Luke 23:35–43 A King Unlike Any Other
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Theme: How could a man with no official authority, no military might, and no loyal allies possibly be a king? Yet this is what Jesus claimed to be. And for this bold statement, the religious “leaders” at that time roused the people against Jesus to the point that they called for his crucifixion. But in the unlikeliest of ways, this is how Jesus would show himself to be the king he truly is. Because in going to the cross, he would suffer the punishment for the sins of the world and win paradise in heaven for all who believe in him. For the thief on the cross and us, we see Jesus as the king who is now at God’s right hand, ruling over all things.
2 Thessalonians 1:5–10 A Day of Terror For All Those Who Troubled God’s People
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Theme: Our world is full of victims of abuse, violence, and oppression. In many cases, this evil goes unnoticed or unpunished. Injustice can drive victims in two possible directions. They can be filled with despair over the unfairness of the situation. Or they can be filled with hatred and a desire for revenge. While Christians wait for Christ’s return on the Last Day, they are by no means the only ones who suffer at the hands of others. They are, however, often included among them. Believers have always faced opposition from a world who rejects the one we believe in. When we suffer, what are our options? Do we throw up our hands in despair? Do we take matters into our own hands and seek vengeance? The certainty of that Last Day gives us a better option. We can leave justice up to the Judge. We can be confident that on the Last Day every wrong will be righted. We can look forward to the Last Day—also known as Judgment Day—because we are confident of where we stand with God through faith in Jesus Christ.