What Jesus Did! 'Rich with Grace' — Luke 23:44-46

Saturday, December 23, 2023

By this time it was about noon, and darkness fell across the whole land until three o'clock. The light from the sun was gone. And suddenly, the curtain in the sanctuary of the Temple was torn down the middle. Then Jesus shouted, "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!" And with those words he breathed his last.
— Luke 23:44-46 NLT

Key Thought

Those few words are filled with great richness and significance for us. There are at least three messages for us:
  1. Jesus' death occurred in deep darkness, a darkness that symbolized Satan's power and had its way for a brief spell before its stranglehold on us was broken forever by Jesus' resurrection.
  2. The curtain was between the Holy Place and the Most Holy Place in the Temple, just as it had been in the Tabernacle. [1] The Most Holy Place was considered by Jews to be the dwelling place of God. [2] The tearing of the curtain symbolizes Jesus' opening up the way for us to enter the Most Holy Place, the very presence of God, with confidence and find grace at the mercy seat of God. God has further validated this direct access to him by coming to live in us through his Holy Spirit that he has given us. [3]
  3. In his final breath, Jesus entrusted everything to his Father in faith; in our worst moments, we can know that no matter how forsaken we may feel, God will bring us to himself in glory. Jesus took his last breath and his earthly body died; each of us must one day give up our last breath, but because of Jesus' death and subsequent resurrection, we can die with confidence.

Which of the three messages do you need most today? Look to Jesus and trust in his grace to strengthen and sustain you.

[1] Exodus 26:33.
[2] Exodus 40:1-3, 25:22.
[3] Romans 8:11.

Today's Prayer

Father, what can I say in response to the gift of your Son? All praise to you, the God Almighty, the Father of mercy, and the Sovereign God of grace. Jesus, thank you for your example and the price you paid to provide grace for me. Now I finish this prayer with the request that you, O Holy Spirit, fill and empower me to have the same trust during my struggles as the Lord displayed as he faced his trials and death. In the name of Jesus, my Lord and Savior, I pray. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Hebrews 10:19-25
  • Hebrews 2:14-18
  • Hebrews 4:14-16

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Illustration

Illustration of Luke 23:44-46 NLT — "Father, I entrust my spirit into your hands!"

About This Devotional

What Jesus Did! is a series of one-year devotional guides through each gospel, using one short scripture passage each day and following the Gospel in sequential order. Each devotional consists of a scripture passage and a reflection and a prayer which open up the day's scripture and show how it challenges you to live for Jesus.

What Jesus Did! is written by Phil Ware and is available in book form.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.