On Palm Sunday every year we have the full Gospel story of the last two days of Our Lord's life. Last year we had St. Mark's account of the Last Supper and the Crucifixion. Next year we will have Matthew's. This year it is Luke's, and we must look to what is special to Luke in the story of Our Lord's death.
Luke, we know, was a convert of St. Paul. We know that Luke accompanied Paul on his missionary journeys. We know that Luke stayed with Paul until Paul was put to death in Rome. Luke shared Paul's views on how Jesus saved us. His Gospel particularly demonstrated Paul's saying that the death of Jesus "was a death to sin."
Luke made much of Our Lord's struggle against self-love in the Garden of Olives. "He prayed, saying, 'Father, if you are willing, take this cup me, still, not my will but yours be done.' He was in such agony, and he prayed so fervently that is sweat became like drops of blood falling to the ground."
In his account of the next day Luke gave us two incidents that demonstrated the degree to which Jesus had overcome the natural urge to be self-centered. One incident was his meeting with the women of Jerusalem when, disregarding his pain and shame, he expressed concern for the fate of the women and their children.
The second incident Luke gave us to show how Jesus had overcome self-concern was that in which he gladdened the final hour of a man being crucified with him.