Jesus’ Last Words Upon the Cross

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Luke 23:46

“Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit” Luke 23:46

Again and again the Savior spoke of a people which had been “given” to him (John 6:37 etc.), and at the hour of his arrest he said, “Of them which Thou gavest me have I lost none” (John 18:9). Then is it not lovely to see that in the hour of death the Savior commends them now into the safe-keeping of the Father! On the Cross Christ hung as the Representative of his people, and therefore we view his last act as a representative one. When the Lord Jesus commended his spirit into the hands of his Father, he also presented our spirits along with his, to the Father’s acceptance. Jesus neither lived nor died for himself, but for believers: what he did in this last act referred to them as much as to himself. We must look then on Christ as here gathering all the souls of the elect together, and making a solemn tender of them, with his own spirit, to God.

The Father’s hand is the place of Eternal security. Into that hand the Savior committed his people, and there they are forever safe. Said Christ, referring to the elect, “My Father, which gave them to me, is greater than all: and none is able to pluck out of my Father’s hand” (John 10:29). Here then is the ground of the believer’s confidence. Here is the basis of our assurance. Just as nothing could harm Noah when Jehovah’s hand had secured the door of the ark, so nothing can touch the spirit of the saint which is grasped by the Hand of Omnipotence. None can pluck us out of His hand. Weak we are in ourselves, but “kept by the power of God” is the sure declaration of Holy Writ – “kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1:5). Formal professors who seem to run well for awhile may grow weary and abandon the race. Those who are moved by the fleshly excitement of a “revival meeting”, endure only for a time, for they have “no root in themselves”. They who rely upon the power of their own wills and resolutions, who turn over a new leaf and promise to do better, often fail, and their last state is worse than the first. Many who have been persuaded by well meaning but ignorant advisers to “join the church” and “live the Christian life”, frequently apostatize from the truth. But every spirit that has been born again is eternally safe in the Father’s Hand.

If the closing utterance of the Savior expresses the prayer of dying Christians it shows what great value they place on their spirits. The spirit within is the precious treasure, and our main solicitude and chief care is to see it secured in safe hands.”Father, into Thy hands I commend My spirit.” These words then may be taken to express the believer’s care for his soul, that it may be safe, whatever becomes of the body. God’s saint who has come near death exercises few thoughts about his body, where it shall be laid, or how it shall be disposed of; he trusts that into the hands of his friends. But as his care all along has been his soul, so he thinks of it now, and with his last breath commits it to the custody of God.

Thank God there is a Refuge from the gales of life and from the terrors of death – the Father’s Hand -the heart’s true haven.

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