This is an exposition of Luke 23:1-25. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 14, 2018.


In 32 years of pastoral ministry I’ve seen all the responses. I’ve seen those who marveled at hearing the Gospel. Those who with wide-eyed joy and enthusiasm jumped at the opportunity to embrace Christ. I’ve witness hostility and bitterness expressed toward that same Gospel. I’ve seen indifference. And I’ve seen those who treat the whole message of God’s love and grace with absolute contempt. I’ve heard the Gospel ridiculed and mocked.

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Why such varied responses? Theologically, I know that the difference is the working of the Holy Spirit. But I also know there are other factors at work. It is also important to acknowledge that this is not a new phenomenon. This is not the result of “secular humanism,” modern philosophical thought or our scientific age. These are factors but the problem is less technical. The problem is within the heart of man. At the heart of the matter are issues that have been around since the beginning. In fact the responses I’ve witnessed can all be found in the Gospels themselves. This morning I want us to continue our look at the events leading up to the crucifixion of our Lord and we’ll note some of these same responses.

Text: Luke 23:1-25

Luke’s purpose is to bring his friend Theophilus to faith. Luke trusts that once confronted with the truth of who Christ is and what Christ has done, his friend will embrace the Lord Jesus as Savior.

Luke is now dealing with the events surrounding the crucifixion.
We’ve been witnessing the events of that final week.

We’ve seen the adoration of the multitude on Sunday.
We’ve seen his wisdom silence his critics.
We’ve seen his authority in pronouncing judgement on Jerusalem.
We’ve seen his tenderness and compassion.

We’ve also witnessed his betrayal by one of his own.
We’ve witnessed that sham of a trial before the Supreme Court of the Jews.

And now, in keeping with his own words, he is being delivered into the hands of the Gentiles.

The events described in Luke 23:1-25 provide us insight into understanding why some respond to the Lord Jesus as they do.

Thesis: This passage reveals three common conditions that cause one to miss the true beauty and significance of the Lord Jesus.

Here we find three attitudes that blind men to the truth.
Three attitudes that, in the hand of the enemy, effectively cloud the beauty of Christ.
These attitudes are reflected in the lives of the Sanhedrin, Pilate and Herod.

  1. In the Sanhedrin we discover that open hostility refuses to recognize the truth.
  2. In examining Herod’s response to the Lord Jesus we discover that a seared conscience treats the holy with utter contempt.
  3. Then there is Pilate from whom we learn that callused indifference shamefully yields to the expedient.

As we survey the events surrounding the death of our Lord we can find many reasons for why men reject the Gospel. But the truth is that in the end the only issue that really matters is what have you done with the Gospel?