Into Your hand I commit my spirit” (Luke 23:46).
Those nearby who were well acquainted with the Scriptures, especially the Psalms would have recognized that He recited Psalm 31:5. He had the word of God on His lips with His final breath. It sustained Him throughout His life. In one incident when He encountered Satan, Satan said to Jesus,
If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread” (Matthew 4:3).
Jesus replied from Torah,
Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (4:4).
Satan continued to try trip him by also quoting Scripture back to Jesus out of context. However, Jesus knew the Scriptures well and would not be fooled by Satan’s trickery. Jesus frequently used Scriptures in countering the arguments of the Pharisees and Sadducees and giving a defense for His Father and His decrees and declarations. He taught the truth of the Scriptures to His disciples so they would gain strength from them in time of need and be able to offer a defense for the truth in the life of Jesus. The Scriptures became Jesus’ sustenance in life and in death.
His example teaches us that the Scriptures are our authority and their content are lamp and life. Relying on the Scriptures is relying on God. Both God and His word are the content and strength of our lives. The particular passage from Psalm 31:5 illustrates this assurance. King David never knew that the Messiah, the Son of God, his offspring would quote from his psalm. He never knew the vitality of his psalm for all subsequent generations. He never realized that this truth would give assurance to so many. Although he wrote it initially for himself, we recognize that he also intended it to be for the entire congregation of God. The heading informs us of his purpose,
To the Chief Musician. A Psalm of David.”
He saw commitment to God his lifelong vision and allegiance, even in death, because he recognized God was his redeemer (Psalm 31:5). He gives a litany of distresses and troubles he encountered throughout his life and concludes,
But as for me, I trust in You, O LORD; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand” (31:14-15).
At the conclusion of his psalm, David turns to his audience, the congregation for whom he intended it and announces,
Oh, love the LORD, all you His saints! For the LORD preserves the faithful, And fully repays the proud person. Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart, All you who hope in the LORD.”
He wants to assure them that commitment to God meant safety, because those whom God considers “saints” or set-aside ones are safe in His hands. They can be courageous and hopeful, knowing that the strength and power to endure hardship comes from God. God holds His saints tightly in His hand. Jesus, our Savior set the example on the cross when He cried to His Father,
Into Your hands I commit My spirit” Luke 23:46.
God is our Father, also, and we like Jesus can trust Him to care for us.