Having finished His work, the Lord "bowed His head, and gave up His spirit" (John 19:30). There was no jerk, no sudden slump. He bowed His head. The Greek word evokes the picture of gently placing one's head on a pillow. In the truest sense, no man took Jesus' life from Him-He laid it down of His own accord (cf. John 10:17). He simply and quietly yielded up His spirit, commending Himself into the Father's hands (Luke 23:46).

Only the omnipotent God who is Lord of all could do that. Death could not claim Jesus apart from His own will. He died in complete control of all that was happening to Him. Even in His death He was the sovereign Lord.

To the human eye Jesus looked like a pathetic casualty, powerless in the hands of mighty men. But the very opposite was true. He was in charge. He proved it a few days later when He forever shattered the bonds of death by rising from the grave (1 Corinthians 15:20).

And Jesus is still in charge. "For to this end Christ died and lived again, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living" (Romans 14:9).

This is the gospel. jesus christ, who is God incarnate, humbled Himself to die for our sins. Thus He became the sinless sacrifice to pay the penalty of our guilt. He rose from the dead to declare with power that He is Lord over all, and He offers eternal life freely to any sinner who will surrender to Him in humble, repentant faith.

The gospel promises nothing to the haughty rebel. But for broken, penitent sinners, it graciously offers everything that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 2:3). That's the good news.

Adapted from the gospel according to jesus, © John MacArthur. All rights reserved. Used by permission. 


Widely known for his thorough, candid approach to teaching God's Word, John MacArthur is a fifth-generation pastor, a popular author and conference speaker, and has served as pastor-teacher of Grace Community Church in Sun Valley, California since 1969. John and his wife, Patricia, have four grown children and fourteen grandchildren. John's pulpit ministry has been extended around the globe through his media ministry, grace to you, and its satellite offices in Canada, Europe, India, New Zealand, and Singapore. In addition to producing daily radio programs for nearly 2,000 English and Spanish radio outlets worldwide, Grace to You distributes books, software, audiotapes, and CDs by John MacArthur. In thirty-six years of ministry, Grace to You has distributed more than thirteen million CDs and audiotapes.

John is the president of the master's college and the master's seminary, and he has written hundreds of books and study guides, each one thoroughly biblical and practical. best-selling titles include the gospel according to jesusashamed of the gospel, Twelve Ordinary Men, and twelve unlikely heroes.