Cross-Shaped Life | Luke 22-23

November 1, 2013

Book: Luke

Scripture: luke 22-23


Today, as we gather, we will delve into the events leading to Jesus’s crucifixion and subsequent death. Then, we’ll explore how the cross shapes one’s life, crafting a narrative that reflects the Gospel and points others to Jesus.

Luke 22:

  • Jesus celebrates the Passover with his disciples and institutes the Lord’s Supper.
  • Jesus predicts that one of his disciples will betray him.
  • The disciples argue about who is the greatest among them.
  • Jesus warns Peter that he will deny him three times before the rooster crows.
  • Jesus prays in the Garden of Gethsemane, asking God to take the cup of suffering away from him, but ultimately submitting to God’s will.
  • Judas betrays Jesus by identifying him with a kiss.

Luke 22:63-65

The Guards Mock Jesus

63The men who were guarding Jesus began mocking and beating him. 64They blindfolded him and demanded, “Prophesy! Who hit you?” 65And they said many other insulting things to him.

Humiliation of Jesus: Luke 22:63-65

  • Shame – Those who held Jesus in custody ridiculed him.
  • Physical – They blindfolded and beat him.
  • Spiritual – Scorned his prophetic ability.
  • Verbally – They assaulted him.

Throughout the night, Jesus endured humiliation in the courtyard of the Chief Priest. At dawn, he was brought before the Sanhedrin.

Luke 22:66-71

66At daybreak the council of the elders of the people, both the chief priests and the teachers of the law, met together, and Jesus was led before them. 67“If you are the Messiah,” they said, “tell us.” Jesus answered, “If I tell you, you will not believe me, 68and if I asked you, you would not answer.

69But from now on, the Son of Man will be seated at the right hand of the mighty God.” 70They all asked, “Are you then the Son of God?” He replied, “You say that I am.” 71Then they said, “Why do we need any more testimony? We have heard it from his own lips.”

Sanhedrin: Supreme religious council of the Jews. They comprised 23 or 71 elders, priests and scribes. Dating of existence; 57 BC – AD 425

Questioning by the Sanhedrin:

  • Are you the Messiah/Christ?
  • Are you the Son of God?

Since they lacked a legitimate trial against Jesus according to their religious law, the Jewish authorities decided to send him to Pilate. Despite acknowledging that Jesus had not committed any offense deserving of death under Jewish law, they opted to have him tried under Roman law by Pilate.

Jesus Before Pilate

Luke 23:1-12

1Then the whole assembly rose and led him off to Pilate. 2And they began to accuse him, saying, “We have found this man subverting our nation. He opposes payment of taxes to Caesar and claims to be Messiah, a king. 3So Pilate asked Jesus, “Are you the king of the Jews?” “You have said so,” Jesus replied 4Then Pilate announced to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no basis for a charge against this man.” 5But they insisted, “He stirs up the people all over Judea by his teaching. He started in Galilee and has come all the way here.”

6On hearing this, Pilate asked if the man was a Galilean. 7When he learned that Jesus was under Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. 8When Herod saw Jesus, he was greatly pleased, because for a long time he had been wanting to see him. From what he had heard about him, he hoped to see him perform a sign of some sort.

9He plied him with many questions, but Jesus gave him no answer. 10The chief priests and the teachers of the law were standing there, vehemently accusing him. 11Then Herod and his soldiers ridiculed and mocked him. Dressing him in an elegant robe, they sent him back to Pilate. 12That day Herod and Pilate became friends—before this they had been enemies.

Jesus before Pilate, who had the power for death penalty.

Charges against Jesus to Pilate:

  • Jesus was leading the nation astray, undermining Roman peace.
  • Jesus was forbidding paying tax to Caesar, cut Rome’s revenue.
  • Jesus was claiming to be the king of the Jews, taking the power of Caesar.

The charges before a Roman official had severe implication.

Jesus Before Pilate:

  • Pilate finds no basis for the charge, 23:4
  • Finds out that Jesus is from Galilee.
  • Pilate sends him to Herod.
  • Herod was glad to see Jesus in hope for a sign.
  • Two secular leaders were going to become friends because of Jesus.

Herod, fond of power, was validated when Pilate referred a case to him, recognizing his authority. This pleased Herod, as Pilate acknowledged his strength.

Jesus Before Herod

  • Herod finds no case against Jesus.
  • He and his soldiers mock Jesus publicly.
  • He returns Jesus to Pilate.

