The Father’s Hands

With Jesus’ last breath, having finished what He started, Jesus said:

“Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.”

With that, Jesus stopped breathing. His heart stopped beating. Jesus died.

SULLIVAN-Hands-Banner

One of my favorite prayers – one I say in the morning when I get up – has this line: “Into Your hands I commend myself, my body and soul, and all things.”

There is no greater place to be than in the Father’s hands. Jesus knew it, and if we’re wise, we learn it, too.

I preached about hands in a funeral sermon once. The man who had passed away was an old dairyman. Those guys have a grip on them. Their hands are paws: big and powerful. But for this man, they were also tender and caring. The message was about the hands of a father, as a reflection of the hands of God the Father. Strong, but caring.

Jesus committed His spirit into hands like that. He had done all He could to offer an appropriate sacrifice for the sin of the world. Would the Father approve?

Look what happened next. The earth shook. The temple curtain tore in two. Dead bodies were raised. And a soldier proclaimed, “Surely this man was the Son of God!”

Jesus’ last sentence was consistent with the rest of His life and ministry. Over and over again, He sought to do the will of the One who sent Him. Over and over, even as Jesus sweated drops of blood in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus prayed, “Not my will, but yours be done.” When He taught disciples to pray, it was, “Thy kingdom come, thy will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.”

Mission accomplished. God’s will was done by Jesus, and His will is that you and I would be saved.

And what does Jesus expect of us? Walk in God’s will, and according to His ways, to the glory of His holy name. Be faithful to death. Be holy as God is holy. Follow Jesus in doing the Father’s will.

And rest secure in the Father’s hands.

(Lent 38/40)

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