Nepaug Bible Church - - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes -

Luke: Jesus, The Son Of Man For All Mankind
Part LXXXVI: Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Crucifixion And Death
(Luke 23:32-49)
  1. Introduction
    1. The events that occur as an individual is about to die and when he dies often display his true inner person.
    2. In that case, Jesus' last words and acts on the cross, coupled with the supernatural acts that occurred at the time of His death itself display great, multiple evidences that He is God's true Savior of the world. We view them for our edification and application as we follow Jesus' great example (as follows):
  2. Christ's Identity As God's Savior Seen In His Crucifixion And Death, Luke 23:32-49.
    1. Jesus exhibited unusual grace on the cross toward His hateful enemies, Luke 23:32-43.
      1. Right after He was put on the cross, Jesus graciously asked the Father to forgive those who put Him there, claiming they did not understand what they were doing, Lk. 23:32-34a. Indeed, Paul wrote that if they would have had God's wisdom, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory, 1 Cor. 2:7-8.
      2. After much more mistreatment, Jesus graciously forgave the criminal on the cross, Luke 23:34b-43:
        1. Jesus suffered much more abusive treatment on the cross: (1) His clothing was parted among His executioners, and they cast lots for His outer garment that was knit, Luke 23:34b with John 19:23-24. (2) Israel's religious rulers mocked Him, saying, "He saved others; let him save himself, if he be the Messiah, the chosen of God," Luke 23:35. (3) The soldiers mocked Jesus, offering Him vinegar, and saying, "If you be the king of the Jews, save yourself," Luke 23:36-37. (4) A further mockery was put over the cross by Pontius Pilate that read: "This is the King of the Jews," an effort to humiliate the religious leaders along with Jesus, Luke 23:38; John 19:19. (5) Finally, the criminals crucified with Jesus also mocked Him, Matthew 27:41-44.
        2. However, Jesus graciously forgave the thief on the cross after all these added abuses: (1) One of the criminals changed his mind to begin to critique the other mocking crucifixion victim by saying, "Do you not fear God, seeing you are in the same condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man has done nothing wrong," Luke 23:40-41. (2) Then, he asked Jesus to remember him when He came into His kingdom, Luke 23:42. (3) Regardless of all the mistreatment faced, even the earlier abuse from this thief himself, Jesus graciously told him, "Truly I say unto you, Today shall you be with me in paradise," Luke 23:43.
    2. Unusual verifiable, miraculous events accompanied Jesus' death, showing He was God's Son, 23:44-49:
      1. From noon to three o'clock in the afternoon, there was darkness over all the land, Luke 23:44; Ryrie Study Bible, KJV, 1978 ed., ftn. to Luke 23:44. This event was not caused by a solar eclipse because an eclipse could not possibly have lasted so long, and the sun itself became darkened, Luke 23:45a.
      2. In addition, the temple vail between the Holiest of Holies and the Holy Place tore from top to bottom, indicating God had done it, Luke 23:45b; Matthew 27:51. This meant "the new and living way was now open into the presence of God (Heb. 10:20; Ep h. 2:11-22)." (Ibid., ftn. to Matthew 27:51)
      3. Luke adds that Jesus shouted with a loud voice, then said, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," and immediately died, Luke 23:46. Crucifixion victims would die after becoming unconscious or by suffocation very unlike Jesus' death, which fact along with the darkness and Jesus' final cry and dying words that testified He had control of His own death and spirit to be able to commit His spirit into the Father's hands caused the presiding centurion to announce Jesus was righteous, L uke 23:47.
      4. Similarly, all the onlookers witnessing these events smote their breasts, a sign of mourning, indicating they felt that Jesus had been upright as well, Luke 23:48; Bible Know. Com., N. T., p. 263.
      5. Lest we think these claims by Luke were false, he added that all Jesus' friends and the women who followed Him from Galilee witnessed these same things from afar, verifying they occurred, Lk. 23:49.
Lesson: Jesus' unusual graciousness in the face of great abuse before He knew He would die, and the supernatural events of His death as verified by credible witnesses indicate Jesus is God's true Savior.

Application: (1) May we trust in Jesus as our Savior. (2) May we like Him rely on the Holy Spirit to treat others graciously though they mistreat us! (3) May we let God miraculously verify our credibility.