Daily Bible Reading for July 26, 2014, with Commentary: Luke 23-24
Click here for the Daily Reading.
Context: Chapter 23 picks up right where we left off last week, in the middle of Jesus’ trial. The religious leaders had declared Him guilty, but they took Him before the Romans. Since Romans would not execute a man for a religious crime, the religious leaders attempted to spin Jesus’ confession as a political charge, which was punishable by execution. In short, the religious leaders accused Him of treason. Pilate determined that Jesus was innocent, yet the religious leaders would not let up, demanding that He be punished. When someone happened to mention that Jesus was from Galilee, Pilate breathed a sigh of relief. He had an out and sent Jesus to Herod. Herod was, at first, pleased to see Jesus because Herod wanted to see a miracle. When Jesus did not indulge Herod, he began mocking Jesus and returned him to Pilate. Pilate shows his weakness as a ruler, caring more for his position and power than the administration of justice. Pilate eventually allowed Jesus to be executed to placate the people and the religious leaders. As Jesus was led to the cross, He turned and attempted to comfort the women who were mourning Him. Even during His darkest hours, Jesus still offered forgiveness to those who asked (the thief beside Him). He also sought forgiveness for those who persecuted Him. He set the ultimate example to follow for forgiving our enemies. Following Jesus’ death, He was buried in a cave, purchased by a religious leader, Joseph, who voted against Jesus’ conviction and death. Following His death and burial, there was no choice but to wait until after the Sabbath to anything more. Only, Jesus was not in His tomb after the Sabbath! He had risen! Peter had to see for himself. Who would take the body but leave the wrappings? Jesus was seen by many after His resurrection and before He returned to Heaven.
World History: Upon Jesus’ death, the curtain separating the Holy of Holies was torn in half. The Holy of Holies was the most sacred place within the temple. Only the high priest could enter and only once a year. The tearing of the curtain was significant. It represented our separation from God. No longer do we require priests to intervene to God on our behalf. We can now take our problems and praises directly to Him!