Then 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 23:46 ESV
Into your hands I commit my spirit. These words has been rolling around in my head since I heard them spoken in a video yesterday. I’ve read them many times before, and I’ve heard them many times before, but yesterday those words resonated in my heart.
Jesus didn’t die the typical way men hung on the cross died. Yes, He suffered the same method, but He did not follow the same timeline. Many of those who were crucified could last for 24 hours. Depending on the method of crucifixion, they could sometimes last days. Jesus died in approximately 6 hours, and I don’t believe this coincidental; for God does not work by chance. I believe Jesus was on that cross for six hours because it took six hours to accomplish what God intended.
(As an interesting side note, Jesus was on that cross the same number of hours as there were days of creation. The One who created the world in 6 days saved the world in 6 hours. And just has He rested on the seventh day, His body rested the 7th hour.)
Here is what God has been speaking to my heart about those words spoken by our Savior. Jesus didn’t give in to death. He didn’t give up and die. He gave what He had–his Spirit–to God. He committed it to Him. He willingly let God have it knowing God would do exactly what needed to be done with it. For He knew God was faithful.
Jesus suffered a horrific death. There is no sugar-coating the cruelty of the whippings and the nailing of his hands and feet to the cross. There’s no glossing over the ridicule and mocking that pierced his ears in the same way the nails pierced his flesh. Yet what God has reminded me through Jesus’s words on the cross is that the physical suffering didn’t kill him. Jesus surrendered Himself; He gave Himself to God. He committed His Spirit to God knowing that God would handle it in the best way possible for His glory.
And my prayer is that I may face this life with that same focus. David, a man with a heart like God’s, did. Read Psalm 31:5 with me: “Into your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.”
David spent many years in hiding, running from a man who wanted him dead, yet he kept pressing on. He kept seeking God. For David knew God is faithful. David knew that nothing on this Earth can compare with God. Though the suffering was great and lasted for years, the suffering did not destroy David because David had already given God his heart.
Therefore, I encourage you today to join me in committing our hearts and our spirits to God. Let’s commit every aspect of ourselves to the only One who deserves them and the only One who can handle them. Let’s let God finish in our hearts what Jesus finished on the cross. Yet let us not offer ourselves begrudgingly, as a child surrendering a precious toy, but let us offer ourselves willingly and joyfully knowing as David knew and as Jesus knew: God has redeemed us and God is faithful. No, committing our hearts to God does not free us from suffering. In this world we will have trouble. But it does free us from succumbing to the suffering and from being overcome by the suffering. It does enable us to walk through this life with joy and peace. It does give us the strength to press on and press forward with the voice of our Savior whispering in our ear: “I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world” (John 16:33 ESV).
Jesus was not overcome; He overcame. And so will we. When we follow in His steps. When we cry out as Jesus did–“Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!”–knowing He who promised is faithful. Always faithful.