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Death On The Cross

Jordan Corlew, Youth Pastor

It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last.
Luke 23:44-46 

As we take in this passage we see Jesus gives over his spirit to his father as he takes his last breath. Such profound last words that acknowledge he was ready to fully take on all our sin and shame and deal with the pain of it all. It makes me think of what he was willing to do to take away all of that for us.  That a perfect man, who is also fully God, was willing to come down from heaven to earth and not just live, but also take on all of our sin in death so that we can be in right relationship with our Father. And it makes me think, what are we willing to do for people around us?

Most of our life can be summarized in just a few words: I want that. We make tons of decisions based solely on what makes us feel good. For example, the other day I really wanted doughnuts, but I did not want my kids to have any.  Let's be honest, doughnuts make my boys--to say this lightly--think they can be the real life Spider-Man. What I mean by that is they think they can climb up walls. So I had to devise a plan to leave the house in order to get the doughnuts.

Here is where it gets complicated because, when I leave, they always ask “dad where are you going?” I did not want to lie, so I checked to see if we need gas; nope all filled up. I asked my wife if we needed anything from the store, she replied that she just went shopping. I had to think of something--I really wanted doughnuts! Then it hit me: I had to take some things to the dump.  This was a chore that I was dreading doing, but I thought that if I wanted doughnuts this was my shot, so I took it.

Well, long story short, I spent four hours in line at the dump and never even got doughnuts. This whole thing started with me trying to get what I wanted and was willing to do almost anything to make that possible. This constant battle takes over us: how do we get what we want no matter what the consequences? Life for us is trying to build our own best life. Such a vast difference from what Jesus did on the cross that day for us. His own life was secondary compared to all of ours.

If we look at the example of his final breath, it is clear that Jesus' life from start to finish was all about two things: others and his Father. This is something we should try to imitate from our start to our finish.  Take time to think about what we can offer others, not just what we can receive. The way this is made possible is receiving what Jesus did on the cross for us. His gift fills us more than anything else we could ever desire. Once we do this we are able to pour out because we are already filled up. Then we can, with our final breath, have confidence in having lived a life that was about Jesus' vision and not ours, and know our spirit rests with God.

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