An Innocent Man Dies – 8-2-22

“… I have found no fault in this Man … Luke 23:14b NKJV

RELATIONSHIP:

Do you already have a relationship with a powerful God who cares about your every need because He loves you? Did you know my God can communicate with you and protect you – He has a plan for you to prosper if you just submit to His will and let His plan play out in your life!!! God wants a relationship with you and has already made a plan for your life. He loves you so much He sent His son to this world, to die as a sacrifice for your sins and rise from death with victory over sin and the ability to have a personal relationship with you.

Do you want to know truth? Be able to discern lies? Know how to figure it all out in these confusing times and have peace? The Bible says Jesus is the truth. I have experienced it and it has changed my life. I was once a hot mess of sin, promiscuity, drug and alcohol use and so much more. But I was lost and when I could not find my way, or find a truth, I numbed it with bad choses. When I found Jesus, and truth – I found peace and deliverance from those things.

If you want a relationship with God without truth you will get the counterfeit, hypocritical Christianity that has kept some of you away for too long. You need truth and relationship. You need to be honest with yourself and God (including honest repentance) and God will reveal truth to you. It becomes the two way, interaction that your relationship with God is built on. This is why Jesus is called the truth, because he is our only way to the Father. 

“If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you profess your faith and are saved.” Romans 10:9-10 NIV
Here is a prayer for you to pray:
Jesus, I believe you are the way, the truth, the life, and the only way to the Father. I believe you are the son of God, you came to Earth and lived. That you died on the cross as a sacrifice for my sins, and rose again so that I may be saved from my sins and be able to get to know you. I declare: Jesus, you are Lord!
Therefore, I confess that I am a sinner and I ask that you forgive me of my sins and come into my life. Help me to turn away from my sins and transform me into what you have lovingly created me to be. Help me through a real personal relationship grow and accept your will for my life – that I may live in your blessings. Please walk with me, and talk with me – I accept a relationship with you and with our Father God, through you. In the name of Jesus I pray ~ Amen

BIBLE READING:

Dear Heavenly Father – Please give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of who you are, who Jesus is, and who the Holy Spirit is. Open the eyes of our understanding, please, so we may know the hope of our calling and the vast sovereignty and power of the grace of the cross. Please do not let us miss out on what you want and need from us today. Lord, I pray that your word prepares us and not scares us! We forbid the works and influences of fear over your word and our sound mind. And please keep us and bless us and shine your face upon us and pour out grace over us and give us peace! And we pray for the peace of Jerusalem! Thank you! – In Jesus name we pray, Amen

Today’s reading is the Book of Luke chapter 23 (embedded below for your convenience in the NKJV). 

Jesus Handed Over to Pontius Pilate

23 Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting [a]the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”

Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”

He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”

So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”

But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

Jesus Faces Herod

When Pilate heard [b]of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his [c]men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.

Taking the Place of Barabbas

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for [d]I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17 (for[e] it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).

18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.

20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”

23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men [f]and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released [g]to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.

The King on a Cross

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.

27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, “Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 [h]Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”

And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”

36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”

38 And an inscription also was [i]written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:

THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, [j]“If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”

40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said [k]to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”

43 And Jesus said to him, “Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

Jesus Dies on the Cross

44 Now it [l]was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was [m]darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in [n]two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’ ” Having said this, He breathed His last.

47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”

48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Jesus Buried in Joseph’s Tomb

50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who[o] himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.

55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.

Footnotes

  1. Luke 23:2 NU our
  2. Luke 23:6 NU omits of Galilee
  3. Luke 23:11 troops
  4. Luke 23:15 NU he sent Him back to us
  5. Luke 23:17 NU omits v. 17.
  6. Luke 23:23 NU omits and of the chief priests
  7. Luke 23:25 NU, M omit to them
  8. Luke 23:34 NU brackets the first sentence as a later addition.
  9. Luke 23:38 NU omits written and in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew
  10. Luke 23:39 NU Are You not the Christ? Save
  11. Luke 23:42 NU “Jesus, remember me
  12. Luke 23:44 NU adds already
  13. Luke 23:45 NU obscured
  14. Luke 23:45 the middle
  15. Luke 23:51 NU who was waiting

 MEMORY VERSE CHALLENGE:

Romans 8:1

“There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit.”

STUDY/DEVOTIONAL:

Today is a Holy day. Because today we read about the completion of the law and God plans being fulfilled before our eyes – our redemption draws near.

Jesus was fully God and fully man. In the Garden, yesterday, He could have called down heaven upon them! He could have ended Satan, His minions, and earth then judged the unrighteous, etc… but then prophesy would not be fulfilled, and God a liar. And since he cannot lie, God stuck to the plan. God sacrificed His Son and Jesus willingly went with the mob yesterday and today He goes along with the flow willingly. He never once fights it.

Then the whole multitude of them arose and led Him to Pilate. And they began to accuse Him, saying, “We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to pay taxes to Caesar, saying that He Himself is Christ, a King.”
Then Pilate asked Him, saying, “Are You the King of the Jews?”
He answered him and said, “It is as you say.”
So Pilate said to the chief priests and the crowd, “I find no fault in this Man.”
But they were the more fierce, saying, “He stirs up the people, teaching throughout all Judea, beginning from Galilee to this place.”

