Summary: “Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’ When He had said this, he breathed His last.” Jesus knew that He was born in order to die. In this quotation from Psalm 31:5, Jesus is ready to die because He is confident
Born to Die
Well, it finally hit us. I thought we could avoid it, but we got clobbered by the flu this week. Becca was the first one to fall. A couple days later Beth was wiped out, followed quickly by Lydia and Emily. I prayed that I would be spared [fold hands]. I succumbed on Wednesday and needed a lot of TLC (you know how men are when they’re sick). The only one left unscathed was our two-year-old Megan.
While I was far from death’s door, there were times I felt like I was dying (you know how men are when they’re sick). Thankfully the virus lasted only about a day, but it was a long 24 hours! I don’t know about you but I become very philosophical when I’m sick. I think about life and death, about issues that really matter.
While I was moping around the house (you know how men are when they’re sick), I heard a news story that the oldest living person died this week at the age of 115 I wonder if she had the same bug that I had? She had just made the Guinness Book of World Records before her untimely demise. According to her family, this woman’s life philosophy was, “Live and let live.” Whatever that means. Her great granddaughter, when commenting on how long she lived, simply said, “It was just her time.” That got me thinking about life itself. It doesn’t really matter how long we live if we don’t know why we’re living. And, it doesn’t matter how many records we break if we’re not sure where we’re going when we die.
As we finish our series this morning called, “The Seven Shouts From the Savior,” we’ve learned that Jesus did not die by accident but by appointment. He certainly didn’t set any longevity records when He died at the age of 33, but his death wasn’t a mistake either. It was His mission. In fact, we could say that His life philosophy was, “Live to die so that others can live.” He came to earth as a human so that He could become the final sacrifice. He was born to die.
We’ve learned that during the first three hours on the cross, Jesus suffered under the hands of men; during the final 180 minutes He suffered under the hands of God. Let’s review the 7 cross cries:
1. “Father, forgive them.” (Luke 23:34)
2. “Today you will be with me in paradise.” (Luke 23:43)
3. “Dear woman, here is your son.” (John 19:26)
4. “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” (Matthew 27:46)
5. “I am thirsty.” (John 19:28)
6. “It is finished.” (John 19:30)
7. “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46)
4 Supernatural Signs
Let’s set the context for this seventh shout by reading Luke 23:44-45: “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.”
These verses remind us that this was no ordinary death. Time was invaded by eternity as heaven touched the earth. When we include what Matthew 27:51-53 reports, we see that there were four supernatural signs surrounding the death of the Savior: “The earth shook and the rocks split. The tombs broke open and the bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs, and after Jesus’ resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many people.”
1. The sun stopped shining. We’ve already addressed this event when we focused on the fourth cry from the cross, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” Suffice it to say that the sun in the sky was snuffed out for three hours while the Son of God became our sin bearer. This first sign tells us that payment has been made.
2. The curtain of the temple was torn in two. We developed the significance of this sign in detail a year ago. If you’d like to learn more about it, I encourage you to check out another sermon called, “The Case for Christ: His Death.”
This curtain was designed to prevent access to God. Because it was torn in two, the veil of secrecy has been lifted and God’s glory is now manifested to everyone who puts faith in Jesus. The barrier has been broken and the doctrine of divine distance has been replaced by the ordinance of open access! In addition, the old order has ended. The curtain was not just opened, but ripped in two, indicating its total destruction. The Temple and the sacrificial system are no longer needed. This second sign tells us that the final sacrifice has been accepted.