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Gene’s Daily Scriptural Postings.

Reflective Bible Study.

Choosing the Cross: Luke 23:32-43

Focus Passage: Luke 23:32-43 (NIV)While many people read Luke’s version of Jesus dying on the cross to draw out His promise to a thief about instant salvation (and deathbed confessionals being possible), in our journal entry for today, let’s look at Luke’s description of what happened from a slightly different angle. In this journal entry, we have a pretty simple idea that has profound implications: Jesus didn’t get what He deserved, but He chose it so that we wouldn’t have to get what we deserve! I want to point out that Jesus “chose” the cross. The whole salvation plan was developed in heaven before earth was created, and Jesus was within the planning process. Jesus was involved in the creation of the prophecies that were given in the Old Testament, and He could have easily changed things to have pointed towards a different type of death. However, that is not the most profound way to view this idea. There are two views I have seen floating through the internet (and books that were written before) that are completely inaccurate to this idea:

  • The first idea is that God (the Father) forced Jesus to come to earth to die for our sins. This idea is rooted in a “good cop, bad cop” idea regarding the Godhead. If that were really the case, Jesus had it completely within His freedom of choice to say “No”, or to die a different way. Jesus tells each of us that if we’ve seen Him, we’ve seen the Father. The two of them share the same character. Jesus was scared of the path of the cross, but He specifically chose it because He knew what it meant for each of us.

  • The second idea is that Judas caused Jesus’ death by betraying Him. This idea pulls the broad ideas in Jesus’ life out of their Biblical contexts and pictures Jesus as merely a “good man”. However, as we’ve looked at several times in our journal, Jesus repeatedly tells His disciples He is going to die, including details about how it will happen. Even the night before the arrest, we can read about Him trying to warn the disciples to not be fearful and to not fall into temptation. If Jesus wanted to, He could have avoided going to the garden, and completely avoided the angry crowd who wanted to arrest Him.

Both these views are false, and we can see this played out in the events leading up to the cross. Jesus didn’t get what He deserved, but He chose it so that we wouldn’t have to get what we deserve! This thought was inspired by studying the Walking With Jesus “Reflective Bible Study” package. To discover insights like this in your own study time, click here and give Reflective Bible Study a try today! Read this article on the web on it's official page: Choosing the Cross: Luke 23:32-43

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