A serious yet unfounded charge crafted by man ultimately fails in its attempt to condemn Jesus.

Note: Before the people reject him, it is the leaders, including the Chief Priest, the Sanhedrin, Pilate, and Herod, who seek to rid themselves of Jesus.

Luke 23:13-31

13Pilate called together the chief priests, the rulers and the people, 14and said to them, “You brought me this man as one who was inciting the people to rebellion. I have examined him in your presence and have found no basis for your charges against him. 15Neither has Herod, for he sent him back to us; as you can see, he has done nothing to deserve death. 16Therefore, I will punish him and then release him.” (17 Governor’s custom to release a prisoner at the festival chosen by the crowd.)

18But the whole crowd shouted, “Away with this man! Release Barabbas to us!” 19(Barabbas had been thrown into prison for an insurrection in the city, and for murder.)

20Wanting to release Jesus, Pilate appealed to them again. 21But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!” 22For the third time he spoke to them: “Why? What crime has this man committed? I have found in him no grounds for the death penalty. Therefore I will have him punished and then release him.”

23But with loud shouts they insistently demanded that he be crucified, and their shouts prevailed. 24So Pilate decided to grant their demand. 25He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, the one they asked for, and surrendered Jesus to their will.

The Crucifixion of Jesus

26As the soldiers led him away, they seized Simon from Cyrene, who was on his way in from the country, and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27A large number of people followed him, including women who mourned and wailed for him. 28Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me; weep for yourselves and for your children.

29For the time will come when you will say, ‘Blessed are the childless women, the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ 30The “‘they will say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!”’ 31For if people do these things when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

Jesus Before Pilate The Second Time:

  • Pilate had an open-air forum to dismiss charges.
  • Pilate wanted to release one criminal to please the Jews.

During the Passover, Jews from around the world would gather to express gratitude to God for their deliverance from Egypt as depicted in Exodus. As part of this tradition, they would release prisoners in commemoration. However, the audience demanded the release of a rioter and the crucifixion of innocent Jesus. Have you ever witnessed a situation where the guilty were set free while the innocent were punished?

  • Pilate repeats 3 times that Jesus is innocent.
  • The public choice for pardon was Barabbas, not Jesus.
  • Simon from Cyrene, a diaspora Jew was compelled to carry the cross.
  • Women disciples followed Jesus to the place of Crucifixion.

Women and Jesus on the way to the Cross

  • Jesus turned to the daughters of Jerusalem, prophesying and mourning their future. He urged them to weep for themselves and their children.
  • As Jesus journeyed to the cross, he transformed into a savior and an encourager, even amidst his own suffering.
  • Women beat their breasts and wailed, yet Jesus continued to show compassion for the marginalized and outcasts along the way to the cross.
  • Surprisingly, women, often considered lacking courage, were the ones who followed Jesus faithfully.

Luke 23:32-46

32Two other men, both criminals, were also led out with him to be executed. 33When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

35The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One. 36The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself. 38There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.

39One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us! 40But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong. 42Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom. 43Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”

The Death of Jesus

44It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.

Jesus on the Cross; 23:32-46

  • They mocked Jesus.
  • Jesus prayed for forgiveness.
  • There were several eye witnesses.

The Eyewitness Reaction To The Crucifixion

  • Crowds – They watched and did not mock him.
  • Rulers – Scoffed at him. (“He saved others, let him save himself, if he is the Christ of God”).
  • Soldiers – Mocked, offered vinegar, and teased him, ‘King of the Jews.’
  • Two criminals – One mocked, one seeks salvation. “Today you will be with me in paradise,” (place where God dwells with his people).

Wonders at Calvary:

  • Sun failed
  • Veil was torn

Torn Veil:

  • Impending destruction of the temple.
  • End of the old covenant, birth of the new covenant.
  • Opening equal access for Jews and Gentiles to God.

Now, the mission of God’s followers extends beyond Jerusalem to the ends of the world.

Inscription on the Cross of Jesus: This is the King of the Jews.

Pilate did this inscription to-

  • Curb accusation that he is a leader who will give in easily to the crowd demands.
  • As a mockery and appeasement to Jews and Jewish leaders.
  • As a potential deterrent to revolutionary campaign against the empire.

Jesus’ Ministry on the Cross

  • He prayed for his ignorant killers.
  • Openly prayed/desired forgiveness for his killers.
  • He offered a place in paradise for the criminal.
  • He commended his own spirit to the Father.

