Jesus was arrested and stood trial at night in violation of the Sanhedrin’s own rules. He had been beaten and slapped by the Temple’s soldiers. When Pilate received the case, the Jews changed the charge from blasphemy to treason because they knew the Romans would not crucify Jesus except for a violation of Roman law. He was judged innocent, yet he was scourged, mistreated and crucified.
After several hours on the cross, the Son of God neared the end of his life. As death drew near, he said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” (Luke 23:46 NET).
Months later, a disciple of Jesus named Stephen was stoned for telling the Jews the truth about their history, their stubborn rebellion against God and accused them saying they had become the betrayers and murderers of God’s son. Before he died, Stephen cried, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” (Acts 7:59).
Solomon wrote each one of us has something in common: death. Humans and animals, he wrote, share one common fate; they both die (Ecclesiastes 3:19). Like animals caught in a trap, the day of death overtakes us.
The Bible calls death an appointment we all must keep (Hebrews 9:27). But humans very often live in denial that death is even possible until faced with their mortality. As a result, many never give death a thought.
When it is time for you to die, could you say the same thing Stephen said, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit?” Could you call on God committing your soul into his hands? Stephen was to say those words because his soul was ready. He had obeyed the gospel and had lived a faithful life.
Perhaps you need to do the same. Don’t wait. Death may be nearer than you think.