Luke 23:13-25


The Days and Nights of His Passion, vol. 2
Luke 23:13-25
Intro: The first verse in the bible shows us the nature of God. The first words about Him are love and blessing. Out of compassion and goodness He creates the world. He did not have to create. But it is in His nature to bless. 

What is blessing?
The spiritual and material benefits that God gives us to enjoy that are necessary for life and service. 

Before the beginning the earth was a watery chaos. So God made light and separated the waters to produce the water cycle. With light and water, physical life was now possible. God had provided the material benefits for life and service. He gave creation the rest of the necessary benefits throughout the rest of the creation story. All of Genesis 1 is blessing. That is the point. It is explicit.

Gen 1:27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 
Gen 1:28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

What is curse?
God removing all things necessary for life and service. 

“to curse” – making a pronouncement with negative and damaging connotation intended to bring about misfortune for someone. It is associated with binding oaths.

Tracing “curse”… 


Gen 3:14 So the LORD God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life.”

the ground and what it produces

Gen 3:17 Then to Adam He said, “Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, ‘You shall not eat of it’: “Cursed is the ground for your sake; in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life.
Gen 3:18 Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you, and you shall eat the herb of the field.
Gen 3:19 In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground

Cain – the first murderer (no lineage after the Flood – not included in the genealogy of Adam)

Gen 4:10 And He said, “What have you done? The voice of your brother’s blood cries out to Me from the ground. 
Gen 4:11 So now you are cursed from the earth, which has opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand. 
Gen 4:12 When you till the ground, it shall no longer yield its strength to you. A fugitive and a vagabond you shall be on the earth.”

Canaan – son of Ham who shamed his father Noah (no lineage after the Conquest)

Gen 9:24 So Noah awoke from his wine, and knew what his younger son had done to him. 
Gen 9:25 Then he said: “Cursed be Canaan; a servant of servants he shall be to his brethren.”

Examples of divine grace: 

Noah (Seth’s lineage – just as wicked as the rest who died in the Flood)

Gen 6:7 So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them.” 
Gen 6:8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the LORD.

Melchizedek & Rahab (Canaanites who believed)

Gen 14:18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 
Gen 14:19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, possessor of heaven and earth; 
Gen 14:20 And blessed be God Most High, who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all.

Hebrews 11:31 By faith the harlot Rahab did not perish with those who did not believe, when she had received the spies with peace.

How does this relate to our text in Luke? What does blessing/curse have to do with Jesus’ trial before Pilate?


2 Kings 2:23 Then he went up from there to Bethel; and as he was going up the road, some youths came from the city and mocked him, and said to him, “Go up, you baldhead! Go up, you baldhead!”
2 Kings 2:24 So he turned around and looked at them, and pronounced a curse on them in the name of the LORD. And two female bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.


In Gen 27, “curse” is used to identify the damaging pronouncement that will fall upon Jacob if Isaac is not fooled by his disguise.

Gen 27:11 And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, “Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, and I am a smooth-skinned man. 
Gen 27:12 Perhaps my father will feel me, and I shall seem to be a deceiver to him; and I shall bring a curse on myself and not a blessing.”
Gen 27:13 But his mother said to him, “Let your curse be on me, my son; only obey my voice, and go, get them for me.” 

Pilate addressed the angry crowd by insisting that the prisoner Jesus was innocent. Both he and Herod had examined the evidence and this man had done nothing deserving of the death penalty. 

But Pilate was a political ruler, so he decided to appease the crowd by having Jesus scourged. Surely a brutal beating would pacify them. But Jewish crowd rejected this solution.

Not only did they want Jesus to given a harsh sentence, but they also demanded that He be traded for a notorious criminal named Barabbas. Ironically, the name Barabbas means “son of the father.”

They were insisting that the true “Son of the Father” (Jesus) be put to death, while a sinful man with the same name be set free.

Barabbas committed murder while he led an uprising against the Roman government.

Pilate did not want to release Barabbas. He did want to let Jesus go free. But the crowds overcame him. 

They shouted for Jesus to crucified. Pilate further questioned their reason for such a harsh sentence for an innocent man. No motive was given, only raised voices for crucifixion – loud voices that prevailed.

Luke 23:21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Matt 27:25 And all the people answered and said, “His blood be on us and on our children.”

Taking legal responsibility for the death – “all the evidence is in, and we want this man executed” (we take full responsibility)

illus: jury in a capital case – jury votes to condemn the accused – judge: maximum penalty is this but you can do anything up to this…If the jury votes for execution, they are in effect saying, “his blood is on us”

Matt 23:37 “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the one who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 
Matt 23:38 See! Your house is left to you desolate”
illus: Dead birds in a forest fire, some baby birds survive under their mother’s wings. Jesus offers refuge to Israel but they have refused it – not just the moving image of mother/chicks – He is also offering to them the protection of the great king against the kings of the earth, but they have refused it

illus: [photo] winged sun-disk 

Psalm 91:4 He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge

Ruth 2:12 “The LORD repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the LORD God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge.”

taking refuge” (chasash)  – idea of not just coming for protection (see Psalm 2) – they have sought him out as their king, they give them their allegiance, and seek protection (“kiss the Son…”) 

Psalm 2:10 Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth.
Psalm 2:11 Serve the LORD with fear, and rejoice with trembling.
Psalm 2:12 Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him.

David has kings he rules over – when Solomon takes the throne they should come to him and “kiss him” to renew their allegiance and submit to the lordship of the Davidic king who is God’s son who rules over God’s kingdom – 

To take refuge under the wings of the king is to take refuge under the wings of the Lord.

Luke 23:24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 
Luke 23:25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.



Gal 3:13 Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”), 
Gal 3:14 that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith.


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