesus still had compassion on a guilty criminal – It might as well been me hanging there that day, for this is how He – King Jesus purchased My Salvation!
In all the unlawful acts to get Jesus killed, the religious leaders still wanted to be sure they were not defiled from the Passover Meal. Oh the hypocrisy of religious people!
A hasty burial by Joseph of Arimathea, the women watching on,; quickly get him into the tomb and get inside before the Sabbath. The long lonely hours of waiting for the Sabbath day to end, early in the morning, the women go running to the tomb with more spices to finish the job. Only to find, the stone rolled away and grave-clothes inside. What has happened? “I thought the stone would be our problem; but we don’t have a body to finishing burying!”
That empty tomb the seal of our salvation in that as Jesus was the first fruits of the resurrection, so we too will join Him. Just as sin could not keep Him in the Tomb, neither can Satan and sin prevent our reunion with our Lord Jesus. That was a great day; greater than the greatest healing day Jesus ever had in His 3 years of ministry.
The take away – people will mock you, treat you merciless and humiliate you like they did Jesus. If you live out your faith, the same thing will happen to us. Expect it, get ready for it, and embrace it – for you are being fashioned into the image of you Savior – rejoice Matthew 5:11-12!
You are not of this world, don’t try to act like it, there is enough people already doing that!