Summary: In this sermon we examine the seventh word Jesus uttered on the cross, which is a word of contentment.
Herbert Lockyer, in his book titled All the Last Words of Saints and Sinners, says,
"The last words of both saints and sinners about to enter eternity, what they had to say before their stammering tongues lay silent in the grave, demands our deepest attention and most earnest concern. If, when the soul is face to face with eternal realities, true character is almost invariably manifest, then we can expect the lips to express glorious certainty or terror concerning the future."
For the past six years we have been examining the so-called “last words” of Christ. Tonight, we come to the seventh and final word that Jesus uttered on the cross, found in Luke 23:44-46:
"44It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, 45while the sun’s light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, ’Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!’ And having said this he breathed his last." (Luke 23:44-46)
Tonight I would like to briefly examine two aspects of Christ’s last word: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”
I. Christ Quotes from the Word of God
First, notice that Christ quotes from the Word of God.
Christ was an original thinker, and he could have given us words of his own. But instead he quoted Psalm 31:5a: “Into your hands I commit my spirit.” He never lacked suitable words for any occasion, for “no one ever spoke like this man” (John 7:46)!
Have you noticed how Jesus continually quoted Scripture? The great majority of his expressions can be traced to the Old Testament. Even where they are not exact quotations, his words drop into Scriptural shape and form. You can see that the Bible has been his one Book. He is clearly familiar with it from the first page to the last, and not with its letter only, but with the innermost soul of its most secret sense. And, therefore, when dying, it seemed only natural for him to use a passage from a Psalm of David as his dying words.
Jesus could have made an original speech as his dying declaration. Even though his body was in tremendous pain, his mind was clear and focused. In fact, he was perfectly content, for he had said, “It is finished” (John 19:30). So his sufferings were over, and he was already beginning to taste the delights of victory. Yet, with all the clearness of mind, enormity of intellect, and fluency of words that might have been possible to him, he did not invent a new sentence, but he went to the Psalms, and took from the Holy Spirit this expression, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”
How instructive to us is this great truth that the Incarnate Word lived on the Inspired Word! It was food to him, as it is to us. And, brothers and sisters, if Christ thus lived upon the Word of God, should not you and I do the same?
He, in some respects, did not need this Book as much as we do. The Spirit of God rested upon him without measure. Yet he loved the Scripture, and he went to it, and read it, and studied it, and memorized it, and used its expressions continually.
Oh, that you and I might get into the very heart of the Word of God, and get that Word into ourselves!
Charles Spurgeon once said of John Bunyan, the author of Pilgrim’s Progress: “Read anything of his, and you will see that it is almost like reading the Bible itself. He had studied the Bible. He had read it till his very soul was saturated with Scripture. And, though his writings are charmingly full of poetry, yet he cannot give us his Pilgrim’s Progress without continually making us feel and say, ‘Why, this man is a living Bible!’ Prick him anywhere; [and I love this phrase] his blood is Bibline, the very essence of the Bible flows from him. He cannot speak without quoting a text, for his very soul is full of the Word of God.”
I commend his example to you, and, still more, the example of our Lord Jesus. If the Spirit of God is in you, he will make you love the Word of God. And, if any one of you imagine that the Spirit of God will lead you to dispense with the Bible, you are under the influence of another spirit which is not the Spirit of God at all! I trust that the Holy Spirit will endear to you every page of this Divine Record, so that you will feed upon it yourselves, and afterwards speak it out to others.