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Words From The Cross: Into Your Hands…

Luke 23:46

The final saying of Jesus from the cross was from a passage in the Psalms. Jesus quoted Psalm 31:5 with his last breath before leaving the earth and descending into it. It was this phrase that also set up what would happen three days later when Jesus and His Father would once again be reunited. If the other sayings of Jesus had names, this one would certainly be the statement of reunion. Jesus was completely confident in the resurrection that would take place in three days and trusted Himself to His Father’s care with this proclamation.

The Proclamation Of Peace.

Jesus makes this declarative statement that He is giving Himself to His Father’s hands. In so doing, this reveals that God and His Son are at peace. The Father’s back is no longer turned from His Son due to our sin. Jesus became sin and procured our salvation in that he “was pierced because of our transgressions, crushed because of our iniquities; punishment for our peace was on Him, and we [were] healed by His wounds (Isaiah 53:5). It is in this time at this point that Jesus and His Father are restored. Jesus talks to His Father and willingly places His life and death in His hands.

The Confidence Of Peace

Now that Jesus and His Father were at peace, Jesus shows His full confidence in His Father’s love to make this final statement. He whispers these words of complete trust in His Father’s hands to care for His Spirit. His Father’s hands were strong and able enough to carry Him through the rest of this experience into and through death. His Father’s hands were caring and compassionate enough to tend to His battered and weary soul. His Father’s hands were wide open ready and anticipating the triumphant return of His Son! God The Father’s arms were ready to embrace His once again. Jesus was secure in His identity as the Son doing His Father’s will and completing the work of the cross to seal the payment for mankind’s debt. As the Father on a couple of occasions said “this is my Son, I take delight in You” (Matthew 3:17, Matthew 17:5) In this statement from the cross Jesus essentially says: ” I am your Son, I take delight in You”. Jesus’ confidence was founded upon their relationship being re-established in peace.

The Demonstration of Peace. 

One of the prophecies about Jesus was that He would be the Prince of Peace. There is no greater example of this title being worn so well than Jesus bowing His head and saying these final words! In order for Jesus to “bow His head” the implication is that He was looking up. For His entire life, Jesus had been looking up to His Father. He never did anything apart His Father’s will. He always sought to fulfill the Father’s plan and moved according to His will (John 5:30, John 8:28). Jesus was completely at peace with God as He sought God’s final approval with His life and in His death. Jesus couldn’t even die without the Father’s approval! Some translations of Luke 23:46 use the word “commend into your hands” instead of “commit into your hands”. The difference is in the meaning is as such to me: the word “commend” means approval, whereas the word “commit” means to trust. When Jesus said he commended Himself, He was in essence saying that He trusted completely that He had been pleasing to His Father, the sacrifice had been pleasing to the Father and that the work was complete! He was essentially saying that He was looking for the approval of His Father and forward to their reunion where He would hear “well done” face to face and in person.

Jesus gave Himself up and the Father allowed Him to die, signifying all that needed to be done was done. Jesus was now able to rest in peace, set the captives free and return home to His rightful throne. The penalty for sin was paid in full and Jesus had committed Himself completely in life and in death to His Father.  His peace with the Father allows us to have peace!

1 Therefore, since we have been declared righteous by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 We have also obtained access through Himby faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only that, but we also rejoice in our afflictions, because we know that affliction produces endurance, 4 endurance produces proven character,and proven character produces hope. 5 This hope will not disappoint us, because God’s love has been poured out in our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

 6 For while we were still helpless, at the appointed moment, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For rarely will someone die for a just person—though for a good person perhaps someone might even dare to die. 8 But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us! 9 Much more then, since we have now been declared righteous by His blood, we will be saved through Him from wrath. 10 For if, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, then how much more, having been reconciled, will we be saved by His life! 11 And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ. We have now received this reconciliation through Him. Romans 5:1-11

Hallelujah! What a Savior! We’re in good hands!

George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA

Words From The Cross: My God! My God!

Matthew 27:46

For three hours the darkness covered the earth and in that time, Jesus experienced the essence of Hell: His Father’s back was turned on Jesus and there was a sense of abandonment the Son had never before experienced! It is no wonder He cried out to His Father:

1My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my groaning? Psalm 22:1

Agony. If there ever were a cry from the depth of a soul, it was this cry from Jesus! In sheer agony of heart and body, Christ experienced the spiritual pain of God being ripped from God in these hours on the cross. The beatings, the loss of blood, the crown of thorns, the nail pierced hands or feet, the spear in his side or any combination thereof in not what killed Jesus. He stated earlier that He would willingly lay down His life. However, if there were ever anything that would make Him want to die, it was this separation from His Father! From eternity past until that moment, they shared a relationship and fellowship that was unique and perfect. At this time though things changed; Jesus had become sin. There He hang in pain unyielding, as His soul was severed from God’s Spirit.

I am poured out like water, And all my bones are out of joint: My heart is like wax; It is melted within me. My strength is dried up like a potsherd; And my tongue cleaveth to my jaws; And thou hast brought me into the dust of death. For dogs have compassed me: A company of evil-doers have inclosed me; They pierced my hands and my feet.I may count all my bones; They look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, And upon my vesture do they cast lots. Psalm 22: 14-18

Abandonment. Never before had the Son and Father been separated like this. Even though Jesus had come to earth in a physical form, they still had fellowship…until now. In this moment, Jesus experienced the wrath of His Father for the sins of the world. In this darkness, the depravity of man was laid on Christ. “He who knew no sin was made to be sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21) and God the Father turned His back on His Son. Jesus was abandoned by His friends, family and now His God. What is amazing about this is that Jesus promises to never leave or forsake us Matthew 28:20! He knows like no one ever will what it’s like to be abandoned and left completely and totally alone. He makes the promise that we shall never experience that…ever!

Atonement. For us to have the grace of God poured out on us, the wrath of God had to be poured out on His Son. Jesus fully and willingly took our place in being abandoned by God to become the atonement for our sin. “And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement” (Romans 5:11). As He cried out ” My God! My God!” the cry was literally humanity’s plea for God. The acknowledgement of God turning away from sin is important because we must understand that God cannot look upon sin. He despises our sin. But because Jesus was forsaken, we can be forgiven! Of everything!

 

 

 

George Lockhart is a missionary with Vision 2 Hear and serves as student pastor at New Vision Church in Fayetteville, GA

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