Roger's Postings

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Luke 23:46 Lent 2007

(46) Jesus called out with a loud voice, "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." When he had said this, he breathed his last.

What a note of confidence and hope we have here in these last words of Jesus from the cross. On the blackest and darkest day of history, when all hope seems to be extinguished, there is this loud proclamation that leads and rests in the one sure hope that there is for us all: the safe, strong hands of the Almighty God and Father. Here Jesus himself can, at the crowning point of history, where he comes to do what had to be done for the salvation of humanity, can now say: “It is finished.” "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." He now places himself and all that he has done for us, into his Fathers hands.

When all else is gone: When all else is said and done; there is the Father’s hands that are strong and sure. There is now the sure trust that having done what he was sent to do, he can place his spirit back into the Father’s hands. Despite having gone through the terrible anguish of taking the full brunt of the punishment that God meted out on him for the sin of the world, Jesus can now rest his spirit back into his Fathers hands.

This evening let us reflect on this very point and so gain great assurance and comfort for us as we face our trials and darkness in this world of sin. As we look to Jesus and his death on the cross, we can also find that same assurance, that despite what looks to the contrary, there is still the Father’s hands awaiting us, in which we too can have the confidence that are there now for us. Even though we sin much and do not deserve to have God give us anything except what he laid on Jesus, we now can know and have confidence that the Father will also receive us.

This certainty only comes as the result of Jesus Christ. This Jesus on the cross, is God’s very own Son who came into our world, to do this very thing so that we can have forgiveness of sins, life and salvation. This Jesus left his glory at the Father’s right hand to come to help us in our disastrous need.

Yes we human beings like to think that we are doing pretty well, thank you very much. We have got it all under control. Yeh, things go wrong, but that is the fault of my upbringing, sickness or whatever. But, by in large, we would like to think and believe that it is not our fault. We just have to get smarter and have more technology and we will overcome it all. In thinking this way we have lost the plot completely. And you and I are caught up in this thinking as well. We are all sinful, selfish people, whether we like to acknowledge it or not. And we are all caught up in this rebellion against God Almighty himself. As such we deserve nothing what-so-ever from him except his rejection and punishment.

If you don’t want to believe it, or accept that this is really the truth of the situation, have another look at the cross. No not that empty cross, that so many have in their churches: not just those nice, silver, glossed up crucifixes; but look at the rough, blood stained cross, with the brutalized, scourged, dying Son of God hanging on it. See the most horrific form of torture and punishment that could ever be laid on anyone. Then don’t tell me that that was because we are basically good people. Don’t tell me that is just a good example of servitude and giving, that we are now to follow. And don’t tell me that this is just a nice story: and the bones of the real Jesus are in there in that box that has just come to light. Don’t try to fool yourselves that this is no big deal. It is! Poor, wretched, miserable, rebellious people that we are; that is what we deserve.

Yet there we see, not us, but God’s very own Son. God himself, has come and taken that which you and I deserve, on himself. He takes our punishment on himself that we might now have all that belongs to him; all his goodness, heaven, eternal life, a complete and full relationship with God. The devil and our sin has been overthrown in Jesus death on the cross. Everything necessary for us and for our salvation has there in Jesus and the cross been brought to completion. Nothing more and nothing less is needed. Forgiveness of sins, life and salvation is there now possible for each and every one of us. More than that, it is now ours, guaranteed. Nothing now need separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.

So now he can say: “It is finished.” "Father, into your hands I commit my spirit." Here, take careful note that he has not gradually weakened to the point that his spirit just departs from him. Here he does not die a broken, dejected being that has finally been overcome by it all. Although he was dying of wounds and intense suffering he could still rally his strength and die with a victorious shout.
No he knows very well what he has achieved by his suffering unto death. He has achieved what has been necessary for our salvation so now he can hand over his spirit into God’s hands, knowing that all has been achieved. Now he commits himself and all that he has done into his Fathers hands. Now he can give the victory shout. Now he can boldly and clearly tell the world that it has all been done for us.

Now that the Father’s will has been done, he can go home. He gives up his spirit voluntarily here only to take it up once again. Three days later he was to rises again so that all can know that this is for real. He gives his life into death: he gives his spirit into his Father’s hands, only to take it up one again so that we now have a Lord over death and life. Here we truly have our Lord and Saviour giving his life so that we can have life and hope.

Now we can go forward with confidence and certainty, for our Lord has truly committed himself to do all that was necessary for our salvation, and freely committed his spirit into the hands of his Father. We now surely can commit ourselves into his hands, for here we truly have one is supreme in every way. This Lenten season again we can be brutally honest with ourselves once again, for we know and can freely acknowledge that we are sinful and unclean. We can humble ourselves and commit ourselves totally into the hands of this one who truly loves us to death, and who has done all that was necessary for our salvation.

Instead of keeping our lives and our spirits for ourselves and our freedom to do as we would like, now we can turn back to the Lord once again, and give it all up to him, resting assured that our lives are in his safe-keeping. The Father’s hands have wrecked havoc over our rebellious, selfish lives and now are our sure, strong hands to delivers us unto eternal life with him in eternity.

Our Lord Jesus Christ has done so much for us through his death on the cross. And all of this he has done that I may be his own , live under him in his kingdom and serve him in everlasting righteousness, innocence and blessedness, just as he is risen from the dead and lives and rules eternally.
To him be glory and honour now and always. AMEN


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