Page 10 - August 2023 - Truth & Tidings
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“ J   esus, when he had cried again with a   head  and died. But it was different than
            loud voice, yielded up the ghost” (Mat
                                              any other death in human history.
            27:50).  “When Jesus therefore had
        received the vinegar, he said, It is finished:   The Act of His Death
        and he bowed his head, and gave up the   All four Gospels decline to use the usual
        ghost” (Joh 19:30).                   word for “death” when recording Jesus’
                                              final moments on the cross. Matthew says
        The Fact of His Death                 that He “gave up his spirit” (27:50 NET).
                                              Mark (15:37) and Luke (23:46) note that
          There was only one thing left to do – die.   He “breathed his last” (NET). John reports
        But how could a sinless Man die? Death   that  Jesus  “released  his spirit” (19:30
        had no claim upon the Lord Jesus, but the   ISV). The verbs they use are all in the ac-
        Gospel records are clear: Jesus did indeed   tive voice. The Savior voluntarily ended
        die. Mark uses the word “dead” in rela-  His life by an act of His own powerful
                                              will. In John’s Gospel, this volitional act
        tion to Jesus (see 15:44). John adds that the   was forecast by Jesus a number of times
        soldiers “saw that he was dead already”   (10:11,15,17-18; 15:13), an act that only a
        (19:33). The Savior didn’t swoon and then   divine Person could perform. “This was
        “revive” later to claim a fraudulent resur-  a display of Jesus’ divinity, and yet it is
        rection. The remaining New Testament   mystifying – for how could God die? Thus
        books are filled with the glorious theme   as we deem Jesus’ resurrection to be a mir-
                                              acle, so was his death.”  Well did Charles
        of Christ’s unmistakable death.
                                              ³ The “bowing” of His head is the same verb
          It’s notable that Jesus died before the   found in Luke 9:58: “The Son of man hath not
        criminals next to Him did. Could anyone   where to lay his head.” Jesus finally found a
                                              place to “lay” His head.
        actually have died in the presence of the   ⁴ The Greek word here is paradidomi, found in
        “Prince of Life”?  And so Jesus bowed His   the LXX of Isaiah 53:12, where the Suffering
                                              Servant “poured out” his soul unto death.
        ¹ Bible quotations in this article are from the KJV   ⁵ Philip W. Comfort and Wendell C. Hawley,
        unless otherwise noted.               Opening John’s Gospel and Epistles (Wheaton, IL:
        ² I am indebted to A.J. Higgins for this insight.  Tyndale House Publishers, 2009), 242.

        234 TRUTH kTidings   August  2023
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