What Jesus Did! 'Right Titles, Wrong Hearts' — Luke 23:35-39

Monday, December 21, 2015

The people stood there watching {Jesus}. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, "If he is God's Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn't he?" Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and teased him. They came to Jesus and offered him some wine. The soldiers said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!" (At the top of the cross these words were written: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.") One of the criminals began to shout very bad things at Jesus: "Aren't you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!"
— Luke 23:35-39
Illustration of Luke 23:35-39 — "Aren't you the Christ? Then save yourself! And save us too!"

Key Thought

Isn't it amazing how the mocking crowd, the scoffing leaders, the cruel soldiers, and the sarcastic criminal on the cross nearby all call Jesus the right thing, but they don't put their faith in him? Yes, God can even have the Devil himself confess the truth about Christ, but it takes a seeking heart to believe, follow, and be saved. The truth is there if your heart is seeking. Jesus is the one who saves, he is God's Chosen One, he is the Messiah, and he is King of the Jews. The real question is not his identity, but whether or not he is your Lord and mine!

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, I believe that Jesus Christ is Lord. I trust that he died for my sins. I believe that he could have come down off the Cross but instead chose to suffer death for me and then was raised to life for my salvation. In Jesus, I put my trust. Thank you in Jesus' name. Amen.

Today's Verses in Context

The soldiers led Jesus away {to be killed}. At that same time, there was a man coming into the city from the fields. His name was Simon. Simon was from the city of Cyrene. The soldiers forced Simon to carry Jesus' cross and walk behind Jesus. Many, many people followed Jesus. Some of the women were sad and crying. They felt sorry for Jesus. But Jesus turned and said to the women, "Women of Jerusalem, don't cry for me. Cry for yourselves and for your children too! The time is coming when people will say, 'Happy are the women that cannot have babies! Happy are the women that have no children to care for.' Then the people will say to the mountain, 'Fall on us!' The people will say to the hills, 'Cover us!' If people act like this now when life is good, what will happen when bad times come? " There were also two criminals led out with Jesus to be killed. Jesus and the two criminals were led to a place called "The Skull." There the soldiers nailed Jesus to his cross. They also nailed the criminals to their crosses. They put one criminal beside Jesus on the right, and they put the other criminal beside Jesus on the left. Jesus said, "Father, forgive these people {that are killing me}. They don't know what they are doing. " The soldiers gambled with dice to decide who would get Jesus' clothes. The people stood there watching {Jesus}. The Jewish leaders laughed at Jesus. They said, "If he is God's Chosen One, the Christ, then let him save himself. He saved other people, didn't he?" Even the soldiers laughed at Jesus and teased him. They came to Jesus and offered him some wine. The soldiers said, "If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself!" (At the top of the cross these words were written: "THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.") One of the criminals began to shout very bad things at Jesus: "Aren't you the Christ ? Then save yourself! And save us too!" But the other criminal stopped him. He said, "You should fear God! All of us will die soon! You and I are guilty; we should bekilled because we did wrong. But this man (Jesus) has done nothing wrong!" Then this criminal said to Jesus, "Jesus, remember me when you begin ruling as king!" Then Jesus said to him, "Listen! What I say is true: Today you will be with me in Paradise !"

Luke 23:26-43

Related Scripture Readings

In your lives you must think and act like Christ Jesus. Christ himself was like God in everything. Christ was equal with God. But Christ did not think that being equal with God was something that he must keep. He gave up his place with God and agreed to be like a servant. He was born to be a man and became like a servant. And when he was living as a man, he humbled himself by being fully obedient to God. He obeyed even when that caused him to die. And he died on a cross. Christ obeyed God, so God raised Christ to the most important place. God made the name of Christ greater than every other name. God did this because he wants every person to bow for the name of Jesus. Every person in heaven, on the earth, and under the earth will bow. Every person will confess (say), "Jesus Christ is Lord (Master)." When they say this, it will bring glory to God the Father.

Philippians 2:5-11

Those words ("God accepted Abraham's faith") were written not only for Abraham. Those words were also written for us. God will also accept us because we believe. We believe in the One (God) that raised Jesus our Lord from death. Jesus was given to die for our sins. And he was raised from death to make us right with God.

Romans 4:23-25

I don't care if they make trouble for me. The important thing is that they are telling people about Christ. I want them to tell people about Christ. They should do it for the right reasons. But I am happy even if they do it for false and wrong reasons. I am happy because they tell people about Christ, and I will continue to be happy. You are praying for me, and the Spirit of Jesus Christ helps me. So I know that this trouble will bring my freedom. The thing I want and hope for is that I will not fail Christ in anything. I hope that I will have the courage now, like always, to show the greatness of Christ in my life here on earth. I want to do that if I die or if I live. I mean that to me the only important thing about living is Christ. And even death would be profit for me. If I continue living in the body, then I will be able to work for the Lord. But what would I choose—living or dying? I don't know.

Philippians 1:18-22

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About This Devotional

What Jesus Did is a one-year devotional guide through the gospels, using one short passage each day and following the Gospel in consecutive order. Each devotional consists of a passage, reflection and a prayer which opens up the day's scripture and shows how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware.

Easy-to-Read Version copyright © 2001 by World Bible Translation Center. All rights reserved.