Summary: As Jesus departed this world via the cross, He did so anticipating the presence of His Father
1. Luke 23.44-49
44 It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45 while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last. 47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” 48 And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. 49 And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.
2. Biblical Hope is the anticipation of something good.
[When I was growing up Heinz had a TV commercial with the Carly Simon song, “Anticipation.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uoLoyg3JKRQ
a. Jesus was compelled by his HOPE – anticipation of Good – Hebrews 12.1-2
b. We have HOPE – 1 Corinthians 13.1-3
3. Rabbis say that when we are born into the world we clutch and grasp, trying to hold onto whatever we can (as Jacob grabbed Esau’s heel). But when we leave this world we go out with open hands
4. See this event from the perspectives of:
I. The Christ
A. A Picture of the Godhead (Son (Word); Father; Spirit)
1. Jesus, the Word of God, Speaks the Word – Psalm 31.5 5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God. (adds Father)
• The crowds were killing the Word of God by their actions
• How do we behave toward the words of God? – Violate? Ignore? Follow?
2. Cries with a loud voice to the Father
3. Speaks of His Spirit
B. A Picture of the Presence of God – Hands
Hebrews 13.5 – 5 Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”
a. [Bonhoeffer and God with Us:
Dietrich Bonhoeffer left his pastorate in London in 1935 to return to Germany as the head of the Confessing Church Seminary. When the Nazis rose to power, he returned to the United States in 1939, but the move was short-lived. He called it a "mistake.”
Bonhoeffer returned to Germany once again and was soon imprisoned under the Nazi regime. Conditions in prison were horrible and the inmates were not allowed to speak. However, their code signifying "God With Us" was three taps on the wall.
On April 9, 1945, Dietrich was escorted to the gallows for hanging. As he was, the entire prison body responded with a thunderous "three taps" in rapid succession. God is with us.
b. A Matter of Trust
Psalm 139:10 even there your hand shall lead me, and your right hand shall hold me.
c. Seems like defeat but is victory – Psalm 31.8, 15
8 and you have not delivered me into the hand of the enemy;
you have set my feet in a broad place.
15 My times are in your hand;
rescue me from the hand of my enemies and from my persecutors!
C. A Picture of the Anticipation of Jesus – Commit Spirit
1. No regrets, only Hope
2. Voluntary gift of himself – John 10.17
For this reason the Father loves me, because I lay down my life that I may take it up again.
3. Confidence in the Father – Hebrews 12.1-2
4. To what are we committing our lives? What will we place in the hands of God with trust?
II. The Centurion – Luke 23.47
47 Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!”
A. An Outsider Who Observed the People of God
1. Israel was intended to be a light to the nations
2. What he saw exalted Jesus
3. How are we impacting?
a. At the cross the people of God were turning on one another
b. Do we?
B. Some of the things He Observed – Matthew 27.51-54
51 And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split. 52 The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised, 53 and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many. 54 When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”
• Curtain in the temple