Thursday, April 05, 2007

Surrender of the Spirit

Luke 23:45-46

45 • while the sun's light failed.

• And the curtain of the temple was torn in two.

46 • Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said,
"Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!"
And having said this he breathed his last.

Of the three things that happened virtually at the same time that Friday afternoon, the least spectacular was the prayer uttered by the crucified man on the centre tree. If the three events are taken to have significance (and they are mentioned together because Luke considered them to be significant) then the prayer might still be thought to be the least of the three but when it comes to understanding all three it is the prayer that puts a seal on the things that happened and explains them.

It is the prayer of committal that explains the sun's darkening and the rending of the temple curtain. Come another day and the sun shone again. No doubt, when the temple custodians got over the shock of the curtain being torn and it was possible to do so, the curtain was sewn up again. But never again would Christ be on the cross so, as he gave his life into the Father's hands, we can see the sun's eclipse as mirroring the departure of the Light of the world from the world and also that access through the temple curtain opened up into the Most Holy Place just as the Great High Priest was entering into heaven itself.

This prayer puts a seal to the sequence of words from the cross which began with a prayer also. (
The Word of Pardon )

No comments: