Often, God works through unlikely people, like this lift truck driver, who made fun of Christians. Through personal witness of fellow employees, this individual became an enthusiastic disciple of Christ. God loves to surprise us by working through unlikely people as you will see in Luke 23.
1. Believe in Christ’s Lordship
Bringing Jesus before Pilate, a high Roman official, the religious leaders accused Christ of misleading Israel by forbidding them to pay taxes to Caesar and claiming to be Messiah, a King. Pilate asked Him if He was “King of the Jews.” Herod hoped for a sign to be performed by Him. When Jesus was silent during questioning, Herod and his soldiers treated Him with contempt, dressed Him in a gorgeous robe, and sent Jesus back to Pilate (Luke 23:1–12). Believe in Christ’s lordship rather than seeking for signs.
2. Avoid status quo
Pilate told the religious leaders that he found Christ not guilty of anything deserving of death. Nevertheless, they cried out for Pilate to crucify Him and release the terrorist and murderer, Barabbas, even though Pilate said three times he wanted to release Jesus. He delivered Jesus to them because of their insistence (Luke 23:13–25). Avoid status quo and political expediency.
3. Repent of known sin
A man named Simon bore Jesus’ cross with a great multitude following Him with women mourning and lamenting Him. Jesus told them to stop weeping for Him, but weep for themselves and their children. In the future, the barren would ask mountains to fall on them (Luke 23:26–31). Repent of known sin instead of seeking experiences.
4. Rely on Christ’s death
Religious leaders crucified Jesus and two criminals, one on each side of Him. Despite the cruelty, Jesus told His Father to forgive them since they didn’t know what they were doing. He loved even the soldiers who cast lots and divided His garments among themselves and those who mocked Him, saying “save yourself” (Luke 23:32–38). Rely on Christ’s death instead of seeking financial gain or seeking to save yourself.
5. Openly express your faith
One criminal mocked Jesus and the other feared Him, saying Jesus hadn’t done anything wrong. “Jesus, remember me when You come in Your kingdom.” Jesus said that he would be with Him in paradise. After the veil of the temple was torn in two, Jesus cried out, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Even the centurion praised God and said Jesus was innocent, and the multitudes beat their breasts. His acquaintances and women accompanying Him stood at a distance (Luke 23:39–49). Openly express your faith like outsiders (the criminal and the centurion).
6. Identify openly with Christ
Joseph, a member of the Jewish Council, who was waiting for the kingdom of God, went to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Joseph wrapped Christ’s body in a linen cloth and laid Him in a tomb. The women followed, but then returned and prepared spices and perfumes (Luke 23:50–56). Identify openly with Christ like insiders (Joseph).
Action Step: God works through unlikely people who repent of their sin and believe in Christ’s death. In your sphere of influence, who is God working in?