May 14, 2006


Luke 23:13-31

Sermon Notes


You may say that this is too chromatic, too colourful, too dramatic; and that true Christianity is low key, does not waggle the lion's tongue in his mouth, lies low, smiles or smirks and continues in what Bunyan called its silver slippers, making the best of both worlds, for there is no good, as some say, in making yourself a martyr unnecessarily.

It is to be hoped that you avoid such a blooper, however, for the spiritual realm is just as susceptible to foozling fouls as is the mathematical. The above would, in maths, resemble trying to divide by zero, which even Einstein once reputedly did, such was his desire for a world which is not the same as this one. This world however is what it is, and if justice and equity, truth and righteousness, kindness and heart seem to you justly to be terms with which to characterise it, then your ideas of justice include mass slaughters in Germany, Russia, China, Cambodia, Sudan, Iraq, Biafra, to mention a few, in the last 70 years, ONE life time! And for what ? For daring to be Christian, for daring not to allow absolute pretensions of merely human power to play God, for daring to state in China that there are spiritual realities beyond the State, for being leaders in the Cambodian community, or non-Muslim non-manipulees in the Sudan ?

If however we return to reality, this world is as foul and polluted a place as could well be imagined. In one sense, it is worse than hell, for there the case is concluded, but here hypocrisy adds to it!

To be sure, it is also a place of superb beauty, magnificent astronomical, biological, ecological, physiological, cerebral, botanical, physical and chemical order. The grounds for the continuance of life continue in their designated designs, including those for our brains, enabling thought to oscillate and purposes to be formed and performed. Yet the defilement is so intense, as in child prostitution and famine based deaths in the midst of plenty for little ones, in the deliberate incitement of pagan and profane appetites, deleting the joy of life and its tenure, as in drug, alcoholic and cigarette advertisement or connivance, that the responsibility which is man's, reaches to the very heavens.

Do we not read in Isaiah 4, concerning the Lord's assessment: "He looked for justice, but behold, oppression, for righteousness, but behold a cry!" There you see righteous expectation from God, and evil assault from man, on justice, on truth and on fellow man. And the result ? It is a cry of anguish which is heard in the very heavens!

All of this has a basis, and it is sin; and in particular, the sin with which the Prince of Peace was crucified, and a murderer released instead of Himself, even when the judge, Pilate, declared Christ innocent. When you release murder, and imprison and kill the Prince of Peace, what would you expect ? In mercy, opportunity to repent, but in justice, blood from the Murder so revered, and anxiety from the Peace, its Prince so given exit licence from this earth. Though He was resurrected in three days, His body indeed never to rot, yet peace still rotted where He is not received. It does so to this day, and the stench arises like clouds of rubber burning to the sky.

Today we look at this release of Murder, and Imprisonment of Peace, as seen in Luke 23.




a) The False Charge 23:14

b) Its Rebuttal 23:15

c) Its Second Rebuttal 23:15

d) The Cry for the Murderer to Replace the Divine Healer

e) The Passion for the Slow Blood Drip

f) The Priests' Cry for Slaughter (this time not of animals, but of their King) 23:23



It was but one coin: the crime against the Lord and the punishment for it. The long result came from the short folly. The murderer released, the Saviour to be ruined! Millenia have scourged this earth, but little remains before the King comes to rule (Luke 21:24, the 'time' of the Gentiles is gone, since Jerusalem is back with Israel). As Christ declared, on the way to His slaughter, "Daughters of Jerusalem! do not weep for Me but weep for yourselves!" (23:28-31). How they would weep, alas!

What then do we find in history ? According as Israel the NATION (not the race, many including the apostles, were fine Christians and many are to this day!) were heartless, so likewise would be their enemies. These,  like Hitler, like the Holy Roman Empire for example in Austria, like the papacy of yore, would lack pity in the purges, whether in the Inquisition or other, and so, like the Russian pogrom murderers, would they lack restraint.  Yet this is not all. Just as passion without pity prevailed in Jerusalem against the Prince of Peace (Isaiah 9:7), so did it prevail from 'a foolish nation' (Deuteronomy 32:21), against them! Enemies of small virtue would be able to glut themselves! Despite their massive victories of 1958, 1967, 1973 and their vicarious one in 1991, this passion against Israel's just and biblical place (Galloping Events Ch. 4), still seen in the UN and in Islam at large in many a nation, as likewise in the Pan-Islamic Alliance, continues to exact blood. Indeed, it seeks to extort more and more from their pittance of land, to add to the vast Arab domains from Morocco to Pakistan.

Nor is even that by ANY means all ... The Gentiles are increasingly, even in Europe in its spiritually baseless European Union, continuing to swallow up truth in convenience: the EU in its new Constitution, no less than the UN, showing its disdain for the Lord, while many peoples are becoming joint recipients of ruin. Though Gentile nations soar to the skies and outer space, yet their disdain brings devastation on their race, which now can scarcely survive, for its extreme cleverness, as Christ foretold (Matthew 24:12,21-22 cf. Daniel 12). Let us however look a little further on the prurient passions which brought to this Age, its peculiar virulence.  




a) The Setting - 23:32 cf. Isaiah 53:9), as foretold by Isaiah.

b) The Kindly Sentence on the King  - 23:33

c) The Kingly willingness to Pardon on the Cross - 23:34, not once, but often made clear.

d) The Derision of His Salvation - 23:35

e) The Jovial Game - 23:34b

f) The Military Jibes - 23:37

g) The Accurate Title - 23:38



With rare respite, the Gentile nations have done the same ever since, not in body, but in spirit, often using the bodies of Christians to work their ire.

With rare respite, the Gentile nations have done the same ever since, not in body, but in spirit, often using the bodies of Christians to work their ire.


v          when justice is mocked, truth is subverted (cf. Isaiah 59:8,14-15),
and love is lampooned;

v          when the pantomime of power and lust amid mass murder
is dressed drably in deadly passion
as has been startlingly the case now for a century or so, about our own time;

v          when self-fulfilment and self-preservation, individually,
nationally or internationally,
replace spirituality and service;

v          when idols of national affairs usurp the King's place in the race:

        then the slow murder is repeated, but this time among men, among races,
among tribes, peoples.

This is the fruit of that planting: Barabbas, murder's man released, and Christ,
Life’s Prince, to the gallows! 
Lose the Principal and you meet the pollution.
His was that way which the mass of mankind refuses to comprehend,
His drops of blood strewn like Autumn leaves,
the only beauty His sacrificial cover for those who receive Him.


What did it mean ? Ever since murder has reached new depths and force new depravities of kind.


Jerusalem and Rome asked for murder in Jerusalem on that day,
and the world is now inundated with blood. Where Peace is deposited in the dump,
and murder is preferred, you lose what the ONE GOD has to offer.

There is nothing else!

There is no other Gospel,

no other way (Galatians 1:6-9),

neither other Saviour nor Redeemer.

The only way out is to repent of the sins, each one of us, that led to Calvary and to its long-time extension in spirit;  and to bring forth by faith, fruits worthy of repentance: this and to live by faith,  not force, purity not pollution, truth and not pantomime, as when the lips are near but the heart remains far from the Lord (Isaiah 29:13). It is to live thus by a spiritual power that works for God instead of play-acting in the grip of unruly passion whether for lands or home, pleasure or prestige, approbation or power, money or self-satisfaction,  acclamation or acceptance.

Take up your Cross and FOLLOW Him!