Status: Spirit. A word of reunion. (Luke 23:46)

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Questions that we are dying to know the answer…

  • Who made those Easter peeps and why!??
  • Why are bunnies and eggs related to Easter?
  • How many Rocky movies will there be? (last Creed 2)
  • How many Star War movies will there be? (last – Rise Of The Skywalker)
  • Will pd ever get his pb & choc fix complete?
  • Will Democrats & Republicans ever get along?
  • Why did the Notre Dame fire start?
  • Why were 3 Black churches in LA burned by arson?
  • Why was there another attack on Christians – this time in Sri Lanka?
  • Why does a good God allow bad things in the world?
    • But we ask from perspective of the bad out there, not inside here (me).
    • Better question, “Why does a good God allow bad me?”
      • The good God allows bad to be gracious… and in His time to conquer it.

 

In today’s passage we will identify 3 truths we need to know before we die.

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EXAMINE           Luke 23:46
Status: Spirit. A word of reunion

Luke 23:44-46
44  It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour,
45  while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.
46  Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And having said this he breathed his last.

 

Jesus died knowing God is in control.

When Jesus was dying on the cross, darkness fell upon the whole land. Scientist, historians, and scholars have done tremendous amounts of research to see if there was an eclipse or dark storm clouds, or what sort of natural phenomenon appeared. Regardless of what and how it happened, one thing we know: God sent the darkness. God reigns over the sun and sky and saw fit to clothe the earth in darkness. It was as if God took off His outer garment to grieve and dropped it over the earth.

Scripture also tells us the temple curtain was torn in two (Lk 23:45; Mt 27:51; Mk 15:38; Heb 10:20). This is no ordinary event, as the temple curtain mentioned separated the Most Holy Place where God’s presence dwelled. The elaborately woven fabric was 60’ long x 30’ high x 6” thick, and took 300 priests to maneuver. Only the hand of God could have torn this fabric in rapid and remarkable fashion.

Further, Jesus is not dying by accident nor by the actions of others, but instead is willingly laying down His life (Jn 10:18; 15:13). Jesus was in control and trusted God’s plan (Acts 2:22-24; Rom 3:25-26).

One of the greatest deceptions of the devil is for you to fear death.

  • Doctors who diagnose with fancy names that you need to google.
  • Nurses who connect you to more wires than a telephone pole.
  • Your complexion creates anxiety and alarm for others.

When you fear death, it steals your joy and wreaks destruction to your faith. Instead, Jesus is showing us death is not greater than God. And it is why NT Christians sing songs about the resurrection

  • “O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your string?” (1Cor 15:55)
  • “God exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the name above all names, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of the Father.” (Php 2:9-11)
  • “Worthy are You to take the scroll and open its seals, because You were slain, and by Your blood You purchased for God those from every tribe and tongue and people and nation. You have made them into a kingdom, priests to serve our God, and they will reign upon the earth.” (Rev 5:9-10)
  • “Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and blessing… To Him who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb, be praise and honor and glory and power forever and ever! Amen” (Rev 5:12-13) 
  • Praise overcomes panic. In your anxiety and efforts to control, release it back to God by singing of His reign & control, His power, His faithfulness. Just like those who sang at the fires of Notre Dame[1], Christians must remember praise overcomes panic.
    • Create a playlist.
    • Find your go-to song.
      • Worlds Apart by Jars of Clay / Amazing Love – You Are My King
      • How Great Thou Art/Is Our God
        (Carl Boberg composed during a storm and a time of church persecution)

 

Jesus died knowing God is compassionate.

The prayer address from Jesus to God is, “Father.” This is the second address from the cross Jesus praying with this name (Lk 23:34, 48). Previously, there was an interlude of perhaps a couple hours where Jesus prayed “My God, why have you forsaken me?” It would seem the fullness of suffering for the world’s sin has been completed unto Jesus. It’s why Jesus cried out, “It is finished.” And now, a loud cry – unusual for a nearly dead man having experienced crucifixion – Jesus gives a last statement of restoration and reunion with God as His Father.

The sense of this prayer was often taught by Jewish families to their children.[2] Like a traditional, “Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray to the Lord my soul to keep, if I shall die before I wake, I pray to the Lord my soul to take.” Jesus was praying the prayer taught by His earthly father. It is also a quotation from Psalm 31:5. The entire psalm is one of lament in distress, yearning for God as refuge and rescuer.

The word “Father” in the Hebrew is “Abba,” and is a very intimate term, more like “Daddy” or “Papa.” Almost always, Jesus addressed God as His Father, and He taught His disciples to do the same (Mt 6:9). For me, “Daddy” is what my kids shout in celebration when I arrive home from work or after a long trip each day. But, my children are young. As children grow older it softens to “Dad,” and if we are blessed they continue that; but if not, children call their parents all sorts of irreverent names.

 

Jesus prays and quotes Scripture.

Jesus’s praying indicates trust in present circumstances.

  • Like Job 13:15, “Though he slay me, yet I will hope in him.”
  • Psalm 10:14 “But you, God, see the trouble of the afflicted; you consider their grief and take it in hand.”
  • Psalm 56:3 “When I am afraid, I put my trust in you.”
  • Philippians 4:11 “I have learned to be content in all my circumstances.”
  • 2 Corinthians 12:10 “For the sake of Christ, I delight in weakness, insults, hardships, persecutions, difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

Jesus’s praying indicates trust in the future.

  • John 2:19; 10:17-18; Mark 8:31; 9:31; 10:34; 14:28; John 17; 20:9

Based on Jesus’s teachings, there’s no shadow of doubt that Jesus believed He was going to resurrect.

Jesus quotes Scripture.

