Summary: This sermon looks at the final words of Jesus. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit. At his death: 1. Jesus Died PRAYING to God 2. Jesus Died TRUSTING God 3. Jesus Died SUBMITTING to God
Into Your Hands
This morning we have come to the last of the seven sayings of Jesus as He was hanging on the cross. These were the last words that Jesus spoke before He died. These last words were a prayer to His Father. Follow along with me as I read our text this morning:
It was now about the sixth hour, and darkness fell over the whole land until the ninth hour, because the sun was obscured; and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And Jesus, crying out with a loud voice, said, "Father, INTO YOUR HANDS I COMMIT MY SPIRIT." Having said this, He breathed His last. Luke 23:44-46 (NASB)
It is interesting that Luke is the only writer to record the last words of the Jesus: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” This past week I read may last words of famous people who have died throughout history. Often they reveal much about the mindset and condition of those who were facing death. Some are at peace and others die struggling. But these last words of Christ reveal much to us about Him as a person. Rather than cursing the crowd around Him - rather than cursing God because of His situation - He prays to God, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Every word of His prayer tells us something important. The first word is:
Father — This was Jesus’ favorite title for God. It spoke of the intimate family relationship that had existed from all eternity. His first word from the cross had been, “Father, forgive them.” His last word was, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
But in between he had cried out, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?” He called him, “God” and not “Father” because in that agonizing moment, the Father turned his back on the Son as Jesus bore the sin of the world. God forsaken by God! But no longer. Jesus dies with the knowledge that the price has been fully paid, the cup emptied, the burden borne, estrangement ended. Jesus yields his life to the One he called “Father.”
I don’t know about you, but I find great encouragement in the fact that at the end of His life Jesus calls God - "Father". Why do I say that? Because Jesus took on ALL the sin of the world. All the bad stuff - all the horrible stuff - all the nasty stuff - all the stinky stuff - yet at the end it all - Jesus still has a relationship with His Father. Look at what the Bible tells us:
He made Him who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
2 Corinthians 5:21 (NASB)
We all deal with sin in our lives. We know that sin causes separation. Apart from salvation that separation will endure for all eternity. But for the believer there is comfort in the fact that Jesus calls God - "Father". The truth is - we may allow sin to enter our lives and it may hinder our fellowship with the Lord, but it does not hinder our relationship. The saved have been made heirs of the promise, adopted into the family of God, never to be forsaken. If you are a child of God, you will always be a child of God! The Bible says:
"All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out." John 6:37 (NASB)
The next words:
II. INTO YOUR HANDS
Into your hands — O, the touch of a Father’s hands. What son does not long for his father to reach out and embrace him? There is something wonderful about this expression. It speaks of safety — "I am safe in my father’s hands" — it speaks of greeting — "Welcome home my child" — it speaks of love — "Daddy, it’s so good to see you again" — it speaks of approval — "I’m so proud of you.”
These are not ordinary hands. These are the Father's hands. These are the hands that created the universe. These are the hands that set everything in motion. These are the hands that made the broad expanse of the galaxies - and also made the details in the microscopic world. These are our Father's hands.
For 15 hours Jesus has been in the hands of wicked men. With their hands - they beat him. With their hands - they slapped him. With their hands - they abused him. With their hands - they crowned him with thorns. With their hands - they ripped out his beard. With their hands - they smashed him black and blue. With their hands - they whipped his back until it was torn to bits. But no more. All that is behind him now. Wicked hands have done all they can do. Jesus now returns to his Father’s hands.