It’s interesting that twice in the last sayings of Christ from the Cross the gospel writers report that Jesus cried out with a “loud voice” (see Matthew 27:46 and Luke 23:46).
Usually, during crucifixion, the victim’s strength was drained away the longer they hung on the cross. Yet, it’s reported that Jesus still had the strength to cry out with a “loud voice” from the cross, even after hanging there for six hours! No doubt, this is one of the reasons why the Roman centurion, who was standing right in front of Jesus just before He died, said, “Truly this man was the Son of God” (Mark 15:39).
As a Roman commander the centurion had probably witnessed hundreds of crucifixions and never before had he witnessed the strength of a victim at the end of this type of grueling death. There was something unique, not only in the way Jesus lived, but also in the way He died. His “loud voice” only served to testify of His supernatural strength.
Jesus was fully God and fully man. He was not only the Son of God; He was also God the Son. This explains why, at one moment He could enter a boat and be so exhausted that He fell asleep in the midst of a storm. Yet, in the next moment, stand and rebuke the stormy wind and sea saying, “Hush, be still,” and have the wind die down and the sea become perfectly calm (see Mark 4:35-41).
Notice, when Jesus died He said, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.” When Jesus died on the cross, His soul and spirit separated from His physical body. Thus, Jesus didn’t “appear” to be dead. He literally died a physical death.
Scripture implies that man is a three-part being made up of body, soul and spirit. Because of sin, man’s spirit needs to be “born again.” Following this born again experience, man’s soul is “saved.”
Man’s soul contains his mind, his will and his emotions. After a person is born again of the Spirit, his soul undergoes a radical transformation.
His mind is now focused on God and the things of God.
His will is to do the will of God as revealed in the Word of God.
His emotions no longer control his actions, but follow his obedience to God’s will as revealed in God’s Word.
“Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you entirely” writes Paul, “and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved complete, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ” (1 Thessalonians 5:23).
Jessie J. Charpentier Sr. is pastor of Jenkins Memorial Baptist Church in St. Martinville.