"Then Jesus, calling out with a loud voice, said, 'Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!' And having said this he breathed his last. " (Luke 23:46)I was reminded as I read through Jesus' dying moments that He really was in control the entire time He was dying. This wasn't a weak gasp to God, he cried out in a loud voice as He committed Himself fully to God beyond death. He willingly took on this suffering, cried out purposefully in it, and ended by committing His spirit fully to his Heavenly Father. And all to save us from our rightful punishment (2 Corinthians 5:21).Wow!
There is sweet comfort in knowing He was in control, but also a model for how to live well, suffer well, and die to God's glory. Jesus taught from His early temptation, through his teachings, and by His miracles that we live to God's glory by knowing His Word and clinging to it. Here at the cross, He showed us what to do and where to cling in suffering and death: still to God's promises in His Word!
Here's how James Montgomery Boice words it:
"This shows what Jesus was doing on the cross, particularly in these last moments. He was reflecting on Scripture… Four of the seven last words were from the Old Testament. Only Jesus’ direct addresses to God on behalf of the soldiers, to the dying thief, and to his mother and the beloved disciple were not. This means that Jesus was filling his mind and strengthening his spirit not by trying to keep a stiff upper lip or look for a silver lining, as we might say, but by an act of deliberately remembering and consciously clinging to the great prophecies and promises of God. If Jesus did that, don’t you think you should do it too? And not only when you come to die.
You need to fill your head with Scripture and think of your life in terms of the promises of Scripture now. If you do not do it now, how will you ever find strength to do it when you come to die? You must live by Scripture, committing your spirit into the hands of God day by day if you are to yield your spirit into God’s loving hands trustingly at the last."
Amen. In Him alone is breath and life. I need His Word. And in times of great suffering and even death, even when it seems impossible, clinging to His Word will bring me through and draw me to Him. I don't know when those moments will come, but the truth will be there to cling to if I'm daily in the truth now. Praying that I'll daily seek Him in His Word and cling to His promises now, so when suffering, trial, and death come, His Word will be firmly planted and bring fruit in me to His glory.