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Psalm 31:5

Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God.

“Into your hands”

Perhaps no words define Jesus more than these: “Into your hand I commit my spirit.” Luke records them as Jesus’ dying words. John writes that Jesus gave up his spirit,” though the Greek suggests not so much that Jesus breathed his last, but that he “handed over his Spirit,” which is an entirely different thing – especially since the risen Jesus will breathe his Spirit upon his followers. Matthew and Mark record the cry “My God, My God, why have you forsaken me,” but in quoting those words Jesus is calling to mind the whole of Psalm 22 which, though a lament, is also a great expression of submission and trust.

“Into your hand I commit my spirit.”

In the garden, Jesus prays for this cup to pass him by “but,” he says, not my will but yours be done (so also in Matthew and Mark). And this truth of Jesus is bluntly stated in John where Jesus says: I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me.” And again:My food is to do the will of him who sent me.”

Jesus entrusts himself perfectly and completely to God. From his first act following his baptism, when he is driven out into the wilderness to face the devil, through to his final breath, Jesus trusts himself fully to God. We come on Good Friday to witness this. And in the witnessing to pray that all the world may be touched and transformed by his faithfulness.

And when we look carefully at the prayer Jesus taught us, we see that it, too, breathes this Spirit of perfect trust, seeking God’s will and God’s reign in our lives.

“Into your hand I commit my spirit.”

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