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Ambassador Baptist Church
1926 Babcock Blvd
Pittsburgh, PA 15209
(412)822-7255
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Pastor's Pen - November 3, 2007
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November 3, 2007

Luke 23-24
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Luke
Chapter 23
  1. And the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto Pilate.
  2. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, saying that he himself is Christ a King.
  3. And Pilate asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answered him and said, Thou sayest it.
  4. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find no fault in this man.
  5. And they were the more fierce, saying, He stirreth up the people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to this place.
  6. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man were a Galilaean.
  7. And as soon as he knew that he belonged unto Herod's jurisdiction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem at that time.
  8. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad: for he was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard many things of him; and he hoped to have seen some miracle done by him.
  9. Then he questioned with him in many words; but he answered him nothing.
  10. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently accused him.
  11. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him again to Pilate.
  12. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends together: for before they were at enmity between themselves.
  13. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests and the rulers and the people,
  14. Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one that perverteth the people: and, behold, I, having examined him before you, have found no fault in this man touching those things whereof ye accuse him:
  15. No, nor yet Herod: for I sent you to him; and, lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him.
  16. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.
  17. (For of necessity he must release one unto them at the feast.)
  18. And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas:
  19. (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for murder, was cast into prison.)
  20. Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to them.
  21. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.
  22. And he said unto them the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise him, and let him go.
  23. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of the chief priests prevailed.
  24. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.
  25. And he released unto them him that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will.
  26. And as they led him away, they laid hold upon one Simon, a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
  27. And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him.
  28. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
  29. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps which never gave suck.
  30. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us.
  31. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the dry?
  32. And there were also two other, malefactors, led with him to be put to death.
  33. And when they were come to the place, which is called Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the right hand, and the other on the left.
  34. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
  35. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others; let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
  36. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar,
  37. And saying, If thou be the king of the Jews, save thyself.
  38. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, THIS IS THE KING OF THE JEWS.
  39. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
  40. But the other answering rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation?
  41. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: but this man hath done nothing amiss.
  42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom.
  43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise.
  44. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
  45. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
  46. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
  47. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
  48. And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
  49. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.
  50. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor; and he was a good man, and a just:
  51. (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them;) he was of Arimathaea, a city of the Jews: who also himself waited for the kingdom of God.
  52. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.
  53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid.
  54. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew on.
  55. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee, followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.
  56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.


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Luke
Chapter 24
  1. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.
  2. And they found the stone rolled away from the sepulchre.
  3. And they entered in, and found not the body of the Lord Jesus.
  4. And it came to pass, as they were much perplexed thereabout, behold, two men stood by them in shining garments:
  5. And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead?
  6. He is not here, but is risen: remember how he spake unto you when he was yet in Galilee,
  7. Saying, The Son of man must be delivered into the hands of sinful men, and be crucified, and the third day rise again.
  8. And they remembered his words,
  9. And returned from the sepulchre, and told all these things unto the eleven, and to all the rest.
  10. It was Mary Magdalene, and Joanna, and Mary the mother of James, and other women that were with them, which told these things unto the apostles.
  11. And their words seemed to them as idle tales, and they believed them not.
  12. Then arose Peter, and ran unto the sepulchre; and stooping down, he beheld the linen clothes laid by themselves, and departed, wondering in himself at that which was come to pass.
  13. And, behold, two of them went that same day to a village called Emmaus, which was from Jerusalem about threescore furlongs.
  14. And they talked together of all these things which had happened.
  15. And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them.
  16. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him.
  17. And he said unto them, What manner of communications are these that ye have one to another, as ye walk, and are sad?
  18. And the one of them, whose name was Cleopas, answering said unto him, Art thou only a stranger in Jerusalem, and hast not known the things which are come to pass there in these days?
  19. And he said unto them, What things? And they said unto him, Concerning Jesus of Nazareth, which was a prophet mighty in deed and word before God and all the people:
  20. And how the chief priests and our rulers delivered him to be condemned to death, and have crucified him.
  21. But we trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel: and beside all this, to day is the third day since these things were done.
  22. Yea, and certain women also of our company made us astonished, which were early at the sepulchre;
  23. And when they found not his body, they came, saying, that they had also seen a vision of angels, which said that he was alive.
  24. And certain of them which were with us went to the sepulchre, and found it even so as the women had said: but him they saw not.
  25. Then he said unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken:
  26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?
  27. And beginning at Moses and all the prophets, he expounded unto them in all the scriptures the things concerning himself.
  28. And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further.
  29. But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
  30. And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them.
  31. And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.
  32. And they said one to another, Did not our heart burn within us, while he talked with us by the way, and while he opened to us the scriptures?
  33. And they rose up the same hour, and returned to Jerusalem, and found the eleven gathered together, and them that were with them,
  34. Saying, The Lord is risen indeed, and hath appeared to Simon.
  35. And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.
  36. And as they thus spake, Jesus himself stood in the midst of them, and saith unto them, Peace be unto you.
  37. But they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit.
  38. And he said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?
  39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.
  40. And when he had thus spoken, he shewed them his hands and his feet.
  41. And while they yet believed not for joy, and wondered, he said unto them, Have ye here any meat?
  42. And they gave him a piece of a broiled fish, and of an honeycomb.
  43. And he took it, and did eat before them.
  44. And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.
  45. Then opened he their understanding, that they might understand the scriptures,
  46. And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day:
  47. And that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.
  48. And ye are witnesses of these things.
  49. And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
  50. And he led them out as far as to Bethany, and he lifted up his hands, and blessed them.
  51. And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
  52. And they worshipped him, and returned to Jerusalem with great joy:
  53. And were continually in the temple, praising and blessing God. Amen.


