“And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.” (Mt. 27:50, ESV)
If you look up the word yield in the dictionary, it will say “to give up or over; to relinquish or resign; to surrender.” And if you look at the Greek word used here by Matthew (aphiēmi) it means “to let go, let alone, let be; to give up.”
True confession time: I am not a great yielder. I am not good at letting go of my rights, privileges, preferences, plans, or agendas, for the sake of another. In fact, whenever I see a yield sign on the road, my knee-jerk response is, “If I get there first, then they will have to yield.”
Yet here in Matthew we see our Savior yielding up the most precious thing of all, his very life. He lets go of his rights and privileges and preferences for our sakes. And then he has the audacity to tell us that if we really want to follow him, we must do the same.
Oswald Chambers said it well when he said: “He never asks us to decide for Him, but to yield to him—a very different thing.” Life with Jesus is not about conquering, but about yielding; something he tried to get the disciples to understand time after time. And now it’s our turn.
Lord Jesus, teach us what it means to yield up our lives to you the way you did for us.