SON SURRENDERS SPIRIT
INTO HIS FATHER’S HANDS
Luke 23:44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour.
Susie: Since Passover falls in the middle of a month, this could not have been a solar eclipse. It was a supernatural occurrence in which God shielded or “turned off” the sun for three hours between noon and 3:00 PM.
Mark 15:33 And when the sixth hour was come, there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.
MacArthur Study Bible
Mark 15:33 darkness. A mark of divine judgment (cf. Is. 5:30; 13:10, 11; Joel 2:1, 2; Amos 5:20; Zeph. 1:14, 15; Matt. 8:12; 22:13; 25:30). The geographical extent of the darkness is not known, although the writings of the church fathers hint that it extended beyond Palestine.
Susan: Perhaps there was an hour of sorrow for each member of the Trinity.
Susie: This phenomenon of unexplained darkness in the middle of a day would certainly capture the attention and remain in the memories of the people witnessing the execution of Jesus. Since the Jewish people there would associate darkness with God’s judgment, it may have struck fear in the hearts of some.
Luke 23:45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst.
Susan: Susie and I studied the tearing of the veil for a devotional post. We are going to interject that post here rather than “reinventing the wheel.”
Matthew 27:50-51a Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
Susan and Susie: At the very moment Jesus breathed His last on the cross, a miracle occurred. The veil that separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the Temple in Jerusalem was torn from top to bottom. This was nothing a person could accomplish. This veil was thick enough that it was completely opaque (no one was allowed into or could even look into this holy place except the high priest once a year on the Day of Atonement). It was as much as sixty feet tall. Therefore, scaffolding would have to be built to start tearing it from top to bottom! This is an impressive miracle, but it was merely a symbol of the greater miracle Jesus accomplished by His death on the cross and resurrection from the grave on the third day. The way to the Holy of Holies in the Temple was physically exposed by the tearing of the veil, but access to the true Holiest place where God is seated upon His throne was opened to us by the tearing of Jesus’s flesh when He was scourged and then nailed to the cross.
Hebrews 10:19-20 Having therefore, brethren, boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, By a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh.
Luke 23:46 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.
Susie: John’s gospel reports that before Jesus put His spirit into the Father’s hands, He declared that the purpose for which He had come to earth as a man was complete:
John 19:28-30 After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar: and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
Susan: At least one commentary conjectured that Jesus had declared His thirst and had His mouth wet with vinegar in order to have the strength needed to make the proclamation, “It is finished!” Jesus had fully accomplished the plan His Father had set forth and now the Son proclaims, “All done!”
Susie: Since the salvation of all who would believe was now secured, there was nothing left but to, as the King James Version puts it, “Give up the ghost.” I have stood at the bedside of three loved ones at the very moment of death. Even though the person may have been laboring to breath for a long time, there comes an instant when it is obvious they have left their body; and only the shell they once lived in remains. This was that moment for the God-Man, Jesus.
Luke 23:47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
Susan: Mark records a slightly different version of what the centurion said, perhaps a more specific quote. We must remember that the Gospel writers were inspired by the Holy Spirit but each wrote from their own unique perspective. Perhaps the Roman soldier said both things, and the Holy Spirit had Luke emphasize one and Mark the other.
Mark 15:39 And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
Susie: The centurion would have been the officer in charge of the crucifixion crew and responsible to verify the deaths of the prisoners. Therefore, he stood near the crosses observing. He had been in a position to see how Jesus faced this ordeal all day long, had witnessed His graciousness, the miraculous darkness, His confidence in commending His Spirit to God. Because of this, He exclaimed that Jesus was the righteous One.
Luke 23:48 And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.
Susie: Beating one’s breast was a sign of sorrow, mourning, or repentance.
Luke 18:13 And the publican, standing afar off, would not lift up so much as his eyes unto heaven, but smote upon his breast, saying, God be merciful to me a sinner.
Susan: If I were a Jewish person witnessing the darkness and the death of Jesus, I may have gone home truly repentant. I may have even come to the belief that Jesus truly was the Son of God and begged the Lord to forgive me. Of course, this is easy to say since I am looking back with the full knowledge of the New Testament. They were blinded by the teachings of the religious leaders and were, also, fearful of suffering the same persecution and death that Jesus endured.
Ponder this and Apply it: Because of the blood of the Prince of Peace, we have peace with God. Because of the sacrifice of the Lamb of God, we become the sheep of the Great Shepherd. Because God gave His Son to die in our place, we can become children of the Heavenly Father. Because the veil, Jesus’s body, was torn we can be raised from the walking death of our sin to a new, eternal, joyous life in which we can boldly approach the Holy, All-Powerful God through prayer.