Last year we read all the accounts at once and it was so nice to grab all the details even though it is so very hard to stomach the truth of what Christ suffered. But it is important that we know, that we understand the kind of love He has for us, that the beating I deserved in my sin, He took it. And the Death I deserve for my sin, He bore it. He loves us because…. Well, there is not because. He loves us. And He was making a way to save us, 2000 plus years before we were alive and in need of saving.
Imagine if we had to pay that beating and death and hell immediately when we sinned. But because it is a debt deferred until later we forget the reality of it. God forbid!

In the book of Matthew we saw that Pilate wants to wash his hands of this mess and sends it over to Herod. He did not have to, because per Roman law, Pilate had the authority. But Pilate wanted someone else to bear the responsibility.

When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked if the Man were a Galilean. And as soon as he knew that He belonged to Herod’s jurisdiction, he sent Him to Herod, who was also in Jerusalem at that time. Now when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceedingly glad; for he had desired for a long time to see Him, because he had heard many things about Him, and he hoped to see some miracle done by Him. Then he questioned Him with many words, but He answered him nothing. 10 And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused Him. 11 Then Herod, with his men of war, treated Him with contempt and mocked Him, arrayed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Him back to Pilate. 12 That very day Pilate and Herod became friends with each other, for previously they had been at enmity with each other.”

And Herod saw this as a sign of respect and the two became friends – meanwhile, they had an innocent Jesus, who they had beaten and mocked and thought the Jews would see that as enough. But no –

13 Then Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests, the rulers, and the people, 14 said to them, “You have brought this Man to me, as one who misleads the people. And indeed, having examined Him in your presence, I have found no fault in this Man concerning those things of which you accuse Him; 15 no, neither did Herod, for I sent you back to him; and indeed nothing deserving of death has been done by Him. 16 I will therefore chastise Him and release Him” 17 (for it was necessary for him to release one to them at the feast).
18 And they all cried out at once, saying, “Away with this Man, and release to us Barabbas”— 19 who had been thrown into prison for a certain rebellion made in the city, and for murder.
20 Pilate, therefore, wishing to release Jesus, again called out to them. 21 But they shouted, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!”

Crucify Him! Even though God knew the plan and had been to the future and knows – this had to hurt. This had to be so hard. I love no one (human, on earth) so much I would sacrifice my son. God did the prophetic and asked Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. God knew how it would hurt man – and how it would hurt himself. But sin demands blood – there was no other way. The law did not set anyone free from sin.

22 Then he said to them the third time, “Why, what evil has He done? I have found no reason for death in Him. I will therefore chastise Him and let Him go.”
23 But they were insistent, demanding with loud voices that He be crucified. And the voices of these men and of the chief priests prevailed. 24 So Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they requested. 25 And he released to them the one they requested, who for rebellion and murder had been thrown into prison; but he delivered Jesus to their will.”

Luke the doctor who names what people were healed from – skips the gory details of our Lord’s suffering. Because of this – it is my favorite version of the story to read to my son when he was little, as well as to read for myself. The other gospel versions are hard to read and instead of holy reverence – I am uncomfortable and want to cry.

26 Now as they led Him away, they laid hold of a certain man, Simon a Cyrenian, who was coming from the country, and on him they laid the cross that he might bear it after Jesus.
27 And a great multitude of the people followed Him, and women who also mourned and lamented Him. 28 But Jesus, turning to them, said, 
“Daughters of Jerusalem, do not weep for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children. 29 For indeed the days are coming in which they will say, ‘Blessed are the barren, wombs that never bore, and breasts which never nursed!’ 30 Then they will begin ‘to say to the mountains, “Fall on us!” and to the hills, “Cover us!” ’ 31 For if they do these things in the green wood, what will be done in the dry?”

And in the midst, Jesus is still teaching and prophesying. How many times has this come true? The day Rome destroyed Jerusalem? The crusades? The Holocaust? The days that are coming?

32 There were also two others, criminals, led with Him to be put to death. 33 And when they had come to the place called Calvary, there they crucified Him, and the criminals, one on the right hand and the other on the left. 34 Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.”
And they divided His garments and cast lots. 35 And the people stood looking on. But even the rulers with them sneered, saying, “He saved others; let Him save Himself if He is the Christ, the chosen of God.”
36 The soldiers also mocked Him, coming and offering Him sour wine, 37 and saying, “If You are the King of the Jews, save Yourself.”
38 And an inscription also was written over Him in letters of Greek, Latin, and Hebrew:
THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.”

King of me. Let’s get real about it. That is MY king. Go ahead and say it – “THAT IS MY KINGS!” He is worthy to be lifted but not on a cross – but exalted on high! He did not deserve that I did.
I worship my sweet King Jesus!

