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Wash Journal   Fairfield Ledger
Neighbors Growing Together | Nov 21, 2017

Titles of Jesus at the cross

By Steve Litchfield, Iowa Wesleyan Extension Teacher | Sep 08, 2017

…the rulers even sneered at him. They said, “He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Christ of God, the Chosen One.” Luke 23:35

Three times in Luke’s account of the crucifixion, Jesus is mocked and tempted to come down from the cross. First, by the religious rulers, second, by the Roman soldiers and third, by the unrepentant criminal on the cross beside him (Luke 23:35-39).

Satan is behind the scenes tempting Jesus as he did in Luke 4:1-11.

In each instance at the cross, those scorning Jesus use wonderful titles of him: Christ of God (or God’s Messiah), the Chosen One, king of the Jews and the Christ.

The plaque above Jesus makes plain his crime, “This is the King of the Jews” (Luke 23:38).

One criminal repents and emphasizes Jesus divinity, that Jesus is God and that Jesus is innocent, “We are punished justly, for we are getting what our deeds deserve. But this man has done nothing wrong” (Luke 23:40-41).

The repentant criminal recognizes Jesus is the true King and requests to be present in Jesus’ coming kingdom (Luke 23:42). He calls on Jesus using his personal name “Jesus” which means “God saves” or “Yahweh saves.”

Earlier in the crucifixion account, Luke 23:3-4, 13-15, Pontius Pilate and Herod Antipas also recognize Jesus as a king and that he is innocent.

At Jesus’ death, the Roman Centurion overseeing the crucifixion recognizes Jesus’ innocence and divinity and praises God (Luke 23:47).

Some of those at the cross scorn Jesus. Some accept him for who he is and what he has come to do. Jesus is God incarnate, who saves any and all who will turn to him.

No one can mistake who Jesus is.

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