Hello everybody and welcome in to episode #208 of the Bible 2021 podcast. We are reading Luke 23 today and our focus is on how Jesus did not come to save Himself, but to save others. We are a daily 10 minute podcast, where we will dig in to the truth of the Word of God by reading one Bible chapter a day and discussing it. Welcome to new listeners in Word of Mouth – tell a friend! Thanks for listening! Our goal is to encourage DAILY Bible reading, so you can jump in at any time and join with us. We want to invite as many people as possible to join us in daily Bible reading, so help spread the word and share the podcast! Don’t forget about our web-page, Bible2021.com – contact page, show notes, transcript and more– Click here for our Bible 2021 reading plan\
One of the most striking statements in the Bible is said by a group of religious leaders, who were mocking the most selfless thing ever done, and the most wonderful thing ever done:
35 The people stood watching, and even the leaders were scoffing: “He saved others; let him save himself if this is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One!”
Let that statement sink in for a moment. Indeed, Jesus did save others, and these religious leaders gathered that if Jesus could save Himself from a certain execution, then He might just be God’s Messiah after all. And yet, had Jesus done that, then He would have proven quite conclusively that He was NOT, in fact, the Lord’s Messiah at all. I’m not the first person to see irony in such a statement – John “Amazing Grace” Newton, writing in the 1700s saw it as well and said:
They reproached his great design for which he came into the world: “He saved others, himself he cannot save.”* How different is the force of the same words, according to the intention of the speaker! When they said, “His blood be upon us, and upon our children;”† they spoke the very language of the hearts of those who love him, and who derive all their hopes, and all their happiness, from the application of his blood to their consciences. But, to themselves, it proved the most dreadful imprecation. So, it will be the grateful acknowledgement of his people in time and to eternity, that when he was resolved to save them, the difficulties in the way were so great, that neither his prayers, nor his tears, nor his unspotted innocence, could prevail to save himself. But for this, his love to sinners, his enemies reviled him. Nor would they have offered to believe if he would come down from the cross, had they supposed there was the least probability of such an event; for they had often rejected evidence equal to what they now demanded.
John Newton and Richard Cecil, The Works of John Newton, vol. 4 (London: Hamilton, Adams & Co., 1824), 247.
Jesus was fulfilling thousands of years of prophecy by His suffering and death, including Isaiah 53, written more than 700 years prior to His crucifixion, which read:
But he was pierced because of our rebellion,
crushed because of our iniquities;
punishment for our peace was on him,
and we are healed by his wounds.
6 We all went astray like sheep;
we all have turned to our own way;
and the Lord has punished him
for the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth.
Like a lamb led to the slaughter
and like a sheep silent before her shearers,
he did not open his mouth.
8 He was taken away because of oppression and judgment,
and who considered his fate?
For he was cut off from the land of the living;
he was struck because of my people’s rebellion.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,
but he was with a rich man at his death,
because he had done no violence
and had not spoken deceitfully. Isaiah 53:5-9
That is what Jesus accomplished on the cross – His punishment, His death, brought us peace. His death paid the price for our sins. Because He was cut off from the land of the living, as Isaiah says, we can have access to the land of the undying. Because He was slaughtered like a sacrifice lamb, we never have to face that prospect of death for our sins. Because He was pierced, wounded, whipped, crushed and taunted, we have healing. What a wonder – and how absurd that these religious leaders scoffed and mocked Him for making the greatest and most selfless sacrifice in History.
Let’s read our passage.
Bible Memory verses for the month of July: 47 “I will show you what someone is like who comes to me, hears my words, and acts on them: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. When the flood came, the river crashed against that house and couldn’t shake it, because it was well built.” Luke 6:47-48
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