G. Last words of trust:
“And crying out with a loud voice, Jesus said, ‘Father, into Your hands I commend My spirit!’” (Lk 23:46). Jesus again quoted from the Psalms in order to remind the people that He had fulfilled prophecy (See Ps 31:5). He not only fulfilled prophecy in reference to what He did in His ministry, but He also fulfilled prophecy in reference to statements that were said in prophecy.
This statement infers that Jesus lived in compliance with the will of the Father throughout His ministry. He was confident in His obedience. He could thus confidently relinquish His spirit into the hands of the Father, whom He trusted could take it from there. We read the same sentiment in the words of Stephen when he was stoned to death by an angry mob: “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit” (At 7:59). After Stephen said these words, “he fell asleep” (At 7:60). And Jesus, after He had uttered His last words, “breathed His last” (Lk 23:46). Both trusted that the Father and Son could assume responsibility of their destiny in eternity.
We see in the final words of Jesus and Stephen their confidence in their final destiny. Such assurance should be characteristic of every disciple who nears his final breath. In our final hours, we seek to have the same confidence as Paul after he had endured tremendous hardships in order to finish his business:
I have fought the good fight. I have finished my course [business]. I have kept the faith. Finally, there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, will give me at that day, and not only to me, but also to all those who have loved His appearing (2 Tm 4:7,8).
[End of lesson. And, Merry Christmas. I pray that this series focuses your mind on Jesus, the One about whom Christmas is all about.]