During the month of April, we will be taking a break from Exodus to consider the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus as detailed in Luke 23-24.  Our passage for this week is Luke 23:1-24.  We see here a scene of an unjust trial.  False accusations have been brought against Jesus, and the people cry out for Him to be crucified.  As Christ has been brought before Pilate, we see in Pilate the danger of fearing men rather than God.  Pilate himself knows that Jesus  has done nothing wrong, and yet he gives in to the voice of the people.  Herod desires to see Jesus for his own entertainment.  They both unite with each other in their mishandling of this trial and in their contempt for Jesus.  

As this section concludes, the people demand that Barabbas be released instead of Jesus.  It was customary during the Passover for one prisoner to be released.  Barabbas was guilty, but Jesus was innocent.  Yet, Jesus is condemned instead of Barabbas. 

What we see in that scene is the innocent condemned in the place of the guilty.  Is this not what Jesus has done for His people?  The Spotless Lamb was condemned so that His people might go free.  The old hymn, “Man of Sorrows, What A Name!” by Philip Bliss uses the phrase, “In my place condemned He stood.”  Christ stood condemned instead of His people.  Though we deserved the judgment of God, Christ Himself took it upon Himself at the Cross. Because Christ has accomplished all this on behalf of His people, we may go free. 

This should drive us to wonder.  This truth is seen in Romans 5:6-11:

“For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.  For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.  Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.  For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.  More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.” 

Join us this Lord’s Day for worship at 5 PM at The Commons at St. Andrews Church as we consider Luke 23:1-24 together.  If you need directions, click here, or contact us for more information.  You can also join us on FacebookLive@RiverCityARP or on YouTube.