7743 - His Death

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We have now come to study about the death of Jesus on the cross.

Listen to Luke 23:44-49:

It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, "Surely this was a righteous man."

When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away.

But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

According to Mark’s gospel (Mk. 15:25), Jesus was placed on the cross about 9:00 a.m.

For three hours many taunted Jesus and belittled him, until about twelve noon. At that time the elements of creation gave their witness to what was taking place for an additional three-hour period. The sun stopped shining and darkness enveloped the earth. Matthew tells us there was a heavy earthquake in which rocks were broken apart.

The darkness was not only physical but also spiritual — warfare between evil and good was raging. This was the time when darkness reigned (22:53).

During this period of time the curtain of the temple, which separated holy God from sinful mankind, was torn in two, from the top to the bottom. No longer would mankind be separated from God. There was a way of reconciliation. The penalty for sin was being paid. Jesus gave his blood in payment.

For the only time in eternity holy God had to turn away from his Son. With broken heart Jesus asked God why he had forsaken him (Mt. 27:46). Of course Jesus knew the reason for the separation. Sin separates and he was bearing all the collective sin of mankind. You see, the reason the Son of God appeared on earth in flesh was to destroy the devil’s work (1 Jn. 3:8). Now the prince of this world stands condemned.

At the end Jesus called in a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” then breathed his last breath.

Most of the crowd left the scene with heavy hearts. These happenings had struck terror in their deepest beings. They really did not know what had taken place. Surely this was not the death of just an ordinary man.

Some who knew Jesus, such as the women who had served him during his ministry, stood and watched with heavy hearts.

The omission of any reference to the apostles speaks loudly of their confusion about all these proceedings. They thought Jesus was going to restore the kingdom to Israel (Acts 1:6). They learned differently at Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came to indwell them.

One leader of men, a Roman centurion who had seen all these unfolding events, had insight and wisdom. His deliberation brought praise to holy God. He believed that surely this was a righteous man. Perhaps others were likewise impressed.

This event is a great cleavage in history. Before it happened sinful people were separated from holy God. We are told that before the cross the law was meant to bring people to the promised Christ, the Messiah, the redeemer, so that they might be justified by faith (Gal. 3:24). This was true in the lives of many, such as Abraham, David and countless others. They looked forward to the promised one who would pay for sin.

After the cross, the veil is torn apart. Through faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, men and women, boys and girls, may have a living, personal relationship with holy God. Trinity God actually comes into our life to guide, empower, teach and so much more. Now, in this faith relationship, we have eternal life. We live in light. We have the privilege of serving the Lord down here, and then enjoying eternity in heaven together.

What good news! And all because of the willing sacrifice of Jesus. Praise Him forever!.