“Jesus called out with a loud voice, ‘Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.’
When he had said this he breathed his last.” Luke 23:46
The verse we read in Luke 23:46 as part of the Easter story is also referenced in Psalm 31:5. Several sources I came across while researching indicated that the phrase “into your hands I commit my spirit” was how the Jewish people ended their evening prayers.
I would imagine that like other Jewish children, Jesus was taught this prayer as a young child. It was a familiar practice that was an act of trust. To commit something of value to another is not a small thing. By definition commit means to entrust something to someone; it also means to put into a place for safekeeping. (Merriman Webster).
By committing their spirit to God each evening they were submitting their soul for safekeeping. What a beautiful picture of complete submission to the will of the father. We know that Jesus had prayed on the Mount of Olives asking for this cup to be taken from him but he surrendered by concluding his prayer with “not my will but thine be done” (Luke 22:42). This too would line up with committing his spirit to Father God.
Then, we have the account in Mark 15:34 of Jesus crying out asking God “why have you forsaken me?” According to Mark, this was at 3 O’clock. Luke’s account begins at noon, followed by three hours of darkness and then right before Jesus says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” Luke mentions that it is 3 O’clock. This would imply that only moments after asking why God had forsaken him, Jesus then acknowledges that he is committing his spirit to the father.
In his darkest hour, burdened by the weight of my sin and the sins of the whole world, sins that had not yet been committed, sins that God in his holiness could not look upon, Jesus felt the crushing despair of complete and utter abandonment. But yet, he still trusted that his spirit would be safe with the father.
His loud proclamation of “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” tells us all we need to know about God’s faithfulness. It tells us that a daily practice of committing our spirit (soul) to him is how we develop trust in him, it is how we surrender to his will, not ours, and it is how we can face our own mortality with confidence. When the time comes, just as Jesus did, we can breathe our last breath knowing that we will be united with our Father eternally.
Maybe you are facing insurmountable trials that are shaking your very foundation. Maybe you feel that God has turned his back on you and your world has gone dark. Maybe you are crushed under the weight of despair. I urge you to remember that if you are a born again believer you have hope and even when it seems that all is lost, you can confidently say, “Father, into your hand I commit my spirit.” You can trust him with the safekeeping of your soul.
If you have not accepted Jesus as your Savior I can’t think of a better time than during the Easter season.
“All I have seen teaches me to trust the creator for all I have not seen”
Ralph Waldo Emmerson
Committing with Grace,