Walking the Darkened Path (2012 Good Friday)

Title: Walking the Darkened Path
Series: Walking the Roads of Easter (Good Friday)
Scripture: Luke 23: 1-49
Theme(s): Walking the right path even in the face of adversity

Jesus walked without company
Jesus walked without blame
Jesus walked without complaint
Jesus walked without support
Jesus walked for you and me

On Good Friday, Jesus chose to walk a darkened path. He walked a path through hatred, selfishness, politics, deception, and jealousy.

• Greeted like a champion on Palm Sunday and days later ignored.
• Shunned and condemned by the religious leaders of the day, the very people who were the supposed followers of the Father.
• Betrayed by Judas, a close confidant.
• Abandoned by the disciples, His closest followers.
• Denied by Peter, one of the “inner circle”
• Passed over by the crowds when they shouted for His life in exchange for Barabbas’ pardon.

We have all known the shock of betrayal, the wounds of denial, the stigma of being shunned, the pain of abandonment, and the utter loss of being passed over for another.

Jesus walked the darkened path without company.

• Accused falsely of instructing other to not pay their taxes. The religious leaders knew that Rome did not care about their petty religious squabbles, but taxes, money, that was a different matter.
• Pilate did not find any fault with Him and passed Him on to Herod.
• Herod could not find any blame, but used Him to gain favor with Pilate (v. 12). He was used for political gain.
• He was released by Rome, but condemned by Israel
• Sold for one criminal, and hung between two others.

Jesus walked the darkened path without blame.

• He never boasted or bragged about who He was or what He had done.
• He answered the questions simply and directly, and later gave up answering at all.
• They mocked Him and mistreated Him.
• They sold Him in exchange for the life of a known terrorist and murderer (v. 18).
• He asked for their forgiveness, not their punishment (v. 34).
• They stole His possessions and gambled them away (v. 34b).
• He was insulted and ridiculed (v. 35).
• He showed compassion to others when He was receiving none Himself (v. 43).
• He was innocent and everyone from Pilate (v. 14) to the common soldier (v. 47) knew it.

Jesus walked the darkened path without complaint.

• No one defended Him, even when He defended others.
• No one supported Him, even as He lifted others up.
• No one protected Him, while He was protecting all of us.
• Pilate had a chance and gave in to social pressure (v. 22).
• Herod could have stopped it but chose the easier and more acceptable way (v. 11).
• The crowds followed after Him but did not lift a finger (v. 27). They wept for Him, but never argued for Him.

Jesus walked the darkened path without support.

He walked where we could not, would not, and did not want to go.
We stand on this side of Calvary and condemn the religious leaders for their choices and their lies, and we are not very different.
• Do we not still mock His name?
• Do we not still take Him for granted?
• Do we not still gamble our lives, His possessions, away?
• Do we not still betray Him?
• Do we not still falsely accuse Him, blame Him, lie to Him, try to deceive Him?
• Do we not still take the easier path to avoid accepting responsibility?
While we were still consumed by our sin, Jesus died for us. Despite what we’ve done, God still chooses to love us and sent His son so He could be with us. That’s what one can call incredible grace.

About Confidence in Where You Are

Matthew 3:9 NLT – Don’t just say to each other, ‘We’re safe, for we are descendants of Abraham.’ That means nothing, for I tell you, God can create children of Abraham from these very stones.

This is a great warning for the Christian church today. Christians walk around

from http://www.creationswap.com

today as if they have a “get out of jail free” card. I have lost track of how many times I have heard a Christian brother or sister (when caught in an indiscretion) state that it might have been wrong, but there were others who were far worse. I have heard it a lot, because I have said it a time or two myself.

We cannot afford to grow complacent and put our spirits and minds on automatic.

We cannot afford to grow complacent and put our spirits and minds on automatic. We must constantly “strive towards the prize” or “press on towards the mark.” It is when we get into the valley that we are most likely to be attacked by  the enemy. When we are high on the hill with vision of miles around and struggling for each and every step, we draw close to God. We are dependent on him for survival. We need His guidance and protection. It is when we are in those deep and inviting valleys, where the walking is easy, when we find out how dangerous complacency can be. We let down our guard.

Here’s to being dependent on God while struggling up a hill or down in the valley!

Soli Deo Gloria!