The question confronting us in this hour is the question Why? Why did Jesus Christ die? Why was it necessary? Why did it have to happen? And with this question others follow. What happened in Jesus’ death? How do we understand the sufferings of Jesus? How do we understand what happened in this, the darkest hour in the history of the cosmos?
And together with them we rejoice, saying, “Death is swallowed up in victory. Death, where is your sting? Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through Jesus Christ our Lord.” Amen.
As I read this passage from Luke, I couldn’t help but think how often in recent years, driving on highways and interstates, I’ve seen here and there where a landowner has erected three crosses, in the middle of nowhere really, simply to be seen by those driving by. I suppose what made me think of it is that here in our text we’re reminded of why there are three crosses in those impromptu displays: that Jesus was crucified between two criminals.