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Jesus finished His work on the cross. Luke 23.44-49

Luke 23 (5)

Pray Psalm 34.19, 20.
Many are the afflictions of the righteous,
But the LORD delivers him out of them all.
He guards all his bones;
Not one of them is broken.

Sing Psalm 34.19, 20, 3.
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
See the Righteous as He suffers: God will save Him from His pains.
All His bones He keeps through suff’ring, every one, intact remains.
Refrain v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus!
Let us lift His Name in praise!

Read Luke 23.1-49; meditate on verses 44-49.


1. What did Jesus say from the cross?

2. What did the centurion say about Him?

Strange and wondrous events accompanied the death of Jesus. A great darkness covered “all the earth” as He hanged on the cross (v. 44). It was as if all the darkness of sin and unbelief from every age and place, past, present, and future, was summoned to Jesus, that He might bear it all away by His death.

The veil concealing the most holy place of the temple was torn from the top to the bottom (v. 45; Matt. 27.51), as if God Himself had rent it, both to declare His mourning for His Son and to open the way into His Presence through the death of Jesus.

Jesus cried out, quoting Psalm 31.5 and committing His spirit—His soul—to the Father (v. 46). Though His body would die, Jesus’ spotless soul would pass immediately to the Father to hear the “Well done!” He knew awaited Him.

A wave of changed attitudes swept over the crowd, beginning with the centurion who oversaw His crucifixion (v. 47). He declared the innocence of Jesus, and, perhaps hearing his words, the crowd gathered around the cross appears to have been convicted of their wrongdoing (v. 48). Surely this was the work of God’s Spirit, preparing His chosen ones for the day of Pentecost (cf. Acts 2.36-39).

Meanwhile, Jesus’ faithful followers “stood at a distance, watching these things” (v. 49). They mourned safely away from the crowds. None of them had any inkling of what would happen over the next three days.

Luke does not record Jesus saying “It is finished” (cf. Jn. 19.30). But it is clear from this passage that those words were true. The reign of darkness, finished. The dividing wall that kept the world from God, finished. The work of redemption for the salvation of a people for God, finished. Jesus’ earthly sojourn, His suffering and humiliation, and the power of sin and death, finished. All finished in the terror of darkness, so that a new day might soon break upon the world.

Treasures Old and New: Matthew 13.52; Psalm 119.162
“…having loved His own who were in the world. He loved them to the end” (Jn. 13.1).

“…You have brought Me to the dust of death” (Ps. 22.15).

“A posterity shall serve Him.
It will be recounted of the Lord to the next generation,
they will come and declare His righteousness
to a people who will be born, that
He has done this” (Ps. 22.31).

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, vast, unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in the its fullness over me,
Underneath me, all around me, is the current of Thy love;
Leading onward, leading homeward to my glorious rest above.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth never, nevermore;
How He watches o’er His loved ones, died to call them all His own;
How for them He intercedeth, watcheth o’er them from the throne.

O the deep, deep love of Jesus, Love of every love the best;
‘Tis an ocean vast of blessing, ‘tis a haven sweet of rest,
O the deep, deep love of Jesus, ‘tis a Heav’n of Heav’ns to me;
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee.
(S. Trevor Francis, 1834-1925)

This is a precious, dear and victorious death, which has destroyed our death and conquered life again for us.

(Miles Coverdale, 1488-1568)

Jesus was crucified to kill the power of sin and death. Over us.
In appreciation for His free, vast, unmeasured, boundless, and deep love:
We must be dead to self, and alive to Him! (Rom. 6.4-9; 2 Tim. 2.11).

Living in the Finished Truth!

For reflection
1. Is everything that Jesus finished, finished in your life? Explain.

2. Given all that Jesus endured and accomplished for you, what do you want to do for Him?

3. What does it mean for you to be dead to self and alive to Jesus?

This is a precious, dear and victorious death, which has destroyed our death and conquered life again for us. Let this death continue forever in our hearts, and let our own deaths be considered when we consider his death. This will bring us a comforting trust and hope when our own death is battling within us. We will not be afraid, nor will we despair, if we steadfastly believe that Christ died for us and that through his death he has opened to us everlasting life. Miles Coverdale (1488-1568), Fruitful Lessons upon the Passion, Burial, Resurrection, Ascension and of the Sending of the Holy Spirit (1593).24

Pray Psalm 34.8-17.
Meditate in prayer with thanksgiving on all that Jesus accomplished in His death. Rejoice to belong to Him, and commit your day to serving Him in all you do.

Sing Psalm 34.8-17, 3.
(Alleluia [Lowe]: Mighty God, While Angels Bless You)
Taste and see how good is Jesus; blessed are all who in Him hide.
None shall lack for any blessing who in Christ will e’er confide.
Refrain v. 3
Magnify the Name of Jesus!
Let us lift His Name in praise!

Though the beasts succumb to hunger, all who seek Him all things have.
Listen, children, I will teach you how to fear Him who can save.

Who loves life?  Who longs for goodness? Keep your tongue from evil ways.
Turn to good, from wicked wand’ring; peace pursue through all your days.

For the eyes of Jesus ever look to meet His people’s need.
Though He stands against the wicked, He will hear us when we plead.

T. M. and Susie Moore

You can download all the studies in our Luke series by clicking here.

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Except as indicated, all Scriptures are taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. For sources of all quotations, see the weekly PDF of this study. All psalms for singing are from The Ailbe Psalter (Williston: Waxed Tablet Publications, 2006), available by
clicking here.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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