  • My God, why have you forsaken me?… I thirst… It is finished. (Psalm 22)
  • Into your hands I commit my spirit. (Psalm 31:5)

Jesus always trusted in the abundant goodness and steadfast love of His Father (cf. Ps 31:19, 21 “Oh, how abundant is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who take refuge in you… Blessed be the Lord for he has wondrously shown his steadfast love to me”).

The prayer life and trust Jesus had with God the Father gave Him calm in chaos. Whether it was a frenzied desert with the evil one, a ferocious storm with wind and waves, a fuming mob in the middle of the night, or the violence of the cross, Jesus had inner peace. When Jesus was pressured and pierced, He bled trust in God’s word. The dying moments of Jesus’s life are an example to us to trust God is in control. Today, the Holy Spirit seeks to do with us what God the Father did with Jesus – keep us in prayerful, dependent obedience.

Hebrews 4:16; 10:19-22 “Let us with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need…”

 

Jesus died knowing God is capable.

Jesus prayed to His Father and committed His spirit into the hands of God.

  • Παρατίθημι / Commit – entrust / to set before in a personal way
  • You don’t put valuables in a cheap place… Jesus was placing what was most valuable into the safest and worthy place – into the compassionate and capable hands of God. Not commit spirit to the cold and lifeless grave / a dark unknown… but to the compassionate and capable Father God.

How did Jesus know He could entrust His spirit into the hands of God?

*It’s like teaching your child how to ride a bike, or swim… or even me at Waterford Park and some kids needed help getting off a climbing structure – they looked me in the eye to see if they could trust me and then they jumped. Jesus jumped into His Father’s hands bc He had observed the hand of God countless times before…

  • God’s hand laid the foundation of the earth (Ps 19:1; Isa 40:12; 48:13; 66:2)
  • God’s hand created life out of nothing (Gen 1; Isa 64:8)
  • God’s hands delivered Israel out of years of slavery (Ex 3:20; 6:1; 9:1; 9:15; Deut 9:26)
  • God’s mighty hand exalts the humble (Ps 118:16; 1Peter 5:6)
  • God’s hand is upon a nation to do good (2Chr 30:12)
  • God’s hand is full of eternal pleasures (Ps 16:11)
  • God’s hand is strong (Ps 89:13)
  • God’s hand has worked marvelous miracles and salvation (Ps 98:1)
  • God’s hand guides His people (Ps 139:10)
  • God’s righteous right hand will uphold you in troubles (Isa 41:10; Ps 63:8)
  • God’s hand palm is engraved with my name (Isa 49:16)
  • God’s hand is extended open to save as many who will receive it (Isa 59:1)
  • God’s hand is upon His servants (Ez 1:3; 37:1)
  • God’s hand flashes bright rays of power (Hab 3:4)
  • God’s hand cannot be plundered (John 10:29)

 

The same hands that created the world, creates hope in you.
The same hands that protected His people, will uphold you in troubles.
The same hands that cleansed the temple, convicts you of waywardness.
The same hands that stilled the storm waves, calms your stressed-out soul.
The same hands that were opened by the nails, have opened heaven for you.
The same hands that were held to the cross, carry your burdens each day.

If we want to be blessed by the hand of God, then we must be broken by the hands of Jesus.

God’s arms are wide open, His hands extended to all who are dying apart from Him. God does not send anyone to Hell for what they do, but what they don’t do, in coming to Him by grace through faith.

  • Symbolic of commitment, write your name on a card to begin next steps with Jesus.

 

APPLY/THINK

After “Jesus breathed his last,” what happened?

Ghosting… today’s teens avoid difficult conversations (breakups, conflict, dropping a class, quitting a team, etc.) simply by not responding or showing up. They disappear and become invisible like a ghost.

Jesus doesn’t ghost us.

Luke 24:36-52
36  As they were talking about these things, Jesus himself stood among them, and said to them, “Peace to you!”
37  But they were startled and frightened and thought they saw a spirit.
38  And he said to them, “Why are you troubled, and why do doubts arise in your hearts?
39  See my hands and my feet, that it is I myself. Touch me, and see. For a spirit does not have flesh and bones as you see that I have.”
40  And when he had said this, he showed them his hands and his feet.
41  And while they still disbelieved for joy and were marveling, he said to them, “Have you anything here to eat?”
42  They gave him a piece of broiled fish,
43  and he took it and ate before them.
44  Then he said to them, “These are my words that I spoke to you while I was still with you, that everything written about me in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms must be fulfilled.”
45  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,
46  and said to them, “Thus it is written, that the Christ should suffer and on the third day rise from the dead,
47  and that repentance and forgiveness of sins should be proclaimed in his name to all nations, beginning from Jerusalem.
48  You are witnesses of these things.
49  And behold, I am sending the promise of my Father upon you. But stay in the city until you are clothed with power from on high.”
50  Then he led them out as far as Bethany, and lifting up his hands he blessed them.
51  While he blessed them, he parted from them and was carried up into heaven.
52  And they worshiped him and returned to Jerusalem with great joy,
53  and were continually in the temple blessing God.

 

Disciples had joy that

  • Doubts could not corrupt
    • Jesus appeared in flesh and bones… ate fish & chips.
    • Jesus gave them Scripture to overcome doubts.
  • Disaster could not crush
    • Jesus’ crucifixion, though a horror was redeemed.
    • Jesus still had scars in hands & feet and wound in side… our scars tell story of God’s grace.
  • Death could not conquer
    • Grave is empty
    • You have a purpose and we have a mission of sharing good news of Jesus with world.

 

[1] https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/2019/04/15/with-notre-dame-aflame-witnesses-sing-ave-maria-streets-france/?utm_term=.2cefb7d99654

[2] I. Howard Marshall, The Gospel of Luke, pp.876.

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