Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last (Luke 23:46).
Three of the seven statements Jesus made on the cross were quotations from Scripture: “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” being Psalm 22:1, “I thirst” coming from Psalm 69:21, and “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” from Psalm 31:5. These three Psalms describe the frustration of an innocent victim, who suffered both physically and emotionally at the hands of his enemies, and yet, at the same time maintains his trust in God. Of course, they were written to express the anguish of the psalmist, but Jesus also used those words to express his own feelings and because he saw himself as their ultimate fulfillment.
In his final words, Jesus is praying once again and he’s not criticizing or complaining about the tough times he was going through. He doesn’t react to the pain and the persecution of the cross by becoming judgmental and bitter toward his Heavenly Father. Instead, Jesus commits himself, totally and completely into his Father’s hands. He demonstrates that, when the chips are down, a person’s relationship with God is more important than anything else.
Notice what Peter wrote about Jesus’ death: “When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly (1 Peter 2:23). How did Jesus respond to unjust suffering? He entrusted himself to the Father. He placed himself and his accusers into the hands of the one who always does what is right.
Warren Wiersbe points out that “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” was actually a bed-time prayer used by Jewish children. These words show the confidence of Jesus. He knew the very best thing to do was to place himself into the Father’s hands.
It’s a great reminder to us who are Christ followers: When death comes knocking on our door, and the time has come for our transition into the next life, it’s best to commit ourselves totally and completely into the Lord’s hands. Of course, we don’t have to wait to be on death’s door to make a commitment to Christ and have eternal life. When we become united with Christ, we can die with the assurance that we will be with him forever (2 Corinthians 5:1-8; Philippians 1:20-23).
There is no better place to be than resting securely in the embrace of the Father and relying on his ongoing care.
Father, we commit ourselves to you without reservation today. Please take away our fear of giving you our all. Thank you for your faithfulness and help us to live with the assurance that you will never, ever let us go.
Are you willing to surrender your entire self to God today?