The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 6 - Day 2
Pilate Sentences Jesus
Meditation on Scripture - Read Luke 23:13-25 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer - Use the Guide for Prayer.
Pilate had sent Jesus to Herod but Herod sent him back. Neither Pilate nor Herod found any reason to put Jesus to death. Pilate wished to punish Jesus as a way to satisfy the Jews. Then he hoped to release him. By punishing him, Pilate probably meant to have him scourged. The priests and people cried out however that Barabbas should be released. Their voices were loud and their pleadings urgent. For this reason, Pilate finally relented and sentenced Jesus to be crucified, as they wished.
The gospel of Luke does not mention it but each of the other gospels report that Pilate did have Jesus scourged before he was crucified. This painful and cruel torture, which inflicted 39 lashes, or stripes, on the victim would have left Jesus bloodied, weak, and possibly even disfigured. This would fulfill the prophecy by Isaiah that said, “His appearance was so marred, beyond human semblance, and his form beyond that of the children of mankind.” (Isaiah 52:14)
Things to consider –
· While the trial seemed uncertain at various points, it was the plan of God that nothing or no one would save Jesus from being crucified. Why do you think God chose so dramatic a vehicle for human salvation?
· What does it tell us about Pilate that he sentenced an innocent man to death against his best judgment?
· The first century was one in which life was “cheap.” Are there places in the world today where this perspective still prevails?
· It is ironic that the person released in place of Jesus was a rebel and murderer. Jesus will take the place of the murderer, just as he also take our place.
· Do you think they had any love for Barabbas or only hatred for Jesus? Do people do things today out of hatred for a person or a cause?
· Do you ever think God works out his plan through bad circumstances?
· This part of Christ’s passion involves enduring injustice. Have you ever been treated unjustly? Does it help to know that Christ understands?
Guide for prayer –
· Take 1 minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Think of something for which you are thankful. Say a prayer of thanksgiving to God.
· Thank God for someone who makes your life better and more satisfying.
· Thank God that in the last judgment, true justice will prevail and all wrongs will be made right. Tell God that you look forward to the great day of just justice and peace.
· Reflect on this verse from Isaiah 53:5. “But he was wounded for our transgressions; he was crushed for our iniquities; upon him was the chastisement that brought us peace, and with his stripes we are healed.” Thank God for what Christ endured for you sake.
· Pray for a troubled spot in the world.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers and praises seem appropriate.