Commit | Devotion #3: Darkness, the Curtain, and the Tombs
Larry Gabbara | Financial Bookkeeper
“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
When Jesus was calling out to His Father, He was acknowledging that His time on Earth was over. His 33 years on Earth were done. He had accomplished what His Father had sent Him to do.
Have you ever finished a task that felt final and complete? I retired from 50 years of work in retail sales in March 2017. That last day I felt I completed my task; I had this feeling of completion. I left with my head held high. I had completed my time in the retail pharmacy business, yet I knew that my time for working had not ended. My work was not done; I felt I still had a lot to contribute somewhere.
These are four very remarkable and extraordinary events that happened at the time of Jesus’ death:
1. Darkness fell over the whole land. Luke 23:44 says, “It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour.” According to Bible references, Jesus was said to have been hung on the cross at about nine in the morning. While Jesus died, darkness fell across the whole land and lasted from noon to three o’clock. This could also represent the Father’s anger on how His Son was being treated. Darkness is frequently a sign of judgment.
2. The curtain was torn. Matthew 27:51 says, “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” Some theologians point out that the curtain separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place in the Temple. One study note I read said, “Its tearing symbolized Christ’s opening the way directly to God.” Scripture tells us that the curtain would have been 60 feet long, and 30 feet wide!
3. The earth shook. Notice Matthew 27:51 again, “And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.” The earthquake according to Albert Barnes was a miraculous convulsion of the earth that was felt in many countries. Earthquakes in the Bible are usually accompanied by a divine revelation. Warren Wiersbe connects the earthquake at Jesus’ death to signify that the demands of the law were fulfilled in Jesus.
4. The tombs were opened. Matthew 27:52 says, “The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised.” These resurrections show God’s incredible power over death and the grave. Christ’s resurrection is the basis of Christianity. This shows the enormous power of the Trinity!
Finally, Mark 15:37 adds, “And Jesus uttered a loud cry and breathed his last.”
Jesus said with a loud voice, “Father I commit my spirit.” He was telling the Father He had completed His task on Earth. He had indicated His willingness to submit Himself to the will of His Father.
Jesus offered Himself, and the Father received Jesus’ spirit. This was His human soul. With this, He was a perfect man. This was a total offering of all the sins of our lost world.
He has completed the payment for our sins. He was the only sinless man ever to walk the earth; there was never one before Him or after Him. We owe our eternal salvation to this selfless act!