Jesus Commits His Spirit to God

David Prayed for Himself and Spoke Prophetically of Jesus Christ

King David had many encounters with enemies in his life. At random times throughout his reign as king over Israel, he had to defend himself against those who sought to either take over his throne or even kill him. And yet David knew the One who faithfully made available his way of escape.

David's incredible faith in the protection and providence of God inspired him to write in one of his Psalms: “For You are my rock and my fortress; therefore, for Your name's sake, lead me and guide me. Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me, for You are my strength. Into Your hand I commit my spirit; you have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.” (Psalm 31:3-5)

David was so trusting of God that he willingly surrendered his spirit into the hands of God. He knew that it was better to willingly fall into the hands of God than to be forcefully taken down by his enemies. So David did not lean on his own ability to rescue himself, but instead trusted in God's ability to preserve his life.

However, David was not only praying for himself when he wrote those words. He also was speaking prophetically of the words that would one day be uttered by the One who was to come after him. Jesus Christ, the Son of God, mirrored David's heartfelt trust in God and echoed David's poignant words of surrender. But in stark contrast to David's Psalm that represented a cry for help in the midst of political and social upheaval, Jesus uttered those words in the face of death itself.

The Gospel of Luke is the only gospel that records the seemingly tragic cry of the Savior. But the implications of Jesus' final words go far beyond just a simple passing of life into death. “Now it was about the sixth hour, and there was darkness over all the earth until the ninth hour. Then the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was torn in two. And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, 'Father, into Your hands I commit My spirit.' Having said this, He breathed His last.” (Luke 23:44-46)

Jesus was not merely a casualty of the brutality of the Romans. His crucifixion was not simply an unfortunate result of the hatred of the Jews. No, Jesus was not a victim. In fact, just the opposite is true: He had the authority to prevent His own crucifixion. But He never exercised that authority. Jesus had a free will, just as any man. But as the Son of God, He gave His life as an offering, at the exact time that God had appointed. Jesus knew that His ministry would end in His death. And yet He knew that the moment His purpose was fulfilled, His life would rest safely in the hands of His heavenly Father until it was time for His resurrection.

Jesus' final words to His Father could not be matched by any incredible act of faith that man could perform. Jesus trusted so completely that God would raise Him from the dead. And He also fully knew that the salvation of all of mankind was hinged on the completion of His mission, including this one final miracle: His resurrection. Knowing what God had promised, and knowing that God cannot lie, Jesus was willing to take the greatest chance of all time, by surrendering His life of His own free will.

Written by: Amy Miller