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Thursday, April 2, 2015

Lenten Series: The Seventh Word of Jesus

For a more complete review of the last words of Jesus, log onto my YouTube series here: https://youtu.be/fCcC5vBzElE

The last seven words (statements, actually) of Jesus as He hung on Golgotha's cross are among the most encouraging of all Scripture. Here is the last of the seven:

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

Can the Father be trusted, even in our darkest and most desperate moment? It’s an important question to articulate aloud because doubts course through our minds anyway. And God hears those questions in our thoughts as easily as He hears them from our lips.

Can He be trusted to do what is right and good at all times and in all situations? Jesus answered the question for Himself, for although God from God and Light from Light, Jesus was also at the same time fully man – with all the emotions of any other person. He knew fear, and hunger, and thirst, and grief, and loneliness, and anger . . .  

And pain.

Jesus did not want to die. Three times in the garden He pleaded with the Father, “If it is possible, let this cup pass from Me.”  But in the end, of course, He would do His Father’s will.

Why would He do that? Many reasons, certainly. But one floats now to the top of my mind – because He loved His Father more than His own life. And His love for the Father brought confidence in His goodness, His tenderness, and of His reciprocal love.

“Into Thy hands I commit My spirit.”

Good Friday is good because even as the Father’s beloved Jesus carried that cross to Golgotha, God at the same time demonstrated His love for you and for me in that while we mocked His Son, cursed Him, shook our fist at Him in defiance – the Father watched His Son die for us.

“Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

What darkness envelopes you today? What sadness, or emptiness, or loneliness, or pain overshadows your soul?  And if not today, then wait a while. Life is full of such things as can tear our soul to its very core. Jesus loved His Father so much that even in His darkest moment He remained confident that the Father’s love was so deep and abiding that nothing – not even death – could separate them. And so Jesus is our preeminent example of what love for the Father can do for us in our dark times. Love for God can generate hope, and hope will never disappoint because God’s love will unfold in our hearts through the Holy Spirit given to us – a love so deep and abiding that we will know, in the very core of our soul, that nothing will separate us.

“Into Thy hands I commit my spirit.”

Can God be trusted? What do we think? What will we do?

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