For the religious leaders who had Jesus put to death, it was the preparation day for the Passover, which took place on the 14th day of the month.  Jesus and His disciples, reckoning the first of the month a day earlier than those in Jerusalem based on the sometimes ambiguous sighting of the new moon, had celebrated it the night before.  In this way Jesus was able to establish the Lord’s Supper as the New Testament fulfillment of the Passover and still in God’s sovereignty be put to death as the Passover Lamb who takes away the sin of the world at the exact time those in Jerusalem were offering their Paschal sacrifices.  No sooner had they raised Him upon the cross than an extraordinary darkness fell upon the land as if to express the divine displeasure for the darkness into which they had led their nation.  Now, after three hours upon the cross, as Jesus’ life was passing away, that darkness was turning to light, as the light of the gospel showing the way to life through death began to dawn.

Scripture records a total of seven things Jesus spoke from the cross, six of which were now past; see Luk 23:34,43, Joh 19:26-27, Mat 27:46, Joh 19:28,30.  With the most recent He knew that everything had been accomplished, and to symbolize that fulfillment he swallowed the sour wine offered Him to empty the cup of suffering God had given Him to drink, and proclaimed, “It is finished.”  In submission to the will of the Father He had surrendered up His life, so there was nothing left for Him to do; see Heb 10:12-13.  In faith, all was now in the hands of the Father to use His sacrifice according to His will to accomplish His purposes, with Jesus trusting—and teaching us the same—that even through death God would demonstrate Himself faithful.  What does Matthew record Jesus did just before He died?  See Mat 27:50.  And what does Luke record that Jesus cried out that was the last of the seven words He spoke from the cross that expressed His faith in the good will of the Father even as He was being swallowed up by death?  See Luk 23:46.  What passage of Scripture did Jesus have in mind in saying these words, that helps us to understand all the more His hope in God that although His life was now being given over to death, still He would yet deliver Him from death to live again?  See Psa 31:5; cf. Psa 31:1-4.  Are our lives as full of God’s word from having meditated and mused upon it so that in times of trial, and especially at our death, it is on our lips as a hope and encouragement?  Cf. Psa 77:7-12, 143:1-6.  Which Old Testament saint from perhaps the oldest book in the Bible expressed the same faith of Jesus, that although given over to death, God would yet deliver him from death?  See Job 19:25-27.

What did Jesus mean to commit His Spirit into the hands of the Father?  See Luk 12:48, 1Ti 1:18, 2Ti 2:2, and 1Pe 4:19 where the word is also translated as entrust.  Note also that the word means literally to set before, and is most often used for setting before another food to eat; see Mar 6:41, 8:6-7, Luk 10:8, 11:6, Act 16:34 as well as Mat 13:24,31, Act 17:3 for serving or setting spiritual food before another.  What does this remind us about the close relationship throughout the Bible between the teaching of God’s word and the fellowship or communion of eating physical food?  See Deut 8:3, Mar 6:32-37, 8:1-6, Joh 6:33-35,51, Act 2:42,46, 6:1-4, etc…  See also Num 28:2 and Eze 44:6-7 from which we understand that offering a sacrifice to God is in some sense setting food before Him, to have communion with Him; how does Jesus’ sacrifice of Himself to the Father help us to understand the ultimate sense in which we set food before Him, that although not having strictly to do with physical eating, has everything to do with the fellowship that comes from serving Him sacrificially?  Cf. Joh 4:31-34.

How does Matthew describe the passing of Jesus from life to death?  See Mat 27:50 and note that the NAS yielded up means to let go and is often translated as to let or allow or permit.  In the same context Mark uses it to say that Jesus uttered or sent forth, i.e., let go, a loud cry; Mar 15:37.  The word is also commonly translated as to forgive in the sense of letting go or releasing another from a debt or obligation.  We understand then that the word is used to express the active yielding of one’s will or volition to another; cf. Joh 10:15,17-18, 1Jo 3:16.  See also Joh 19:30 where John says that He gave up His spirit, using the word that means to hand over or deliver up into the power of another.  Hence in stark contrast to Judas who through an act of his will betrayed or handed Jesus over to the religious leaders, who then as an act of their will delivered Him up to Pilate, Jesus as an act of His will delivered up His Spirit to the Father, entrusting Himself to His just and able care.  To be clear, what exactly is understood when the Scripture says that Jesus yielded or gave up His spirit?  See Jam 2:26.

How does Luke describe Jesus’ passing from life to death?  See Luk 23:46; cf. Mar 15:37 and note that the word used means to breathe out, which is used euphemistically for breathing out one’s last breath; i.e. for expiring, or as the KJV puts it, giving up the ghost.  Consider too the close relationship between one’s breath, and the spirit that gives him life, with the same Greek and Hebrew words (πνεῦμα  and רוּחַ) being used for both; cf. Gen 6:17, Rev 11:11; see also Job 27:3, 33:4, 34:14-15, Isa 42:5.  Hence, to breathe one’s last or expire is the same as yielding up one’s spirit, and so they are used synonymously by the different gospel writers.

Sayings of Jesus on the cross Matthew Mark Luke John
Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. 23:34
Verily I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in paradise. 23:43
Woman, behold thy son! and Behold thy mother! 19:26–27
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? 27:46 15:34
I thirst. 19:28
It is finished. 19:30
Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit. 23:46