Jesus was nailed up to die. The last few acts that were prophesied concerning His life were completed with the soldiers casting lots for His garments and Him being given a drink of sour wine as He said, “I thirst.”
Jesus’ time had come to an end on earth and the stage was set for the commencement of Christianity and the blessings that would come. In His death he became the sacrificial lamb and His blood would become the blood of the covenant by which those who followed Him would receive freedom, joy, peace and life.
In these last moments of His life we see two remarkable things occur, and it is those we will look at today.
It is Finished
The very last words Jesus uttered as a man are extremely important for they speak volumes about the truth of the New Covenant. He said, “It is finished.”
What was He referring to in these words? Certainly his life and time on earth were at an end, but He meant much more than that. All of the prophecies concerning Him from the Old Testament prophets that pointed to the new life were completed and the new way man could come to God was completed too, but again it is much more than that.
The totality of His work was completed. It is this that was finished and it was for this reason that He had come. He had completed the establishment of the new covenant so that man could receive grace to come to a knowledge of God and come into the presence of the Father through Jesus Christ.
Jesus came to take away the sin of the world, as John the Baptist showed in John 1:29. This too was completed and finished. In His death he completed the work and dealt the death blow to sin so that through His death we could receive freedom from sin, freedom from the law and receive righteousness by faith.
The covenant was completed in Jesus and in His name all things were done. Nothing was left outside of His control or authority and in Him we now receive grace and life.
So in Jesus Christ we can now stand apart from and separated from sin. Let us take the offer of life that he gave us in His death so that we can stand righteous through faith, in the grace of God before the Father. For this work of dealing with sin was finished and was completed at Jesus’ death.
Jesus Gave Up His Life
Finally we see this statement in these scriptures. It says that He “gave up his life.”
No other person in the world before or since has been able to give up their life. All of mankind has sinned and fallen short of the glory of God, as Paul says in Romans 6. The penalty for sin and the sinful nature of man is that we all die. Death is the “reward” for sin. Paul said also that the wages of sin is death, so we see that all men “earn the right to die.”
But Jesus did not sin. Not once did He fall to the temptations that beset all mankind causing them to break the commandments of God. He was without sin, and being of divine conception did not have the sin factor in Him that the rest of mankind has. He was the Son of God.
So He did not “earn the wages of death” through committing sin. He did not earn the right to die and thus His spirit could not be taken away from Him.
All of mankind desperately seek to live. Man is desperate to find the secret to eternal life so that they do not have to die. They look to science and medicine to solve the mystery of death, but they will never succeed because death is a matter of the spirit, not the body. And those who cryogenic freeze their bodies in the hope that someday man will solve the mystery of death and be able to restore their lives have fallen prey to the greatest scam of all time.
But Jesus did not sin and so He should not have died. He earned the right to live, but He was put to death by His enemies. And because He had never sinned, His spirit could not be taken away from Him to be recalled back to God. That is why the scripture tells us that “He gave up His spirit.” Man has his spirit taken from him at death, but Jesus gave up His spirit because it could not be taken from Him.
He gave up his spirit and died so that He would be the perfect, unblemished sacrifice. He died so that we could live. And this is why we praise Him because He went through this horrific death so that we could come to Him to learn, to grow, to mature and to live with Him and the Father in perfection for eternity.
We praise Him for this and the blessing that He bestowed upon us, as this simple and terrible act is without precedent or peer. The secret to overcoming death is found not in science, not in medicine and not in the search for the fountain of youth, but in coming to Jesus. Do you want to overcome death? Then seek the truth of life that can only be found in and through Jesus Christ.
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