Luke 23 is one of those often-read chapters in the Bible, especially around Easter. The author, Luke, is in good company giving the chronology of Jesus’ crucifixion. Matthew, Mark and John also share the details of the Lord’s last moments on earth.
Today I read looking for other characters present in this earth-stopping event. I find:
The entire council
Pilate, the Roman governor
The leading priests, teachers and religious leaders
Simon from Cyrene, the cross-carrier
Grief-stricken women (Daughters of Jerusalem)
Two criminals hanging on crosses
From one: “If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!”
From the other: “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
Overseeing Roman officer: “Surely, this man was innocent.”
Jesus’ friends, including women
Joseph from Arimathea who cared for Jesus’ body
Women from Galilee who prepared ointment for Jesus’ body
This chapter has so many worthy questions to pause and consider.
Who would you have been in the story?
Why was Simon, the cross-carrier, named but not the two men who also hung on crosses?
Why was Joseph, who bravely asked for Jesus’ body, named but not the women who prepared ointment for His burial?
Why was Barabbas, who was set free, named but not Jesus’ friends who watched the horror of that day?
Surely, no one woke that day anticipating being characters in the most memorable moment in history.
You and I also woke today unaware of the significance of our day. But we do know this… none of us are nameless. God both sees us and knows our names.
“Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have called you by name, you are mine.”
“To him the gatekeeper opens.
The sheep hear his voice,
and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.”
“Before I was born the Lord called me;
from my birth He has made mention of my name.”
Whatever happens in your life today – historically significant or not – God knows your name. I find both confidence and comfort in that truth. How about you?
Pull up a chair and sit still
God knows your name. In what way might that truth add significance to your otherwise mundane day?Does He also know your fears and dreams, your boredom and pressures, your frustrations and delights?
In your moments of stillness, and busyness, today, imagine the Lord calling to you by name.