“Crucifixion was heinous, had to do with public humiliation, nailed and hung on; leaving  the victim to die a slow death, sometimes several days.” Jesus died the same day.

Luke 23:47-53

47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

The Burial of Jesus

50Now there was a man named Joseph, a member of the Council, a good and upright man, 51who had not consented to their decision and action. He came from the Judean town of Arimathea, and he himself was waiting for the kingdom of God. 52Going to Pilate, he asked for Jesus’ body. 53Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen cloth and placed it in a tomb cut in the rock, one in which no one had yet been laid.

Witness in the Crucifixion

  • Centurion: Glorified God and testified ‘this man is truly righteous.’
  • Crowd: Turned their backs (repentance) beating their breast in sorrow or repentance.
  • Women of Galilee: Eyewitness, followers, disciples (Lk. 8:3), who prepared oil and myrrh.
  • Joseph of Arimathea: Man who secured the body for burial.

Joseph of Arimathea

  • Member of the Assembly, Sanhedrin.
  • A good and a righteous man.
  • He did not consent with the council to the crucifixion.
  • A man awaiting the Kingdom.
  • He petitioned and secured the body from Pilate.
  • Wrapped and buried Jesus’ body in a brand new tomb.
  • A bold disciple. He was not a secret disciple in Luke.

The Laying of Jesus in the Tomb

Usually when someone dies a death like this, the body is laid there until it is later taken and dumped into a mass grave or valley somewhere. With the death of Jesus, he was going to be given the most decent burial.

  • Lenin cloth suggests respect/honor for the body.
  • Luke’s portrait of women intending to anoint the body of Jesus implies dignified treatment.
  • The unused tomb typifies pre-eminence or honorable standing.

Jesus was not buried six feet under the ground, but in a tomb, His body resting on a stone platform inside. Typically, family tombs were large, with multiple members interred inside. After a year, the bones would be collected and placed to the side, making room for more. However, Jesus’ tomb was fresh and empty, with no other occupants.

Jesus’ body was not shrouded in sand; instead, it was wrapped in a linen robe, a symbol of His royal status. Following His resurrection, Jesus left the linen behind, refusing to take it with Him. When the women arrived at the tomb, they would find evidence of the linen cloth inside.

Luke 23:54-55

54It was Preparation Day, and the Sabbath was about to begin.

55The women who had come with Jesus from Galilee followed Joseph and saw the tomb and how his body was laid in it. 56Then they went home and prepared spices and perfumes. But they rested on the Sabbath in obedience to the commandment.

  • When Jesus came to Jerusalem, he cleansed the temple and taught from the temple.
  • Jesus engaged with the Jewish authorities in the temple; it provoked the leaders.
  • The crowd did not betray Jesus. It was the authorities who arrested him.
  • The Sanhedrin presented Jesus to Pilate.
  • Pilate sent Jesus to Herod.
  • Herod did not find fault with Jesus and sent him to Pilate.
  • Three times Pilate mentioned that he did not find a fault in Jesus.
  • Pilate finally let Jesus be crucified.
  • He was crucified among criminals as if he was a criminal.

What did Jesus do to deserve death?

Why did he go through this?

The Power and Puzzle of the Cross

The cross undoubtedly has power.

The story of Jesus, His crucifixion, and His death are astonishingly powerful, encapsulating the pain and puzzle of human existence in this world. Through His story, people find hope and discover new possibilities. Easter signifies new hope and new possibilities.

God’s desire is to restore His creation, infusing it with His love and life. To achieve this, the cross addresses the issues of idolatry and sin.

  • At the cross, Israel’s narrative comes to its goal.
  • At the cross, evil somehow was gathered together in one spot.
  • Herod and Pilate symbolized the whole wickedness of human pagan rule, gathering to do whatever God’s plan had purposed to take place.
  • The cross is the story of how Israel’s God himself is revealed in power, in glory, and above all, in love.

On the night of His betrayal, Jesus sought to convey the significance of His impending death to His followers. Instead of offering a theoretical explanation, He chose to impart understanding through a meal. In Jesus, the story of Israel reaches its climax, depicting the struggle between good and evil, and the fulfillment of Yahweh’s promises. The Passover serves as the backdrop, culminating in Jesus’ sacrifice.

