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Luke 23:44-46

Luke 23:44-46


Sermon: God’s Atonement for Sinful Humanity
Bible Passage: Luke 23:44-46

I. Two portents

For three hours—from 12 noon to 3 pm, there was darkness over the whole land (verse 44)

1. The sun stopped shining (verse 45)
2. It is impossible to have a solar eclipse on the Passover Day because the Passover happens on a full moon day—solar eclipse happens only on new moon day
3. It’s the ominous sign of judgment
4. In the OT, darkness during the daytime is associated with God’s judgement (cf. Exod 10:22)—popularly known as the Day of the Lord
5. The darkness at Jesus’ crucifixion represents God judging the Son who is the substitute for the sin of the world?—the climax of the salvation history?

a. God sent the Son to incarnate in this world
b. God the Father oversaw Jesus’ arrest, crucifixion, death, and burial
c. God the Father used the people and turn of events
d. God the Father was behind the crucifixion of the Son
e. God the Father atoned for the sin of the world through His Son

II. The Temple curtain was torn into two (divine passive) (verse 45)

1. Jerusalem Temple had two curtains: (1) one before the Court of Israel and (2) one before the Holy of Holies
2. Here Luke refers to the one before the Holy of Holies (Exod 26:33; cf. Heb 6:19; 9:3; 10:20)
3. This curtain symbolized the separation between God and man
4. Only on the Day of Atonement, the High Priest was allowed to go pass the curtain
5. Tearing of the curtain is a statement from God

a. At the atoning work of God the Father through Jesus, the veil between God and humanity is removed
b. It symbolizes God providing to humanity access to Him through Jesus (cf. Lev 16)
c. It brought to an end the ritualistic worship service of the Temple
d. The salvation history climaxed at the crucifixion of Jesus

III. Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” And after he said this he breathed his last

1. This happened at ninth hour, 3 pm in the afternoon
2. Jesus’ death at the 9th hour carries theological significance
3. It is at the 9th hour the animal was sacrificed at the Temple (cf. Ant 14.4.3)
4. Jesus died at the ninth hour signifying the sacrifice of atonement
5. Jesus uttered Psalm 31:6

a. All Jewish mothers taught their children Psalm 31:6 as a bedtime prayer
b. Here, Jesus commits Himself obediently to the Father
c. Jesus addresses God as Father, as twice before in the passion narrative (22:42; 23:34)
d. Through the parted veil, Jesus now communes with the Father in His death

6. “And having said this, he expired” ἐκπνεω (verse 46)—died

a. The Second Person in Godhead died—the biggest event in the history of the world
b. The Second Person in Godhead died for the atonement of sinful human being

Take Away:

Come to the Father through Jesus through the parted veil

Speaker: William J. Subash

Born and raised in south India, William J. Subash became a follower of Jesus Christ in 1983 at the age of nineteen. After a brief career in a tea and coffee plantation, Subash decided to spend rest of his life to preach about Jesus and his life-transforming message of God, which is popularly known as “the Gospel.” Subash teaches New Testament Studies at two institutions: SAIACS in India and Liberty University Online, VA, USA. Currently, Subash serves as the chief point person for GROW Gospel Initiatives and the Lead Pastor of the Crossroad Church, Bangalore. Write to him at