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Father, Into Thy Hands I Commit My Spirit!

The seventh and last sentence of Jesus Christ on the cross

Tina S
Tina S
Apr 6, 2010
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Religion


 

Luke 23:46 -- Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!" And having said this he breathed his last.

 

This saying is based on Psalm 31:5. Because of this, it is unlikely that 'my spirit' refers to a disembodied soul, but simply to one's self: I put myself in your hands now.

The last of the seven words -- "Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit" -- is not the conclusion of a bargaining process. Jesus does not say, "I give you my spirit in exchange for the resurrection day after tomorrow." In this part of the story Luke leaves it at "he breathed his last." The ultimate question is not "What happens when I die?" but "In whom can I trust to the end?"

"It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour" (Luke 23:44; cf. Matt. 27:45; Mk. 15:33).

The very fact that this darkness is mentioned shows it must have stood out in memory as having been of great intensity and an unforgettable experience. It occurred when least expected, at high noon, and lasted three hours, not a few minutes like an eclipse. Besides it was the time of the full moon at Passover when the darkness covered the whole land. No one can say the darkness did not extend over the whole of the daylight half of the globe.

This darkness was in the presence of the full sun and covered the sun at noonday. All at once the darkness covered the land and it seems to have departed just as suddenly. It was not late afternoon as the sun normally goes down quietly, but it was a frightful darkness that suddenly dropped like a thick curtain.  It was very extensive and concentrated like the three days darkness in Egypt during the plagues preceding the first Passover. Like that event there is only one explanation––God. It was a special act of God. It was as if God put His hand over the sun and blocked its light for three hours.

Moreover, in the moment Jesus died the one-inch thick woven loose–hanging curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Hollies into two rooms was sliced into from top to bottom. It did not shake to pieces, but was like a giant hand took hold of it at the top of the veil and ripped it apart from top to bottom.

The moment Christ died “the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many" (Matthew 27:51-53). Luke simply says, "the veil of the temple was torn in two" (Luke 23:45). Referring to the same event Mark writes, "And Jesus uttered a loud cry, and breathed His last. And the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom" (Mark 15:37-38). The rending of the veil occurred at the moment of His death.

Matthew tells us that other things happened. "And behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth shook and the rocks were split. The tombs were opened, and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; and coming out of the tombs after His resurrection they entered the holy city and appeared to many" (Matthew 27:51-53).

Josephus (War VI. 299) tells of a quaking in the temple before the destruction and the Talmud tells of a quaking forty years before the destruction of the temple.

"Father, into Thy hands I commend my spirit."

The victorious Son commits His all to His Father. This is what we would expect of the person who lived the way Jesus did. He had a perfect trust in the heavenly Father which was never broken.

He then addressed His Father in the final statement from the cross, “Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit” (Psalm 31:5). Jesus died with a bedtime prayer upon His lips that every Jewish mother taught her children. He had learned it in the arms of Mary. Only one word is added to this verse, "Father."  It tells us how our Lord died: confidently, willingly (John 10:17–18), and victoriously (John 19:30). Barclay says, "Even on a cross, Jesus died like a child falling asleep in his father's arms." Moreover, everyone who knows Jesus as their Savior may die with the same confidence and assurance (2 Cor. 5:1–8; Phil. 1:20–23).

Jesus was an obedient Son through out His life and ministry. Everything that He said or did can be understood only in the light of the cross. Calvary is the key to truth. The message of God centers in His Son on the cross dying for sinning humanity. Unless we are the instruments of His will we blunder through our physical existence without any worthwhile purpose. Jesus repeatedly tells us He did nothing except in the Father’s will. “I can do nothing,”

Jesus said, “on My own initiative. As I hear, I judge; and My judgment is just, because I do not seek My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me” (John 5:30). “My Father is working until now, and I Myself am working. . . Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing, whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner” (vv. 19-20). Jesus came to do the Father’s will and on the cross He is accomplishing the ultimate purpose of His coming to this earth.

Jesus entrusts his spirit -- his life --

     and all that has given it meaning --

     to God in faith,

even at the point of his own abandonment

when the good seems so very far away

he proclaims his faith in God,

the darkness cannot overcome it.



 

Author's note: Ref: The Holy Bible
Keywords: Father, Into Thy Hands I Commit My Spirit,Father, Luke 23:46, darkness,Psalm 31:5,John 10:17–18,father,veil of temple,top to bottom,moment of death.



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