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Passion – Holy Week

Exploring the text

In the previous chapter we noted the way in which the theme of temptation weaves its way through the whole of the Gospel of Luke, reaching its climax at Jesus’ crucifixion where he is tempted three times – first by the leaders, then by the soldiers and finally by one of the criminals hanging next to him – to demonstrate that he is able to save people by saving himself. This brings to the fore one of Luke’s storytelling techniques that we have not yet explored: irony. The irony of the exchanges at the crucifixion – which is made even stronger by the fact that they come three times – is that Jesus knows, Luke knows and we also know that it is precisely Jesus’ refusal to save himself that is bringing salvation to the world. By painting the picture as he does here Luke is highlighting the salvific nature of Jesus’ death on the cross and reminding, us, his readers, of why it was so important that Jesus did not give in to the temptations that had beset him throughout his life and ministry...

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