Luke 23: 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last. 47 When the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God and said, “Certainly this man was innocent.” 48 And when all the crowds who had gathered there for this spectacle saw what had taken place, they returned home, beating their breasts. 49 But all his acquaintances, including the women who had followed him from Galilee, stood at a distance, watching these things. 
I want to thank those of you who have walked this spiritual journey with me for the past 7 days during Holy Week with a special emphasis on the 7 Last Words of Christ. We have traveled with Jesus dying on the cross as he uttered his last words: “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do”; My God, why have you forsaken me”; ‘Woman behold thy son, son, behold your mother”; “I thirst”, “Truly, today you will be with me in Paradise”; “Father into your hands I commit my spirit” and “it is finished”
Our focus today is on both, “It is finished and Into your hands I commit my spirit.” Depending on which Gospel you are reading, these two words are considered the 6th and 7th of the Last Words of Jesus.
Father into Your Hands I Commend My spirit
Luke 23: 44 It was now about noon, and darkness came over the whole land until three in the afternoon, 45 while the sun’s light failed; and the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 46 Then Jesus, crying with a loud voice, said, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.” Having said this, he breathed his last.
The crucifixion of Jesus was not pretty…he was nailed to a cross. -stripped of his clothes, bleeding from a crown of thorns, stabbed in his side, hands stretched wide and choking on his own blood, The life force within Jesus is starting to slip away. We hear him say, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me” -He looks down at his murderers and says, “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do.” -To the thief on the cross he says, “Today, shalt thou be with me in paradise.” As the life force is slipping away he begins to quote scripture: -In his human need he says, “I thirst”
looking at his mother he says, “Woman, behold thy son…” -Gasping for air he utters, “It is finished”
Then, “Father into thy hands I commend my spirit -the 7th word is taken directly from Psalm 31:
Prayer and Praise for Deliverance from Enemies
Psalm 31 -To the leader. A Psalm of David.
1 In you, O Lord, I seek refuge;
do not let me ever be put to shame;
in your righteousness deliver me.
2 Incline your ear to me;
rescue me speedily.
Be a rock of refuge for me,
a strong fortress to save me.
3 You are indeed my rock and my fortress;
for your name’s sake lead me and guide me,
4 take me out of the net that is hidden for me,
for you are my refuge.
5 Into your hand I commit my spirit;
you have redeemed me, O Lord, faithful God. 
In the Luke version, Jesus cries out with a loud voice, “Father, into your hands I commend my spirit.”
In that short sentence, Jesus is saying a lot:
-Father, I have finished what you asked me to do
-I proclaimed to the world that you, God, are my father
-When the world has seen me, they have also seen God
-I stayed on the battlefield
-I brought hope to the hopeless; life to the lifeless; encouragement to the discouraged,
-Food for the hungry; Water to the thirsty; sight to the blind; healing to the sick
-Humbled the proud / gave hope to the poor
-Comfort to the lonely
-Dignity to the disinherited
-And now, I am giving my life in the ultimate sacrifice for the sins of the world
-So, in giving my life I am giving it all:
-the best of my love / the best of my hope / the best of my faith
-Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit…
This last word is a word of commitment, but it is also a word of release. You can’t commit to anything without releasing something else! Without release your commitment is like what James Brown said: “a dull knife- just ain’t cutting-talking loud and saying nothing!” To be a success at anything you have to make a commitment. And you can’t fulfill a commitment without giving up something else. If you want success as an: athlete, musician, preacher, teacher, businessperson, student and even as a retiree-you have to make a personal commitment! You have to make a commitment of time, mental focus, sometimes money. You also have to be willing to give up something else:
-If you commit to your sport you have to release something else (watch what you eat, drink, how you spend your time)
-If you want to lose weight you have to release some of what you eat
-If you commit to music, you have to release something else and practice
-If you commit to business and making a profit, you must release something else – the temptation to skim profit off the top!
-When we commit to the faith, something else must go (doubt, fear, personal gain, lying, cheating, and double dealing – because you put God 1st)
- Commitment will cause you to move beyond your bias
o Example: George Washington was shocked to find black men in the regiments mustered to fight in the revolutionary war, but once he saw how ferocious they were in battle, he called on them often.
Some people treat their faith –and for that matter, life, in a halfhearted way!
-“I’m yours Lord- as long as I don’t have to give up my lifestyle!”
-“I’m yours Lord- as long as I like what you have to say”
-“I’m yours Lord- as long as my faith won’t cost me time or money”
-“I’m yours Lord – but don’t ask me to give up my golf!”
-“I’m yours Lord – but don’t make me give up my hair appointment”
-“I’m yours Lord – as long as I can have it my way!”
I have come to the opinion that we only have one life to live, And one choice: do I live my life to the fullest, or do I play around with what God gave me?
-God gave you a mind, are you using it or just scratching the surface?
-God gave you a body, are you taking care of it or treating it like a time bomb?
-God gave you love, are you building on it or just marking time?
-God gave you money, are you using it wisely or simply hoarding it for a “rainy day?”
-I can’t tell you the number of people I know who died with money, but were unfulfilled!
To me, there is nothing worse than playing around with what the good Lord gave you-
-Playing around with your body, mind, friends, work, skills, money
-Some people play around so long, by the time they are ready to commit they have nothing to work with!
I don’t know when the end will come!
-I can’t tell you when I will breathe my last
-I can’t tell you about tomorrow
-Because tomorrow will have to take care of itself
-but one thing I know,
-Last night was not my last night!
-The four walls of my room were not the four walls of my grave!
-My bed was not my cooling board
-My sheet was not my winding sheet!
-When I woke up this morning, The blood was running warm in my veins!
-A long time ago, I made a promise to the Lord
-I said Jesus, Jesus
– take me, I’m yours
– trust me, you can have all of me
-Invest in me, I will invest in you
-You’ve been good to me; I’ll be good to you
-You can have my money
-have my body
-Have my mind
-Have my soul
-I’ll go where you want me to go
– do what you want me to do
-I’ll say what you want me to say
-I’ll live the way you want me to live
-I’ll preach to the lost
– teach the uninformed
– give hope to the hopeless
-food to the hungry
-Water to the thirsty
-Faith to the faithless
-love to the unloved
-A father to the fatherless
-A friend to the friendless
-A brother to the brother- less
-A child to the childless
-Strength to the weak
-Money to the poor
-Humility to the rich
-Father I stretch my hands to thee, no other help I know If thou withdraw thy self from me O wither shall I go?
-Father, into thy hands I commit my spirit!
Questions for Reflection:
- How is your faith impacted by this word from Jesus on the cross?
- What is most difficult about this word from Jesus?
- Other thoughts regarding this word of commitment?
Written by Pastor Nick Hood3
Photo by Pastor Nick Hood3
Additional Prayers Photos and Meditations from Pastor Nick Hood3 at https://nicholashoodiiiministries.wordpress.com/
New – Listen to readings from the Book of Psalms, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Proverbs, the Gospel of John and Inspirational Prayers written by Rev. Dr. Nicholas Hood III at Nicholas Hood3, is now available on Apple Podcasts: https://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/nicholas-hood3/id1370371705.
Or, at anchor.fm/nicholas-hood3.
Also, on Google Podcasts at Nicholas Hood3
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 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Lk 23:44–46). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.
 The Holy Bible : New Revised Standard Version. 1989 (Ps 31:title–5). Nashville: Thomas Nelson Publishers.