In Luke 23:33 there are four words that arrested my attention. “They crucified Him there”, (three words in Greek) but nonetheless four English words that contain a shocking statement. “They crucified Him there” is a package of just four words that contains a remarkable depth of meaning which it struck me, needs to be uncovered or commented on. As I looked at the elements of the text that I ought to comment on it is like the Holy Spirit focused my attention on these four words. They . . . Crucified . . . Him . . . There. Take time to think about it first. I have told you over the years with Gems it is important to focus on the key words and unpack them carefully. Well in this case these four words all require unpacking. Hence I am going to pass these four words on to you to ponder until I can get to explain the thoughts that struck me on this.
Who constitutes the “they”? Well the surface meaning is likely the Roman soldiers who were given the task of actually nailing Jesus to the cross. But it struck me that there is more to it than this. In my mind I saw the meaning of this simple word rippling out in ever increasing circles. Yes, the soldiers were given the task but who gave them the task and who do they represent. Take time to think about it first and I will add my perspective next Gem.
What a shocking word! This is the most horrific form of death that I think any human could conceive of. The Persians thought up the idea in 90 BC but then the Romans perfected into the severest death sentence one could imagine. We take this word glibly I think. It has become a biblical term that we could gloss over. Take the time to take in the horror of what is wrapped up in that word.
Who was this sentence applied to? In this case, three people: Jesus and two criminals – thieves or insurrectionists. But the One in focus here is Jesus himself. Him – who does this pronoun represent? You think about it.
What does this locational word refer to? There where? What is being referred to by this locative word? Clearly Luke is using it to mean the Place of the Skull. He uses a unique word to tell us that [Kranion – Greek] rather than [Golgotha] which the other three Gospel writers use. What is the difference? Like the ripple effect which can be applied to “They”, so too with “there”. Think about it.
That’s all for today. Just four words to think about – They crucified Him there.
As I keep telling Deeper Bible students – there is always more. In this case there is lots more. Let the Holy Spirit take your thoughts and expand them.
Life is like an onion; you peel off one layer at a time and sometimes you weep.Anon
A life making mistakes is not only honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.George Bernard Shaw
Find a tiny stream in which your strengths can flow, and carve it into the Mississippi.Marcus Buckingham
The strength of a man consists in finding out the way in which God is going, and going in that way too.H W Beecher