Summary: On the cross Jesus said "Father , into your hands I commit my spirit." Why did Jesus have to say this and what do thee words teach us.
1. One of hardest things for us to do is to let go or give up that which means the most to us.
2. As parents we find it so hard to let go or give up our children when they leave home or get married. As a husband or wife we struggle with giving up our spouse when we see them lying on their death bed. We want to hold on to them and not to let them go.
3. And although we have not had that experience for ourselves, we would think that one of hardest things to do is face our own death - the giving up of our own life.
4. As we continue to listen to the last words that X spoke on the cross, we hear the deep struggle that He had and how He dealt with that struggle. As we hear how we dealt with it, He sets before us the way to be able to give up not only our own lives but all that is dear to us.
5. Today we hear what may well be the last words Jesus spoke before His death.
6. As we hear them, we must not just hear them as words from the Son of God but as a human being just like you and me - for Jesus was a man and He had the same struggles that we have. Put yourself in His place, feel His struggle and cry out with Him as we must to face our own mortality and pain. READ vs. 46
7. Jesus was committing His very being into the hands of His Father.
8. Before we consider what this really means, we consider what happened just before this.
1. Two events took place just before X spoke these words. These two things tell us why Christ had to give up His own live, His own spirit.
2. We read in vs 40 that darkness came over the whole land from the 6th to 9th hour - from noon to 3:00 o’clock. The sun stopped shining, perhaps an eclipse but an eclipse was impossible at the time of Passover when there was a full moon and an eclipse would not have lasted three hours.
a. God in a supernatural way brought darkness on the land.
b. Intense - it did not just come over the land but it enveloped it.
c. It symbolized the judgement of God. (Rev 6:12)
d. God was making His judgement upon our sins - and that judgement was being put upon Christ on the cross at that moment.
e. The suffering, the weight of sin was so great that is was overwhelming - but it was necessary.
3. The curtain of the temple was torn into two. Matthew says that this occurred "at the moment" Jesus gave up His spirit.
a. The curtain was placed in the temple between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place- the holy of holes.
b. The holy of holes was specially associated with the presence of Yahweh. (Heb 9:7-8)
c. Curtain shows how because of our sin we cannot stand before God and live, but Christ thru His death changed that and so we can come before God. (Heb 10:19-20).
4. Jesus had to die to face God’s judgement for us so we can now approach God.
5. The words Christ spoke show us how He faced His death.
6. Just like last week (Father, forgive them), He has His eyes focused on His Father.
7. Some people die fighting the death that looms so near and others die peacefully. In the midst of all going on around Him, Jesus calmly breathed His last. He could do this because He committed His spirit to His father.
8. He had confidence in His Father and could give His life over to Him.
a. I remember talking to someone who was dying who said his would fight to end - would not give up. I tried to suggest they not "give up" but "give over" his life to God.
b. Jesus could do this because He had confidence in His Father. Without Him He could not bear what was happening to Him.
c. Ad so He took a prayer from Pss 31 that Jewish parents prayed when they put their children to bed - "Into your hands I commit my spirit".
a. Lord, as I sleep I am not able to watch over myself so I trust you to watch over me.
9. When we die there is only one thing that continues to live - our spirit. Our bodies may fail and give out but our spirits go on. We have no control over where our spirit goes - we can only trust in God.