Daily Devotionals

Deliberate: Week 4 - Friday


One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!” Luke 23:39

After Jesus was arrested and tried, He was sentenced to be crucified. For His disciples and loved ones, this was a dark day. Their Savior was about to be killed. The ministry Jesus had built for three years appeared like it was effectively over. For Jesus, this was always the plan. You see, the only way to rescue us from sin was to sacrifice His life in order to pay the price for sin. There was no other way to rescue humanity.

Luke 23 records the excruciating crucifixion of Jesus. He was nailed to a cross in between two criminals, and the watching crowd mocked him. They said, "Let Him save Himself if He is really God's Messiah, the Chosen One" (verse 35). The soldiers there also mocked him and called out, "If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!" (verse 37). One of the criminals who was being crucified next to Him said, "So you're the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you're at it!" (verse 39). Everyone was calling Jesus to save Himself, but He did not. The mocking crowd assumed it was because He could not. The truth, however, is that He could have saved Himself in an instant. If He saved Himself, however, He could not save us from sin and death. Hebrews 9:22 says it this way, "Without the shedding of blood, there is no forgiveness."

Facing excruciating pain and a mocking crowd, He chose to save us instead of Himself. He chose to face the pain and torture so that you would not have to experience life apart from Him. Because He chose to save us instead of Himself, we can experience freedom and life in Him. What an incredible Savior we have!


Moving Toward Action

We cannot keep this news to ourselves that Jesus saves us. Who is someone you can share your faith with today? Take a moment to share your two-minute story of how Christ changed your life. Tell them that He wants to change their lives, too. May we consistently share the love of God with the people around us.


Going Deeper

Luke 23:13-39

13 Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 14 and he announced his verdict. “You brought this man to me, accusing him of leading a revolt. I have examined him thoroughly on this point in your presence and find him innocent. 15 Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. 16 So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

18 Then a mighty roar rose from the crowd, and with one voice they shouted, “Kill him, and release Barabbas to us!” 19 (Barabbas was in prison for taking part in an insurrection in Jerusalem against the government, and for murder.) 20 Pilate argued with them, because he wanted to release Jesus. 21 But they kept shouting, “Crucify him! Crucify him!”

22 For the third time he demanded, “Why? What crime has he committed? I have found no reason to sentence him to death. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him.”

23 But the mob shouted louder and louder, demanding that Jesus be crucified, and their voices prevailed. 24 So Pilate sentenced Jesus to die as they demanded. 25 As they had requested, he released Barabbas, the man in prison for insurrection and murder. But he turned Jesus over to them to do as they wished.

26 As they led Jesus away, a man named Simon, who was from Cyrene, happened to be coming in from the countryside. The soldiers seized him and put the cross on him and made him carry it behind Jesus. 27 A large crowd trailed behind, including many grief-stricken women. 28 But Jesus turned and said to them, “Daughters of Jerusalem, don’t weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For the days are coming when they will say, ‘Fortunate indeed are the women who are childless, the wombs that have not borne a child and the breasts that have never nursed.’ 30 People will beg the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and plead with the hills, ‘Bury us.’[c] 31 For if these things are done when the tree is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

32 Two others, both criminals, were led out to be executed with him. 33 When they came to a place called The Skull, they nailed him to the cross. And the criminals were also crucified—one on his right and one on his left.

34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they are doing.” And the soldiers gambled for his clothes by throwing dice.

35 The crowd watched and the leaders scoffed. “He saved others,” they said, “let him save himself if he is really God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers mocked him, too, by offering him a drink of sour wine. 37 They called out to him, “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!” 38 A sign was fastened above him with these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”

39 One of the criminals hanging beside him scoffed, “So you’re the Messiah, are you? Prove it by saving yourself—and us, too, while you’re at it!”