There’s a sense of relief that comes from giving up total control. When I’ve been struggling with something for a particularly long time and/or I’ve been anxious about a task, project or uncomfortable situation, the most calming feeling occurs when someone else steps in to say, “I’ll take it from here,” or “All is well – let me help you.” Realizing the burden of the task or thing you’ve been fighting or struggling with is now given to someone else, or shared with that person, provides instant relief.
I can only imagine that sense of relief that Jesus must have experienced as he hung on the cross, dying, and finally uttered these words: “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
Growing up, I would often envision Jesus’ crucifixion as this terrible occurrence where Jesus remains completely calm and stoic. Unafraid. But now as an adult, I realize that my imaginings were probably not exactly accurate. Jesus was fully human – meaning he experienced every feeling, thought, temptation, physical symptom, and emotion that we face on a daily basis. In other words, there is no way that he wasn’t scared, struggling, anxious, and mentally breaking down throughout the entire ordeal.
It really is remarkable to think about – to envision Jesus hanging on the cross, each hour passing by, as he fights with himself to finally succumb to the inevitable – his death. He knew it had to be done, and he knew he was the only way to our total salvation. Yet I have no doubt he was terrified about what would happen once he finally “gave in,” and gave God total control. Jesus had never died before, he had no idea what the process would be like, if it would be painful, if it would be dark and lonely – he struggled with the same fears and anxieties that we face about death each and every day.
And yet, he let go. He finally let go of his human emotions and fears and allowed God to take total control of the situation. While he preached the importance of this throughout his life, he didn’t just “talk the talk” as they say. When it came to his death, the “big moment,” he followed through, and practiced what he preached. And in this one blip of time with these 8 words, seconds before his death, he proved to us the power of finally giving in to resistance and letting God and faith take over.
Into You Hands I Commend My Spirit.