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Summary: UP FROM THE GRAVE HE AROSE (PowerPoint slides to accompany this talk are available on request - email: gcurley@gcurley.info)

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Reading: Luke chapter 23 verse 47 to chapter 24 verse 12

Ill:

• In many countries when someone important dies;

• The flags are lowered to half-mast.

Ill:

• When we remember the people who died in two world wars we observe a silence.

• A mark of respect.

We are breaking into the narrative when Jesus is suspended on the cross,

• Hanging between heaven and earth,

• And has been hanging here for the past three hours.

• When Jesus died God did something in respect of him,

• He blotted out the sunlight for three hours.

• Luke chapter 23 verse 44:

• “It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness came over the whole land until the ninth hour,”

• The sixth hour was noon, when the sun should have been at its highest,

• But instead darkness covered the entire area.

Question: What is its significance of the darkness?

Answer: The Gospel writers don’t tell us, but there are several possibilities.

• It may symbolize the reign of moral darkness.

• Darkness is a symbol in the Bible of ignorance, spiritual blindness, and evil.

• But it also may represent the Father’s anger;

• At the way his only begotten Son is being treated.

Chapter 23 verse 46:

46Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”

When he had said this, he breathed his last.

• With a deep sigh,

• And after a few final words Jesus released a final breath into the darkened sky.

• His head bowed forward. His body slumped. Jesus was dead.

• At least, that was what the people saw.

• To the enemies of Jesus’, the sight bore a measure of satisfaction;

• To His friends, the sight was one of total despair.

• Their hopes were gone, their spirits broken,

• They had nothing left.

Note: (I mentioned this morning):

• That the final words spoken by Jesus on the cross,

• Are a quote from Psalm 31 verse 5.

• These words were actually a bedtime prayer that Jewish children used.

• They show us how the Lord died:

• Confidently;

• Safe in the care of his heavenly Father.

• Willingly;

• “No-one takes my life from me…………lay it down”.

• And victoriously;

• “I commit” he was in total charge of his life and situation.

(a). Reactions to Jesus Death:

• In the final verses of chapter 23,

• Luke isolates four reactions to Jesus’ death.

(1). An experienced Soldier (verse 47):

47The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said,

“Surely this was a righteous man.”

• The person nearest to Jesus when He died,

• And the first to respond was a centurion.

• As the commander of the crucifixion detail,

• He had observed many men die on Skull Hill.

• If they ended up here, they were always the worst sort of men,

• Normally they would have been foaming and snarling with hate ill: tongue cut out.

But this man (Jesus) was different.

• Instead of curses, verse 43 tells us:

• His lips uttered an offer of forgiveness, he made a promise of paradise to a dying thief,

This tough hard experienced soldier:

• Must have thought he had seen it all as far as crucifixions are concerned;

• But he had never seen anyone die like this man!

• Watching the way Jesus died must have made the centurion wonder,


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