It was now about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over the whole land until the ninth hour, while the sun's light failed. And the curtain of the temple was torn in two. 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. Now when the centurion saw what had taken place, he praised God, saying, “Certainly this man was innocent!” And all the crowds that had assembled for this spectacle, when they saw what had taken place, returned home beating their breasts. And all his acquaintances and the women who had followed him from Galilee stood at a distance watching these things. [Luke 23-44-49 ESV]
This last utterance from the cross reminds me of these words that Jesus once said:
I lay down my life that I may take it up again.Even at this very last moment of his life we are reminded.
No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord.
The son of God was not a victim of circumstances or of man's evil plans.
At any point Jesus could have chose another path for his life.
Yet love compelled him to stay the course and freely offer his life for us.
Love compelled him to stay committed to the words he prayed in the garden.
"Not my will but thine be done".
And since that final moment we have all been beating our breasts.
Like the centurion, and those who watched at a distance.
We have all been wondering how this could have happened to an innocent man.
Perhaps it could have happened no other way?
Maybe the whole spectacle took place to reveal the darkness of man.
And the brilliant light of God's one and only Son?
This reminds me of how we daily need to place our lives into divine hands.
When things seem so crazy and out of control we need to release control.
As we let go we commit ourselves again and trust the hands of God.
Father, into your hands I commit my body, my strength, my soul, my life and my spirit.
... this devotion is part of the Red Letters series. Click here to read more.