Saturday, April 07, 2007

The Seventh Word

“Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”(Luke 23:46)

Jesus's final words before dying. Here we see Jesus entrusting himself into the hands of God. Once again, we see Jesus quoting from the Psalms. This time Jesus prays the words of Psalm 31. Here is the context:

"In you, O LORD, I have taken refuge; let me never be put to shame; deliver me in your righteousness. Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Free me from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge. Into your hands I commit my spirit; redeem me, O LORD, the God of truth." (Ps 31:1-5)

Jesus is affirming his complete trust in God. Do we trust God like that? He is fully trustworthy. His hands are ones of healing and yet they were wounded. The hands of Jesus that were nailed to the cross are the very hands of God. We ought to commit ourselves completely to loving, caring, wounded hands of God.

Prayer of Reflection

As I reflect upon this final word of Jesus from the cross, I am struck, Gracious Father, by the fact that this is my prayer too. To be sure, my situation is far from that of Your Son. And I'm hopeful that I still have many more days before my life's end. But, even still, at the end of all my striving, all my thinking, all my efforts, all my attempts to figure everything out, all my deeds, both good and bad, what do I have left but to trust You?

I think of the moving words of the hymn "Rock of Ages":

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee;
Let the water and the blood,
From Thy wounded side which flowed,
Be of sin the double cure;
Save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labor of my hands
Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;
Could my zeal no respite know,
Could my tears forever flow,
All for sin could not atone;
Thou must save, and Thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
Simply to the cross I cling;
Naked, come to Thee for dress;
Helpless look to Thee for grace;
Foul, I to the fountain fly;
Wash me, Savior, or I die.

Thou must save, dear God, and Thou alone. I have nothing to offer You but my trust in You to save me. So, like Jesus, I commend my spirit to You today, to rely on You, to believe in You, to live for You, until that day when I stand before You, with nothing in my hand but the cross.

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