DEVOTIONAL – JULY 26
“…Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit…”
Leslie M. John
“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” (Luke 23:46)
The seventh saying of Jesus on the cross was “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit” and then He gave up His Spirit in the Father’s hands on His volition. Centurion gave testimony of Jesus. No one in the world, whether he be considered as god or human, gave up his life by his own volition, except committing suicide.
“Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man” (Luke 23:47)
People who saw Jesus die on the cross smote their breasts and returned. Those who were acquainted with Him and the woman, who followed Him from Galilee, stood far off looking at these things (cf. Luke 23:44-49)
There was never such a humiliating death one was subjected to, such as Jesus was subjected to, during the Roman Government period or under any Government. He did nothing that deserved death penalty, yet He was condemned to death by crucifixion.
The usual custom during those days was that the person on the cross will be left alone until he loses his life; but when Jesus and two other thieves were crucified on the cross, one on His right and the other on His left, giving an impression that Jesus was equal with those two thieves, it was Passover day and the next day was Sabbath day”.
According to Mosaic Law the dead body should not remain on the cross on the Sabbath day (cf. Deut. 21: 22-23; John 19:31). Therefore, soldiers came and broke the legs of the two thieves but when they came to Jesus, they found Him dead already, and therefore, they did not break His legs, thus fulfilling the prophecy.
For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (John 19:36)
“He keepeth all his bones: not one of them is broken” (Psalms 34:20)
The curtain in the temple was torn into two from top to bottom, revealing that Jews and Gentiles are one and everyone has access to the Holy One through Jesus Christ the mediator (cf. Exodus 26:31; Leviticus 16:2; 21:23; 2Chronicles 3:14; Matt. 27:51; Hebrews 10:20)
Jesus was the winner at the cross and His cry on the cross showed us His intimacy with the Father, who sent Him into this world with a mission; and Jesus fulfilled the mission. It was a cry of the winner, who relinquished His glory with the Father and came down in the form of a servant and in the likeness of man to die on behalf of us and rise from the dead, in order that we may, by accepting Him, as the Lord and by believing in heart that God raised Him from the dead on the third day, might become righteous. Our righteousness was like filthy rags before God and although our sins were like scarlet they were made as white as wool.
“We have all become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous deeds are like a polluted garment. We all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away” (Isaiah 64:6 ESV)
“Come now, let us reason together, says the LORD: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool. (Isaiah 1:18 ESV)
Who can by his/her efforts can become righteous before God? The word of God says we have all come short of the glory and our righteousness is like filthy rags before God. We cannot save ourselves at any cost, by any means, because man is imperfect and never can he become perfect. Self-humiliation or walking several steps up the stairs made of stone, and reaching after a great struggle the top of a hill, where a deity sat in idol form cannot save us from destruction (cf. Isaiah 44:9) It is by grace through faith in Lord Jesus Christ only that we can be saved from destruction.
Jesus, who was the express image of the Father, and creator of this universe, purged our sins and sat down at the right hand of the Majesty. His body did not see corruption when He was in the grave, and He rose from the dead on the third day; and after forty days He ascended into Heaven. He appeared before many people during the forty days after His resurrection.
Speaking of Jesus, Apostle Paul wrote we have redemption through His blood, even the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of invisible God, the first born of every creature. By Him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers.
“In whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. For by him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him. And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together. And he is the head of the body, the church. He is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in everything he might be preeminent. For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross. And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, he has now reconciled in his body of flesh by his death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before him” (Colossians 1:14-22 ESV)
By His resurrection and in His glorified body, Jesus has shown us that by believing in Him as our savior, we will rise from the dead in glorified body, and will be conformed to His image (cf. Romans 8:29) and then we will say “O death where is thy sting, O grave, where is thy victory”
“So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” (1 Corinthians 15:54-55)
This is the great hope of Christian life. We will live eternally with immortal bodies sans misery, weeping or death any more (Rev 22:1-5), while those who do not believe in Him as savior and depend on their righteousness will end up in “lake of fire”, of which the Bible speaks in Revelation 19:20; 20:10; 20:14; 20:15