Into Your Hands

Bible Book: Luke  23 : 46
Subject: Death; Peace; Trust; Faith; Cross; Easter

Into Your Hands I Commit My Spirit

Dr. J. Mike Minnix, Editor, PastorLife

Luke 23:46

In a cemetery in England stands a grave marker with this inscription: SHE DIED FOR WANT OF THINGS.  Alongside that stone is another which reads: HE DIED TRYING TO GIVE THEM TO HER. Indeed, so many people live only for the things of this world, only to die and be ushered into the presence of God leaving all those earthly things behind. Today we are going to think about death, our preparation for death and how we are to live till death comes.

Just before Jesus died He said, “Father into your hands I commit my Spirit.” He was at that moment entering into death. His spirit was at that moment leaving His body.

Death has a way of bringing us back to the stark realities of life. Death helps us focus on those things which are of value and those things which really matter. The words spoken just before someone dies are often some of the important words that person will ever speak. As a person dies, you will often hear words from the lips of the dying which are indicative of the life the person lived.

It is difficult for us to consider our own death seriously. We really don’t want to think about the subject for more than a few moments. The fact is, however, we are going to die. All of us are moving toward death with every tick of the clock. I do not say this to frighten you or to make this service morbid; not at all, I actually believe that to the Christian death is a very different matter than the death of a person who has never trust Jesus. So I want us to consider our death in the light of Jesus’ death. Look how Jesus died! There are some elements in His death that we should all strive to develop so that they will be present in our own time of death.

Please note that Jesus is quoting Scripture as He dies, but also observe that Jesus is adding something to the verse. Jesus is quoting Psalm 31:5, which states, “Into Your hand I commit My Spirit; You have redeemed Me, O Lord God of truth.” When Jesus quotes this verse from the Old Testament Psalm He adds the word Father. He also takes from the verse the words which follow, "You have redeemed Me." Jesus was not being redeemed at the cross: He was and is the Redeemer! He speaks to God as His Father.

Now, let's consider first that ...

I. Jesus had the Scripture in the Hour of Death

We very much need to spend time in God's Word as we live each day. Planting God's Word in our hearts is valuable at the time we read and study it, but it also can be very helpful, protective and useful at a time we least expect to need it. Jesus often quoted scripture and He did so when He was dying on the cross.

Note that what he quoted was ...

A. A Suitable Passage

How wonderful is the Word of God in the hour of death!

It has been said that Latin is the language of scholarship, German is the language of philosophy, French is the language of diplomacy and English is the language of commerce. But, we can forcefully say that scripture is the language of death and life!

A man is not interested in quoting the great poets in the moment of death.

A woman is not interested in reading a mystery novel at the time of her demise.

No, at the moment of death a person wants an eternal word - a Word from God!

When you come to the hour of death, will you have a word from the Bible? Will you know a passage which will comfort you and assure you that all is well when you are leaving this world?

Let me share with you some advice regarding those who are dying - perhaps a loved one or friend. Read the Word of God to them. Read those passages from the Bible that comfort, encourage and point out that Jesus is the Life! What a comfort those words can be.

Memorize passages that comfort you in times of trouble, and those words will be there in your heart and mind when you need them most!

Also, we see that the scripture Jesus quoted is ...

B. A Satisfactory Passage

Jesus knew the Word. Not only was Jesus in the Bible, the Bible was in Jesus. In fact, He is the Word (John 1:1-3). His thoughts turned to the Word He knew in His heart and mind.

When I was a boy growing up in North Carolina, I attended a Baptist Church with my parents and my brother. The church was just up the street, so I could attend all the activities for boys and later for youth without having to have someone take me. I could just walk to the church. I joined a program at our church called Royal Ambassadors. It was specifically designed to have men in the church mentor and teach young boys. In that program we had to pass through various stages and as we completed them we won badges - a lot like Boy Scouts (which I also participated in). One of things we had to do as Royal Ambassadors was to memorize scripture. Each week I memorized a couple of passages from the Bible. How I appreciate those men who met with us each week and taught us how to do crafts, to camp out in the woods, and other things we boys loved to do. More than anything, however, I thank God that they taught me to memorize scripture. Some of the passages I learned as a young boy, I can still quote. Often those verses come back to me at a time when I need them most.

It is a sad reality today that if you use concepts or ideas, or introduce quotes, from the Word of God in your general conversation, most people will not understand it at all. It is as if you are speaking a foreign language. It used to be said that no one was considered educated without a knowledge of the Bible. Now we have a generation that considers you ignorant if you do know and use the Word of God.

Let me urge you to put God’s Word in your heart, in your mind and on your lips. Someone said long ago that there is no softer pillow for the soul than the Word of God. The Bible is a strong tower in living and a resting place for the dying soul. Jesus was resting upon that Word as He gave up the spirit while on the cross.

Note, also that the scripture Jesus quoted was ...

C. A Soothing Passage

The passage Jesus quoted as He died spoke of rest. Jesus spoke words of peace at life's most awful moment. He had a peace that Romans nails and the sharp thorns could not take from Him. Most of us do not think of death as a time of peace, yet Jesus had peace even in this most difficult moment of His life on this earth. He wants all those who know Him to have that same peace through His saving grace.

So, Jesus had scripture at the hour of His death, but also ...

II. Jesus had Submission in the Hour of Death

Anything we put in the hands of the Lord is secure. You remember that little boy who put his lunch into the hands of Jesus. Well, remember that what that boy gave to the Lord went forth to do a great work for thousands and was multiplied back to him twelve times over. How wonderful! Submit your life to Him and He will give you purpose and multiply the blessings many-fold to you in this life and the life to come.

