The Committal

“For you are my rock and my fortress;
and for your name’s sake you lead me and guide me;
4you take me out of the net they have hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O LORD, faithful God…
13For I hear the whispering of many—
terror on every side!—
as they scheme together against me,
as they plot to take my life.
14But I trust in you, O Lord;
I say, ‘You are my God.’”
—Ps. 31:4-5, 13-14 (cf. Lk. 23:46-49)

Jesus’ life was bathed in the language of the Psalms. Yet, when Jesus quotes Psalm 31 He doesn’t quote it exactly. Instead, He says, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (Lk. 23:46).[1] And so, Jesus’ dying moment was one of trust in His Father. Jesus trusted as He taught us to pray (“Our Father in heaven…”—Matt. 6:9-15). Jesus trusted as He brought a way for us too to go to the Father (Jn. 14:6).

And so we see that Jesus who cries out in despair—trusts God.[2] And we see He laid His life down. Jesus committed Himself into the care of His Father[3] and said, “It is finished” (Jn. 19:30) and breathed His last. Jesus was in control of His life, and He laid it down. The fact that no one took His life from Him but that He laid it down[4] also implies that He is able to “take it up again” (Jn. 10:17).

It is because Jesus trusted God His Father in His life and in His death, and because He freely laid His life down, that we have access to the Father. Jesus makes a way for us by being the perfect sacrifice. Jesus always perfectly trusted God.

So, through Jesus we can have God as our Father. We can go to Him in prayer as Jesus taught us (Matt. 6:9-15). We don’t have to be anxious like unbelievers because we know that we have a heavenly Father who knows all that we need (v. 32). And we can be assured of our Father’s love and care for us because He loved us so much that He sent Jesus (Jn. 3:16).

So it is through Jesus’ faithful and victorious work that we are adopted as sons and daughters. When Jesus spoke to Mary of God after His resurrection, He said, “My Father and your Father,” “My God and your God” (Jn. 20:17).

The Bible says that in love God adopted all those in Jesus Christ (Eph. 1:5) and has given them an inheritance (v.11). God the Father has even given the Holy Spirit as the down payment of our inheritance until we acquire full possession of it, to the praise of His glory (v.14).

Reflections

  • “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! According to His great mercy, He has caused us to be born again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance that is imperishable, undefiled, and unfading, kept in heaven for you, who by God’s power are being guarded through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation [or Second Coming] of Jesus Christ. Though you have not seen Him, you love Him. Though you do not now see Him, you believe in Him and rejoice with joy that is inexpressible and filled with glory, obtaining the outcome of your faith, the salvation of your souls” (1 Pet. 1:3-9).

Prayer

Father in heaven, we thank You that through Jesus we can come to You as Father. We thank You that we are adopted and even now have the Holy Spirit as the down payment of the imperishable, undefiled, and unfading inheritance that awaits us. Help us as we wait to live lives of holiness and love. We ask, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

_____

[1] It is also interesting to note that when Jesus quoted Psalm 31:5 in his dying words He stopped short of its second line (See Derek Kidner, Psalms 1-72, 148). That is, Jesus does not say, “You have rescued Me.”

[2] See Carson, Scandalous, 36.

[3] Stephen follows his Master and entrusts Himself to Jesus (Acts 7:59). He also follows Jesus in saying “do not hold this sin against them” (Acts 7:60/Lk 23:34).

[4] Notice also that it says Jesus “gave up His spirit” (Jn. 19:30 see also Jn. 2:19; 10:17; 19:11).

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About Paul O'Brien

I am a lot of things; saint and sinner. I struggle and I strive. I am a husband and father of three. I have been in pastoral ministry for 9 years. I went to school at the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary but most of my schooling has been at the School of Hard Knocks. I have worked various jobs, including pheasant farmer, toilet maker, construction worker, and I served in the military. My wife and I enjoy reading at coffee shops, taking walks, hanging out with friends and family, and watching our three kid's antics. :)

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