Wednesday, April 20, 2011
The St. Luke Passion opens with the comment that "the passover must be killed," and intimates in the following verse that Jesus is himself the passover. So we have the reason the cup could not pass from him, and that he did not want his disciples to smite with the sword, and even that Peter denied him: it was because the Passover must be killed. So also, this is why Pilate could not prevail over the crowd, but was compelled to have him crucified: the Passover must be killed. And as a result, he cries out from the cross, "Father forgive them," and obtains mercy for the world by his death, even as the passover lamb's blood obtained mercy for the Israelites. And so we find two responses to this mercy, in the two thieves. The one who sees him as a king in spite of his appearance receives the promise, "Today shalt thou be with me in Paradise." The sermon.