This one’s for Bud <3
We started a new series on the Holy Spirit in our class on Sunday and at the end of the lesson one of our members asked me a question.
It’s so tempting to try and come up with an answer when you are sitting in front of a group of people who showed up to hear what you have to say. But I learned a looooonnnngggg time ago that it is perfectly fine to answer questions about Scripture, God, Jesus and life with an honest “I am not sure.”
I promised to try and find an answer and because the question was so intriguing to me, I jumped right in Sunday night and yesterday morning with a word search and chasing rabbits. Because…me…
So since I need to be ready in one hour to run a timed errand, I am condensing the three pages of notes and reining in all my thoughts and sharing the question and the answer uncovered thus far.
The question centered on the phrase about Jesus giving up or commending His spirit just before He died on the cross and did that mean the Holy Spirit or something else.
So basically my understanding of the question was – Did Jesus somehow release the Holy Spirit just before He died.
Two gospels record this:
Luke 23:46 And when Jesus cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” Having said this, He breathed His last.
(It should be noted this is the same expression used in Psalm 31:5…but that is for another day.)
John 19:30 So when He had received the sour wine, He said, “It is finished!” And bowing His head, He gave up His spirit.
Here are some of the things I found regarding these passages and the word “spirit.”
In both of these passages the Greek word is “pneuma”; Strong’s 4154 to breathe hard, current of air; breath blast or breathe by analogy or figuratively; a spirit ie (human) the rational soul
Thus we can see, while it does have to do with the physical mechanics of taking in air and letting it out through the biology of our lungs, there is tied to it the concept of the soul/life of the being who is breathing.
We can see that more clearly by comparing to another word psuche; Strong’s 5590 with is the physical intake of air as compared to 4154 pneuma – the rational and immortal soul.
As I pondered this, I concentrated on my own breathing.
Without thinking or reminding myself, I take in and release air unless I consciously attempt to hold my breath in. And even then there comes a point where I can not overcome my need to breathe and unless I were to somehow force the blockage, I will eventually either have to burst out the air being held and take in fresh or I will pass out and thus my pneuma will take over while I am unconscious.
But beyond that I am more than my physical properties.
Anyone who has stood over the body of a loved one who has ceased to breathe knows that the physical intake of air was not the essence of the person.
That soul could not be held in the shell of a human body.
And when we meditate on that and then go back to the passages above, we need to breathe in the truth of the passage deep, deep and deeper still into our minds, souls, bodies and spirits…because…
What Jesus gave up.
What He willingly placed into the hands of the Father.
Was not the intake and outflow of His lungs.
It was His very life force.
Jesus did not die by an involuntary and inevitable response to the suffocation of His lungs on the Cross.
By His will…by His determination…by His obedience…He pushed up one more time to say…
Death and sin have lost.
I have done what You sent Me to do.
And then He, Himself, fully God and fully man…the One who spoke and His breath formed all of Creation…this ONE…
bowed His head in worship to God…
gave up in surrender His essence of being…
into the hands of His Father.
He breathed out His soul to God.
They didn’t kill Him.
He chose to die.
I laid awake much in the night thinking about the impact of this.
As my breath continued in and out, I thought how little I am in touch sometimes with the essence of who I am.
I think a lot about myself…trust me.
I think about my physical and emotional and spiritual and mental needs…my space…my time…how I look…what I will wear.
But little to nothing about my soul..the essence of who I am…surrendered…worshipfully bowing my head and committing that life force to the One who showed me the way.
Good question, Bud.
Thank you for making me think.
How about you?
Will you stop today and just breathe in and out for a while and then imagine Christ voluntarily breathing out one last burst of air to say…
It is finished.
And would you also bow your head in worship and commit all that is the fullness of your life to Him?
Thank you for spending time to research for an answer to my question. Your research gave me new knowledge about the last day for Jesus. It makes me sad and at the same time His last day brings me great hope and joy.
Many blessings, Bud J.
I was blessed by the search! So thankful you asked the question!
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