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God bless you and greetings in the name of Jesus Christ who paid the ultimate price for our redemption (I Corinthians 6:20; Hebrews 9:12).

While hanging on the cross, Jesus made seven statements before his death.  The final one is only recorded in the Gospel of Luke.  The Gospel of Luke emphasizes Jesus’ humanity and portrays him as a man.  As man he had to face death like the rest of us.  The record certainly sets an example for the rest of us to follow.

Luke 23:46:
And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.

Jesus controlled himself the entire time he was on the cross.  He held his head erect and was aware of all that was going on.  It was only after he said, “It is finished.”  That he bowed his head and gave up the ghost.

When Jesus said, “It is finished.” he was correct.  He had finished the work God had given him to do as the final and consummate Passover Lamb for all time.  Jesus had wanted to eat the Passover with his disciples, but at his last supper with them he realized that he would not be doing so.  Instead of eating it with them, he realized he would be giving his life as the Lamb of God who would take away the sins of the world.  This was on the 13th of Nisan, the night in which Jesus was betrayed.  John 13:1 speaking of this same time and event, the last supper, says, “Now before the feast of the Passover, when Jesus knew that his hour was come. . . .”  Luke records that Jesus’ hour had come, and he knew it.

Luke 22:14-16:
And when the hour was come, he sat down [This was the Last Supper, the Passover meal was to be eaten standing.], and the twelve apostles with him. 15 [Verses 7-13 tell of the preparation Jesus had made in anticipation of eating the Passover with his disciples, however by this time, he knew he would never eat it.] And he said unto them, With desire I have [aorist or past tense] desired [Polyptoton:  At one time I had earnestly desired] to eat this Passover [the immanent Passover meal on the 15th of Nisan] with you before I suffer [referring to his torture and death]: 16 [This verse is not in any of the other gospels and it is very unique.]  For I say unto you, I will not [by no means] any more eat thereof [The Stephens text says “of it” other mss just “it.”  What was the “it?” the Passover meal], until it [God’s true Passover for all-time, of which the Old Testament foretold] be fulfilled [pleroō, aorist subjunctive; referring to the point in time that it’s completely fulfilled] in the kingdom of God [God’s overall plan].

Jesus told them very solemnly that he would not by any means eat the Passover until the Passover was fulfilled in the kingdom of God, in God’s overall plan.  He knew he was to be the Passover, and he accepted the responsibility laid before him.

All four gospels record the wonderful truth that Jesus laid down his life for us.  They didn’t kill him; he willingly laid down his life in obedience to his Father’s will.  We just read in Luke 23:46 that it said, “and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.”  Matthew 27:50 also declares, “Jesus… yielded up the ghost.”  Mark 15:37 also records, “Jesus… gave up the ghost.”  Similarly, John 19:30 declared, “he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.”

The phrase “gave up the ghost” is translated from a verb from the same root as pneuma:  ekpneō.  It is translated “breathed his last” in the NIV & the NRSV.  It means “to take one’s last breath, to breathe out one’s life/soul, expire.”  It’s a euphemism for “die.”

The phrase “gave up the ghost” indicates that he willingly gave up his life.  No one took it from him; he laid it down.  He did not die until the time when all was fulfilled.  But when all his work for the complete fulfillment of God’s righteous redemption of mankind was finished, he bowed his head and died.  He breathed his last breath; his soul life ended.

About forty hours after his arrest, including prolonged periods of unspeakable physical and mental torture, including six excruciating hours of hanging on the cross, Jesus Christ gave up his life for you and for me.  He died about the ninth hour, 3 P.M., the hour the Passover lamb was to be slain.  He was our Passover Lamb as I Corinthians 5:7 says.

At the time of Jesus’ death, even the physical environment reverberated with the effects of that death.  The veil in the Temple, a very heavy linen curtain embroidered with spun gold, was torn from top to bottom.  In addition, there was also a great earthquake.  Rocks were torn loose and there was a great shaking of the earth.  Alarm struck the hearts of those nearby.  The earthquake was so astounding that the Roman centurion in charge of the soldiers guarding the crosses at Calvary was convinced by this that Jesus was in truth the Son of God.  Others nearby began beating their breasts, expressing great awe and concern at Jesus’ death and the subsequent events.  The synchronization of the earthquake with the Son of God’s death was a powerful sign to Israel and to everyone else present.

Jesus breathed his last breathe; he obediently gave up the ghost when all was finished, commending his spirit, his life, unto his loving heavenly Father fully expect for God to raise him back to life again.