Luke 23 - Steve Wiggins Daily Devotional
“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole earth until three, because the sun’s light failed. The curtain of the sanctuary was split down the middle. And Yeshua called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into Your hands I entrust My spirit. Saying this, He breathed His last.’” Luke 23:44-46
The natural phenomena, accompanying Yeshua’s crucifixion, were predicted several centuries prior to Jesus’ birth. The prophet Amos, in particular, gives a graphic account, as if he were an eye-witness.
“The Lord has sworn by the Pride of Jacob: I will never forget all their deeds. Because of this, won’t the land quake and all who dwell in it mourn? All of it will rise like the Nile; it will surge and subside like the Nile in Egypt. And in that day – this is the declaration of the L_rd G_d – I will make the sun go down at noon; I will darken the land in the daytime. I will turn your feasts into mourning and all your songs into lamentation; I will cause everyone to wear sackcloth and every head to be shaved. I will make that grief like mourning for an only son and its outcome like a bitter day.” Amos 8:7-10
Yeshua died at three in the afternoon…precisely the moment when the Passover lamb would have been slain in the Temple. From the spot many historians agree was Golgotha, the temple mount is clearly seen. An idea put forth is that from where His cross was positioned, Yeshua could literally see the whole Passover sacrifice being conducted at the temple. Is it possible He was watching and waiting until that precise moment, the slaughter of Passover lamb, to give up His Spirit?
Another account of Yeshua's redemptive work was recorded by King David.
“Listen closely to me; rescue me quickly. Be a rock of refuge for me, a mountain fortress to save me. For You are my rock and my fortress; You lead and guide me because of Your name. You set me free from the net that was securely set for me, for You are my refuge. Into Your hand, I entrust my spirit; You redeem me, L_rd, G_d of truth.” Psalm 31:2-5
At the same time Yeshua was giving Himself in order to redeem the world, He was also trusting that the Father would esteem Yeshua’s act of sacrifice and redeem Him. In that act, we face a potential conundrum: 1) Yeshua is about to take the world’s sin upon Himself. 2) G_d is the Righteous judge, Who will by no means clear the guilty. So, how can a holy G_d adequately judge sin and still pardon His Son, Who Himself remained sinless? Because, while bearing the sin guilt of the World, Yeshua was, Himslef, sinless.
There is also an interesting observation, with respect to the Holy Spirit, Whose ministry is to reveal truth. At His death, Yeshua entrusted His Spirit to the Father, and the Spirit bore witness on Yeshua’s behalf. I believe Yeshua’s last statement acts as an affirmation & testimony concerning G_d’s tri-unity…with all three “Persons” present, working in harmony to accomplish both righteous judgement AND redemption for us all.
~Steve Wiggins, Assistant Rabbi
Daily Devotional, Tuesday, June 25, 2013