Suggested Date: December 14th
Micah’s prophecy gave hope to the Jewish people that God would one day send a Messiah, a ruler to free them from their enemies. When Jesus appeared speaking words with authority, healing the sick, and even raising the dead, many believed He would deliver them from their Roman oppressors and set up an earthly kingdom. Then to their shock, He was crucified.
Scripture: Luke 23:33-43
33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals—one on his right, the other on his left. 34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.
35 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.
39 One of the criminals who hung there hurled insults at him: “Aren’t you the Messiah? Save yourself and
40 But the other criminal rebuked him. “Don’t you fear God,” he said, “since you are under the same sentence? 41 We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong.”
42 Then he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”
43 Jesus answered him, “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.”
1. How did the thieves differ in their response to Jesus?
2. What does Jesus promise the repentant thief?
3. What does this reveal about what Jesus is doing and what will result from it?
Jesus’ kingdom is not of this world. Kingdoms of this world rise and fall, but His kingdom endures forever. Jesus, the Ruler “from the days of eternity,” fulfilled prophecy as He was born in Bethlehem, but that was only the beginning. He came to earth to die as the Lamb of God and take away the sin of the world. Jesus made the way for sinful people to be forgiven and to join Him in Paradise.
respond in worship
“Yea, Lord, we greet Thee, born
this happy morning;
Jesus, to Thee be all glory giv’n!
Word of the Father, now in flesh
respond in prayer
Dear God, at Christmastime it can sometimes be hard to remember that the Child born in a manger was destined to give His life for our sins 33 years later. We are so grateful for Your sacrifice for us, Jesus. Please help us to remember Your love for us and for all the world during this Advent season. Amen