Note three things about Jesus as He died.

A. He Died Willingly

I have shared with you that Jesus made a choice to die. This is so important that it is worth repeating. Most people die trying to lift their head to force life-giving oxygen into the lungs, but Jesus died by lowering His head and giving up the spirit. He did so willingly – He did that for you and for me. It was in His death that He carried our paid our sin debt.

B. He Died Prayerfully

Jesus suffered at the hands of His Father. See what Isaiah prophesied. It pleased God to lay our sins on Him. Yet, He could trust the Father. Circumstances can cause many woes for us, but they cannot keep us from communion with God. Like Daniel, like the three Hebrew children, like Paul and Silas in prison, we can still enjoy the presence of God and all His promises in our darkest hours.

This word of Christ is a word of prayer. Three times Jesus prayed from the cross.

First, He prayed, Father, forgive them for they do not know what they are doing.
Then He also prayed, My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?
Now in this closing moment of life He prayers, Father, into your hands I commit my spirit.

What a wonderful scene is a deathbed where there is prayer. It is a horrible thing to be around a deathbed where there is no hope, no peace and no prayer. How sad to say of a dying soul, “He died without a prayer.”

C. He Died Gloriously

Again, these words spoken by Jesus come from Psalm 31:5. This is a picture of a sinner fleeing to God for salvation. As Jesus uses them, they are the words of a conqueror.

The first Adam died as a victim - The Second Adam died as a victor!

Now, now with me also that ...

III. Jesus had Security in the Hour of Death

A. Safe in the Hands of Power

Here we see Jesus putting His spirit into the hands of the Father. God is not a man, but the Bible uses illustrations to help us understand the loving care of the heavenly Father. We read of His feet trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored. We read about His eyes that go to and fro in all the earth. Here we read about His handsas well. Jesus had been in the hands of sinners through those long hours Thursday night and Friday. We are told in another passage that He was slain by wicked hands. But now, as Jesus dies, He is in altogether different hands. He is now in the hands of the Father.

I don't know what people and life has done to you through the years, but I do know that this world is a harsh and hateful place. Often people use you, hurt you or abandon you. You work hard for an employer, and then he fires you to hire a younger person at less expense. Or, you are a business owner, and you hire an employee and discover that she has been stealing from you for a number of years. You love your spouse, but that person leaves a note on the table that says you are not loved anymore. Life can be brutal. But, listen to me carefully. There are tender hands waiting for you. There is One who will never leave you nor forsake you. There is a place where sin cannot molest you. The Father's hands are waiting to hold every  person who has trusted His Son when the time comes for you to depart this life.

B. Safe in the Hands of Purpose

In Acts 11 we read that the hand of the Lord was with them - that is, His hand was with those who were working for Him. When you give yourself to God, He puts His hands to work for you. He does this in life and in death. Trust the hands of God to hold you, to help you, and harness your best possibilities. He has a purpose in your life and in your death. Like Jesus, you can trust your life - your spirit - into His hands at all times.

C. Safe in the Hands of Protection

We are promised that the Father's hands are sufficient for our need. We are in His hands once we are saved and nothing can pluck us out of His hands.

To take you out of the hands of God, the enemy would have to mount up to heaven, break down the gates of pearl, storm God’s throne, topple Him, take His place and then take you out of His strong hand. Believe me, you are secure in the Father's hands.

In essence, the word Jesus used here as He spoke of placing His Spirit into the Father's hands is a word that speaks of a deposit - Like putting money in the bank. Jesus deposited His spirit into the hands of God. Dear friend, it is not your body but your spirit that is most important. Jesus said, “What shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world and lose his own soul.” How handsome or beautiful you are will not matter when your body is wasting away. How much money you have will not matter when you are drawing your last breath. How many people know your name is not going to be of significance when God calls your name and you must go out to meet Him. What will matter in that moment is whether you can say through faith and with confidence, "Father, into you hands I commit and commend my spirit."


Are you ready to die? Rehearse your death. You are on your deathbed. All your loved ones are gathered around. What will you say, what will you do?

I will tell you what Jesus did. Jesus surrendered. You say that it was easy for Jesus to die like that. Really! He had your sin and my sin on His life at that moment. In fact, the Bible says He became sin for us. We cannot imagine the horror of His death, yet He trusted His spirit into the hands of the Father.

God’s servants can die with His peace in their souls. Remember, there was one who was dying as great rocks pleated his skin. The blood began to ooze out of him. Then he cried out. What did he say? Was he cursing? Was he whining? No! Stephen said as he died, “Lord, receive my spirit.” He died like His Savior. So can you and so can I!

Listen. Down deep in your soul you can hear it. Jesus cried out, “Father, into you hands I commit My spirit.” Let us bow our heads and hearts and honor Him. The perfect Lamb of God took our stripes and bore our sins. You see, Jesus died, but He didn’t remain dead. He rose on the third day! He is alive. Now is the time to turn to Him in faith. Have the faith at this moment to trust Him to forgive your sins. Have the faith to trust Him in your sorrows and trials. Have the faith to trust Him in the decisions you must make in life.

Now let us respond in faith to our risen Lord. Trust Him as your Savior today. Recommit your life to Him today. Don't wait till you are dying - commit your spirit, your body, your mind, your life to Him right now as we sing.