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Jesus Dies on the Cross

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Francis Patton (1843-1932, a former president of Princeton University, observed that whereas the high watermark of the Old Testament was Psalm 23:4, that of the New Testament was Philippians 1:23. David was willing to go, but wanting to stay, but Paul was willing to stay, but w … More

Death

The previous Bible passage showed three crosses at Calvary: One man died IN sin, one man died TO sin and one died FOR sin. Please note four things that happened in this passage (vv. 44-48).

  1. Darkness came over the whole land (v. 44). These three hours of darkness were a miracle. When the Israelites were in Egypt, three days of darkness preceded the first Passover (Ex. 10:21). Now three hours of darkness preceded the death of Christ. All nature seemed to mourn over the tragedy of the death of God’s Son.
  2. The temple veil was torn from top to bottom (v. 45). The veil that was torn was the curtain that closed off the most Holy Place from view. This miracle announced that the way to God’s presence was open to all. Now all people can approach God directly through Christ (Heb. 9:1-14).
  3. A Roman centurion praised God (v.47). He also noted that Jesus “was a righteous man.”
  4. The people mourned (v.48). These were the spectators who were attracted to the execution and saw enough to be convicted of their sins.

This passage shows God’s response to the cross of Christ (vv. 44-47). His first response is for darkness to fall upon the earth. Isn’t it amazing that the first act of God in creation is to bring light and now he brings darkness upon creation. Darkness covered the entire world for about three hours in the middle of the day. All nature seemed to mourn over the stark tragedy of the death of God’s son. The significant event of the veil being torn in two symbolized Christ’s work on the cross. When the veil was ripped from top to bottom, it made it possible for all people to approach God directly through Christ (Heb. 9:1-14). As Jesus was being put to death his friends stood at a distance and watched all that was happening (vv. 48-49).

Application

Death will truly be a moving day as I move from my earthly home to my heavenly home!

Luke 23:44-49 (English Standard Version)

It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 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. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, "Certainly this man was innocent!" And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things.

View this passage in NIV (Bible Gateway) »

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