Luke and The Lost
People surprise us with their actions because we are so preoccupied with presumptions and with labeling others. We listen to others and decide on the word of someone else’s gossip. But when we stop and see people for who they really are and relate to them in person, we are humbled and begin to see the worth, quality and gifts of each individual.
As we read the next passage in Luke retelling the Passion of Christ and His journey to the Cross for our sin, we see a one man of honor, another man of integrity who stepped up with courage and a group of devoted women who only leave to get what they need to give their Lord a decent burial. The dedicated women rested on the Sabbath as commanded fulfilling the Law. (The women’s minds were probably not at rest).
Do you see what I see? Not all religious leaders were against Jesus. Not all Roman soldiers were mocking Him. Not all people in the crowd were jeering. Some were weeping, grieving and keeping watch.
What did Jesus see in the hearts of humanity as He looked down from the cross?
Luke 23, The Message
47 When the captain there saw what happened, he honored God: “This man was innocent! A good man, and innocent!”
48-49 All who had come around as spectators to watch the show, when they saw what actually happened, were overcome with grief and headed home. Those who knew Jesus well, along with the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a respectful distance and kept vigil.
50-54 There was a man by the name of Joseph, a member of the Jewish High Council, a man of good heart and good character. He had not gone along with the plans and actions of the council. His hometown was the Jewish village of Arimathea. He lived in alert expectation of the kingdom of God. He went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. Taking him down, he wrapped him in a linen shroud and placed him in a tomb chiseled into the rock, a tomb never yet used. It was the day before Sabbath, the Sabbath just about to begin.
55-56 The women who had been companions of Jesus from Galilee followed along. They saw the tomb where Jesus’ body was placed. Then they went back to prepare burial spices and perfumes. They rested quietly on the Sabbath, as commanded.
Think about it a little more…
–A Captain of the Roman guard, in charge of this act of cruelty, ordered to finish the work, gives honor to God and His Son. “Surely this is the Son of God” (in other translations) “This man was innocent.” The Captain said it out loud, a man of honor giving honor to God. Not all Roman soldiers were heartless.
–Joseph, a member of the Jewish Council, “a man of good heart and character” or integrity had the courage to approach Pilate who probably didn’t want to hear from any religious leader for a while. Pilate had “washed his hands” of the incident and preferred to get on with his life. Joseph asks for Jesus’ body and lays it in a new tomb. Respect given. Integrity expressed. Not all leaders were against Jesus.
–The women. Our hearts go out to the women who served Jesus and his companions during ministry and now continuing to serve him in what they perceive as death. Not all of Jesus followers ran away. The women weep but do not leave as He is being crucified. They watched and kept vigil. I’m sure our Lord noticed. They followed to see where they put the body. They had a plan to gather burial items to embalm the body with dignity and respect, but they also obeyed the Sabbath by resting. But at the crack of dawn the next day….
Dear Heavenly Father,
We lump everyone into categories. We are quick to assume and label. Help us today to refrain from doing this as if we are gods. You see hearts. Help us to see others they way you see them and recognize what you are doing in them and through them. May we be people of integrity who give honor only to You. May we remain devoted and dedicated to do your will and fulfill all you intended for us to be. Apart from you we are nothing. With You, the possibilities are endless!
In Jesus Name, Amen