Friday, April 10, 2009

The Last Words of Jesus

This is the manuscript I have written for the 7th and final "last words of Jesus" for tonight's Good Friday service.

The seventh and final word spoken by Jesus from the cross.
(Luke 23:46) “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.”

Immediately after Jesus spoke those words He breathed his last breath.

The temple veil was torn. An earthquake shook the city of Jerusalem and those who witnessed His death declared, “Surely he was the son of God!” This was a turning point in history. His death shook the world and has been shaking our world ever since.

When I consider these words that Jesus spoke, I am reminded that Jesus wasn’t merely a victim of a cruel form a capital punishment.
He wasn’t the victim of confused religious zealots.

He chose the time of His death.

In John 10:18 Jesus declared, “No one takes my life from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again."

Normally, death by crucifixion took a LONG time. Typically it took many hours, sometimes it took several days. People call that process “fighting death”. Jesus fought death and death lost the fight.

Perhaps Satan thought he had won as Jesus was dying on that cross. Perhaps Satan thought he had just achieved victory but in that moment a turn around takes place.

Jesus goes from being abused and tortured, to being triumphant and in control.

He wasn’t a victim, He was a victor.

In an act of His will Jesus quotes what David had written long before in Psalm 31:5, “Into your hands I commit my spirit”.

The last words of His life show us that He was in control of His destiny and He invites us to do the same by saying the very same words,
“Father, into your hands, I commit my Spirit.”
We have the opportunity to do in life what He did in death, and that is to entrust our eternity in the hands of our creator.
These are the words that take us from being a victim, to being victorious.

Would you do tonight in life what Jesus did in death? Would you pray and declare to God, “into your hands I commit my spirit”. Some see these as words of death.

God sees these as words of victorious life.

I invite you to make these words your own.

Today we remember His victory.


Anonymous said...

Thanks, Matt. Encouraging words. Certainly, Jesus wants us to live a victorious life. He wanted the blind man to see. The lame man to walk. But does he want the poor man to be rich? Sometimes we forget Jesus was a carpenter, not a bank president. Does victorious livinig mean prosperity financially? Certainly, the good news is is He is risen.

Matt said...

I agree with you that Victorious living does not equate to material wealth. A trip to the third world will make this clear.