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Read Luke 23:33-43

Read Luke 23:33-43

33When they came to the place called “The Skull”, they crucified Jesus there, and the two criminals, one on his right and the other on his left. 34Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.”d
They divided his clothes among themselves by throwing dice. 35The people stood there watching while the Jewish leaders jeered at him: “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah whom God has chosen!”
36 The soldiers also mocked him: they came up to him and offered him cheap wine, 37and said, “Save yourself if you are the king of the Jews!”
38 Above him were written these words: “This is the King of the Jews.”
39 One of the criminals hanging there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and us!”
40 The other one, however, rebuked him, saying, “Don’t you fear God? You received the same sentence he did. 41Ours, however, is only right, because we are getting what we deserve for what we did; but he has done no wrong.” 42And he said to Jesus, “Remember me, Jesus, when you come as King!”
43 Jesus said to him, “I promise you that today you will be in Paradise with me.” [1]


This coming Sunday in the Christian lectionary is ‘Christ the King’ or ‘Reign of Christ’ Sunday.  It is the last day in the year before we begin preparing for Christmas on 1 December.  In this passage Jesus is crowned King.
Ironic.  His Kingship is made known in what looks like defeat on the cross.  Yet he promises: “…today you will be in Paradise with me.”


Christ, my King.  As I get to the end of the year I am aware that I have not made you King of everything in my life.  I thank you that your Kingship is made known in the brokenness of the cross.  And even as I realize my own brokenness – you promise me victory, paradise, healing and wholeness.

34 23.34: Ps 22:18
d Some manuscripts do not have Jesus said, “Forgive them, Father! They don’t know what they are doing.”
35 23.35: Ps 22:7
36  23.36: Ps 69:21
[1] American Bible Society. (1992). The Holy Bible: The Good news Translation (2nd ed.). New York: American Bible Society.

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