Summary: Jesus safely commits Himself into the hands of God, knowing that all is complete. It is for this reason that our souls can be at peace.
Into Your Hands
Congregation in the Lord Jesus Christ,
Talk about bed-time prayers
The ritual of tucking children into bed … then pray … a popular prayer.
Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep.
If I die before I wake. I pray the Lord my soul to take.
It is a simple prayer but it has so much meaning.
If God does not watch over us while we are asleep … then all is lost.
If we go through the day and the Lord is not with us … then all is lost.
If we were to die and we are not in the safe keeping of God … then all is lost.
As such we recognise the importance of this prayer which many of us learnt as a child.
In Jewish households, when Jewish mothers tuck their children into bed they would also pray. And the prayer they used comes from Psalm 31.
1 In you, Lord, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness.
2 Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me.
3 Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me.
4 Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hands I commit my spirit; deliver me, Lord, my faithful God.
Jesus has been through so much.
Now all has been completed.
Then He says this prayer … it is almost the same prayer His mother used for Him all those years ago. Father … into Your hands I commit My spirit. It is a very simple … but also very powerful prayer. So let’s have a closer look and see why.
Almost every time Jesus referred to God, He is Father. He called God “Father” almost 150 times … often referring to Him as "my Father".
The opening of this prayer reminds us of the intimacy there is between God the Father and God the Son.
And that is important to remember.
Because there was one time Jesus does not use the term Father … and that time happened at the end of the three hours of darkness when Jesus had cried out, My God, my God, why have you forsaken Me?
Why is there no intimacy between us?
Why are You pouring out Your wrath?
Why am I unable to experience Your grace?
The intimacy was broken for a time.
But not anymore. After 6 painful, agonizing hours on the cross, Jesus hands over His life, back to His Father. Jesus dies with the knowledge that the price has been fully paid. Whatever happened in those three mysterious hours of darkness is now in the past. And Jesus can be at peace with His Father.
And that is really important for us.
This intimacy which Jesus has with God enables us to have peace knowing that all that was necessary for our salvation had been organised.
Some people think that Jesus died because of the agony He has gone through. It was too much to endure. Yes it was terrible … but many other crucified people had lasted longer. In fact it seems that, compared to other people, Jesus did not last very long at all. Let me read to you from Mark 15:43-44,
Joseph of Arimathea, a prominent member of the Council … went boldly to Pilate and asked for Jesus’ body. Pilate was surprised to hear that He was already dead.
Jesus doesn’t die because He can’t endure. He dies because everything is in place. All is not as it seems here. It’s Friday, but Sunday is coming.
In three days time He will rightly rise from the dead.
In 43 days time He will ascend to heaven.
In 54 days time He will send the Spirit who will give birth to the New Testament church.
And then the Gospel will spread like wildfire. From Jerusalem to every nation and tribe and people and language.
Crossing into new continents.
Continuing through the ages … to each one of us.
There was no more to be added. And we are the special beneficiaries … all because of the intimacy that there is between God the Father and God the Son.
That brings us to the second set of words. Into Your hands
When we see someone we haven’t seen in a long time, we shake hands or we hug. When we walk with our children they often want to hold our hand … and they will not hold the hand of a stranger. We feel safe when our hand is in the hand of someone we know. And that was just as true for Jesus. You see