Luke 23:44-49 “It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, for the sun stopped shining. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When he had said this, he breathed his last. The centurion, seeing what had happened, praised God and said, “Surely this was a righteous man.” When all the people who had gathered to witness this sight saw what took place, they beat their breasts and went away. But all those who knew him, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things.
When Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” I like to think of him as falling back willingly into the Father’s arms–having no misgivings about the Father’s love or ability to protect Him. In these words, Jesus demonstrates faith to the fullest.
Jesus’ last words were a spear of light that shattered the darkness. He said,
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Those aren’t the words of a man who had suffered ultimate defeat. They were the words of a man who was going home—who was putting His spirit in his beloved Father’s hands—who was getting ready to re-join the Father in the heavenly realm where He had dwelled with the Father from before the beginning of time (John 1).
“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” When our time to die comes, I hope that we will remember these words. I hope that we, like Jesus, will be able to let go of this life with the calm assurance that we are going to join the Father and the Son in the heavenly realm. But we don’t have to wait until our dying day to say those words:
• Let us pray those words whenever we are troubled—whenever worry threatens to consume us, especially in these present uncertain times. Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
• Let us pray them whenever we are faced with problems that defy solution. When caught between a rock and a hard place, let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
• Let us pray them whenever doubt casts a shadow across our faith—whenever we are tempted to wonder whether God exists—whenever we doubt that God loves us. Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
• Let us pray those words today— bringing with us all our brokenness, and seeking God’s healing in our pain. Let us pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Because, when we place ourselves in God’s hands, He will hold us—comfort
us—strengthen us—lift us up. He will give us life.
We pray that you may continue to know yourself in the Father’s hands as we maintain our prayers for you here at the Living Well.
Hilary Assistant Chaplain at The Living Well.