Luke 23:18-31 - "Faces of the Cross"

Message


Scripture Readings

    Awake, awake,
        put on your strength, O Zion;
    put on your beautiful garments,
        O Jerusalem, the holy city;
    for there shall no more come into you
        the uncircumcised and the unclean.
    Shake yourself from the dust and arise;
        be seated, O Jerusalem;
    loose the bonds from your neck,
        O captive daughter of Zion.
       
        For thus says the LORD: “You were sold for nothing, and you shall be redeemed without money.” For thus says the Lord GOD: “My people went down at the first into Egypt to sojourn there, and the Assyrian oppressed them for nothing. Now therefore what have I here,” declares the LORD, “seeing that my people are taken away for nothing? Their rulers wail,” declares the LORD, “and continually all the day my name is despised. Therefore my people shall know my name. Therefore in that day they shall know that it is I who speak; here I am.”

    How beautiful upon the mountains
        are the feet of him who brings good news,
    who publishes peace, who brings good news of happiness,
        who publishes salvation,
        who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.”
    The voice of your watchmen—they lift up their voice;
        together they sing for joy;
    for eye to eye they see
        the return of the LORD to Zion.
    Break forth together into singing,
        you waste places of Jerusalem,
    for the LORD has comforted his people;
        he has redeemed Jerusalem.
    The LORD has bared his holy arm
        before the eyes of all the nations,
    and all the ends of the earth shall see
        the salvation of our God.
       
    Depart, depart, go out from there;
        touch no unclean thing;
    go out from the midst of her; purify yourselves,
        you who bear the vessels of the LORD.
    For you shall not go out in haste,
        and you shall not go in flight,
    for the LORD will go before you,
        and the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
       
        Behold, my servant shall act wisely;
        he shall be high and lifted up,
        and shall be exalted.
    As many were astonished at you—
        his appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance,
        and his form beyond that of the children of mankind—
    so shall he sprinkle many nations;
        kings shall shut their mouths because of him;
    for that which has not been told them they see,
        and that which they have not heard they understand.
(Isaiah 52 ESV)


    But they all cried out together, “Away with this man, and release to us Barabbas”—a man who had been thrown into prison for an insurrection started in the city and for murder. Pilate addressed them once more, desiring to release Jesus, but they kept shouting, “Crucify, crucify him!” A third time he said to them, “Why, what evil has he done? I have found in him no guilt deserving death. I will therefore punish and release him.” But they were urgent, demanding with loud cries that he should be crucified. And their voices prevailed. So Pilate decided that their demand should be granted. He released the man who had been thrown into prison for insurrection and murder, for whom they asked, but he delivered Jesus over to their will.

    And as they led him away, they seized one Simon of Cyrene, who was coming in from the country, and laid on him the cross, to carry it behind Jesus. And there followed him a great multitude of the people and of women who were mourning and lamenting for him. But turning to them Jesus said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. For behold, the days are coming when they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren and the wombs that never bore and the breasts that never nursed!’ Then they will begin to say to the mountains, ‘Fall on us,’ and to the hills, ‘Cover us.’ For if they do these things when the wood is green, what will happen when it is dry?”

(Luke 23:18-31 ESV)