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 23:46
Jesus said, ‘no one can take My life unless I lay it down willingly.’
Jesus’ life was never taken away, but He willingly committed it, paying the ultimate price. The sinless Jesus took on the sins of humanity that we might be pure once again.The devil thought he had succeeded by killing God’s chosen one, not knowing that he was bringing Jesus into the fulfillment of His purpose and mission.
God allowed Jesus to endure, but never left Him. Jesus knew the power He had and to where He was going. When we give our lives to God’s hands, He will do what we cannot. He never left us and never will! Three days later, He rose from bodily death, and with all power!
When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. — John 19:30
This declaration is translated from the Greek word teleō, meaning to pay a debt. Through sin (our wrongs), all of humanity incurred a debt that we could have NEVER paid by our own means. After all, how can the sinful remove their own sin? Who was without sin that could remove our sin and guilt? Because God is infinitely just, sin must be eradicated — it cannot coexist (in fellowship) with Him.
And thus, through Jesus’s pure and sinless life, He atoned for, made amends, undid our wrong, and removed the sin/guilt stain on humanity. The sinless Jesus took on our sins, through His death on the cross, so that we could now be sin-less!
Knowing His purpose had been fulfilled, Jesus was ready to finish His assignment (paying His life for our sins) and return to His Father. Jesus has already secured the greatest victory in any battle that we will face in our lifetime. We’ve already won. Because He finished His assignment, you can now finish yours!
After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” — John 19:28
The closer the breakthrough, the more we thirst. Jesus’ pain is the result of enduring the physical and spiritual anguish in the war to quench the thirst of humanity – the longing for more. For blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled (Matthew 5:6).
Jesus’ persecution is a reminder that it’s not about well you fight, it’s about what you’re fighting for! In the battle of our lives, from birth to death, Jesus was, is, and always will be our living water (John 4:10). He longs for us and for fellowship with the Father. No matter the circumstances, never stop longing for more of God!
And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” that is, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” — Matthew 27:46
Sometimes it’s in our lowest, darkest moments that we feel that God has abandoned us. We wonder why He would allow us to go through that and in a time like this. But Jesus reminds us that the assignment is not over – God has called us to a purpose.
Imagine the weight and guilt of the most sinful act of your life… multiplied by all of humanity’s sinful acts, past, present, and future. He bore that for us, He bore that for you!
In His darkest hour, Jesus literally takes on the weight of the world’s sins for all of time. His humanity feels the weight of God’s judgment, but His Spirit that allows Him to endure.
It’s in His humanity that He asks God why, but it is in His Spirit that He knows God’s call. And He’s already trusted God to bring it to completion. Will you trust God no matter what it feels and looks like? Just because it’s dark doesn’t mean He’s not near.
When Jesus saw his mother and the disciple whom he loved standing nearby, he said to his mother, “Woman, behold, your son!” 27 Then he said to the disciple, “Behold, your mother!” And from that hour the disciple took her to his own home. — John 19:26-27
Here is love again! Jesus reminds us that family matters as He honors His mother, even amidst affliction. Although He is transitioning from being her son to her Redeemer, from an earthly son to being THE Son of God in His full glory — He remembers where He comes from. He sees to it that she is cared for, fulfilling His earthly assignment as a son to His parents.
In His greatest hour of pain, His compassion and selflessness shine brighter than ever. His love for the Father is shown in His love for humanity. God wants us to love those well that He’s entrusted to us. May your compassion shine brighter even in your hour of pain!
And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.” — Luke 23:43
While our actions don’t remove our consequences, they can never remove the Father’s love for us. Jesus promises everlasting life to those who would simply believe in and follow Him. Believe and follow.
It’s a vivid reminder for us that those who suffer with Him, will also reign with Him. Believing in Him as Lord isn’t just a “knowing that it is true” belief, it’s a commitment to follow Him with all of our heart, to the end. He remembers the faithful!
And Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.” And they cast lots to divide his garments. — Luke 23:34
In His moment of persecution, Jesus’ first response was forgiveness. Forgiveness is not excusal from consequences, it is the freedom from the burden guilt, paid for by His sacrifice on the cross. It is the byproduct only of love itself.
His love for them, and for us, will always be greater than the pain endured. May His love in you also, be greater than your pain. Choose to love first!
For all of the negative things that we have to say to ourselves, God has a positive answer for it.
We say ‘it’s impossible,’ God says, all things are possible (Matthew 19:26). We say ‘I’m too tired,’ God says, I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28). We say, ‘I can’t go on’, God says, My Grace is sufficient for you (2nd Corinthians 12:9). We say, ‘I can’t figure things out,’ God says, I will direct and order your steps (Proverbs 3:6).
The Lord wants us to live without excuses and to live without regrets. There is a difference between interest and commitment. When you’re interested in doing something, you only do it only when it’s convenient. But when you’re committed to something, you accept no excuses — only results.
Be encouraged and remember that when God says yes, no one can say no.
Bishop Edgar Vann
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Download this month’s newsletter here: February 2015 SEC Informer