The Passion of Christ in the Gospel of Luke
A Guide to Meditation and Prayer
Week 6 - Day 4
The Darkest Day
The Death of Jesus
Meditation on Scripture- Read Luke 23:44-49 and write your reflections in the workbook. Use the summary below for further reflection on the passage. Prayer- Use the Guide for Prayer.
The crucifixion of Jesus took place from 9 a.m. in the morning, the third hour, until his death about 3 p.m., the ninth hour). About noon a deep darkness fell over the land as the spiritual suffering of Christ increased and creation itself mourned the spectacle. Luke reports that about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” These words came from David’s lips in Psalm 31:5. What Jesus added to David’s words was an address to his Father in heaven. Jesus understood, even better than David, the gracious nature of God who watched over his people, like a good and loving heavenly Father. Jesus also had a special right to call God Father, as he was his only begotten Son. When Jesus cried out, he breathed his last.
Luke reports the reaction of the centurion in charge of the crucifixion. He had certainly seen many men died, most of them in great agony and many with cries of anger. There was something different about Jesus’ demeanor on the cross. So remarkable was Jesus and were the events surrounding his death that the centurion exclaimed Jesus’ innocence. The crowds also felt as if they had witnessed something wrong and terrible take place. The women who had followed Jesus stood watching at a distance along with a number of Jesus’ other followers.
Things to consider –
· We note in all this that Jesus did not turn away from his Father’s will when the going got tough. He saw the path through to the end.
· What do you think Jesus meant by saying that he committed his spirit to his heavenly Father at his death? Do you think we will have to commit our spirit to God at our deaths? Do you see this as something you might do?
· Jesus said to his disciples, “Greater love has no one than this, that a man will lay down his life for his friends.” In what way does Jesus’ death show how great is God’s love for us. Do you feel this love your you?
· Jesus said, “No one takes my life from me but I lay it down of my own accord.” How do you see Jesus’ willingness to make this sacrifice as a sign of God’s goodness and love?
Guide for prayer –
· Take 1 minute to calm your mind and gather your spirit.
· Consider Romans 5:8 that says, “but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Reflect on this verse in prayer.
· Reflect on Christ on the cross. Picture the scene in your mind. Imagine yourself as one of those standing at a distance and watching. What would have been your feelings?
· Imagine yourself standing at the foot of the cross at the crucifixion. Imagine the sky turning dark at noon. What are your feelings?
· Thank God for what he did on the cross. Consider that Christ’s sacrifice was sufficient to pay for the sins of the entire world, past, present, and future. Consider how significant was this act of sacrifice by Christ.
· Commit your heart and mind and life and spirit to God. Consider how you might commit yourself to God as did Jesus.
· Take some moments to offer your own prayers to God. Offer whatever prayers seem appropriate.