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Luke 23

Luke 23 reflections:

What do you really say about this chapter? There is so much that is being told in such horrific and beautiful detail.

The history of humankind shifted at this moment on the cross.

I have started a journey of reading more out The Message translation – which translates the language into a more readable version while staying true to the original language. Today, as I read this passage, I was struck by the depth of hurt, pain, victor, the big picture coming to pass and so many emotions.

I got a lot of ‘feels’ today as I read.

So I want to share the part that just stops me in my tracks.

By now it was noon.

The whole earth became dark,

the darkness lasting three hours—a total blackout.

The Temple curtain split right down the middle.

Jesus called loudly, “Father, I place my life in your hands!”

Then he breathed his last.

Luke 23:44-46 (The Message)

The whole earth became dark. There was a total blackout. The sun out of sheer grief at the pain of the architect stopped shining. Or there was a total eclipse of the sun or moon? Not likely due to the days of Passover do not align with a known eclipse. Again God is not bound by the natural. He can work in the supernatural. I do need God nor do I want God to be bound by the limits of the natural realm. I digress…

The temple curtain split down the middle. Some estimates the curtain 60 feet high and up to 4 inches thick and horses tied to each side could not have torn it in two. It separated the Holy of Holies from the rest of the temple. It was the way of saying there was the most intimate place of God was separated from humanity. And sin was the dividing force. Sin kept people from entering into the Holy of Holies. Jesus made a way for us to dwell with God and God with us. The old was torn down, and a way was made for us to dwell with God.

Jesus called out loudly – Father I place my life in your hands. And then he breathed his last. The moment is startling. The earth is dark because all of creation is mourning. And in the temple, the blockades are broken down and wiped away in an act of extravagant love. It was scandalous that the Holy of Holies was exposed. But Jesus through his death opened the way. And when he committed his life to God’s hands, it was finished. He breathed his last.

All of history now hangs on this moment. We all are drawn and bound by the truth of this moment. We all are provided a way to dwell in God or better said God dwells in us because now we are the temple of God in which God’s Holy Spirit dwells.

So much in so few verses.

May God open our eyes to the depth of this reality.

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