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Jesus Dies

Jesus: [Father, forgive them, for they don’t know what they’re doing.]

Meanwhile they were drawing lots to see who would win Jesus’ clothing. The crowd of people stood, watching.

Authorities (mocking Jesus): So He was supposed to rescue others, was He? He was supposed to be God’s Anointed,the Liberating King? Let’s see Him start by liberating Himself!

The soldiers joined in the mockery. First, they pretended to offer Him a soothing drink—but it was sour wine.

Soldiers: Hey, if You’re the King of the Jews, why don’t You free Yourself!

Even the inscription they placed over Him was intended to mock Him—“This is the King of the Jews!” [This was written in Greek, Latin, and Hebrew.]

One of the criminals joined in the cruel talk.

Cynical Criminal: You’re supposed to be the Anointed One, right? Well—do it! Rescue Yourself and us!

But the other criminal told him to be quiet.

Believing Criminal: Don’t you have any fear of God at all? You’re getting the same death sentence He is! We’re getting what we deserve since we’ve committed crimes, but this man hasn’t done anything wrong at all! (turning to Jesus) Jesus, when You come into Your kingdom, please remember me.

Jesus: I promise you that this very day you will be with Me in paradise.

At this point, it was about noon, and a darkness fell over the whole region. The darkness persisted until about three in the afternoon, and at some point during this darkness, the curtain in the temple was torn in two.

The tearing of this heavy curtain in the temple is highly symbolic. Because this curtain separated the holiest place in the temple from the rest of the temple, some see in this act a symbol of God opening the way for unholy humans to enter into His holy presence: Jesus’ death brought forgiveness and opened the way for all to come to God. Others see in the curtain’s being torn the opposite meaning: God’s presence can no longer be confined to any single geographical place. The suffering and death of Jesus ended one age of human history, and now a new era has begun. Now God is on the move, at large, invading the whole world. Or perhaps this graphic image means both.

Jesus (shouting out loudly): Father, I entrust My spirit into Your hands!

And with those words, He exhaled—and breathed no more (vv. 34-46, The Voice).

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Categories: jesus, luke
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