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Thought for the day:
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 Luke 23 tells of the trial and crucifixion of Jesus Christ. After He was scourged, He was taken to Calvary where He was nailed to a cross and hung between two thieves. The differing responses of the thieves to the Lord is the basis of today’s thoughts.

 The Bible tells us in Matthew 27 that both of these criminals mocked Him as they endured their execution. However, there came a point where one of them came to his senses and ultimately received Christ as Savior. This points out to us the two different ways that the world views Jesus Christ even today. At some point all men reject him. The Bible tells us that all are sinners and that there is none that seeketh after God (Rom. 3). Yet some men do eventually come to believe on the Lord, but it happens when that person sees himself and Jesus in a different light. In verse 39 of this chapter the first thief continues to call upon Christ to save him, but not spiritually. His concern is only with the present: he doesn’t want to die. He has no concern about his eternal destiny, and apparently does not seem to be bothered at all by his actions that placed him on that cross in the first place. All he wants is physical relief, and when Jesus does not grant him that he scorns the Son of God. How similar this is to the lost people of today. They want God to do things for them, such as provide wealth, healing and happiness. Yet they do not see themselves as sinful and lost, and they do not see Jesus as the One Who came to provide the sacrifice for their sins. Thus, when things do not go the way they want, and when they determine that God has not done for them what they asked, they curse and revile Him.

 Contrast this with the second thief. He, too, had been only thinking of his flesh, but as he watched the Lord he came to the realization that Jesus was more than just an ordinary man, and that he (the thief) was a sinful man and deserved the penalty that he was receiving. Look at the statements that he makes in verses 40-41. He opens by stating that the first thief does not fear God. This is certainly true of the ungodly. They are more concerned about their own flesh and what others may think about them than they are about what the holy God of Heaven thinks. He then reminds the first malefactor that he will soon be standing before the very God that he is mocking and rejecting. He understood the fact that would later be spelled out in the book of Hebrews:

“It is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment.”
Next he admits to his own sinfulness. He states that “we indeed justly”, which means that he understood that he deserved to die for his transgressions. Here we see the principle of Romans 6:23:
“For the wages of sin is death.”
He knew that he had done wrong, and that there was a penalty for these deeds. Not only was that price going to include his life on earth, but his eternal life as well.

 The second thief not only sees his own condition, but he also sees the reality of Who Jesus is. In verse 41 he acknowledges that Jesus had done nothing to deserve his execution. In verse 40 he speaks of fearing God when he rebukes the first criminal for mocking Christ. When he calls upon Christ he states that Jesus will be entering into His own kingdom. Thus, I think it is clear that this man saw the Lord as the sinless Son of God and the Messiah. Until Jesus is viewed this way, salvation can never be received. Having seen the Savior and having seen himself the man comes to the point of belief, and asks the Lord to “remember me”. He is calling upon Jesus to save him. Note that he is not doing anything, but believing. He never gets baptized, and he never takes communion. He never does any good works. All he does is believe and call, and the Lord promises him salvation that very day.

 The world is divided into two groups: those who reject the Lord and those who receive Him. In which group are you?

Pastor Mark J Montgomery

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