Christ the King 24.11.13 Luke 23.33-43

19 11 2013

At the Place Called the Skull

We conclude the Christian year by remembering that Christ is King  – but what sort of king is this?

Luke 23.33-43

When they came to the place that is called The Skull, they crucified Jesus there with the criminals, one on his right and one on his left. [[ 34Then Jesus said, ‘Father, forgive them; for they do not know what they are doing.’]] And they cast lots to divide his clothing. 35And the people stood by, watching; but the leaders scoffed at him, saying, ‘He saved others; let him save himself if he is the Messiah of God, his chosen one!’ 36The soldiers also mocked him, coming up and offering him sour wine, 37and saying, ‘If you are the King of the Jews, save yourself!’ 38There was also an inscription over him, ‘This is the King of the Jews.’

39 One of the criminals who were hanged there kept deriding him and saying, ‘Are you not the Messiah? Save yourself and us!’ 40But the other rebuked him, saying, ‘Do you not fear God, since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? 41And we indeed have been condemned justly, for we are getting what we deserve for our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.’ 42Then he said, ‘Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.’ 43He replied, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in Paradise.’


To help give shape to the reflection here are three types of question: head questions, heart questions and hand questions. They are about our intellectual response, our emotional response and our practical or behavioural response. I hope that you will want to work at all three levels.

Head Questions

  1. What does this passage say about the kingship of Christ?
  2. Why does Luke tell us this is the place of the skull – ‘kranion’?  Something to do with ‘headship’?
  3. Do kings forgive?

Heart Questions

  1. There is a lot of ridiculing and mocking here.  What do you feel about it?
  2. How do you feel about the speech from the repentant criminal?
  3. ‘Today you will be with me in paradise’ : what’s your emotional response to that?

Hand Questions

  1. How can you exercise authority in a Christ-like way?
  2. How can you witness to the kingship of Christ in your life?
  3. Who do you need to forgive?


These questions are intended to challenge you to engage more closely with the passage and to hear and feel what it has to say to you. That’s more than a five-minute task. And so is the follow-up, working out what you might want to say to others as a result of engaging with the passage with head, heart and hands. Take your time.




One response

24 11 2013
Christ the King | Deep in the well

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