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Rays of Light Bible Lessons by Keith Holder

JESUS YIELDS TO PHYSICAL DEATH

Matt 27:45-50 Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? That is to say, My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, This Man calleth for Elias. And straightway one of them ran, and took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink. The rest said, Let be, let us see whether Elias will come to save Him. Jesus, when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. (Also See Mark 15:33-37; Luke 23:44-46; John 19:28:30)

The darkness, that that occurred during the time Jesus was on the cross of Calvary, covered the land from the sixth hour ...unto the ninth hour. In today's accounting of the day, this darkness would have covered the land from noon until three o'clock in the afternoon. Many bible scholars rationalize this as a natural occurrence, saying that it was an eclipse of the sun due to the positioning of the moon between the sun and the earth that took place at this time. Luke, however, says that during this time the sun was darkened (Vs. 45). This seems to describe, not a complete darkness, but a deep gloom that pervaded the area. It certainly tells us that it was not an eclipse of the sun, but rather the sun, for this period of time, lost its ability to produce complete daylight. I prefer to believe that this was a direct act of God that signified the time of Jesus' suffering on the cross of Calvary - a time when He was the spiritual light of the world, which shown so brightly during His earthly ministry - the spiritual light which the Jews rejected was now being taken away from them and extinguished.

Having been crucified at the third hour of the day (Mark 15:25), Jesus had hung on His crucifixion cross in human pain and anguish for about six hours. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? Being allowed to die on the cross of Calvary by His Heavenly Father, without any intervention to ease the suffering Jesus was experiencing the human side of our Savior, and He felt, not only pain, but the fact that He alone and felt abandoned by His heritage - His Jewish family. Therefore the language used by Jesus at this time carried this meaning: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me, which were the same words found in Psalm 22:1. Although both carry the same meaning, the translation found in Matthew appears to be derived from the Hebrew language, while that found in Mark 15:34, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani, is more a form of Syriac.hose that have studied ancient languages tell us that these translations were a combination of both languages.

Some of the multitude that had gathered around the site of the crucifixion heard what Jesus said, but understood it to mean that He was calling for Elias, also known as the biblical prophet, Elijah. With this being said, the multitude seemed to have this thought: let us see whether Elias will come to save Him. Both Matthew and Mark write that, at this time, a certain person came to the cross on which Jesus was suspended and brought a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave Him to drink. No doubt this action was prompted when Jesus saith, I thirst, which was recorded only by John (19:28). Although Jesus fulfilled many Old Testament prophecies, it seems that this act was the fulfillment of the last prophecy regarding Jesus' His life on earth. David wrote this about our Lord and Savior: in My thirst they gave Me vinegar to drink (Psa. 69:21).

These final acts being done, Matthew wrote that when He had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. Practically the same was written by Mark, but, according to Luke's record, Jesus said, Father, into thy hands I commend My spirit: and having said thus, He gave up the ghost. John adds that, immediately before His death, Jesus uttered these final words: It is finished. When Jesus took His last breath and died, all four gospel writers noted in words similar to these: He gave up the ghost! The revised King James Version gives a better translation by saying the Jesus yielded up His spirit. God endowed every man and woman that is born with, not only a physical body, but also a spirit or soul. Jesus gave His life at God's direction, but with His consent - His body became a free-will offering for sins of all mankind. Unlike mankind, Jesus' death was undeserved; He was sinless. Regarding the sacrifice of His physical body Jesus had this to say: No man taketh it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This commandment have I received of My Father (John 10:18).