This is an exposition of Luke 23:26-31. This message by Pastor Rod Harris was delivered at Trinity Baptist Church on Sunday morning, January 21, 2018.
The time had come for the Savior to die. The betrayer had given his fatal kiss. The religious establishment had conducted their mock trial. Pilate had yielded to the demands of a murderous mob. Our Lord had already endured the emotional strain of the Garden of Gethsemane as he began to be made sin for us.
He had suffered the indignity of being the object of sport for a gang of unruly soldiers. He had suffered the contemptuous abuse of Herod, and the brutality of scourging. Now, His near lifeless body, straining under the weight of His cross trudged along the Via Dolorosa, the road of sorrow. His life ebbing away, with each trembling step. Along the road was the noise of the crowd. Some cheering, some laughing, some mocking while still others wept. I can’t get the image out of my mind. Our precious Lord, beaten, bloodied, marred, disfigured by acts of hatred and hostility. That is what makes it so remarkable that this “road of sorrow” became the scene of unspeakable and amazing grace. Our text is found in Luke chapter 23.
Text: Luke 23:26-31
We are entering the holy of holies in Luke’s Gospel.
This has been the focus all along but in the last few chapters Luke has zeroed in on his target.
His desire is that his friend, and all who read it, be brought to repentance and faith.
He set out to present an accurate and orderly account of the life of Jesus so that the reader can know who Jesus was and what He accomplished. And having seen, the reader might believe. His purpose is unapologetically evangelistic. The crucifixion is no tragic turn of events. It is not a plan gone horribly wrong. It is the eternal plan and purpose of a loving, sovereign God deterred to purchase of people for His own glory. It is a sovereign, loving act of redemption. Our Lord is no victim here and that becomes abundantly clear in our text.
This scene, quite naturally, elicits our pity.
You cannot look on this scene with dry eyes.
But look beyond the obvious pain and brutality and witness His sovereign grace in action.
This text serves to teach us that…
Thesis: The suffering of our Lord is not an occasion for your pity but a gracious call to repentance and faith.
Everything in us looks at this scene and weeps because of the pain, the brutality, the injustice of it all. We cannot help but to be horrified that the Lord of glory, the second person of the Trinity could be treated this way. We look upon the man Jesus and pity Him but wait, there is something glorious going on here.
There are two things I want to call to your attention.
- Watch as an unwitting and unwilling participant becomes the object of sovereign grace. (23:26)
- Notice a group of caring, compassionate women mercifully rebuked by sovereign grace. (23:27-31)
You might expect our Lord to thank them for their kindness.
To express appreciation for their pity.
Instead he mildly rebukes them!
Why should we weep for ourselves?
He answers with a prophecy and a proverb.
The Prophecy - 23:29-30
The Proverb - 23:31.
In love and grace He is calling on these women and us to consider our sin, repent and believe. On the way to the cross his focus was not on himself but on those destined for the judgment. This “rebuke” is an act of amazing grace.
Behold our Lord on “the road of sorrow” and witness the work of sovereign grace and remember, The suffering of our Lord is not an occasion for your pity but a gracious call to repentance and faith.