Daily Devotional for 04.10.2020
RESURGAM 2020 - Journeying through the 14 Stations of the Cross
Station # 13: Jesus dies on the cross
It was now about noon and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon because of an eclipse of the sun. Then the veil of the temple was torn down the middle. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commend my spirit"; and when he had said this he breathed his last. Luke 23: 44-46
28 Later, knowing that everything had now been finished, and so that Scripture would be fulfilled, Jesus said, “I am thirsty.” 29 A jar of wine vinegar was there, so they soaked a sponge in it, put the sponge on a stalk of the hyssop plant, and lifted it to Jesus’ lips. 30 When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit. John 19:28-30
The final stage of the torment of the cross takes place during an eclipse of the sun as darkness covers the land. Surely there is a correlation between the natural and the Spiritual here. The Father (as was the practice of the High Priest on the Day of Atonement) lays His hands upon the sacrifice. The full weight of sin is placed upon the body of the SON, eclipsing the light of His Glory, so the light of the SUN is blotted out from the sky. The death blow is struck, and the awful penalty is paid.
Two significant things take place at the moment of Jesus’ death, both of these are of immense importance. The first is that as He dies, Jesus shouts with His last breath a single word “tetelestai” which translated means “It is finished”.
Jesus was declaring that He had finished His race. "I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith". 2 Tim 4:7. Jesus had completed His course. Every task that the Father had given Him to do, He had completed. He had drunk the last dregs of the cup of the Father’s will. Every Prophecy that related to the Messiah had been fulfilled, not one detail had been missed. Jesus had become, in every way, the suffering servant. Even the description of the crucifixion so poignantly described in Psalm 22 was now complete.
This last shout was the shout of a warrior, a victor, a champion. Sin was defeated, the price was paid, the forgiveness of sin could now flow and reconciliation between God and man was possible.
Those at the foot of the cross understood what Jesus meant completely in that last moment of His life. It was common for the Greek word “tetelestai” to be written on business documents or receipts in New Testament times indicating that a bill had been paid in full. The Greek-English lexicon by Moulton and Milligan says this:
“Receipts are often introduced by the phrase [sic] tetelestai, usually written in an abbreviated manner...” (p. 630). The connection between receipts and what Christ accomplished would have been quite clear to John’s Greek-speaking readership; it would be unmistakable that Jesus Christ had died to pay for their sins.”
The mighty Son of God, in harmony with the Father and the Spirit, was not just declaring an outcome but delivering a verdict. In the case against men, only one declaration remained to be made, “NOT GUILTY”. The Judge of all was satisfied, one man had suffered for all now all could be free.
We see, then, that as one act of sin exposed the whole race of men to God’s judgment and condemnation, so one act of perfect righteousness presents all men freely acquitted in the sight of God. One man’s disobedience placed all men under the threat of condemnation, but one man’s obedience has the power to present all men righteous before God. Rom 5:18-19
In the case against YOU, the verdict was made, “Not Guilty”, “it is finished”, your debt papers have been stamped in red ink, “PAID IN FULL”
With the arrival of Jesus, the Messiah, that fateful dilemma is resolved. Those who enter into Christ’s being-here-for-us no longer have to live under a continuous, low-lying black cloud. A new power is in operation. The Spirit of life in Christ, like a strong wind, has magnificently cleared the air, freeing you from a fated lifetime of brutal tyranny at the hands of sin and death. Rom 8:1-2 Message
As the last breath escaped the lips of Jesus, a shock wave raced through the halls of darkness. Demons ran screaming from the scene, Satan and dark angelic majesties fell silent, their celebrations forcibly ended by Jesus’ cry. What had they done? “… the wisdom which none of the rulers of this age has understood; for if they had understood it they would not have crucified the Lord of glory;” 1 Cor 2:8 Defeated! Their kingdom authority, their power to rule was lost … it was only a matter of time now before they, as one, would be swept into an eternal lake of fire.
The second event transpired as Jesus expired on the cross. The massive curtain that separated the Holy Place from the sacred Holy of Holies was ripped in two from top to bottom.
This veil was made of blue, purple, and scarlet threads and finely twisted linen. Cherubim embellished the whole, woven into the fabric by skilled artisans Exodus 26:31; 36:35. It was to be hung before the holy of holies, a curtain, most likely 30 feet in height. Hidden behind the veil in the Holy of Holies was the ark of the covenant, the earthly representation of the Throne of God. Exodus 26:33
The veil existed to separate the holy place where the Priests ministered from the holy of holies Exodus 26:33 that most Holy place where the Shekinah Glory of God was in open manifestation. Only the High Priest, once a year on the Day of Atonement was allowed beyond this veil.
When the veil was ripped, Heaven was making a statement. The way into God’s Presence was now open. Jesus, through His blood, had opened a way for men to approach the Throne of God and receive Mercy and Grace.
Therefore, believers, since we have confidence and full freedom to enter the Holy Place [the place where God dwells] by [means of] the blood of Jesus, 20 by this new and living way which He initiated and opened for us through the veil [as in the Holy of Holies], that is, through His flesh, 21 and since we have a great and wonderful Priest [Who rules] over the house of God, 22 let us approach [God] with a true and sincere heart in unqualified assurance of faith, having had our hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb 10:19-22 AMP
So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most. Heb 4:16
This means that the breaking of Jesus’s body on the cross has granted us as believers, full access to the presence of God. We can come before the Throne with boldness, assured that we will be welcomed fully by our Heavenly Father. Follow the bloody footprints right to the Throne of Grace itself.
The last breath of Jesus then was a momentous, cry of victory. It is finished, everything is accomplished …. The way is now open. Jesus now invites us to walk right in and enjoy the presence of God, Father, Son and Holy Spirit.