6/2/19 - Into Your Hand
“Into your hand I commit my spirit; You have redeemed me, O Lord God of truth.” (Psalms 31:5)
When Jesus was on the cross, He was in perfect control of His mind and His attitude. He was intentionally laying down His life to take away our sins. He was also very much attuned to His Heavenly Father.
One of the first recorded sayings of Jesus on the cross was, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” This was more than a plea for help. Jesus was quoting from Psalms 22:1. This was used by the Jews as a call to worship in the synagogues. Those standing around the cross would have known that Jesus was drawing their attention to the spiritual importance of the sacrifice He was making. (Even so, His enemies continued to make cynical remarks about Him.)
Six hours of agony went by as Jesus hung on the cross. At the last He simply declared in one word, “Finished.” The darkened sky grew black. The temple veil was torn in two from top to bottom. Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit!” Having said this, He breathed His last breath (Luke 23:46).
As Jesus’ earthly life came to an end, He was still focused on our loving Heavenly Father. He had not failed in His mission, nor had been rejected by God. Instead, the Father would raise Him on the third day and receive Him back to glory at His ascension.
Jesus came into this world to save us from our sins and to renew our relationship with God. He came to show us how to live in harmony with the Father as we listen and follow His word. He also came to show us how to die. We are sometimes hesitant to talking about dying. Some won’t talk about it at all as if putting it out of mind will make it go away.
Jesus died with dignity. He had been stripped of His freedom, His health, His personal privacy, and even His clothes. Yet they could not strip Him of His forgiving spirit, His love for God and man, and His personal relationship with God. He did what was right to the very end. He never gave in to fear, anger, or retaliation. When verbally abused, He was silent. Through immense suffering, He did not accuse, abuse, or complain.
“For to this you were called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps: “Who committed no sin, Nor was deceit found in His mouth”; who, when He was reviled, did not revile in return; when He suffered, He did not threaten, but committed Himself to Him who judges righteously” (I Peter 2:21-23). May we grow to have the heart of Jesus in us, that in both life and in death, we will be at peace, committing ourselves to our Father in Heaven.