The Death of Jesus
Text: Matthew 27 : 32 - 66
The hour of death had come to Jesus. All the Gospel writers described how He died. Each preserved a different perspective.
“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice,
and yielded up His spirit.”
“And Jesus cried out with a loud voice,
and breathed His last.”
“And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said,
‘Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.’
Having said this, He breathed His last.”
“So when Jesus had received the sour wine, He said,
‘It is finished!’ And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.”
Let us ponder over the significance of these statements concerning the death of Jesus.
1. No resentment whatsoever
None of the Gospel writers noted any spirit of resentment in Jesus! He was not angry at the Romans for nailing Him to the cross. He was not upset with those who railed against Him. That was truly remarkable!
2. Absolute trust in God to the very end
There was absolute trust in God – right to the very end! The judgment of the sins of mankind had been done. God had accepted the sacrifice that Jesus had offered – Himself! Jesus could now address God as He had always done. Once again, He could call Him “Father…”
3. Yielding of the Spirit to God
The suffering of Jesus was voluntary from beginning to end. Even in His death, Jesus was able to speak of yielding His spirit to His Father. His soul was not snatched from Him. He entrusted His soul into His Father’s hand!
4. Ending on a note of triumph
Jesus died on a tremendous note of triumph! “It is finished” – He cried out! He had completely fulfilled all that was expected of Him! On that note, He breathed His last!
GOD WATCHING OVER THE DEATH OF JESUS
It was not usual for a person to die in just three hours. The synoptist Mark noted the puzzlement of Pilate when he received a request for the body of Jesus for burial.
“Pilate marveled that He was already dead; and summoning
the centurion, he asked him if He had been dead for some time.”
John took special trouble to note the circumstances in which the death of Jesus was ascertained.
“Therefore, because it was the Preparation Day,
that the bodies should not remain on the cross
on the Sabbath (for that Sabbath was a high day), the Jews
asked Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that
they might be taken away.
Then the soldiers came and broke the legs of the first
and of the other who was crucified with Him.
but when they came to Jesus, and saw that He was already dead,
they did not break His legs. But one of the soldiers pierced
His side with a spear, and immediately blood and water came out.
And he who has seen has testified, and his testimony is true;
and he knows that he is telling the truth, so that you may believe.
For these things were done that the Scripture should be fulfilled,
‘Not one of His bones shall be broken.’
And again another Scripture says, ‘They shall look on Him
whom they pierced.”
John reminds us once again of how even in His death, the Scriptures were fulfilled. The prophetic text in question may be traced to a Davidic psalm.
“He guards all His bones;
Not one of them is broken.”
God was watching over the crucifixion of Jesus! He allowed Him to be crucified. He allowed Him to die! However, that does not mean that He had ceased to watch over Him! God was still tenderly watching over His Son and would not allow anyone to break His bones! An amazing thought indeed!
When Jesus had fulfilled all that was necessary to bring about redemption’s plan, God received the spirit of Jesus at His death. It was not the suffering that determined the timing of the death of Jesus, but God Himself! Life and death are in His hands. He determines everything, even in the matter of how and when a person dies. “Blessed is the man who trusts in Him” (Psalm 34:8).