Matthew 27:45-50: Jesus Dies
Posted by adventbiblestudy on September 13, 2012
Matthew 27:45-50 At noon, darkness fell across the whole land until three o’clock. (46) At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” (47) Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. (48) One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. (49) But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” (50) Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.
Jesus was hanging on the cross for hours. Every movement send shivers of pain from the open wounds on His back. His hands shot with pain from the nails holding Him to the cross. His shoulders felt like they were about to be torn from their sockets. His feet locked in position by a single nail called out for relief. His ankles supporting His weight felt crippled with pain. Every joint ached, every bruise throbbed. Jesus thought what a pleasure it would be just to lay down for a moment. But, there was no way to move as the sun beat down upon His flesh covered in dripping and drying blood. Sweat and blood poured down His face burning His eyes and blurring His vision. Jesus moved His head against the cross in an attempt to tip the crown of thorns from His head. Jesus thought, if only I could feel a sense of relief in one part of my body the pain will go away. The more Jesus tried to push the crown from His head, the further the man made crown dug into His head. There was no escape from the suffering. The Son of God was confined to the cross as the sins of the world crowded in around Him.
After Caiaphas left, John slowly made His way to the foot of the cross. He watched as the other priests and religious leaders filed past the cross, hurling insults at his Friend and Teacher. As John watched Jesus struggle with the crown of thorns on His head He thought to himself how he had manufactured his crown to place on Jesus’ head, and how his sins and disbelief helped nail Jesus to the cross. He remembered how Jesus tried to warn them about this experience and how he ignored His warnings. Instead of listening he argued about who would be the greatest. Instead of watching and praying with Jesus, he fell asleep. John looked at Jesus and thought, how could I do this to you?
For some reason John could not get the messages Jesus taught about the role of the Holy Spirit just a few hours before His arrest out of his head. Each sentence about the Spirit went through John’s mind again and again.
“I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Advocate, who will never leave you. He is the Holy Spirit, who leads into all truth. The world cannot receive him, because it isn’t looking for him and doesn’t recognize him. But you know him, because he lives with you now and later will be in you. But when the Father sends the Advocate as my representative–that is, the Holy Spirit–he will teach you everything and will remind you of everything I have told you. I am leaving you with a gift–peace of mind and heart. And the peace I give is a gift the world cannot give. So don’t be troubled or afraid. I will send you the Advocate–the Spirit of truth. He will come to you from the Father and will testify all about me. But in fact, it is best for you that I go away, because if I don’t, the Advocate won’t come. If I do go away, then I will send him to you. And when he comes, he will convict the world of its sin, and of God’s righteousness, and of the coming judgment. When the Spirit of truth comes, he will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on his own but will tell you what he has heard. He will tell you about the future. He will bring me glory by telling you whatever he receives from me. All that belongs to the Father is mine; this is why I said, ‘The Spirit will tell you whatever he receives from me.'” John 14:16-17, John 14:26-27, John 15:26, John 16:7-8, John 16:13-15
The beating, total exhaustion and the heat of the day were beginning to prove too much for Jesus. His blood dried on his body and seemed to pull at His skin and wounds as He baked and blistered in the sun. At noon, darkness fell across the whole land. The soldiers gathered around the foot of the cross. It was so dark they could hardly see a few feet in front of them. Expecting the worst, one of the soldiers drew his sword, ordering another to fetch the torches. At the sound of a drawn sword the others stood at the ready with their weapons in hand. No one spoke a word. One of the soldiers turned to face the cross as he listened to every shallow breath Jesus took in and exhaled. He knew the cross effected the prisoners breathing, but he never listened to it before. He tried to focus in the darkness, but could see nothing. After a while, he realized the shallow breathing reminded him of his first son. He remembered lying awake in the still of the night listening to his baby boy breathing. Like every new father he was filled with worries his son would stop breathing during the night. He closed his eyes and opened them again. No use, he could not see a thing. The more he listened the more it seemed he was back home, lying in bed listening to his son’s breath and thinking about the most important miracle in his life and how he wanted a better life for his son.
At last the torches arrived. The soldier looked up at Jesus bleeding on the cross, the flames from the torch highlighted every open wound. The dim light forced him closer to the cross to inspect Jesus’ condition. At that moment he knew he had to make a better life for his son. He didn’t want him to ever see a sight like the one in front of him. But what could one soldier do to change the world?
At about three o’clock, Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” which means “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?” Some of the bystanders misunderstood and thought he was calling for the prophet Elijah. One of them ran and filled a sponge with sour wine, holding it up to him on a reed stick so he could drink. But the rest said, “Wait! Let’s see whether Elijah comes to save him.” Then Jesus shouted out again, and he released his spirit.
John looked up at Jesus with the light of the torches highlighting his sun burnt and blood splattered body. John wished his last few hours with Jesus had been different, but there was nothing he could do to change them now. He knew Jesus had just died. There was no way to tell Him now. John went to his knees, lowering his face to the ground. He wanted to cry but could not work up the tears. Everything Jesus said about the Spirit was still going through his head. Suddenly it all made sense. For the first time John could see and really understand Jesus’ connection with the Holy Spirit. He also realized Jesus had been teaching them the same connection was open, waiting for them. A smile came to John’s face as he began to believe, some how, some way, Jesus did not leave them, He never will. In total silence John began to pray to Jesus through the Spirit. “Jesus I know you can hear me now. I am so sorry for my disbelief and the way I treated you. Please forgive me for my doubts and forgive me for sinning against you LORD.”
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