“It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”[e] When he had said this, he breathed his last. 47 The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” 48 When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. 49 But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.” Luke 23.44-49
I’ve never heard of another persons death that caused such fanfare and signs of the supernatural. The sun stopped shining, the whole land became dark, the temple curtain was torn in two, and a Roman guard make a profession about Jesus being a righteous man. When people saw this they ”beat their breasts and went away.” The only remaining onlookers were some of Jesus’ followers including the most significant women in his life such as his mother.
Jesus only utters a handful of sentences from the cross but his last, ”Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” is perhaps the most significant. He’s marking his own death, the end of his journey, the completion of his mission. He’s giving up his spirit to death before his Father. He has the power to lay down his own life of his own volition (as affirmed in John 10.18). Of his own will, Jesus submitted to death on the cross.
This is a moment in history we should take notice. The other Gospel writes also give account, adding a few more details in places, but recording it as fact. Even Josephus, the famous Jewish history who lived during the time of Jesus, but was a Jew and not a believer in Christ, mentions the crucifixion of Jesus in passing [see https://pages.charlotte.edu/james-tabor/archaeology-and-the-dead-sea-scrolls/josephus-references-to-crucifixion/#:~:text=Antiquities%2018%3A%20Chapter%203,crucifixion%20of%20Jesus%20in%20passing]
Jesus has died, his final breath has left his body and now we wait for a miracle from God to restore the broken, resurrect the dead and redeem the lost. The sacrifice of Jesus means everything to a believer and his the only hope for the world in which we live. His final breath, given up before God, marks the first breath for all who believe.
Have you believed? Have you placed your faith in his care? Have you cried out to the Messiah Jesus to rescue your lost soul? Turn to him today. Cry out to him this moment. Don’t allow his final breath to be in vain but let it be the birth of your new life in Christ both today and for eternity.
“O Lord God, you are good. I am so grateful for your sacrifice because I could not die for myself. And if I did, my offering would not be enough. Only your righteousness can save us, appease a God who requires blood be shed for the remission of sin. Thank you Lord for taking our place and paving the way for us to know you. For your death restored the relationship between God and humanity. Come now, Holy Spirit, live within this body. Help me know you better each day and to pursue you with all my strength. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen