“Are you the only visitor to Jerusalem who does not know the things that have happened here in these days? …Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, a man who was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people, and how our chief priests and rulers delivered Him up to be condemned to death, and crucified Him. Moreover, some women of our company amazed us. They were at the tomb early in the morning, and when they did not find His body, they came back saying that they had seen a vision of angels, who said that He was alive…”
On the road to Emmaus, two of Jesus’ followers are incredulous that their new companion has no idea about Jesus…the trial…and the cross. Luke’s gospel has been filled with mystery and intrigue, and he holds the veil tightly shut – as shut as the minds of the disciples – until the very end.
The trial that Luke paints for us is a portrait of such confusion that it can lead to only one conclusion – the conclusion that Jesus’ followers had already determined – that Jesus was unjustly convicted. Multiple parties – the chief priests, the Roman Governor, and even Herod, the ruler of Galilee – refuse to make a decision about Jesus. Yet none of them are willing to defend Him either. They all do just enough to distance themselves from any real responsibility, while allowing Jesus’ fate to be sealed.
From the chief priest’s house, to the governor’s, to Herod’s Jerusalem residence, and back again, and finally, to execution. The parties that have done combat over Jesus’ position and authority do so even now, at the foot of the cross. Only the centurion has clarity.
Yet we, like Jesus’ disciples, should have seen it all along. “O foolish ones,” Jesus declares, “and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things and enter into glory?”
In the final chapter, all of Luke’s themes come rushing together. The Holy Spirit. Angels. Power and mystery. Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms. Even the Sabbath. “Why do you seek the living among the dead?” the angel asks. “He is not here, but has risen.”
Our verse for this week is Romans 8:38-39: For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Luke 23 and 24. Now let’s read it!
For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.