39 Then one of the criminals who were hanged blasphemed Him, saying, “If You are the Christ, save Yourself and us.”
40 But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, “Do you not even fear God, seeing you are under the same condemnation? 41 And we indeed justly, for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this Man has done nothing wrong.” 42 Then he said to Jesus, “Lord, remember me when You come into Your kingdom.”
43 And Jesus said to him, 
“Assuredly, I say to you, today you will be with Me in Paradise.”

And God made sure this narrative survived the generations so we know there is such a thing as death bed conversions without baptism in water and without baptism in the Holy Spirit and without Ordinances and ordinances of Church and man. This has comforted and given hope to so many. But if you ask some people, they believe EVERYONE repented on their deathbed. Let us not get carried away. If we who already know, must fight to keep our salvation and guard it and repent daily, and the way in is narrow – then not EVERYONE had a deathbed confession of faith.

44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’  Having said this, He breathed His last.
47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!”
48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.”

There are a number of times the earth responds to what is happening in the spirit world. Paul said it is like birth pangs the way the earth cries out of Jesus.
Now, for someone who is not fond of non-biblical prophecy – let me share a strange experience I had. The weather here has been strange. It is not a dynamic difference, but it is enough that I have noticed a few articles by the weather men pointing out these small but highly unusual weather events here. Then we had a super cell thunder storm with tornados, hail, flooding and damaging winds (and expected power outages) come over the entire state from west to east. A large cell like this is not unusual, the time of day and size is more unusual. So I went to pray for protection which is wise. But I started to groan in prayer – especially with the revival meetings planned this month out west were the storm was at the moment I began to pray. And in my groaning for a storm – my heart changed to pray for the revival and for Jesus and Roman’s 8:19-23 came to mind.

19 For the earnest expectation of the creation eagerly waits for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. 22 For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. 23 Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body.” Romans 8:19-13 NKJV

I felt the spirit of the Lord and realized the earth, the land and sky around me, is prophesying – I realized the earth is just preparing the way of the Lord and washing our land. I tried to share with a few sisters in the lord this incredible experience and they prayed for my safety and that I would not fear. Fear of God was the only fear I felt and I was trembling. And safety was the furthest thing from my mind; I could have rode a lightning bolt if he had asked me.
As the storm approached closer and closer – I just kept falling into prayer and not doing the things I was supposed to be doing – distracted by the Lord’s presences thicker and thicker. And when the skies above my house opened I sobbed – worshiping without the ability to make a noise or speak a word. It was dark outside, at least I would reason, because it was getting darker as the storm approached. But it was so bright and unexplainable. I was scared but at peace. I was overwhelmed and lost track of time, but it had to be only seconds. It exhausted me and was glorious! The storm moved fast over my house, was sunny within minutes. I looked at the radar and it appeared to move around me and just the outer edge of it touched over my house. Jesus was in that storm. And as it violently thrashed over my landscape and this state, almost no damage anywhere. Even the hard hit places. I know August is going to be BIG! Hang in their kids. Maybe consecrate a fast early on and come along for the ride.

Anyway, the point is – the earth cries for Jesus. At His death and now waiting for a revival and awakening. And again when it is the end.

50 Now behold, there was a man named Joseph, a council member, a good and just man. 51 He had not consented to their decision and deed. He was from Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who himself was also waiting for the kingdom of God. 52 This man went to Pilate and asked for the body of Jesus. 53 Then he took it down, wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a tomb that was hewn out of the rock, where no one had ever lain before. 54 That day was the Preparation, and the Sabbath drew near.
55 And the women who had come with Him from Galilee followed after, and they observed the tomb and how His body was laid. 56 Then they returned and prepared spices and fragrant oils. And they rested on the Sabbath according to the commandment.”

And into this same groaning, worshiping, prophesying earth, they laid the body of my king. But the earth could not keep Him. Death could not keep Him. He rose and by grace transformed our sins into our opportunity for life. The earth was there and witnessed Jesus’s death and groaned. The earth cradled the body of its King – our King Jesus. The earth cared for His body until He rose again and the earth rejoiced. I can imagine that the earthquake alone moved that rock and Jesus did not need to nor did angel, because the earth was the only witness.
Don’t you think this earth remembers? Don’t you think this earth knows?!
It knows so much better than you and I. Pay attention. Let’s pull ourselves together! We should be the ones worshiping and prophesying and carrying the presence of the Lord!
Stop being distracted by the daily cares and go hard for Jesus.

In Jerusalem, 2000 plus years ago when my savior died, there were plenty of people who paid no attention to the deaths of convicted criminals, and tried to protect their children from seeing such things. The earth went dark and the must have just thought a storm was coming. They were caught up in daily life and missed part of the biggest event ever.
And when the storm prophesied to me, all around me people carried on like life was normal. I told a dear sister who was praying for less rain, because it would be very inconvenient to bring 3 children into her car in the rain… and she never felt Jesus in the storm or heard the prophesies – even though I told her!

Do not miss out on what God is going to do this month. Some will be changed and never be the same again and other will not know it even happened. Get hungry for God and for His kingdom.

***

Thank you for reading in 2022 – a Year of Wisdom and Salvation
May the God of peace keep you and bless you. May you stay focused on Christ and covered in grace.
Maranatha ~ Come Lord Jesus!

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