LHM Lenten Devotion – April 10, 2014 “He Laid Down His Life”

 

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Lenten Devotions from Lutheran Hour Ministries

By Reverend Wayne Palmer

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“He Laid Down His Life”

April 10, 2014


Lenten devo cover 2014Read Luke 23: 44-49TEXT: Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your Hands I commit My spirit!” (See Luke 23:46.)

Having completed the payment for all our sins, and loudly proclaiming it to the world, there is no reason for Jesus to continue suffering on the cross. He fulfills the prediction He once made to the Jews, “For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it up again. No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of My own accord” (see John 10:17-18).

The time has now come. Luke tells us Jesus called out with a loud voice, committed His spirit to His Father’s safe-keeping, and breathed His last.

His sudden death and the events that surrounded it had a monumental impact on the people who witnessed it. The centurion had watched many criminals die from crucifixion-none was like Jesus. In the moments before He died Jesus proclaimed four statements with a loud voice: “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?”, “I’m thirsty,” “It is finished,” and “Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit.” Crucified criminals died from suffocation due to the accumulation of fluid in their lungs. How could Jesus speak loudly if His lungs were filled with fluid? And conversely, how could He suddenly die if His lungs were empty enough to speak loudly four times?

Seeing the way Jesus conducted Himself throughout His crucifixion, the unnatural way He died, and the miraculous signs that accompanied His death, the centurion could reach only one conclusion: “Certainly this man was innocent” (see Luke 23:47) and “Truly this was the Son of God!” (See Matthew 27:54.)

THE PRAYER: Lord Jesus Christ, when Your work on the cross was done You laid down Your life. On Sunday morning You took it back up again, rising from the dead. Give me faith to trust You always. Amen.

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