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The End?

Daily Reading: Luke 23

Scripture Focus: Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. (Luke 23.46)

Devotional Thought: What if the story of Jesus ended here? Certainly none of his friends, family, or followers expected anything different. This was a day of grief, the day that Jesus – miracle-worker, teacher, healer, and friend – was finished. His life ended, his story was sure to be told for some generations, but ultimately equated with the other prophets in Jewish history. His followers, who had hoped that Jesus was the long-awaited Messiah sent to rescue Israel from political oppression, were confused, scattered, ashamed, and terrified for their own lives.

But, the story doesn’t end with Luke 23. Praise God for Luke 24! Jesus’ proclamation that it was finished had nothing to do with his own death, but rather the end of the dominion of sin and death over all of humanity! His disciples, finally discerning the meaning of Jesus’ words after his resurrection, were no longer afraid, but rejoicing!

If the story ended with Luke 23, we would be without hope. Imagine the only begotten Son of God forever defeated by human wickedness, the plans of the Creator foiled by those he created, surprised by the depth of our depravity. No, God was neither surprised nor defeated; rather he used the most wretched deed of mankind to bring about salvation.

As you anticipate Christmas, reflect on the grace and love of our Father, who sent His only Son as a helpless baby to dwell among us, ultimately becoming the sacrificial Lamb who “takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29).


Prayer: Thank you, Lord, that the story doesn't end in Luke 23. Another chapter was written - the chapter of your victory over death! And, there is yet another chapter. In this Advent season, we anticipate that final Advent when Jesus shall come to take us home. Amen!

Psalm of the Day: Psalm 145.1-9

1 I will extol you, my God and King, and bless your name forever and ever. 2 Every day I will bless you and praise your name forever and ever. 3 Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.

4 One generation shall commend your works to another, and shall declare your mighty acts. 5 On the glorious splendor of your majesty, and on your wondrous works, I will meditate. 6 They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds, and I will declare your greatness. 7 They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

8 The Lord is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. 9 The Lord is good to all, and his mercy is over all that he has made.

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