It had only been a day since the Lord had broken the bread saying “this is my body” and passed the cup as his blood for the remission of sins. Now Jesus is on the cross.
Luke 23: 44 And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was rent in the midst. 46 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. 47 Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man.
We see Jesus’ last words from the cross. No one knew how long it would take him to die. It depended on a person’s physical condition. Some died quickly; others took days. Church history tells us the Apostle Andrew was on the cross three days and never stopped preaching Jesus and him crucified. Jesus was on the cross six hours. He spoke only a few times. The first time he said “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” He said these words in agony and sorrow while people made fun of him. I believe ridicule of Jesus is worse today than then. The devil’s crowd likes to rub it in. He could have said “destroy them all” yet instead he asked for them to be forgiven. Each time he spoke it meant something to his people and the crowd.
From noon to 3pm there was darkness. I believe it was similar to the darkness in Egypt the night the death angel came through. As he did that night in Egypt, here too, God saw the blood. He chose to show grace and mercy. For over 2,000 years this has been the case. When the church leaves here the darkness will come once again in 7 years of tribulation. There is still grace and mercy today because of the blood of Jesus. Finally Jesus said “it is finished.” It wasn’t the end for him. The plan of salvation was finished. He wanted the devil and his crowd to know it was finished. The devil knows he doesn’t have long. Through the suffering of his body he took my place. I can be confident that my blood won’t be shed for my sins.
He began and ended his sayings from the cross in a prayer. He died and used his last breath to commend his suffering and work to God. He had done his work. He was saying ‘Father, here it is. Here is my body and my blood sacrificed for the world.’ With his last breath and last drop of blood he offered it to God. He could now die. The last T was crossed and the last I dotted. He said ‘here it all is.’ God’s hands reached down to the nail-pierced hands of Jesus and received what he had done. He received his dear son’s sacrifice. The earth quaked. The veil in the temple was torn from top to bottom. The centurion got down and said certainly this was a righteous man.
We have to do the same—bow down and confess who Jesus is. He was the just dying for the unjust, the sinless for the sinner. By partaking of the cup and bread we honor him. He told the thief who asked forgiveness that he would be with him that day in paradise. He has met so many from our church. If we go out of this world he’ll meet us.
Thank God for a Savior and thank him that we’re able to eat and drink in remembrance of him.