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LUKE - Christ, the Savior of the World
A Bible Study Course on the Gospel of Christ according to Luke


11. Jesus' Crucifixion and Death (Luke 23:26-49)

LUKE 23:44-49 -- Christ's Death
44 Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. 45 Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. 46 And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit.’” Having said this, He breathed His last. 47 So when the centurion saw what had happened, he glorified God, saying, “Certainly this was a righteous Man!” 48 And the whole crowd who came together to that sight, seeing what had been done, beat their breasts and returned. 49 But all His acquaintances, and the women who followed Him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.

Darkness enveloped the entire land on that Good Friday, from noon to 3 PM. We do not know if this failure of the sun’s light was attributed to a sandstorm, to an astronomical accident, or to condensation of the spirits of demons, as Jesus said on the night on which he was betrayed, that it was the hour and the power of darkness. He who was crucified was hanged in Satan’s temptation, motionless, and unconscious, because of excessive pains which no human body could undergo. We know but a little about those three hours of agony and passion. The tempter came to the innocent soul of the Son of God, and whispered to him, “God has forsaken. Now, you sense the wrath of God. I shall snatch you and take you a prey to hell.

Jesus’ mind was filled with the word of God. He memorized verses of Scripture from his childhood, his mother Mary taught him how to pray faithfully, and the Holy Spirit filled his heart. If the human spirit were unable to participate in wrestling with the spirits, and the Holy Spirit would take the place of the believer with groanings which cannot be uttered, how much more would he who was born of the Spirit of God experience the attacking hour of temptation. The Holy Spirit is the divine Comforter and the mighty Advocate who represents, supports, and helps the believer in the name of God in his striving for faith even to the end (Hebrew 9:14).

We see the result of this striving between heaven and earth that was centered in him who was crucified, when the veil of the temple was torn in two from the top to the bottom as a token of the entire end of the order of the Old Testament. This veil used to separate the Holy of Holies, i.e. the abode of God from the chamber called “the Holy Place”. If a believer from now on is immediately admitted to the holy God through his belief in Christ, then the Son has built for us the way to the Father, reconciled us, and perfected us once. The entrance to God, which was previously a privilege for the high priest once a year on the great Day of Atonement, is now open to every Christian at all times and everywhere. He may come boldly, sprinkled with the blood of the Lamb, to the throne of grace, and give thanks for himself, uttering prayer of continuous intercession for others. The striving in Jesus’ soul on the cross had opened for you the way to God. Thus you are accepted in the Holy One through the blood of Christ who was crucified.

Christ’s death is holy. We have a proof that Jesus did not die in doubt, unbelief, bitterness, and hopelessness, but went out prevailing and triumphant from his struggle against Satan. His last cry of victory was a prayer of gratitude and faith, which shows us his unbroken harmony with his Father. In his address to the Creator, he does not call him “God” as if he were a distant great Judge, as the Psalmist did in (Psalm 31:6), but he calls him “Father”, proving his oneness with him in the Holy Trinity. Christ overcame God’s wrath on the cross. This is the essential meaning of the cross. Since then, God does not condemn the followers of him who was crucified. God consumed his Son instead of us. Yet the Lamb of God overcame the wrath of the Holy One through his humility and meekness. He put his pure spirit in the hands of God, believing and confessing that he was his loving Father. His faith had saved him.

Christ truly died, and his Spirit separated from his body, but his soul rested peacefully in the hands of God. Christ always continued holy, and his power never decreased. Death had no power over him at the moment of his death, for he died for us, but lives in God forever.

Luke explains to us the impression that Christ’s sufferings and death made upon the centurion who watched attentively the three crucified persons, lest their neighbors take them down from the cross and crucify others in their likeness instead of them. This gentile testified openly that Jesus was unjustly crucified, and that he was certainly a righteous man. This strange testimony was heard and sensed by the spectators who saw frightfully God’s wrath poured on the Just, and wished Jesus’ intercessory prayer would be answered. Jesus’ disciples and followers did not all run away at the hour of danger, but some followed him from afar, particularly the women who came as near as they could, and noted every word and movement of Christ until his last cry. They kept for us the seven words of Christ, which he said on the cross. These words are the true treasures of Christianity. Do you keep them in your heart, understand them, and believe them?

PRAYER: O Lord Jesus Christ, the holy Lamb of God. We magnify you and glorify your Father in the Holy Spirit, for you have finished the salvation of all men on the cross once and forever. We worship, thank and love you, and give our lives thankfully to you. Please accept us and keep us from temptations that we may continue one with you in grace.

QUESTION 141: How was Christ buried?


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