Posted by: BibleScienceGuy | April 7, 2021

Crucifixion Miracle 3: Jesus Gave Up His Spirit

(3 Minute Read. 7Apr2021)

What did Jesus see as He looked down from the cross?

This painting by French artist James Tissot from the Brooklyn Museum collection portrays how the view from the cross might have looked for Jesus. Many Biblical details are evident. It would make an interesting jigsaw puzzle. Click the picture to enlarge it and see if you can find these items:
– Four women at the foot of the cross (John 19:25-27)
– The Apostle John (John 19:25-27)
– Roman Centurion and five soldiers (Matthew 27:54)
– Chief priests, scribes, rulers, and elders (Matthew 27:41-43; Luke 23:35)
– Sponge and reed used to offer Jesus sour wine (Matthew 27:48; John 19:28-30)
– A tomb (John 19:41-42)
– Olive trees

As you meditate on this woeful scene, do you remember what astounding, unparalleled action Jesus took as He hung on the cross?

What Our Lord Saw from the Cross
Painting by James Tissot (1836–1902)

This Easter season I have been studying the Seven Crucifixion Miracles that occurred while Jesus hung on the cross. Here are the Crucifixion Miracles reported in the Gospels:
1. Thief on the cross saved.
2. Darkness covered the land for three hours from noon to three.
3. Jesus voluntarily gave up His spirit of His own accord.
4. Temple veil torn in two from top to bottom.
5. Earthquake and rocks split.
6. Tombs opened and dead raised to life.
7. Roman Centurion and his soldiers converted.
(Matthew 27:38-54; Luke 23:39-47; Mark 15:33-39; John 19:28-30)

The preceding articles,
Crucifixion Miracle 1: Thief Saved and
Crucifixion Miracle 2: Darkness Noon to Three
covered the first two Crucifixion Miracles. This blog article covers the third Crucifixion Miracle from the above list.

Crucifixion Miracle 3: Jesus Voluntarily Gave Up His Spirit of His Own Accord

The most influential life ever lived was that of Jesus of Nazareth. Two thousand years later, about one third of the world’s population identify as Christians, followers of Jesus. That is staggering influence.

Despite His life being so influential, the most important event of His life was His death! And there was something strikingly unusual, even strange and mysterious, about the death of Jesus on the cross.

For a man in the prime of life and in good physical condition as a result of hiking all over hilly Israel for three years, Jesus lasted only six hours (9 am – 3 pm) on the cross. Men usually lasted several days on a cross.

Why did Jesus last only six hours before dying on the cross?

Matthew, Luke, and John all record the supernatural nature of this event:
And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice, and yielded up His spirit. (Matthew 27:50)
And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last. (Luke 23:46)
When Jesus therefore had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And He bowed His head, and gave up His spirit. (John 19:30)

Christ died completely differently from how we die when our time on earth ends. His death was not through necessity or through compulsion or because His body was so damaged He could not keep from dying. He died voluntarily, intentionally, purposefully, of His own free will. This was an unprecedented and remarkable miracle of the Divine.

Jesus was not “near death” when He died, for immediately before giving up His spirit He cried out twice with a loud voice (Matthew 27:46-51; Mark 15:34-37). Jesus was not dying when He died. His death was a decisive act of the will by a strong man.

On the cross, Jesus did not swoon; He did not drift into unconsciousness; He did not succumb to pain, shock, or exhaustion. With a triumphant cry, Jesus died on purpose with His work completed.

Jesus had foretold that he would voluntarily give up His life of His own accord only a few months previously:
“For this reason the Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. No one has taken it away from Me, but I lay it down on My own initiative. I have authority to lay it down, and I have authority to take it up again. This commandment I received from My Father.” (John 10:17-18)

Ordinary humans cannot just give up their spirits and die. And when dead, ordinary humans certainly cannot take up their lives again. But Jesus said that He could and that He would. And He did! (Matthew 28:1-10)

Jesus’ death was an explicit choice to yield His spirit to God the Father. It was a physical occurrence outside the normal realm of physical processes. The only reason it happened was by divine fiat. It was a decisive, sovereign act of Jesus’ own free will. It was something that only God could do. Only the Creator and Giver of life could yield His life at will. It was therefore a supernatural divine act — a miracle. It was a clear and distinctive sign of Jesus’ divinity.

This was all according to the plan of God to arrange atonement for man’s sin. It was foretold by the prophet Isaiah 700 years earlier:
Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried.
Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.
But He was pierced through for our transgressions; He was crushed for our iniquities.
The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, and by His scourging we are healed.
All of us like sheep have gone astray; each of us has turned to his own way.
But the Lord has caused the iniquity of us all to fall on Him.
(Isaiah 53:4-6)

Questions to Ponder

1. Why was the death of Jesus the most important event of His life?
2. Have you claimed the atonement for your sin that Jesus offers?
   (John 3:16-18)
3. How should a rational person respond to these compelling proofs
   of Jesus’ divine nature?

Share your thoughts on these questions in the comments below. It could encourage or help another reader.

For Christ and His Kingdom. Soli Deo Gloria. Alere Flammam Veritatis.

Read the prequels:
Crucifixion Miracles
Crucifixion Miracle 1: Thief Saved
Crucifixion Miracle 2: Darkness Noon to Three

Read the sequel:
Crucifixion Miracle 4: Temple Veil Torn in Two

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©William T. Pelletier, Ph.D.
“contending earnestly for the faith”
“destroying speculations against the knowledge of God”
“for the defense of the gospel”
(Jude 1:3; 2 Cor 10:5; Phil 1:16)
Wednesday April 7, 2021 A.D.

Do you not know that all of us who have been baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death? We were buried therefore with Him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life. For if we have been united with Him in a death like His, we shall certainly be united with Him in a resurrection like His. (Romans 6:3-5 ESV)

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Responses

  1. You are missing the point of His voluntarily giving up the spirit when He did. His pain and anguish didn’t start with the nails. It started the night before. When blood came from every pore He should have died then. No mere human could have endured that kind of pain. The miracle is that He suffered many more times what a mere human could suffer without dying. As he bore the sins of billions of people of the human race blood was squeezed from every pore while by the olive press. Many have been crucified and have suffered tremendously. But His suffering surpassed all human capability, even an infinite suffering. When his suffering was sufficient to cleanse the world and He had trod the wine press alone, then He announced, “It is finished. Into thy hands I commend my spirit.” That is the miracle. That is how much He loved us. We cannot even comprehend His suffering.

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