March 29, 2013

A Confident Christ Dies

Luke 23:44-49

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


—Luke 23:46

In his words from the cross, Jesus demonstrated that he knew how to live, because he knew how to die. We hear it in the first word he uttered in this saying: “Father …” Then, in effect, the faithful Son confidently declared, “I’m coming home!”

In those days, the words Jesus used were often taught to children as a bedtime prayer: “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit” (see Psalm 31:5). They signify entrusting all of one’s being to God for safekeeping. What a comfort it is to be able to entrust our whole lives and all our joys and concerns to God!

And Jesus said these words not secretly or silently but with a loud voice. He was saying, in effect, “Father, I’m coming home. My mission is complete. I love you. I trust you. As always, I commit my spirit to you.”

Doing the same, we can live and die in the confidence of knowing we will go home to our Father when he calls. We can say confidently, in words adapted from an old confession, “My ‘only comfort in life and in death’ is that I belong … to my faithful Savior Jesus Christ’” (Heidelberg Catechism, Q&A 1).

Jesus ended his time on earth with confidence in the Father. Can you do that too?

Thank you, Jesus, for showing your confidence in the God and Father of us all. May we live in the assurance of his love always. In your name, Amen.

About the author — George Vink

Pastor George Vink has served as a pastor in the Christian Reformed Church for more than 30 years in British Columbia, Montana, Michigan, and California. He and his wife, Shirley, have four married sons and nine grandchildren.

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