What Jesus Did! 'Nothing Calls for Death!' — Luke 23:13-16

Sunday, December 17, 2023

Then Pilate called together the leading priests and other religious leaders, along with the people, 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. Herod came to the same conclusion and sent him back to us. Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty. So I will have him flogged, and then I will release him."
— Luke 23:13-16 NLT

Key Thought

"Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty." That should have settled the matter. Jesus didn't deserve to die. He was falsely arrested, falsely accused, falsely tried, and falsely executed. He didn't die for crimes he committed, but for our sins. He suffered and died so that we could be set free and made children of God. As the "Servant Song" of Isaiah had prophesied many years before:
But he was wounded for our transgressions,
crushed for our iniquities;
upon him was the punishment that made us whole,
and by his bruises we are healed
(Isaiah 53:5 NRSV).

Today's Prayer

Father in heaven, thank you for your grace. Precious Lord and Savior, thank you for your willing sacrifice for my sins. Holy Spirit, thank you for your transforming work in my life. May my life never be an affront to the grace given me, the sacrifice made for me, and the Spirit who lives in me. In Jesus' name, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • 2 Corinthians 5:21
  • Romans 5:6-11
  • 1 Peter 3:18


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Illustration of Luke 23:13-16 NLT —  Nothing this man has done calls for the death penalty.

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.