Verse 30 When He had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, He bowed His head and gave up His spirit.
Last week we were talking about God’s power. Today we start discussing what it meant for Him to use that power for the very thing that we would have used it against.
Sometimes power is best displayed by not doing what you have the power to do. This is the very thing that Jesus was showing by staying on the cross to finish the mission He had come to do. Since Jesus was fully man His being crucified would have been unbearable physically. The physical pain He was enduring as He hung on the cross was not something that anyone would choose to go through. And yet, here is Jesus, with the power to come down, due to His also being fully God, making the choice to continue unto death.
Crucifixion caused the criminal to suffocate as they became weaker and weaker which kept them from lifting themselves up by their feet to allow them to take a breath. This would cause their lungs to burn with lack of air and they would have felt foggy in thought as they lost oxygen. This would not have been anyone’s dream way of death. Yet it was the way the God-head had been planning since the beginning.
Take a moment and think about the irony of the situation. Here was the God of the universe, the giver of the breath of life from the very beginning, having the air He needed to breathe choked from His human body. This man who had the strength to break the very passage of eternity to become bound by time, allowing His physical strength to be broken to the point of death. He called Himself the Living Water and here He was asking for a drink. Yet even these ironies speak of His great power.
There is no doubt that Jesus had the power to keep Himself from dying or from hanging on that horrible cross. But instead of using His power to escape, He used His power and made the harder decision to stay on the cross and die. He knew that His job wouldn’t be finished without this act of ultimate sacrifice.
Making It Personal
When has it taken all of your strength to keep from doing or saying something? What is a situation in which you know that you need to use self-control to act as Jesus would have you act? Is there an area of your life that you need to ask the Holy Spirit to help you gain more self-control?
Making It Personal Kids
How powerful is Jesus? Why would Jesus not use His power to save Himself? Why did Jesus die for us?
Father, thank You for showing Your strength by staying on the cross. You alone were strong enough to stay on the cross and take our punishment. We can never thank You enough. In Jesus’ name, amen.