The Gospel of Luke | Save Yourself | Luke 23.35-38 |   

by | Feb 12, 2022

“The people stood watching, and the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” 36 The soldiers also came up and mocked him. They offered him wine vinegar 37 and said, “If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” 38 There was a written notice above him, which read: this is the king of the jews.” Luke 23.35-38

The ultimate question Jesus had to answer that day in Jerusalem was this — Was he going to save himself or save others? It’s like the imagined scenario of whether you would jump in front of a bus to save others. Would you die for your children? Would you take a bullet for your brother?

The question was a very real one and not just imagined for Jesus. He had the choice. Even the Jewish rulers in the crowd said as much, ”He saved others; let him save himself if he is God’s Messiah, the Chosen One.” It was a question Jesus was born to answer. A question he had answered in the Garden of Gethsemane the night before, ”If it is possible, take this cup from me,” Jesus said. ”But not my will but yours be done.” Jesus answered the question of whether he would save himself or save others once and for all.

And so, he was living into that commitment. It was the only way for redemption. The only way for sinners to be brought before a loving God, the only way he could fulfill the work that his Father had sent him to earth to accomplish. As much as he wanted to relinquish his role, Jesus chose not to do so.

The question was asked a second time by soldiers who mocked him, offering him wine vinegar to drink and repeating the words of the crowd, ”If you are the king of the Jews, save yourself.” Save yourself. Save….yourself Jesus. Satan would have loved that. Death would still have it’s sting, sin would still have it’s penalty if Jesus had just saved himself.

But thank goodness, he did not. He chose us over himself. God chose to save me and to give up his life. Consider that for a moment as if you’re hearing it for the first time. Jesus could have spared himself the pain, but because of his great love for you, he died upon the cross willingly. And for that, I am forever grateful.

“O Lord God, you did what no one else could do. You overcame sin and death and rescued us from the power of hell. Thank you Lord for your gift of salvation. It’s freely given but it cost you everything. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me know