Pastoral Commentary: Whom can you trust?
In 2021, Then, with a great cry, Jesus said, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Having said this, he breathed his last. –Luke 23:46
God literally has it all—almost. The only thing in all of creation that God does not have is us. From the Fall to the present day, the lament of Isaiah continues to ring true, “We all like sheep have gone astray; we’ve each turned to our own way” (Isaiah 53:6). Jesus pictured God’s earnest heartache for us when he said, “O, Jerusalem! Jerusalem! The city that murders the prophets and stones those who are sent to it! How often would I have gathered your children together as a hen gathers her brood under her wings, but you would not.” (Matthew 23:37).
Jesus’ only passion was to show us the way back to His Father. From his birth to his childhood Jesus’ one desire was to be in the house of his Father (Luke 2:49), to sit at His feet and learn of Him. His only ambition was to finish the work that His Father had given him to do (John 4:34). Apostle Peter describes Christ’s passion like this, “For Christ died once for all, the Righteous for the unrighteous, that he might bring us to God” (1 Peter 3:18). As Jesus entrusted himself to His Father in life, so He gives himself to His Father in death, “into your hands I commit my spirit!” He didn’t say it with a resigned whimper; but rather with a shout, like a commander’s call to battle.
The words, “I commit” are a compelling witness to Christ’s perfect trust. They mean literally, “I put myself right close beside you.” During His trial before the Jews, Jesus told them, “From here out, you will see the Son of Man seated at the right hand of glory (i.e., God).” Before that, He assured his disciples, “I am going to prepare a place for you . . . that where I am, you also may be.” (John 14:2-3). That place is “right close beside” His Father. If we would be right next to God, then we will pray, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” then breath the last breath of our old life in the flesh, and enter into the new resurrection life of Christ by the Spirit—perfect trust!
Earlier this month, we once again celebrated the glorious reminder that God honored the sacrifice of His beloved Son Jesus Christ by raising Him from the dead. When we commit our lives with that same victorious prayer, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit,” He will also raise us up from the dead to life everlasting. God is faithful; you can trust Him perfectly!