“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.”(Luke 23:44-46 ESV)
Three hours of darkness. An earthquake. And Jesus’ final words, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!”
And then He died.
For most of us, death comes unchosen. It happens when we can no longer escape it. But that’s not true for Jesus. His death was planned from the foundation of the world, chosen by Father, Son, and Spirit in the council of the Trinity. Now it has come, the climax of history.
See the darkness and the earthquake, tearing the temple curtain in two. God the Father is honoring the death of His Son. Listen to Jesus call out with a loud voice even from the cross, which normally kills its victims by slowly suffocating them. Clearly Jesus can still breathe—but He has finished His work of salvation. He chooses to lay down His life at this moment, entrusting Himself to the Father.
Jesus has finished the work that love drove Him to do. The devil has been defeated; the great ransom has been paid; God’s people are free. They don’t know it yet, but they will soon—and they will rejoice.
For on the third day Jesus will rise from the dead, never to die again—a thing that has never happened since the beginning of the world. He will share this gift of life with the people He loves and has saved—with you and me, everyone who trusts in Him. And the long course of history will begin to bend upward, into the light—as millions and billions of people come to know Jesus as their Savior, until the day He returns again in glory.
Prayer: Dear Lord, thank You for saving us. Amen.
Lenten Devotions were written by Dr. Kari Vo Lenten Devotions by Kari Vo
Originally published in The Lutheran Hour on April 15, 2023
Used by permission from International Lutheran Laymen’s League, all rights reserved
* What emotions does Good Friday usually inspire in you? Why?
* Why do you think God caused the curtain of the temple to be torn in two?
* How has Jesus’ death affected the darkness you’ve experienced in your own life?
(To view the entire “Lenten Devotions” mini-series, please click here.)