Just Announced: Philippians Sermon Series

Summary: This statement shows the trust that Christ had for His Heavenly Father. Even today this statement has some powerful messages in it for our lives today.

Today we come to the last statement of our series on the Seven Statements from the Cross. We’ve seen a wide array of theological truths that have the power to transform our lives. We’ve seen Christ asking the Father to forgive the very people who at the time were mocking him and had beat and mistreat him. A forgiveness that wasn’t dependant upon the remorse of others. We’ve seen Jesus give the gift of eternal life to a thief on the cross as in the last hours of his life he turned to Christ and asked him to remember him. Christ said, “Today you will be with me in paradise.” It shows us that no matter what you’ve done and no matter what hour if you turn to Christ with true repentance in your heart it’s never too late. We’ve seen Jesus in the pain and agony of the cross take time to entrust his mother to his beloved friend and disciple John. We’ve heard the agony in the voice of Christ at the moment that He took the sins of the world upon himself and was separated from his Father. He said, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? He endured that separation from His Father so we wouldn’t have to. I won’t go through them all, but all of them have brought tremendous truths to our lives. Talk about a person who made every word count. Jesus surely did! Today as we come to the close of our series, it’s not exactly a typical Easter passage. But I do believe there are tremendous lessons in it for us, and I do believe there is a Easter message with it as well.

Luke 23:46

“That is Psalm 31:5 with one word added--Father. That verse was the prayer every Jewish mother taught her child to say last thing at night. Just as we were taught maybe to say, ‘This night I lay me down to sleep,’ so the Jewish mother taught her child to say, before the threatening dark came down, ’Into thy hands I commit my spirit.’ Jesus made it even more lovely for he began it with the word Father. Even on the cross Jesus died like a child falling asleep in His father’s arms.” (The Gospel of Luke, The Daily Bible Studies Series, Westminister John Knox Press, William Barclay, pp.288) Now I want you to notice something. Once again in this passage, Christ goes back to saying, Father. It was no longer, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” You see when Christ said “it was finished“, it was finished, the price had been paid and I truly believe that at this point fellowship with His Father had been restored. And in that fellowship we see Christ entrusting his spirit into his father’s hands as he gives it up. I believe the first thing that this message teaches us is: The Father’s hands are trustworthy. Christ had no problem putting his spirit into his Father’s hands because He knew there were no better hands than His Father’s and He knew that He could totally trust His Father. Like we said it was just like a child falling asleep in his Father’s arms, total trust. We need to know that we can entrust our spirit, we can entrust every part of our lives into God’s hands because there is no one more trustworthy. When you truly entrust your spirit to God you will entrust all of you to Him. You may remember the Allstate commercials from years ago. They encouraged people to put their trust in them, the good hands people. The good hands people became their motto. But I’m here to tell you that their hands do not come anywhere near being as trustworthy as the hands of our Father. There are people who are afraid to put their spirit, afraid to put their life in the hands of God. Some are scared because their not sure what God might have them do or what He might have them give up. Others won’t put their hands in the life of God because their not ready to take their hands off the stirring wheel. They want to be in charge of the direction of their life. And here is an opportunity to bring in my favorite scripture. It’s been a few months since I’ve used it. Jeremiah 29:11 “For I know the plans I have for you says the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future.” That scripture isn’t just for Jeremiah it’s for each one of us. He has a plan for our lives that will benefit us. He has a plan that will bring hope to our lives. Yet some of us are so set in charting our own course that we refuse to put our lives in God’s hands and see what He has for us. It reminded me about what I was reading in my devotions the other morning. The Israelites wanted a king. All of the other nations around them had a king. That is not the course that God wanted for them. He knew what an earthly king would do to them. He knew how they tended to get caught up in their pride and how they tended to treat people. And he wanted them to be satisfied with him being their only king. So God warned the people through Samuel about all the different things a king would do to them like drafting their men into an army and making slave laborers and taking the best of their crops for themselves or giving it to his friends and even taking a tenth of their harvest and flocks. God wanted Israel to be different than any other country. He wanted them to be a shining example to the other countries about what He could do for a people who put themselves totally in His hands. He wanted them to be the one country that had him as the King of their life. He wanted them to entrust all of themselves to him and what he could do for them. But Israel refused to listen, they wanted what they wanted and they turned a deaf ear to all of the negatives and demanded a king so God gave them what they asked for. And they found out that the course they chose for themselves would cause a lot of unnecessary problems that they wouldn’t have had to deal with if they had just totally put themselves into the hands of God and let him be their guide. Listen to what God would say to the Israelites later in Isaiah 65:2 “All day long I have held out my hands to an obstinate people, who walk in ways not good, pursuing their own imaginations.” That happens today, God is holding out his hand saying put your life in my hands. You can trust me. But instead people continue to pursue their own desires and wants and imaginations. Some of you out here this morning may say, “I’ve seen people who have entrusted their life in the hands of God and bad things happen to them just like they do anyone else.” That’s true when we entrust our lives into the hands of God it doesn’t mean that we won’t have bad things that happen to us. This world is full of tragedy and Christians aren‘t exempt. But we have a God who gives us the strength we need and a God who promises us in Romans 8:28 that he works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. That means even when we have tragedy that strikes our life that God can take that tragedy and bring about good for us. It maybe that through the tragedy that God takes it and uses it to shape us more like His son. We don’t know what He may do to use that tragedy for good but we have that promise that He will work it to our good. Just like David said, “Blessed is the man who makes the Lord his trust.” This morning would be a great morning for you to say, “Father into your hands I commit my spirit.” If you say it and really mean it, I guarantee that you won’t be sorry.

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