Summary: This message deals with the Seventh and Final Saying of the Savior from the Cross of Calvary. Preached during City-Wide Celebration of Passion Week in Lubbock, Texas.
Gracious God our Father: I ask in Jesus’ Name that You order my steps in Your Word; that You temper my temperament as I teach the Text; and that You pace my passion as I pull and project powerful principles from the Preaching Passage. So let it be done. So let it be done.
I do recognize these distinguished Pulpitarians, who are by calling ‘Paramedics of the Paranormal.’ I certainly acknowledge the presence and presentations of this ‘Holy Host of Heaven,’ whom I trust are cognizant of the premise that You are to be “A Principled People Powered By Purpose.” And lastly, I want to verbalize my gratitude to President Smith who with love Supplicated, Screened and Submitted my name to address this body.
We have converged on this corner to celebrate with admiration, awe and allelujahs the finished work of Christ our Lord on the Cross of Calvary. So, WE NEED TO TALK!
My assigned task is to treat with exegetical integrity and hermeneutical honesty the Seventh and Final Saying of the Savior from the Cross. That Word is penned by Luke in the Twenty-Third Chapter of His Gospel Narrative: Luke 23:46. In the KJV it reads:
"And when Jesus had cried with a Loud voice, He said, Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost.”
Permit me to juxtapose my translation of the Greek Text along side the KJV:
“And after Jesus had cried out with a loud articulate voice, He said, Father, I Myself am committing My breath to the care of Your Keeping Hands. And having said this, He breathed out His breath.”
I want to use this ‘Preaching Moment to highlite this headline:
“WAITING TO EXHALE”
Perhaps no other subject fascinates us more than Death. The reason being, we have yet to die. Intuitively we know that death is an inevitable experience for all of us. And that fact is only altered by the condition of the Eschatological Return of Christ in mid-air to take His Church out before we die.
For various reasons the words of a dying man are always sacred. The Last Words of those whom we love seem to linger in our minds with infinite tenderness. We cherish their memory and treasure their influence, because they help to recall the face and form of the one who has gone.
No doubt, a few of us have had the life-changing experience of being at the bedside of a loved one or friend as he/she breathed out his/her last breath. And I’m persuaded that, if not consciously then subconsciously, we have pondered ‘What was really Going On Mentally, Emotionally, Physically and Spiritually Underneath The Skin of the Dying One? Their Last Words provoked us to think about such issues as:
What did they feel before death?
What thoughts did they think?
How severe was the pain, or if they were in any pain?
Were evil spirits active taunting, teasing or tempting them before death?
What did they see before their eyes were closed to this world?
Did their life really flash before their eyes?
What did they hear?
Now I don’t want to mislead you into thinking this message shall answer any of those questions. Because factually I don’t know and you don’t actually know what went on underneath their skin in those final moments before they died. But, on the other hand, there is some insight, some enlightenment into the veil of secrecy that drapes over the death-experience. Because right here in our Text is revealed in a measure What Went On Underneath The Skin of the Representative of Mankind in the Person of the Suffering Savior Before He Breathed Out His Last Breath. And if we would hush our hearts and still our suspicions for a few minutes, perhaps the Holy Spirit just might answer some of our questions.
For we do know that Before Jesus Voiced-Out His Last Saying and Breathed-Out His Last Breath that HE EXHALED HIS LAST CRY. So then, we can safely conclude that Before the Savior SPOKE OUT and BREATHED OUT, HE CRIED OUT! So, I submit to us that:
I. Firstly, While Waiting To Exhale, JESUS CRIED OUT!!!
Now, in and of itself, TO CRY-OUT in Death is Not Extremely Unusual. Because MANY FOLK HAVE CRIED OUT IN DEATH. Millions have Cried-Out as a result of Unbearable Pain. “The Pains of Death got hold” of them as a Boa-Constrictor slowly and methodically squeezes the life out of its helpless victim. The more they struggle against its death-grip, the more intensified becomes the pressure until they Cried-Out In Pain! Countless millions have Cried-Out in Regret. Looking back retrospectively over a wasted life, they have bemoaned the unalterable fact that so many opportunities were missed for Service, Sacrifice, Success, Salvific Sharing and a Servant’s Stance. And so, They Cried-Out in Regret! And still millions more have Cried-Out in Misery for Mercy. The Misery of a Christ-less Past, a Help-less Present and a Hope-less Future provokes the Cry for Mercy in their Misery! So, in and of itself, To Cry-Out in Death is Not Extremely Unusual because Many Folk Have Cried Out in Death.