Jesus called out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
When he had said this, he breathed his last.
The day was nearing an end. As the darkness deepened, a young Jewish mother tucked her toddler son into bed. Together, they prayed. They ended as they always did with words from Psalm 31: “Into your hands I commit my spirit” (verse 5). Every Jewish mother taught her children to pray these words. We can suppose that many of the Jewish faithful continued praying them into adulthood as they awaited the dawning of a new morning.
The day was nearing an end. The darkness deepened. From the cross, Jesus offers one last petition, a childlike prayer. But he added one word to it. “Father,” he prayed, “into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Father! This one word says so much. It expresses such love and trust, love and trust from the heart of the Son of God to the heart of God the Father. The struggle has ended. The battle is done. As the shadows of death close in on Jesus, he prays for one last time in his earthly life, “Father, into your hands . . . .”
What better place to die than in his Father’s hands? Jesus knew the power of his Father’s hands. He had seen these hands at work in the creation. He had watched those hands divide the Red Sea and, in so doing, free his people from slavery. These were hands Jesus knew he could trust. And so, he concludes his life and his mission with this prayer, familiar since his boyhood.
Can you think of a better way to live out your own days than with the words of this prayer? Are you facing hardship or struggling with some heartache right now? Offer it to God and then say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.” Do you need help with a difficult decision or with living out Christ’s love in a specific relationship? Offer it to God, and then say, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.”
Can you think of a better way to close your own life than giving it to God in a childlike trust that says: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”?
Father, help me commit myself into your hands, especially as . . .
This devotion is slightly adapted from The Power of the Cross, CTA’s new devotion book. Non-liturgical churches will find the devotions in this book helpful for members preparing their hearts for Easter. Liturgical churches will appreciate the value of the daily devotions for use during the six weeks of Lent. The series comes with sermon outlines and other free helps for busy pastors.