Seven Last Words
“Into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Finally, it really is over. After about three years of “setting His face toward Jerusalem,” of cycles of enthusiasm and abandonment, of insult, isolation, and abuse, and after hanging on this cross for six hours, it is mercifully time to let go.
Jesus has lived the will of God His entire life and in fact this is what has brought Him to this point. He’s going to die today because of His absolute commitment to the leading of God.
It isn’t just that He follows the will of God, but because He is God, His death in a few moments comes from His love for people; His love for you. This is the end of the road on which He set out on from the beginning. Having missed the family caravan back home, He brushed aside His parents’ remonstrances by reminding them that He had to be about His Father’s business. His practice of confounding and frustrating the Jewish religious leaders will last the rest of His life. It has on this day resulted in His death, demanded by those very rulers who claimed to have no king but Caesar.
Here on top of this hill’s killing field Jesus is ready to realize the reconciliation of the world to God. The words “into Your hands I commit My spirit” are clearly reference to His imminent death—perhaps even His last breath. This is probably their primary import, but there are other secondary but just as important implications.
These words from Psalm 31, much like those from the 22nd Psalm, are words that reach out to a God who is not obviously present in His suffering, but who is trusted to be here by both the psalmist and Jesus. It is this trust perhaps that allows these words to form one bookend for His earthly life. At twelve He had been taken to the temple and instead of heading home, launched His attending to the Father’s business amidst the leaders of His people. On this day, He will complete His work by committing Himself to the Father one last time.
Jesus’ entire life was spent doing the Father’s will. As a result, Paul will call Him the Second Adam for His faithful life, and credit Him for reconciling the world to God.
Jesus’ life on earth was an example for us. His life demonstrated for us the way we are supposed to live—the way we are made to live. In these words, we are given the secret for such a life, and that is to commit ourselves to God, and seek to do His will in every moment.
Are you willing to live every moment for God? Are you willing to live every moment doing the things that Jesus would do if He were living your life today?
Most of us lose focus from time to time. It’s easy to let the troubles of life confound and confuse us so that we become defensive and do things designed to satisfy our egos and satisfy perceived wrongs. Do you ever find that you’ve lost focus?
What do you do to get yourself back on track after realizing you’re off target?
Much of the time the result of our being out of focus is hurt to someone else. What have you done, or might you do to fix those hurts?
What do you need to do?