Reading: Luke 23:44-49
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. Now when the centurion saw what had happened, he began praising God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent.” And all the crowds who came together for this spectacle, when they observed what had happened, began to return, beating their breasts. And all His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance, seeing these things. [NASB1995®]
Jesus dies. And Luke shows us a dramatic, tense scene. The significance and greatness of this moment cannot be described with human words. The cross is God Himself giving His Son as a sacrifice for us. Meditate on this. It’s amazing! We are speechless before such love, before such greatness!
A supernatural scene: The earth, the whole earth, is in darkness when Jesus gives up his life. It is not a natural eclipse, as the Passover is celebrated on a phase of the moon where eclipses do not take place. It is a phenomenon that amazes and surprises and generates fear. Not only that, the veil of the temple tears. The events accompanying this moment highlight it as a unique event, and this is evident to all who are there.
This is the most amazing moment in human history. Jesus gives His life on the cross. The fate of mankind is defined by that cross.
Some Final Words: Jesus quotes Psalm 31 in these words. “Father, in your hands I entrust my spirit.” William Barclay said that this expression was part of the usual prayer of Jewish children at the end of the day. It is an expression of absolute confidence: confidence of having fully fulfilled the will of the Father; confidence of having completed the mission.
A Profound Impact: It becomes evident to those who are there that Jesus does not experience, in his suffering, defeat. They are not taking His life. They are not conquering Him. He is giving up his life. He is sacrificing himself. That last sigh, trusting in the Father, causes the centurion to recognize that Jesus is really righteous. Other witnesses beat their chest in lament. What has just happened impacts everyone deeply, not only those who are there, but also everyone who will view the scene in the future.
Once more, no one can be indifferent before the cross.
MEDITATE: How do we respond in front of the cross? Let us always remember what happened there! May we be amazed by the Gospel each day!
Scripture quotation taken from the (NASB®) New American Standard Bible®, Copyright © 1960, 1971, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
Translation By: Emily Stader