The resurrection signifies a new creation, where renewed humanity actively participates. This transformation is made possible through Jesus’ death and resurrection.


Christ Died For Our Sins According To The Scripture

1 Corinthians 15:3-4

3For what I received I passed on to you as of first importance: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4that he was buried, that he was raised on the third day according to the Scriptures, 5and that he appeared to Cephas, and then to the Twelve.

When the Messiah was Crucified, Israel & Church as a whole died with the Messiah and rose again in new life.

Galatians 2:19-21

19“For through the law I died to the law so that I might live for God. 20I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. 21I do not set aside the grace of God, for if righteousness could be gained through the law, Christ died for nothing!”

Israel’s entire history, along with all of humanity’s, led to this: Jesus bore its weight, died, and rose again to begin God’s new creation.

Christ died on the Cross so that the blessing of Abraham might come for the Nations.

Galatians 3:13-14

3Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” 14He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.

Message of The Cross is- Power Of God For Us

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The Substitutionary Death Of Jesus Has Effected A Release From The Powers Of Evil

Galatians 1:3-5

3Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, 4who gave himself for our sins to rescue us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father, 5to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.

Cross Is The Reversal Of Normal Human Power System

Luke 22:25-27

25Jesus said to them, “The kings of the Gentiles lord it over them; and those who exercise authority over them call themselves Benefactors. 26But you are not to be like that. Instead, the greatest among you should be like the youngest, and the one who rules like the one who serves. 27For who is greater, the one who is at the table or the one who serves? Is it not the one who is at the table? But I am among you as one who serves.

Jesus exemplified that on the cross.

1 Corinthians 1:25-29

25For the foolishness of God is wiser than human wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than human strength. 26Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. 27But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29so that no one may boast before him.

This deep truth shows why the cross matters. Paul sees it as a big change from how the world usually works: it flips idolatry and challenges our usual power systems.

The cross, right in the middle of history, tells us that God’s way is different from how we usually do things.

The World Has Been Crucified To Me By The Cross

Galatians 6:14

May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.

Followers Of Jesus Will Be Persecuted For The Sake Of The Cross

2 Corinthians 4:7-12

7But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 8We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. 12So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

2 Corinthians 5:14-15

14For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

The cross serves as the means for the new creation, rescuing humans from their sin and enabling the world itself to be freed from its corruption and decay.

Jesus’ Death Means We Now Have The Ministry Of Jesus

The Cross must happen to you.

It’s not sufficient to merely discuss the cross; you must experience it.

In Christian and ministerial experience, Paul perceives the reality of the cross integrated into his life and apostolic ministry. The life of Jesus, characterized by servanthood, is now to be interwoven throughout the entire Christian community.


Jesus went to the cross for us. He died as an innocent man. The Jews, Pilate, & Herod found no fault in him. The thief on the cross said, “We deserved our fate but not this man.” The centurion said, “This man is an innocent man.”

This is at the heart of the Christian gospel. Jesus endured all this to redeem humanity.

If we accept the Lord as our savior and repent of our sins, he will forgive us and grant us a place like that of the criminal on the cross to be with him. Receive him as the Lord of your life. Those who are in the Lord, let us cherish the old rugged cross and never turn back.

‘I Have Decided to Follow Jesus’ is a Christian hymn originating from India. The lyrics are based on the last words of a man in Garo, Assam.

About 150 years ago, there was a great revival in Wales. As a result, many missionaries came to northeast India to spread the Gospel. The region, known as Assam, was home to hundreds of groups who were early and aggressive headhunters.

Into these hostile communities came a group of ministers from the American Baptist, spreading the message of love, peace, and hope in Jesus Christ. Naturally, they weren’t welcomed. However, a man, his wife, and two children believed in the gospel. This man’s faith spread, and many villagers began to accept Jesus.

Furious, the village chief gathered all the villagers and called the family who had embraced Jesus to renounce their faith in public or be executed. Moved by the Holy Spirit, the man declared, “I have decided to follow Jesus.

Infuriated by the man’s refusal, the chief commanded his archers to shoot down the two children. As both boys lay twitching on the ground, the chief demanded, “Will you deny your faith? You’ve lost both your children. You’ll lose your wife too.”

Still, the man replied: “Though no one joins me, still I will follow.”

Enraged, the village chief asked the man if he wanted to save his life. The man replied, “The cross before me, the world behind me.”

Will you take a decision to follow Jesus today?