"Two Final Words"

In African culture, Christians often pray that they will die “a good death.” What does that mean to our African brothers and sisters?’

Contrary to what we might think, dying a good death does not mean …

… dying without pain,

… dying with dignity,

… or even dying at an old age.

 

Instead, dying a good death means having the opportunity to bring your family around you before you die, to express your love to them, to charge them to live for Jesus Christ, and to prepare for a reunion in Heaven.

 

Jesus died a good death.

 

Certainly, His death was painful. In the eyes of the world, His death was shameful and humiliating. From a human perspective, His death came too soon. He died a very young man.

Nevertheless, He died a good death, because His death purchased life for everyone who trusts in Him.

In the two final words Jesus spoke on the cross, we see that He accomplished His mission as He died. These two final sayings, though found in different gospels, fit perfectly together. 

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, ESV)

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, ESV)

Do you notice how both of these verses make reference to one another? “It is finished” in John 19:30 corresponds to “Jesus, calling out with a loud voice” in Luke 23:46. “Into Your hands I commit my spirit” in Luke corresponds to “gave up his spirit” in John.

 

Consider the meaning of each of these cries of Jesus:

 

“It is finished” is a shout of victory. Jesus was not saying, “I am finished,” for He lives forever and ever. Instead, He was announcing that His work of redemption was completely accomplished. At that moment, everything that needs to be done for men, women, girls, and boys to be saved was done. “It is finished” means, “Mission accomplished.”

 

“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” is a message of submission. Though the cross was brutal and vicious, it’s important to recognize that Jesus’ life was not snatched away from Him by force. Instead, He gave up His life willingly and freely, in His own time, and by His own power.

 

Today, because Jesus said, “It is finished”  we know that salvation is offered to everyone fully and freely. And, because He gave up His spirit, we know that death holds no dominion, fear, or power over us!

 

Have a great day and keep moving forward!

 

Suggested Bible Reading

 

1 Peter 2:21-25

 

Prayer Guide

 

Today as you pray …

 

Praise the Lord that everything necessary for your salvation was completed when He died on the cross.

 

Thank God that the death of Jesus Christ removes the fear of death for you.

 

Offer Him your life today as a sacrifice of praise and obedience.

 

Pray for His Spirit’s power to live in victory over sin and all the powers of darkness.

 

During Holy Week, leading to Resurrection Sunday, “Moving Forward” devotionals have focused on the seven sayings of Jesus from the cross.